W/E 29th June 2020


So Atlas #1 is taking shape at last. The swinging arm is in along with the rear suspension. Alternator rotor, starter sprag and starter motor in place. Oil cooler also positioned.

The swinging arm and suspension linkage with all new bearings slide in easily.


A Mk 3 Atlas should have twin oil coolers but I’ve decided to install just one. One oil cooler is plenty (it doesn’t really need one for the UK weather) and has the advantage of not getting damaged in the event of an accident – both times I’ve slid up the road the left hand oil cooler has been damaged.


The roller on the right is the polished one…really?

The starter sprag is a Zimmerman unit with oversized rollers. The rollers are made out of silver steel bar that has been hardened. Before the bearings went in I polished them with a Dremmel to give a better fit with the ring gear. I’m hoping this arrangement will work for longer as the last time I used this sprag the unhardened rollers wore pretty quickly.


In assembling the starter side I lined up the gears and noticed they combined really smoothly. It made me think about Atlas #3 and how the gears didn’t seem to mesh so well as although the right gears they weren’t a pair. I’m resolved to install the original gears on Atlas #3 now as it was noticeable how much more smoothly the paired gears run.



The carb’ has been offered up to take measurements as I don’t intend to refit the standard airbox. Bellmouths and foam filters are available and I’m going to go this route. The benefit of this will be more space around the shock mount which should mean I can fit an even larger (wider) battery. It’ll also make tinkering with the carb’ easier as I won’t have to fiddle with the rubber connection hoses…and finally it’ll look more ‘edgy’ which we all know is important 😉

Nick 🙂

W/E 15th June 2020


Note bracket on downtube for twin oil coolers on a Mk 3 Atlas.

So now Atlas #1 has an engine too! The frame is stripped down and doesn’t have a swinging arm so we decided to try and just sit the engine on its side and wriggle the frame on it. It should’ve been easy but there was still a lot of oil in the motor which of course ended up on the floor! The back brake lever also got caught up in the mobile bench so the crane was bought back in to help with the job. Phew.

All the bits are in boxes and the swinging arm knuckle and swinging arm itself have been refurbished so it’s a case of getting down to fitting the parts…


Steady progress is being made on Atlas #3. The carb’ needs to be cleaned and checked over before this can be fitted. The carb’ came off an engine with a dropped valve seat which resulted in a blackened throttle butterfly. It’s pretty bad but is slowly responding to carb cleaner.


Inlet on right hand after some time cleaning – more work needed!

Alas Atlas #2 has missed the boat this time round. The engine needs serious surgery including engine welding so the engine has been put on the rack for some time in the future…maybe it’ll be sorted in a few years time….


Atlas #2

Nick 🙂

W/E 10th June 2020


So Atlas #3 has an engine 🙂

Mrs A was back in the garage helping with the engine crane – how many times have we done this and it’s still fiddly. The next week will be spent bolting all the bits and pieces on it…maybe I’ll have a runner before too long?

I ordered more suspension bearings from a UK bearing factor so I can sort out the knuckle on Atlas #1. While I was looking at the arms that link from the centre knuckle pivot I noticed another two bearing and bushes! Damn that’s a total of 8 bearings and 7 bushes in the suspension…give me a twin shock setup anyday!

Atlas #1 engine is ready to go in the frame but time has been against me but by this time next week we won’t have two running Atlas’s but we will have two frames with engines!

Nick 🙂


W/E 1st June 2020

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Damn it’s hot in England!

The good news is that the Atlas is back on two wheels albeit missing an engine! Got enough bushes, spacers and o rings to build the suspension knuckle and swinging arm and it’s back in place. Put some rough paint on the swinging arm to hold back anymore rusting for the moment. I also saved the brake anchor arm with a few coats of primer and paint. The alloy brackets on the Atlas really do get attacked by road salt – think I will paint the front engine brackets too.


I’m going for a look which means that the bike looks okay from the COVID-19 requiste of 2 metres!

Researching all the suspension knuckle components reveals that while the plain bearings are easy to buy from a bearing factor the spacers aren’t – apparently they are Laverda bespoke spacers. All the more reason to take it all apart and re-grease every six months.

Continuing on the theme of ‘rough painting’ I’ve got the crankcases ready to go on both Atlas #1 and #3. I’d got some satin finish engine block paint and primer which I used on Atlas #3. This turned out to be a mistake as the actual paint turned out to be a ‘crinkle’ finish and rather dull. I had an old tin of gloss black engine paint so just sprayed this over the top. I did the entire job on Atlas #1 with the gloss. Gloss isn’t really the right finish for the cases which came in a kind of satin shine. Still with my bikes it doesn’t matter does it and the main thing is to try and stop corrosion getting in when the winter comes.

So engines ready to go in frames but it’s so damned hot at the moment – how some of you work in hotter climates I don’t know!

Nick 🙂