W/E 22nd September 2019



Got the replacement engine plumbed and ready to start. You can see I’d decided to run the Mk 3 exhaust setup and the alloy carb’ manifolds. Pressing start rewarded me with a distinct ‘clack’ which sounds like the valves. Last time I’d ridden this engine it sounded okay but felt rough…so in the three years or so that’s it’s been sat unloved it decided to really develop an engine problem! Time to shut up shop and prepare the Honda for the Scottish Rally 😦


The original engine had spent a week under a tarp’ while I went up to Scotland. On my return it was time to start cleaning it down in preparation for drilling out the errant cam bolt sometime in the coming week. You can see from this picture that the exhaust studs came out when the exhaust was pulled – time to start drawing up a shopping list especially with Brexit imminent and the potential problems that’ll cause shopping in Europe.


Christmas comes early…

However a consignment of spares found its way to the garage. First off the final custom sprocket arrived along with 48 oversize, hardened rollers for the sprags. I also got offered a great deal on a secondhand shock, front brake pipe, speedo cable, ignition and a complete set of new clutch plates, cam chain and chain tensioner blade.

Next week sees me with time to crack on and open the engine and start to fight my way back to having a working Atlas…

Nick 🙂

W/E 8th September 2019


They shoot horses don’t they?

Whoops where did summer go? Damn the Scottish Rally has come round quicker than I imagined!! Once again I find myself without a Laverda (Turismo excepted)…:-(

Atlas #3 refused to run on two with back-firing out of the nearside cylinder however I fiddled with the carb’ or whatever configuration of ignition and coils I ran. The cam cover is still stuck in place by that wretched mangled bolt so I can’t check the valve clearances which is what I think the problem is. Nothing for it then but to pull the engine and swop in the ‘spare’ that is currently in Atlas #2.

Now Atlas #2 engine might be no use because this engine was pulled many years ago when it ‘felt rough’ on a previous Scottish Rally. Catherine and I jumped ship and drove round the Highlands in a hire car and has the Atlas shipped home. I did once try the engine one more time but it ran like a dumper truck which I subsequently traced to the engine balancers not being aligned and the cam chain not tensioned. So my logic goes that I won’t make the same setup mistakes the second time round and maybe I was just being ‘picky’ about how rough the engine is. Time will tell because everything has to be ready by Thursday…


If the Atlas isn’t ready then I might be able to ride Catherine’s Ducati. This started on Friday and just needs a bit of a tidy up for its roadworthiness test (MOT) scheduled for Thursday… If of course the Duke ain’t a goer then there is always the dull but very worthy Honda NC…although I still haven’t gotten round to fixing those rear wheel bearings and that too needs an oil change…

So first things first pull Atlas #3 engine:


Let’s get stripping

So the opening picture showed that I got the engine out (with help from a hoist and Mrs A) – I even managed to get the rusted exhausts off without damaging them. Engine removal was made easier as the exhaust manifold studs unscrewed but this aside it was a bit of a pig to pull out the primary side. You have to get the engine up and at a sideways angle.


Mrs A lends a hand…

The engine came out of Atlas #2 a bit easier because of the practice – but I wouldn’t want to have to do this and worry about the frame paint at the same time!


Atlas graveyard

With both engines on the floor the final task was to get Atlas #2 engine into Atlas #3 –


Back in the hole

So now all that’s left to do first thing tomorrow is plug in the electrics, plumb in the exhausts, fit the carb, sprag and starter motor. Hook up the clutch cable fill it with oil and press ‘start’.

What could possibly go wrong?

Nick 🙂