W/E 24th January 2016

A quiet week.

The sad news arrived that Dirk from OCT is no longer with us. It always seemed like he cared about your order and through our email discussions his sense of humour filtered through – he managed to track down some spacers for the Atlas recently and apologised that the ones he was sending weren’t like my example as they weren’t covered in rust!


To brighten the mood I can report that the 2015 Three Nations Award for completing the Welsh, National and Scottish arrived – Catherine rode with me for the Scottish and Mrs A rode shotgun for the Welsh. Great effort.



W/E 17th January 2016


Muffed up!

The cold weather is just round the corner so it’s time to prepare. Dragged the handlebar muffs out – not stylish but they make a serious difference by keeping the cold air blast off the hands. The other piece of preparation was a new battery. These Harley batteries ain’t cheap at £135 and they seem to last 9 months or 15,000 miles. Not so strong as you’d think but they now come with a 2 year warranty so I’ll get at least two batteries for my £135 + the convenience of being able to go back to the store rather than deal with some disinterested on-line vendor.

So as there was nothing too bad on the Atlas I changed the brake pads front and rear.


Down at the heel

As you can see both sets were completely worn out. I put in a used set on the rear – they doing nothing on Atlas #1 so decided to just use up what is around (and free). I noticed that the rear brake calipher is showing signs of the retaining pin wearing the body. I will have to wire this up or else run the risk of the pin shaking loose and the pads dropping in to the rear wheel. Lockwire next weekend I think.

On the front I fitted a new set of sintered pads. These replace the kevlar compound that I’ve been running. Not sure if it will do something about the brake judder but maybe I have to accept that perhaps the disc is warped. What you can see is one of the front pads is down to the metal on its top edge. I did check that all the pistons were free in the calipher but again I think to do a little more investigation.

I did make a little more headway on the triples as I cleaned the front forks for both the RGS and RGA. The oil seal surfaces are fine on both stanchions but on the RGA there are rust patches around the headlight clamps – from a functional perspective the forks are fine so it will be a case of deciding if the cosmetic considerations are strong enough to have them rechromed.

Nick 🙂

W/E 10th January 2016

So Happy New Year 🙂

First weekend of 2016 I visited the ILOC local meet up near Banbury. It lashed it down with rain, as it had the previous day when I rode into London to pick up my daughter. The ILOC meet was a good fun – good company and despite the rain a nice way to spend the year’s first Sunday. The Atlas then has been in continuous use over Christmas and was in need of some fettlin’.

On Monday the choke stopped working on the handlebar control meaning I had to firk around under the tank and manually operate the choke. No big deal but it needed sorting. In addition the rear sprocket, chain and rear tyre needed changing. So a load of work to just keep my commute going and no time to work on the triples 😦


Choke fully off

The choke situation was yet another legacy of when the bike fell over. The clutch lever had been pushed down the bar meaning that the choke lever was now not butted up against the control cluster. This allowed the cable to just slip out. I reassembled it all but made the mistake of pulling the choke cable through too far. I realised there was a problem when the mechanism seemed to have lost a position and the bike settled too readily into tickover from cold. Tank back off and I restored the ‘choke home’ setting to as shown in the picture.

Starting the bike also showed me that maybe the battery is getting tired – it only charged up to 12.2 volts – I’m sure it was 13 volts when new. The sprag is also sounding like it isn’t quite as strong as before so I must be careful not to ignore this as a slow engine puts more torque through the sprag and will lead to failure.


Hmm that gap shouldn’t be there

Taking out the back wheel showed some ‘clearance’ in the cush drive bearing – hmmm spins okay but then I spotted that the outer was spinning too. Damn!

That’s what is going on!

Getting the bearing out pushed out the centre and it looked like some of the rollers had already escaped the track and ended up inside the cush. The following picture showing damage on the bearing spacer confirms this.


Spacer damage – lucky not a problem

Lucky I have a stock of 6204 bearings (same size as for a triple) so a new bearing went in with some help from Loctite. I did the cheapo fix and only replaced the outer bearing – I know what you’re thinking but the inner one looked just fine so why throw a ‘good’ bearing away. We’ll see if this is a false economy.

New sprocket and chain fitted to a spare wheel where the tyre has some life left in it – I have a new tyre but the thought of getting out the irons was by now not appealing!

Looking across the bike and from riding it I see it needs new pads for the rear brake and I suspect this will also be the case up front. I also have to looking in to the front braking as it judders like a warped disc. I see that the spokes have been kissing the calipher more than when first fitted so maybe the judder is this ‘kiss’? In addition to the brakes I have to fit the tyre + take off the handlebar fairing to get to a bolt holding the headlight to the mounting braket – it’s come out and is held in by being agains the fairing.

It was a bad tempered return to the garage. Just felt like a load of work to stand still. The fact that the garage is rammed full of ‘stuff’ with things hidden in boxes and tools obscured by similar boxes means my mood didn’t improve as time just seemed to leak as I looked for this and looked for that.

All in all a shit day – but then we all have those once in a while and at least I had the sense to walk away when my mood was at it’s blackest!

Nick 🙂