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