It’s been some time since I uploaded the blog. Life has got in the way but now I’m starting to find time to get back ‘on the bike’ so to speak. As you can see my energy is being directed not into an Atlas or Turismo but my first Laverda – a 1981 Series 2 Jota. It was ironic that having bitched on to the engine man the project had been gathering dust for some time.
With the engine in the frame it was time to hunt about for all the other parts. Fortunately I’d been reasonably efficient in putting stuff in boxes. However the hunt did reveal lots of bits and pieces that I didn’t know I had – the mind boggles at how many times I bought a sprag clutch rebuild kit or clutch o ring without realising I had many sets up in the loft!
While this provided some nice surprises (complete rear hub assembly, engine sprockets) the disappointment is that parts that I should have bought 10 years ago are now uber expensive or difficult to find (especially when you throw Brexit in to the mix).
Through help from the Laverda Forum (Paul LeClair’s brainchild) I found a nut and bolt list and assembled a set of engine bolts. A trip into Wiltshire to look over a tidy, original Jota helped with the thicknesses of washers and so the engine is now secure. Years back I was planning on going over to stainless but I decided to stay standard as although the nuts, bolts and washers are very secondhand the stainless route who take me back down the road of procrastination…and we’ve had too much of that!
I have multiple collector boxes but all but one was for an RGS. The only Jota item turned out to be held together with two jubilee clips – well the Jota was a working bike in it’s day. So a call and subsequent visit to Malcolm turned up a new blinged up item. It puts the Laverda exhausts (not ’81 items as they are not ‘fluted’ at the head) and Keihan stainless silencers to shame. Once again going for a complete system would have led to more delay. The rebuild is therefore turning in to a 10 foot project (looks okay from 10 feet away)…
The Laverda Forum has proved a great resource and helped jog my memory (remember that original Laverda nyloc nuts have yellow not blue centres) of working on triples many years ago. I used the site to research the length of the clutch push rods as I had a few pairs of uneven length. I read a post suggesting two push rods of 123mm each whereas mine turned out to be 133mm and 112mm. In the end I decided my pair came to approximately the same length and would just put the ball bearing in a different spot. I checked that they looked about right by using a thin piece of wood down the push rod tunnel – looks good enough…In going through the hydraulic clutch I also found the spring behind the piston was missing but I had one in my pile of bits.
Oil coolers are currently occupying my thoughts. I remember breaking one of the lines off the original cooler so figured I’d use one off an RGS. I have a spare aftermarket item (see foreground item above) for an RGS so thought I put this on a later project and filch a standard one for the Jota. Of course the devil is in the detail and an RGS item doesn’t fit an ’81 Jota!
You can see that the RGS item ends up hitting the downtubes 😦
I wondered if the slightly longer length of the new oil union to the engine was the cause of the problem. I had found a couple of original (albeit rusty) originals so fitted these. Turned out not to be the cause.
Further investigation showed that whilst the cooler is the same the Jota has a tighter bend in the oil pipe. Makes you wonder doesn’t it. Why would Laverda make such a small change as a Jota bend would have worked just as well on the RGS. Anyhows now the question is how to resolve it. Clem confirmed the oil cooler is as fitted to the Citroen Dyane 6 but that you need to get oil pipes made up. A cooler is only £80 new but it will be getting the pipes made that will be the pain. However a radiator and pipes would cost over £500 from a UK Laverda specialist so maybe it’s a pain worth going through! Another solution could be to use the aftermarket oil cooler set aside for the RGS. This isn’t very elegant and will need different engine connection fittings. Finally I’m told there is a secondhand Citroen project available. So not so good but at least there’s 3 potential solutions.
So now we’re back on it let’s see if this time I can keep some kind of momentum going…