W/E 24th June 2019

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I first met Cor in 2003 at Montlhery when I had the extraordinary experience of going to bed and waking up in the morning to see his Spaceframe on a trailer outside my tent! LCN had featured the bike in their calendar which I had pinned to my office wall. I was like a kid at Christmas and soon struck up conversation with Cor who was happy to chat. I didn’t realise, and he didn’t tell me, how well connected he was with all things Laverda.

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We came across each other over the following years and when the time came to ride the little 100’s down to Italy as part of LaverdaforHealth and the Laverda 60th Anniversary he was a key member of the team. I remember taking our little engines to Lisse to have them assembled and working alongside various V6 components that he was machining up…unbelievable when I look back on it now.

Cor was a leader – anything went wrong with the bikes and he had a solution. Cor also had quite a few funny tales to tell round the dinner table each evening! He was an ace networker and arranged all the fanfare that awaited us when we rolled in to Breganze addressing the Mayor and conducting an interview for Italian TV (in self-taught Italian)! The trip also showed his dedication to his family – wife Angelien, his children Mels and Aris who came along in the support van.

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2017 and the news of Cors illness and the closure of his museum. As usual Cor was in the thick of it and many people travelled to pay respects to all his many achievements. And so it takes us today, a sad day in Lisse where I am sure many a tear will be shed but hopefully many a smile as people reflect on how he enriched our lives.

God bless Cor I’m sure you’re having a blast in Heaven.

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Nick

 

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W/E 17th June 2019

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A week that ended in deep shame as I finally got caught out and had to ride the Honda to a Laverda event 😦

Family crisis intervened and I ran out of time to get the Atlas running properly. My own fault of course because these days I am mainly a ‘man of leisure’ but old habits seem to die hard and so as is my way I didn’t leave enough time to sort things out.

The Atlas running had been getting poorer over the week. It would not run on two cylinders at low revs and was now starting to misfire on the transition from closed to open throttle. It was also running poorly and irregularly on the open throttle. Time to rig up the aux’ fuel tank and do some carb’ balancing…

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The problem is with the left hand cylinder so I went through various problem solving routines. I changed the pilot and main jet – the pilots were new long jets as originally fitted so I went back to the non-standard short jets which had seemed to serve me so well. Of course reflecting on this it was quite irrational because the right hand side was okay so was it going to be the jets? Still I pressed on with time counting down and finally decided on a carb’ change so robbed the unit off Atlas #3. If anything this made matters worse – it’s my optimistic and naive outlook that thinks the problem will be solved by  putting on a carb’ that’s been sat for maybe 2 years…It didn’t work. I played around with the pilot setting and noticed that whatever I did to the left hand carb’ made little difference so I turned my attention to the electrics.

I played about substituting coils and checking for spark – the spark on the left side was ‘iffy’ but in the end I just had to jump ship and prep’ the Honda. I was going to ride a Honda – what could possibly go wrong…

On a more positive note I found electrical connectors to fit the Atlas wiring harness. The digital speedo I fitted works fine but I still need to plumb in the wiring to make the idiot lights work. I plan to make up a new sub-harness so needed a nine pin connector and found Kojaycat supply the parts or rather supply parts for old Suzuki’s which is what Laverda used. At the same time I also picked up some nice M6 brass connectors to wire in my satnav to the battery – shame I can’t find the satnav wire…

Nick 🙂

W/E 3rd June 2019

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Happy New Year! Long time since I posted and to be fair not a lot has changed – same old broken and bodged collection of bikes. The only reliable bike has been the little 100 which has been running around local roads quite happily 🙂

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However the little 100 isn’t going to be any use for two up touring duties so it was time to re-commission the trusty Atlas. I’d messed about trying to get the cam cover off but one allen bolt wouldn’t shift and became increasingly mangled so I decided to carry on regardless and just put it all back together!

The poor starting turned out to be mainly a poor battery but of course in taking it apart I’d created more issues…The main issue was with the carb which had an idle jet that wouldn’t screw out fully. As I have a few carbs (along with a few Atlas’) I thought I’d rob Peter to pay Paul and duly filched one off Atlas #1.

I installed new ‘long’ pilot jets that Jean-Pierre sent from France and decided a complete gasket overhaul would be in order. This proved more difficult than expected and a month went by before they arrived. Despite the DHLA being primarily a car carb’ spares are drying up – a predictable consequence of the carb being 25+ years old and also the move to fuel injection bought on by emissions legislation (incidentally the Atlas would now attract an emission charge if I was to ride it in to central London).

With the fresh battery the Atlas fired into life – although as you will see from the Trips section it didn’t run so well on account of me leaving out a spring behind the diaphram…(oops)

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There should be a spring in there…

Still on the plus side what a cracking carb that will still run despite my best efforts (drank a lot of fuel mind).

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Still the destruction didn’t end with the bike as I decided to boil the chain to repack it with grease. The tin of boiling chain wax slipped as I lifted it off the gas and bingo molten skin! Yes that hurt.

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Still with the Atlas running it was time to get it through its roadworthiness (MOT) test. I’d not bothered with a working speedo for a few years but having got a new sensor cable for a unit I’d previously used on Atlas #1 I decided to ‘go legal’. The unit fired up once I’d wired it to a live ignition wire and bodged up an earth to the headlight metalwork. The trouble was that I couldn’t be bothered to wire up the various dash lights and find a sturdy mounting point. So I left the original clocks on because they contain the indicator, neutral and high beam ‘idiot lights’ and cable tied the actual speedo to the handlebars – job done!

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The MOT was a bit ‘disappointing’ – okay I knew the rear brake was a bit ‘soft’ but I hadn’t clocked the problems with the suspension (brake light was probably just a connection issue). Still I had an afternoon to fix things up so it was off home to get the spanners out and find the various bits and pieces.

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I had a few suspension linkages to choose from but found two out of the three had a loose bush so I made do with the least worn. A newly refurbished shock (courtesy of Falcon) was hiding in a box and the suspension was sorted in under two hours. The bigger pain was getting the rear brake to work but eventually having replaced a pad (as in one of the two pads as I only had one spare) and bending the retaining plate to stop the pin falling out we had a bit more ‘bite’. The next day saw me rock up at 8:30 much to the surprise of the garage and by 10:00 I was heading home to pack for the Welsh rally.

The MOT man had commented on the dragging clutch – I had made the cable as firm as possible but it still wasn’t clean. I have though now measured an original (but broken) cable and found the ‘temporary’ generic inner replacement I’d fitted back in July is only 1.4 instead of the standard 1.7 diameter. I’ve ordered a heavy duty Lambretta inner for under two quid which I’m hoping might give a better pull – watch this space!

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Finally I have to mention the ‘B’ word – yes Brexit, it’s everywhere isn’t it! So it turns out that my little trip to France in December driving the little Fiat to the motorcycle show in Paris attracted the attention of Le Flic! Now how do you ride/drive at 80 kph over any distance? Beats me! So in April Mrs A gets a couple of French speeding tickets (her name on the log book y’see). Turns out that had we left the EU on the 29th March these wouldn’t have been issued but with all the ‘are we in, are we out’ and resultant extension means we’re in and I’m about £130 poorer! Still wish we weren’t leaving but maybe £130 would have sugared the pill.

TTFN

Nick 🙂