W/E 20th November 2016

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Ohhh shiny bits! Got the parts back from the chromer and pleased with the results. I’m always amazed at how parts can be restored. If I’m being picky then the foot-levers could do with a bit more polishing where the flat edge meets the raised centre as pitting is still visible (I will do a bit more prep’ work myself when I put the RGS levers in. The surface on the gear change spindle could also be smoother. But hey it is better than ‘good enough’ and I’m well pleased. I just have to dig out the wheel spindle, brake line guides and headlight holders to have completed all the chroming on the RGA πŸ™‚

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Work continues to clear the garage and Sunday saw the creation of a new engine stand. This behemoth will take 4 engines (RGA, RGS, spare RGS cases and Atlas) and achieve my aim to get things up off the floor. It ain’t square as you can see but it is robust!

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Saturday saw a ride out to the Elan Valley, Wales. Swung by to my daughter’s and along with her Ducati completed close on 350 miles on a grey day that saw some rain, bit of snow and temperatures around 3 degrees. The roads didn’t inspire spirited riding but then with the views on offer it was good to take things easy. The Monster had problems with carb’ icing but the Laverda just powered on through – the rain coming back at night was intense but those ugly handlebar muffs kept my hands warm(ish) and most importantly dry!

Nick πŸ™‚

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W/E 13th November 2016

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A slow week in the garage but Saturday was spent giving my eldest, Catherine, a go on the little Turismo. It’s seven years since Cor, Gido, Dean and I rode to Breganze for the 60thΒ  Laverda Birthday Party.Β  A lot has happened since then…

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Seeing Catherine on the Turismo made me very proud. It was quite different from her 600 Monster with just 3 speeds, right foot change, left side kick-start, drum brakes and all of 40 mph on tap! She did well, even mastered the heel and toe gearchange arrangement πŸ™‚

The exhaust still hasn’t moved on Atlas #2 and I’m thinking now that the best way of shifting it will be the bleedin’ obvious of starting it and getting it up to temperature and then try and free the exhaust nuts. Expansion forces will most likely result in unwinding the studs but that’s okay. As it stands the most likely result of my hanging on a 11 mm spanner is a busted stud!

The majority of the garage time however has been spent doing yet more tidying up. A bit dull but I have liberated so much space and even found a few parts that I didn’t remember having (a new set of fork tubes for instance)! The tidy up also liberated a project for Mrs A in the shape of her old ’68 BSA D14/4.

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The little Bantam has sat unloved under a pile of Laverda spares for many years – infact it still has a campsite sticker from its trip to the ’92 24 Heures du Mons (broken primary chain meant it came home in a van…). Despite surface rust it’s all there and thankfully not seized from all the time spent idle. The plan therefore is for Mrs A to join me in the garage – she’s sure to be on the road with the Banty before the RGA returns…

Nick πŸ™‚

 

W/E 6th November 2016

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Had to get back on the RGA rebuild so sent off some bits for re-chroming. There isn’t much chrome on an RGA. I put together the top yoke nut, foot controls, rear brake spindle and plate and the chain adjusters to gauge the chromer’s quality – if he’s good then I’ll dig out the brake line guides off the forks and the headlamp brackets, the headlamp rim seems to be okay.

The challenge is going to be how well the chromer can polish out the rust on the foot controls – he seemed confident. I pressed out the plain bearings from the controls using a 10 mm socket as a drift. I’m not sure if I will use the same split bush that Laverda did. I’m tempted to get a solid bush pressed and reamed to fit. You can also see in the picture that one of the rose joint bearings had worn to the point that the ball is out of the socket and the other thing I spotted was that one of the washers that sit either side of the foot control had disappeared and the remaining three were all wafer thin – all to be expected in 130,000 miles of use and shows how you get used to riding with worn out control levers – you probably wear at a similar rate!

It was a bit of a wake up call as to how things can rust being left around as I noticed theΒ  new springs Falcon shocks that grace the Jota are pitted from just sitting in a garage that I guess gets damp. I’ve sprayed the Jota with ACF50 but fear it might be too late…and there are other things lurking in the garage that might similarly be affected!

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Two cross head screws hold the brake nipple in place – easy to adjust and just as easy for them to ‘fail’ if you brake very hard…

I managed to combine the trip to the chromer with a wobble on the 100 Turismo. I remembered the front brake needed to be adjusted and once done we were away. The Turismo ran great although the rubber engine mounts need attention as I saw the engine move when the clutch was pulled in!

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South Stoke by the Thames

It’s some time since I rode the 100 and I did wonder at first how I managed to ride this all the way to Breganze in 2009 with Cor, Dean and Gido. A few miles in though and it all came together, I’m sure I could still ride this to Italy, the main adjustment would be getting used to being constantly overtaken.

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To carry out the oil change last week I visited a new supplier of Morris’s 20/50, Royal Enfield Oxfordshire. Typically they were hidden in an obscure unit behind a farm (just like the chromer) and keep hours to suit themselves – a trait that to some is irritating but I find quite enduring. So while there I got to talking Royal Enfield sprag clutches as many years back I tried out a Howdi clutch on my triples with disastrous consequences when the sprag bearing failed at just over 15,000 miles. At the time I researched the topic and found that Enfield 500’s with electric start had the same problem which they cured by putting a 1 second delay in the ignition – this meant the engine was properly spinning before the sparks arrived meaning that if it misfired the tendency for the engine to kick back was reduced and hence the sprag stayed intact. So Β£20 got me a second-hand piece of electrickery to try when the time finally comes to fire one of the engines up…the only thing I need to find out is the bearing size (from memory is comes from an America auto transmission).

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I returned to Atlas #2 and finished off the repair to the handlebar fairing. The filling is not of the highest order but good enough and consistent with the condition of the rest of the bike. The Fiat white paint is a good enough match and once the bike has a few miles on the clock it’ll be hard to spot the repair.

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Stud came out with the nut…a job that is going to need patience

I also started the process of replacing the original collector with a replica from Malcolm Cox. The original pipes are rusting out but still serviceable. I don’t see any point putting on a new set of brilliant black chrome replica’s just in time for all the winter weather so want to just install the collector as this is leaking meaning my riding kit stinks of exhaust fumes. I don’t need this done ’til the start of December which is just as well because the exhaust nuts are seized on their studs. I think the nuts are original brass so I’m surprised these have seized. I don’t want the hassle of a snapped stud so I’ve been busy applying heat and WD40 in the hope that it will all shift over the next week or so.

Nick πŸ™‚