W/E 29th July 2020


Note original Motoplat brown ignition coil (rubbish apparently)

Where does the time go?

Finally got back down the garage and put oil in Atlas #3 ready to have a go at starting it. I’ve been trickle charging the battery on and off and with two green lights on the Optimate time to rig up the fuel bottle and give it a go. The battery is a bit ‘secondhand’ as fully charged it’s giving 12.98 volts, a new one is over 13.

Anyways pressed the button and got a ‘click’ from the starter solenoid and that was it. A quick inspection showed the lead from the solenoid wasn’t attached to the starter…

Second attempt resulted in a spark near the engine mount by the exhaust collector and a blown fuse. Not sure why that happened but suspected that maybe the engine earth strap was shorting on the frame. Made sure the strap didn’t touch the frame (levered it with a screw driver…) and replaced the fuse but no power? Checked continuity on the earth strap and suspected poor contact on the engine which was fixed with a little emery paper work 🙂

Third attempt the engine spun over and backfired through the carb’ so I swopped plug leads over thinking maybe there were round the wrong way – more occasional backfiring so plugs out to check the spark. How many times have I done this in my life…


The blue wire in the ignition box should go to the outside terminal…

Left plug won’t spark so take off the plug cap and try and get a spark from just the HT lead – no joy. Swop coil wires about until I get the left to spark but not the right. A bit of head scratching until I wonder if the wires to the ignition box are correct. Lucky there’s a schematic on the box and sure enough the blue wire is where the black wire should be – two sparks 🙂

Inspecting the plugs made me wonder if fuel was getting through as they didn’t seem wet but anyway decided to give it another go. A few attempts and a fiddle with the choke and the unsilenced motor burst in to life. Sounded sweet – well to me but I’m not sure the neighbours would agree!


Ready for the road

So with the engine running ‘all’ that’s left is to fit the air filter tubes, sort out the rear brake master cylinder mounting, fit the silencer and body work and tidy up the wiring…oh and remove the clutch and replace the gear return spring and fit a clutch cable…oh yes and finally replace the alternator output cable sheathing and connect up the rectifier. Should be simple…

Nick 🙂

W/E 13th July 2020


Can you spot the cheeky A65?

So Atlas #3 is ready to be fired up once the oil is in. Despite its rather desperate appearance everything that needs to be connected up is. As you can see the bike now sports a Mk 3 exhaust system (albeit one with a flat in the primary pipe from an accident many moons ago). I put this on because I know I will need to do more work on the alternator case (paint and replacing the wiring sheathing) so for now it’s easier to go the Mk 3 route. I dug out a replacement Mk 1 link pipe but wonder if I will go back to this as having an exhaust passing under the carb’ seems a bit dangerous.


Atlas #1 is not too far behind and recently got its new foam air filters. The offside one is slightly compromised by the air intake bracket but I’ll live with that rather than chopping up an original part!


Rubber original on the left


Don’t worry these were cleaned before fitting…

Fitting the alloy inlet manifolds as opposed to the original rubber items helps fitment of the foam filters because you don’t then need the bracket to support the carb’ to the frame. It’s a shame that these manifolds are no longer available as the rubber originals are all now 30+ years old and showing their age with cracks.


The foam filters pass just inside the frame but I might experiment with some radiator hose to see if I can move them back an inch as I suspect rain may get in via the frame touching the foam. Thing is to get the bike running and then work out these details.DSCF8846a

In addition to the foam filters I also replaced the diaphram spring. I’ve lost one of these which is why I got another. I was surprised to see how much the used spring has compressed with use.


I also fitted the long pilot jets which are no longer available. I’ve run these before and found no discernible benefit though on sports cars they are supposed to handle fuel surge under hard cornering.

Atlas #1 is therefore well on the way to being ready to start. So why no announcement that either bike is finally running? Well there’s no hurry and I kinda felt in a bad mood as I twirled the spanners. There’s a little amount of fiddling to do that requires a clear head – many times I’ve got so close only to bugger things up by rushing. So watch this space for next week’s big announcement…

Nick 🙂