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

Nick  🙂


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