W/E 21st January 2022

Head out on the highway…

Found this looking through photos the other day and thought it would be good to open with a picture that shows the end goal. Can’t be sure when this was taken but that’s Catherine in the foreground so I’m thinking maybe 1992. Never did learn to play guitar bit like my talent in repairing motorcycles…


So the ambition was to get all the hydraulic systems working. Got off to a cracking start by shearing off a nipple! Should’ve used less force (smaller hammer) and more WD40 beforehand. Infact any WD40 would’ve been good and it would have slowed me down which is normally a good idea. If anything positive has come out of this it’s that I’m now tip-toeing around the bleed nipple for the clutch. Been soaking it a few days now and before we go further I intend to heat the case. If this is buggered up then we’re in trouble (well more trouble).

Xmas comes early!

In preparation to fix the brakes I ordered a pile of parts – the PS14 master cylinder kit is for the RGA Jota at a later date. I don’t think it needs replacing but these are rare so thought I’d get one so I don’t get stuck down the line. Even this isn’t absolutely correct but off some old BMW but I’m assured it’ll work. https://www.ducatipaddy.com/ has proved very helpful and is recommended.

I um’d and arh’d over washers and in the end took a trip to a local firm that does goodridge for racing cars. Turned out to be a mixed blessing as I got 59 washers for £5 and then was a bit wasteful with ’em when I started looking at the job.


I was pleased that the back brake bled up easily. I hadn’t replaced the master cylinder piston but it came back fine. I remembered that bleeding the rear brake could be a pain so did it on the bench to ensure the master cylinder flowed down to the calipher. I pumped the piston by pressing it with a hammer handle.

The calipher should be twin nipple but as that was scrap due to pin rattle that enlarged the holes I got out my new P08’s I had up in the loft. I bought these years back and was told they were destined for Norton Wankels. They looked the same but when it came to fitting the brake pads it turned out that the distance between the pads is 1mm narrower. Initially ‘Ducatipaddy’ thought they might be ‘shaved’ caliphers as fitted to the rear of a ’78 Ducati 900ss but turns out they’re just ‘odd’. I worried that maybe the pads would drag and I’d have to buy the shaved thinner pads but at the moment things look okay. This is good news as these thinner pads are not easily available now so what about 5 years time?

Brake hoses…

I’d used a double banjo on the rear brake and now turned to the front. First problem was getting the lines to run correctly before I started to bleed. The first and middle ends are from the hose originally fitted to the Jota. I screwed in the middle hose to the calipher and found that all those years ago I’d bought slightly different adapters. This meant one hose screwed in with one copper washer and another required 3! I then turned to the idea of running the lines I had for an RGS which had a concave end. Trouble is these are a bit short for a calipher infront of the forks so I’d need to mount them to the rear (like a 120 Jota or RGS/A) Not a big deal as the forks are RGS because the Jota originals were cracked. It makes no difference other than the wheel spindle goes in from the left.

A lot of calls were put into a friend with a Series Two which was helpful in making me slow down (I know could I be any slower…) and think this through. Originally the caliphers are infront of the forks and the rubber brake hoses fitted to solid brake lines that screwed into the caliphers. The solid lines were thin so fitted neatly past the forks into guides on the mudguard mount where they met the rubber hose. As was the thing back in the day folk installed braided hose all the way. The neat solution is to use banjo bolts run the line back up the fork though the hose guide then up into the splitter. This keeps the lines secure and away from the mudguard. I’d gone a different route 25 years ago and just screwed braided lines into the caliphers and threaded them back and up. If this is done properly I think it looks better – but it demands attention to detail which isn’t something I’m known for!

What a mess!

The picture above illustrates what can go wrong. Here we have a very nice Jota with some cowboy lines out front in the wind!

I wasn’t happy with the original lines but it struck me that they had worked just fine. This led me to looking at the ends and realising I had the ends the wrong way round. The end that goes into the ‘splitter’ doesn’t need a convex end. So the flat end goes here (with a copper washer) whereas the end with the convex end goes to the calipher and seals without a washer.

Wonky lines

So I’m going the ‘up and over route’. There’s still more work to do as you can see the nearside line needs training to route in an aesthetically pleasing way. The other thing of note is that by putting the line adjuster end into the calipher the height of this fixture helps throw the lines up to help clear the mudguard.

The discussions with Keith have convinced me that the practical fork gaiters need to go. https://classicandvintagesuspension.co.uk/products/ are able to provide both the hose wire guides along with the seal dust covers. Once the bits arrive I’ll update the front end.

Broken calipher mount

Anyone still awake might remember I mentioned I was running RGS forks. The reason for this was a chunk of the calipher mount broke off many years back. The calipher remained intact because the helicoil (which probably caused the bit to fall off) was still solid and couldn’t exit via the jaws of the mount. I wondered if it would be possible to repair this without welding (bodge it)?


Well I think the answer might be ‘yes’. As the helicoil was still tight I kneaded up a chunk of Quicksteel pressed it in and filed it to shape when solid. I put a bolt in the helicoil and turned it from time to time to ensure the thread was clean. I was also deliberately rough with the repair on the basis that I’d rather it fail before I fitted it to the bike.

So there we are inching forward. Let’s hope next time round hydraulics are sorted and we can move onto some mechanical mayhem!

Nick 🙂

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