W/E 31st October 2016

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The replica exhaust system from Malcolm Cox arrived and has been loosely fitted to Atlas #1. The black chrome exhausts are outstanding – better than the originals. I didn’t fit the cylinder head clamps as these are deformed through over-tightening so will either need flattening or replacing.

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The collector box also exceeds the original standard. Rather than being pressed together the replica has been made through a combination of tube and folded and welded construction. The finished item has been galvanized to ensure it won’t ever rust! I will probably end up spraying it with black VHT paint.

Fitting the system required a bit of fettling – the galv’ finish inside the collector was cleaned up and the pipes opened a bit to let the downpipes in. The rear mounting lug also had to have a couple of millimetres taken off it’s lower edge so it didn’t foul the engine. No big deal and thanks to Malcolm for going to the bother to make the system and also for putting the rest of the bike to shame!

Malcolm is now working on creating a replica silencer for the Atlas – I have an order in. Contact Malcolm for any Atlas exhaust system requests on <coxeng@gmx.com>

Atlas #3 remains my daily ride and required a new set of plugs over the weekend to restore reliable starting. The old plugs looked fine, nice colour and gap. No sure how many miles they’d done but probably 10,000 so not complaining. Pleased to get to this before I spent too long hammering on the starter leading to a failed sprag – at the moment Atlas #3 is on standard equipment.

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I picked up a puncture in the front tyre of Atlas #3 courtesy of some tacks I’d left on the garage floor… It was only a slow puncture as I rode on it for a day but next morning woke to a flat front.

I’ve hauled a bicycle inner tube repair aerosol around for the season so decided this would be the ideal opportunity to see if it would work – the answer is ‘yes’ though you need a pump to improve on the 10 psi once the mousse had been pumped into the tyre (guess a motorcycle item would have more gas). I always pack a hand pump so good to know that there’s a good chance a small puncture can be fixed easily at the roadside. The front tyre is almost due for replacement so I’m going to see if the repair holds good for a few thousand more miles…

Finally turned to Atlas #2 and began to fix the handlebar fairing I damaged back in April. It’s currently naked but when it is pushed back into service in November I think it’ll be good to have the fairing (+ a pair of handlebar muffs).

To finish off the Atlas update I include a link to Frank Baur’s presentation on his Sahara expedition

The RGA project has stalled…well not entirely as over the past couple of weeks I’ve been tidying the garage. The tidy up has revealed the lost footrest hangers and discovered the shot blasted yokes and instrument brackets…I’m told I need a gantt chart…

Finally check out the misc category for a additional items.

Nick 🙂

 

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W/E 9th October 2016

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This week finally saw the return of the little Turismo. It would start but there was a terrible vibration coming through the tank which I feared might have been the result of starting it with no oil a while back…I only started it, didn’t ride it and starting without the tank on the engine sounded okay. So the solution has been some fibre washers between the front petrol tank mounting point.

The Turismo starts really well, it was fingers crossed to see if I had managed to get the gear selector in the right position (the last time it was ridden [2013 National Rally] it was jumping out of second) and the answer is ‘yes’ – though I’d forgotten that also the last time I rode it the front brake cable had pulled through the adjustable nipple due to a near miss in Leicester…my heart skipped a beat as I had to brake entering a roundabout and nothing much happened!

Riding the bike round the lanes made me wonder that I’d ridden this to Breganze in 2009 and that thought brought back fond memories – and funny enough a few miles in I reckon I could that again.

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A lot of time was also spent on the Mk 3 Atlas exhausts that Malcolm Cox is making. I’d agreed to check the new pipes fit before they’re sent for finishing and as can be seen below they’re pretty damned good! The collector needs finishing as does the guard so with these parts it was checking the jig was correctly set up.

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I also took a few examples of the Atlas silencer up to Malcolm for him to check over and decide if he’s prepared to reproduce this impossible to find item – hope he does.

I haven’t forgotten the RGA. I spent time cleaning up the rear engine mounts but then started to dig deeper and realise that I need to go through all the boxes and make sure the RGA and RGS parts are in the right boxes. It doesn’t matter that much as aside from the fairing and wiring harness everything is the same but I’d like to try and ensure the right parts go on the right bike. The rummaging also showed footrest hangers and fork brace missing – they’ll be in the garage but just got to work out where…

Nick 🙂

W/E 2nd October 2016

Got space in the garage with the sale of Catherine’s Yamaha and my old workhorse the VFR800 that carried me 60,000 miles.

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The Honda has gone to someone more able to work through all the minor electrical issues and problems associated with running an old Jap’ bike through the winter…the engines are unbreakable but everything else is built down to a price and it finally catches up with you…

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Returned to the final piece of damage caused by my crash in April (the broken thumb is doing fine btw). A bolt holding a radiator cover that hangs off the bottom of the petrol tank is turning in its thread. First step was to grind the bolt head round to get the cover off and then begin spraying with WC40. I’d hoped the bolt would come out but no such luck, it’s still spinning. I intend to try out the ultra cold spray to see if expansion/contraction will break the bond – no need to hurry as Atlas #2 and 3 are both on the road.

So the focus turns to the RGA project. Where to start? Decided to begin on the carburettors and pistons, both of which gave me a chance to try out the ultrasonic cleaner. The pistons seemed in good condition but had carbon on the crowns and some blow by on the ring grooves. 20 minutes in the cleaner and they seem like new.

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The carburetors are relatively clean on the outside but it was time to open them up. I’ve decided to work through the carbs’ one at a time because I’d like to try and keep the same bits on the carbs rather then mix them about. Also as there are three carbs I figure it best not to just end up with a massive bags of bits!

The float and bowls seemed clean but the top of the carb’ with the opening mechanism was furry and the jets a bit black. I had to apply heat to one of the choke guides to get the bolt to undo but all in all dismantling was quite straightforward.

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However despite the grot in the carb’ there appears to be little wear other than on the synchronization bar where the chrome has worn – not sure if this matters, if you know the answer let me know.

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What is worn however are the brackets, fasteners and springs which have their finish ruined by all year riding. Again I need to take advice on the most cost effective way to get these back to standard.

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So feels good to be working on a triple and hopefully just have to apply routine maintenance to the Atlas twins. The autumn weather is certainly with us so need to crack on as working outside will soon become a luxury.

Nick 🙂