29th May 2016


Well that don’t look good but the hand is free! The bad news is that the operation hasn’t been a full success. A pin going across the hand has disappeared into the hand and wasn’t pulled out as planned. The doc suggested that maybe it’ll stay in there if I don’t get any complications from it. The thumb has also set itself out of line – I may end up with limited movement and also arthritis in later life – easy to brush off now but no fun 10 years down the road. Still nothing to do but get on with trying to get strength in it (squeezing a ball of rolled up socks at the moment) and wait ’til further investigations are complete.

I can just about pull in the Atlas clutch at the moment so the LCF gig down in Jura has not been written off yet – if I stick to highways then despite the long distance (500 miles) the amount of gear changing will be limited.


Catherine lent a hand (sic) with re-commissioning Atlas #3 and with the new starter motor fitted we soon had it running. Sounds good and putting in the missing shim on the idler gear seems to have got rid of the rumble.


I was hopeful that the smoking exhaust had also gone away but after it had ticked over the smoke returned (cough!). I’m hoping with a bit of use this will decline.


Haven’t had a reply from OCT yet with my request for a new choke and clutch cable. I copied my ‘solution’ to a bad choke cable on Atlas #1 and got out the lock wire! It works fine and well end up being a permanent solution. I hope however to have a replacement clutch cable as this should make the action lighter and at the moment anything that puts less strain on my left hand is worth doing.

Nick 🙂



Public holiday today (Monday) so maiden voyage on Atlas #3 with repair(ing) left hand…the smoke did clear………..oh and my hand aches 🙂

W/E 22nd May 2016


Back down to the garage to get the Atlas’s ready for when the cast comes off next Friday 🙂

The starter motor came back from the menders – there was a broken brush spring in there. It isn’t difficult to put a starter motor back on (even one handed)…so long as you do everything in the right order! I put the motor onto the block and then hit my first problem which was to get the idler gear on – not easy if you still have the sprag ring go in place. Had to just put the shim washer behind the gear slide the post just through and guide it in and turn the starter motor by hand ’til it went home. I then put the plastic cover over the starter motor only to find that you can only get the cam chain tensioner mechanism in with no cover on…I didn’t have to undo anything next time round but learned that the plastic cover will then only go on if you haven’t put the lower cam chain tensioner cover bolt in – tho’ I had remembered you also have to leave the tensioning bolt out too. What a chore.

While I had Atlas #3 apart I checked over the sticking choke and traced this to a kinked cable – so added that to my OCT list along with a spare clutch cable and then a clutch lever and light surround for Atlas #2.


Found a pair of bars to replace the bent items (top set in the above picture). This was in a way overdue because I remember thinking last year as I rode the bike for the first time that the bars were bent – guess I bent them some more. The bike is certainly straighter – I’m still waiting for the WD40 to allow me to undo the top two fork bolts so I can get all the wheels in line – it’s almost there.

The rear footrest is back from the welders. Put on a new rear indicator and have a front set to go. Fixed the metal rack plate to the original brackets so can tick that off the list too. The plastic bracket holding the headlight in place is cracked – tho’ it was also slightly broken before going down. I can probably glue this but will see if OCT have another. Won’t be able to glue the screen however…

I was going to put a new fairing on Atlas #2 but the item sent over from Holland is so poor it will be going back!


I couldn’t believe I got this shite through the post – thought this kind of service had gone out of the Laverda scene but apparently not! My original is easier to fix than this so that’s the route I’m going.

I did get good service from the starter folk + also Malcolm Cox who came up with a very neat set of black chrome pipes for the RGA. He also confirmed that he’s having a couple of sets of pipes made for Atlas #1 and 2 – Atlas #2 may well emerge in better shape after the crash than before!

Roll on the 27th and getting my hand back!

Nick 🙂


W/E 8th May 2016


So this week I should have been at the Welsh Rally…still went to Wales and had a lovely time with Mrs A but it did hurt some to see the bikes out and about -3 more weeks…

Had limited time in the garage but have posted off the starter motor for Atlas #3 so it’s go to go when I’m back on the road. You can see I’ve also got the rear footrest hanger back from the welder so that’s fixed. The other pile of junk is the Atlas Mk 3 exhaust system which I’m hoping I can get copied within 3 weeks. I’m also seeing if I can get a black chrome system for the RGA so we’re inching back little by little…

Nick 🙂

W/E 1st May 2016


What better way to renew your vows than to spend some quality time down the garage?

It’s been two weeks since my accident and I realised valuable time when I can get things fixed is rushing by. I got checked over on the Friday my pleas for a lighter cast were cast aside (sic) as the staff new full well what I would do. I can pull in the clutch on the little 100 so I had half a mind on going for a Bronze in next week’s Welsh…I had the hand in fresh air for maybe 20 minutes while it was waiting for a fresh cast – it’s stiff and weak so even the LCF rally in June must be in doubt. If everything goes to plan I should be without the cast at the end of May.

Mrs A helped me drag the bikes in to the sun and the spanners were back in action. I drained the oil on both Atlas’s and spent most time cleaning road grim off Atlas #2. Atlas #2 still needs broken indicators, rack and bent handlebars and clutch lever removed and replaced.The ignition cover will paint and polish up.

I’ve ordered a replacement fairing even tho’ the original is repairable. I’ve also begun the search for a pipe bender to knock up a replacement set of exhausts – these are serviceable but rapidly rusting on both my Mark 3’s.

I am also going to fix the leaking seal behind the ignition in the primary case. A nothing job but something that you don’t fix while trying to keep a bike road ready (you just put up with the small oil leak).

The biggest hassle is going to be getting the radiator trim off the petrol tank as the bolt is still turning in its thread. It has been useful to have time to reflect however as my first idea was to cut off the bolt head but I have revised this to grinding the head round so that I can slip off the trim and leave the maximum amount of bolt proud to play with. More to follow…

Atlas #2 is now out of MOT (roadworthiness test) and tax BUT I must keep focused on this to try and get it road ready for June when I’d ideally like to have two Atlas’s at my disposal.


Atlas #3 got most attention. Mrs A had the ball ache task of removing the starter motor cover. The motor needs a refurb’ to sort out a dead spot. It was our first experience of working on an Atlas with right hand exhausts – I think these are maybe slightly more inconvenient than the Mark 3’s lefties. To get the motor out you have to remove the cam chain tensioner mechanism. We also found that the alternator case will clear the pipes (just) without the need to remove them (phew)!


The starter looked to me like it had never been removed but the alternator case has been off – the washer on the end of the crank wasn’t flattened over and a shim was missing from the idler gear. A superficial inspection of the sprag clutch suggests the bearing in this is okay so further investigation will be necessary to find the source of an engine rumble – hopefully not the mains!

With all this going on Atlas #1 even got a bit of attention as we attempted to remove the pannier frames from it (these will fit more properly on the Mk 2, Atlas #3) however these aren’t coming off without a fight and the onset of tiredness and big hammers meant it was time to retreat for coffee and cake…getting wiser as you get older is the only benefit of ageing that I’ve ever identified.

Nick 🙂