W/E 19th August 2018


Blimey where has all the time gone since my last post back in May?

In June I attended the Laverda Club de France rally near Bordeaux – I’ve posted a report in the Trip section. July saw me enter the National Rally – that report is still brewing but will be posted in the next week. Finally took the Atlas over to Northern Ireland with Mrs A and Catherine on her Ducati. I’ll get to that report soon as well 🙂

So been out and about on the Atlas but today finds me in a bit of funk as I’m up against it to have the damned thing ready for the final throw of the dice in 2018 namely the ILOC rally first week of September, Scottish rally second week finishing off with the Belgian rally the week after that. A trip out to London and then on to Seveonoaks saw me struggle with poor starting and yesterday Mrs A was out behind bump starting me away…The bike ran okay and got me to my destination but the battery seems not to have energised so I have to face up to finding out why such poor starting. Next week I provide an update.

Still let’s get to an old project on the Atlas that I’ve revised – the damn chocolate gearbox output shaft. Along with my other two Atlas’s, Atlas #3 has been whittling its output shaft away so time to find a fix. The picture at the start of the post is of a sprocket I had made up to provide a tighter fit on the output shaft and also increase the contact area. Well these sprockets had been poorly finished so I fished them out again and sent them off to a new engineer. John Hemming has re-cut the splines, blasted the finish and rehardened the job.

This is phase 2 of the project. If the principle can be proved then I intend to move on to phase 3 which will be to see if I can get some adapters made up that’ll add the shoulder to a standard sprocket. John tells me that getting my phase 2 sprockets refurbished by welding on replacement sprocket teeth is simple but I’m more inclined to see if I can develop a solution that uses off the shelf sprockets with no need for engineering intervention when new chain and sprockets time comes round.

If you have an Atlas check to see if your final drive sprocket wobbles on the output shaft – if it does then your output shaft is being damaged. If you’re in this situation or suspect you’re gonna need a solution to a problem that is going to happen (it will believe me [and replacement shafts are like hen’s teeth]) drop me an email as I’m considering having a batch of sprockets made up if there appears to be interest.


My focus however has got a bit wider than the Atlas. The hot weather has meant time in the garage has been limited but I am starting to look at the RGS and RGA I have in pieces. I read that you have to get the stands on the frame before installing the engine so pulled out the centre stands.

The centre stands have both been damaged through rubbing on the silencers (the rubber stop bungs were missing on both bikes) – you can see the primed RGA stand has worn all the way through!


The worn legs however are different to the main hassle with the stands which is they end up hanging down as wear occurs in the bushes and bolts. This means the tension goes out of the springs.


I’ve been told off for not regularly greasing the bush that goes in the eye of the stand. Well fair enough but does anyone really take the stand apart at regular intervals? To me the problem is that the metal bush is harder than the standard material – replacing a soft bronze bush would have been far simpler and I may sort this out for myself.

The other feature this picture shows is that the bolt that goes through the bush gets whittled away – why hasn’t it got a shank (maybe this is non standard)? Again I will upgrade once things are fixed.


Finally another project that I’m reviving is the ‘Howdi’ starter sprag clutch. I had this uprated sprag fitted to both the RGS and RGA. The bearing failed at 16,000 kms on both bikes. The subject came up again on Paul LeClair’s Forum so I’m now on the hunt of the correct ‘overruning’ bearing. I can get one from Australia for about £75 but want to see if one is available in the UK first.

Not sure of the wisdom of the Howdi clutch but as both my standard sprag clutches are worn out it might be that I just replace the errant bearing every 10,000 kms to work round the problem.

I can do this at the same time as I dismantle and grease up my centre stand bushes hey…

Nick 🙂