W/E 14th June 2015

A busy couple of weeks with the LCF Rally and this weekend a trip to Eindhoven to pick up yet another Atlas..!

Mont Saint Michel

Mont Saint Michel

A full report on the LCF to follow but rather oddly the 800 odd miles passed off relatively smoothly. The only problem was an oil leak that exposed itself with sustained high speed (70 mph +) riding. Mrs A and I settled in to a steady 60 mph and all was fine.

Having got back from France I was determined to track down the source of the oil leak which was coming from the right hand side of the engine. As I ride 100 miles per day I thought I’d try different things and test ’em the next day. I’d discounted the seal behind the final drive sprocket at the rally so step one was silicone around the grommet that plugs the alternator wires. Nope – although it stopped the mist on top of the alternator cover the bike still left oil in the works car park. This meant it had to be the starter motor and so a new gasket went on and bingo – mind it took a couple of days to stop leaving oil in the car park as the bottom of the motor had good coverage. The old gasket was intact so all I can think is that the starter motor was a bit crooked when I mounted it (all the bolts were tight so this wasn’t the problem). So an annoying fault that should’ve been sorted before France – spinning the Atlas up to 5,500 + rpm reveals the best side of the motor and some of those French roads deserved better.

The engine is however still not oil tight as there is a steady leak from the seal behind the ignition spinner – typical problems when you start using a motorcycle that’s been laid up for years hey?

Volvo 240 Estate - love it!

Volvo 240 Estate – love it!

So Friday Mrs A and I are in the Volvo off to the Channel Tunnel and then on to Eindhoven to pick up a third Atlas. I’d agreed to buy it and asked Robert to break it down so it would fit in the back of the 240. Using the Volvo and a cheap Formula 1 hotel outside Dunkerque meant I could get it back to the UK for around £200 on top of the purchase price. Everything went fine and apart from siphoning the petrol from the tank into Atlas #2 for work tomorrow it’s all still in the Volvo. Another project…

Improvised allen key breaker bar...we all know where this is leading...

Improvised allen key breaker bar…we all know where this is leading…

Still before going to Eindhoven Atlas #2 had returned back from work with a badly binding front brake. Normally no big deal but I knew from the Welsh Rally weekend that one of the bolts holding the calipher to the forks was seized. I’d left it a couple of days hoping the WD40 would soak in but today I had to get it fixed. I was surprised at the extent of the binding when I wheeled it outside – hmmm. Using a pair of Atlas handlebars and some heat I got a bit of movement in the bolt before the inevitable…



In one sense not a bad result because at least now I could remove the calipher and because the it was just the head that sheared I have a good piece left to try and wind out once the WD40 has had a week to get into the thread. I can now also target the heat better. So a job for next weekend.

Luckily I have a spare front calipher – something I’d tried to fit on Atlas #1 a while back and wouldn’t bleed up due to I thought a bad seal along its seam. Turned out the poor seal was with where the brake line enters the body and it must be that Atlas #2 has a better line as no leak – hurrah! The double hurrah was that as I hadn’t been able to remove the top off the master cylinder I simply put the line into the body and presto the brake pumped up nice and hard…if you don’t take the top off the master cylinder it’s like putting your finger over the end of a straw – the fluid doesn’t fall out. There must be air in the line but that’s for another day…

Get's prettier with every polish - bike don't look bad either!

Get’s prettier with every polish – bike don’t look bad either!

Nick 🙂

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