W/E 25th October 2015

Even more bent...

Even more bent…

Couldn’t believe it – while I was looking at the rear suspension on Monday the Atlas rolled off the sidestand and went down again! Mrs A helped right the bike which didn’t get off so lightly this time round – broken indicators, pillion footpeg mount and grazed sidepanel, tank and front mudguard…

Busted peg

Busted peg

Spent a bit of time on ebay and came up with a rear indicator – had a spare front – and also noticed a rear light for the RGS (got a Mk 1 Triumph Tiger unit which is the same) that provided a bulb for the Atlas so something good came out of it.

Rok straps for the mudguard

Rok straps for the mudguard

During the week I also saw the numberplate and rear mudguard section seemed to have sagged. Investigation showed the bracket supporting this and attaching it to the rear subframe had broken. Probably a result of me only securing the seat by one side of the bracket and overloading the rack. I put a new bolt in to hold it and augmented this with a couple of Rok straps. Will have to see if I can get it welded or maybe buy one – can’t be a big demand for them.

Stay positive

Stay positive

The final piece of maintenance was the positive terminal on the battery. The bolt securing the wiring had stripped so I had to tap a new hole directly into the terminal – my tap wasn’t so good but it seems to be holding.

So the week has been one of just working to stand still on the Atlas. The Atlas front brake still needs investigating as does the swinging arm bearings (which I keep squirting with releasing fluid). No progress on other fronts but I have set a date of the 14th November to get my two 120, triple motors built…so things will get a bit more interesting soon!

Nick 🙂

PS Delayed report on June’s LCF rally now in the ‘Trips’ section

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W/E 18th October 2015

That's a real dog leg!

That’s a real dog leg!

Damn me if I don’t get home on Thursday flick down the sidestand, lean the bike to take the strain and down we all go – sidestand broke off completely!

Busted!

Busted!

Must’ve been cracked for sometime and Thursday was the day it decided to cry ‘enough’. Had to leave the bike on its side and go get Mrs A to help me haul the heavy bugger upright. Aside from the sidestand the only other damage was the bent lever and I think the clutch master cylinder now sits at a slightly different level. I have a spare sidestand so fitted it that night and was back in business.

I meant to fix the clutch lever and investigate the master cylinder but got stuck in to the other problem which is the lower than standard rear end. I had a spare shock already waiting to go in so set to and got the fancy ‘White Power’ unit. I understand this was put on by the previous owner but at the recent Atlas rally I was told that some Mk 3’s had them fitted as standard.

WP in blue

WP in blue

I’d been thinking there might be a problem with the shock but it turned out not to be so. You can see that the WP unit is about 50mm shorter than the stocker but my suspension is at least 2 inches down. The plain bearings and bolts showed some signs of seizure or least the bolts had rust on them and were also a bit dry – however nothing that would account for 2 inches. The problem revealed itself when I went to refit all the linkages with the stock shock and noticed the swinging arm held it’s position despite not being supported. The swinging arm bearings are seized! By the time I got to this I had other things to do and had to press on with re-assembly so for now a liberal dose of WD40 will have to do. I have already seen some improvement so fingers crossed a week’s commute might see the WD work its way in and sort the problem.

The other issue that I never got round to was to look again at the front brake. Over the past week the brake has once again started to pulse and snatch like the second disc has warped. I’m not convinced this has happened a second time round and suspect the brake pad material might not be compatible with the disc. I’m running kevlar mix pads so will have a root around for some old standard compound jobbies. I remember once fitting double H’s to my Jota and getting a similar snatch.

What seems to be working is the custom sprocket and lightweight chain. I am expecting 5 more of these custom sprockets in the next week so have enough to fit out all three Atlas’s. This second batch have proper case hardening so should last well.

Nick 🙂

W/E 11th October 2015

What colour red?

What colour red?

A good week in terms of the general running of the Atlas but a disappointment with a new seat. I won’t name the firm that did the job because in fairness as soon as I questioned the work they organised a full refund with no questions. Anyways the seat came back a lighter shade of red. I checked that it wasn’t that the seat was filthy and although it is that wasn’t the main reason for the colour problem…it is just the wrong colour!

Flatter and fatter

Flatter and fatter

So of course once you aren’t happy you look a little closer. As you can see the cut is wrong with the centre panel being too wide. This means that the seams don’t follow the ridge of the foam and effectively make the seat look flatter and wider. The seat is such an essential element of how any bike looks so I knew it would annoy me everytime I looked at it so thumbs down on that one. The search for a good seat job continues…

Aside from the seat the new disc has done its job and doesn’t appear to judder. I’ve only put 400 miles on it so want to do a bit more before declaring it a success but the signs are good. The other modification was the tight sprocket and this too seems to be working. I may be imagining it but the tight sprocket and non O ring chain seem to have made things smoother. Again though with only 400 miles up I want to do a bit more before it gets the thumbs up.

Nick 🙂

W/E 4th October 2015

A well earned pamper

A well earned pamper

First weekend in a month where I haven’t been off travelling at the weekend so a chance to give the Atlas some TLC.

On Monday I had to fit a new brass nut to the offside exhaust to stop it blowing. It’s done the job and brightened my mood as I was beginning to get a bit ‘pissed’ at tinkering. Funny how just a little thing like this can drill into your mindset. Once done the Atlas performed it’s daily commuting duties with ease.

Anyways back to the main service I changed the oil and seeing as the engine was empty used the opportunity to fit the ‘tight’ sprocket to see if I have found a solution to the rattling gearbox sprocket that then leads to wear on the ouput shaft. I hadn’t been looking forward to this because I feared that getting the old oil seal out and the new tight sprocket on would end up being a battle of will’s.

It turned out however to be quite straightforward – the original oil seal popped out with a bit of persuading with a screwdriver and was installed using the old loose sprocket as the flat surface to act as the intermediary with the long socket and big hammer!.

Original seal to left, thinner replacement to accommodate sprocket 'boss' on the right.

Original seal to left, thinner replacement to accommodate sprocket ‘boss’ on the right.

I see that the seal I’d been given by the engineer who knocked up the sprocket is double lipped. My only concern is that when the sprocket boss entered the seal it didn’t damage the edge – there is a leading edge on the sprocket boss but it is quite small. I will only be able to tell next weekend when I should have knocked up 400 miles on the conversion.

Sprocket in situ. just the locking washer to add

Sprocket in situ. just the locking washer to add

To get the sprocket on I heated the sprocket to 180 degrees in the family oven and then used a deep socket to hammer it into place. The sprocket doesn’t chatter now!

Output shaft - note wear on splines at 70,000 kms. Shaft shown with oil seal

Output shaft – note wear on splines at 70,000 kms. Shaft shown with oil seal

The old sprocket that I removed was still in good condition. What I found interesting was the condition of the lock washer which shows signs off rocking – the locking tabs are significantly flattened/worn.

wear on the locking washer

wear on the locking washer

Now with the tight sprocket and integral boss the locking washer is a ‘belt and braces’ addition – I am considering getting rid of it altogether and using a circlip once I have proved the concept.

So sprocket in place I replaced the chain with a lighter non- O ring item. The O ring job was cleaned and ready for my next two up adventure. I’d used special chain oil on this O ring chain and it was a sticky mess which I cleaned off with engine oil before storing in a sealed bag. I remain surprised at the significant weight difference between the two types of chain and also the relative flexibility. Running an O ring chain has to stress the gearbox and rear wheel wheel bearings more?

Last task was to go back to the front brake and inspect the calipher and disc. Ever since I fitted the 320mm Yamaha item it has felt warped. The calipher was slightly off centre meaning one set of pistons was slightly more pronounced – however this doesn’t account for the warped feeling.To make it more central I installed the original washers (that sit between the calipher and the fork leg) between the calipher and the spacing plate.

I pulsed the brake lever and all four pistons were free so a jammed piston was eliminated.

As a precaution I ended up fitting another 320mm disc (I bought a pair) so let’s see what the week brings.

Nick 🙂