W/E 28th February 2016


A frustrating week.

Used the car for work to avoid hassle with the starter sprag. Returned to the task on Saturday with more heat, big hammer and assistance from Mrs A – still no joy so a trip over to Andy Bartlett was the answer.

Saturday wasn’t a complete waste – gave the Atlas a good clean and oil change. Fitted the nearside sidepanel and removed the handlebar muffs. It buffed up pretty well. The 70 mile Sunday morning ride over to Worcester showed that just a bit of oil here and there seemed to freshen everything up.

It was a wise move to get Andy’s help – that crankshaft nut was solid and until we applied heat the ‘rattle’ gun wouldn’t undo it! It was interesting to step aside and watch Andy at work – no apparent rush and all threads cleaned on a wire wheel before reassembly.

Andy races a Binnion framed Monty special – as these pictures show his attention to detail shines through the ‘race prep’



Race bikes can be refreshing alternative to a concours road bike. The function over form philosophy can lead a very attractive raw look. This is the only Binnion framed Laverda in the world!


So the Atlas was back together complete with a fresh Zimmerman sprag. Inspection of the unit we took off showed the engine had been apart before and the sprag itself showed signs of serious surgery – the backing plate had been removed at some point and spot welded back in place. The back plate also showed signs of rubbing the ring gear and may have been the source of the ‘pinking’ sound I reported last week – no noise on the way home.

Anyways we pressed the starter and it caught then just spun without turning the engine. Bugger! Needed to get home so Andy gave us a bump and we were away – luckily being an Atlas with enough petrol still onboard to allow us to make the return 70 miles without having to stop. With an eye at junctions to make sure I didn’t stall (bumping an Atlas on your own is pretty tough) the Atlas cut a dash through the crisp Cotswold scenery holding a steady 6,000 rpm for most of the time (sorry speedo doesn’t work but probably around 75 mph).


Arriving home I gave the starter one more prod just to confirm it hadn’t fixed itself on the way home (I’m an optimist y’know) to be confronted with a inoperative sprag and the fresh surprise that the alternator bung had sprung an oil leak…

Time to close the garage door and go see Mrs A

NickΒ  πŸ™‚


W/E 21st February 2016


So a couple of weeks off but last weekend saw me back down the garage…

The Atlas has started making ‘noises’ – not sure what but it sounds like piston slap. When I say it ‘sounds like’ this really means that it has a terminal kind of ring about it. A ticking kind of noise normally means some kind of rotating part like a clutch of some sort it playing up but this noise feels more like it’s to do with something going up and down. Up and down is bad.

I did wonder if I had the onset of a loose valve seat but when this happened in Atlas #1 the noise was persistent. Here however the noise seems worse if I ride off before the bike is off the choke – it must be driving the neighbours mad as I’ve taken to letting the bike tick over ’til warm at 6 am!

So I’m approaching this problem with some caution as I don’t have another bike to fall back on – got to keep nursing this Atlas for a while yet. Carried out an oil change and there were flecks of metal in the oil – not much but I’m sure it hasn’t been present in the past.

I decided that while I had the engine free of oil I’d sort out the slipping sprag clutch but despite the appliance of heat and a big hammer the damned nut wouldn’t budge on the end of the crank. It wasn’t helped by a clutch that started to slip so putting the bike in gear and getting Mrs A to stand on the rear brake wasn’t holding the engine locked. I know that when things go this way it is time to back off and think. Next weekend I’m off to see a mate with a rattle gun which will be the way to sort it out and talk bollocks for most of Sunday!

Nick πŸ™‚


W/E 31st January 2016


That don’t look good

Investigated why the Atlas was misfiring on occasion. Thought it was going to be the damned wires into the ECU or maybe a coil going down as the misfire only happened when the bike was well warm. Turned out to be a lot simpler – knackered plugs or at least this plug.

Can’t remember replacing the plugs so they have probably got +10,000 miles on them so can’t complain. The gap on this one is so wide it says volumes about the Sachse Ignitions ability to create a good spark!

Spent time tidying up the Atlas, oiled the chain and checked the gearbox sprocket (still good) and then got down to a bit of RGA parts cleaning. On the RGA side of things what struck me is how few parts these bikes have…maybe I’ve mislaid some?

Nick πŸ™‚