W/E 17th March 2022


Progress has been slower than I’d hoped if I’m going to meet the deadline of having the Jota ready to start by the end of the month! Sorting the wiring has occupied a lot of time, though there are still quite a few mechanical details to attend to.

The wiring had been started but was some way to being completed. As luck would have it I was given a good secondhand, standard loom. My first thoughts were to try and combine the bespoke wiring that had been started into this loom but by the time Dean arrived with his soldering iron I’d made the decision to basically return it to standard. This meant restoring the left hand switchgear connection and some customization of the wiring to the clocks and integration of a a new ignition switch I’d bought. By the end of the day Dean had completed the work with the exception of a couple of wires which were subsequently identified by Rob on the LeClair Laverda Forum. I also got some help via Grant’s blog which was the only place I could see how much wire would end up in the headlamp (more than I thought). This was helpful in getting the loom to sit on the frame (although I’ve had to hide excess dash wire behind the headlamp).

Jota item at the top – note screwdriver in hole…later filled with ‘Super Steel’

The original headlamp shell had to have a hole filled when I discovered a Jota item has one large hole in the rear for wiring whereas the RGA item I’d lined up has two smaller orifices.

Getting the wiring to sit correctly has proved frustrating. Whatever you do there seems to be a lot of wire around the coils and headstock. It’s also meant dropping the rear mudguard to get the correct run.

Yes I’m afraid that is a Honda NC wheel in the background 😦

I’m not happy with all the wire around the ignition coils and need to revisit this. In the meantime following advice from Jean-Louis I’ve had a go at replacing the old and brittle HT leads. Once the original silicone was removed with a wood chisel I was surprised how easily the leads pulled free. New leads pushed in onto the ‘coil spike’ and are being left overnight for the silicone gasket to cure. Will be a big saving on the £200 required to install Dyna DC1-1’s 🙂

The decision to return to 95% standard wiring means the position of the rectifier and fuse box are unchanged from the stock housing behind the battery. I did though experiment with the location of the non standard starter solenoid (the standard item having been replaced many years ago). I had two options – a pattern Aprilia RSV item on the rear mudguard or a British Leyland unit bolted to the side of the stock housing. I went with the latter as it has proven reliability and the mounting is neater.

The new modern battery will be thinner so I plan to put the ignition box (IIS) in the space behind this.

Original on the left

New Voxbell horns were sourced from Ducatipaddy. They look the part – I was surprised and delighted to find they’re still made in Italy!

So while the focus has been on things electric there’s been other stuff going on. First up the outrigger bearing and seal were replaced in the primary case. I behaved like a real mechanic removing the bearing with a good dose of heat. When I came to tap it out with the appropriate sized socket the bearing just fell out! I replaced it using a combination of heat and loctite… Anyhows the primary case is on and now waits to have the IIS installed in the pickup housing.

Must remember to tighten the crank end bolt…

Mrs A helped to install the Bosch starter motor. Despite using the standard unit (as opposed to the SJCE) it was still beyond one pair of hands to install. I then had a similarly fiddly experience fitting the intermediate gear to the starter ring. I’m a little worried that these gears are ‘tight’ so plan to turn the engine before thinking it’s ready for starting.

Clem came through with the clutch cover. I’ve swopped the standard case for Clem’s repaired item which looks great and should be stronger than stock. Priming the case without a bleed nipple proved no problem as I filled it from the bottom, pressed the slave piston in and then just wiggled the handlebar lever until it got pressure.

I deliberated for some time over the front brake caliphers. I decided to return the forks back to their RGS configuration and therefore put the caliphers behind the forks. My main reason was that I’m able to get a neater brake line run up the back of the forks using the brake pipes I have. This decision though has had unintended consequences as the speedo cable in now not long enough to clear the calipher – I’m going to see if a standard RGS cable works. Another consequence of changing the forks around was to take the opportunity to remove the forks gaitors which I know aren’t to everyone’s taste!

Think two banjo bolts don’t work as it kinks the hose

The back brake or more precisely the brake hose needed work to improve the alignment. The hose and fixtures are originally off the front brake lever to the brake splitter junction. The hose probably needs replacing but should do for the time being. After some fiddling I realised that the calipher can only be fitted to it’s ‘shoe’ when the shoe is off the bike. I knocked out the rear spindle half-way and removed the shoe. Some fiddling got the pipe to a position where it missed the rear tyre and wasn’t too compromised when the suspension compressed. I set to installing the ‘shoe’ only to put too much force in and next thing the bike rolled forward off the centre stand and down it went! Fortunately the bike’s handlebar caught an open tool chest drawer and no damage was done as it never laid on it’s side and the lack of tank, silencers or levers meant no dings or breaks – phew! Mrs A and I went to haul the bike upright (albeit without a rear wheel secured in place) and it was just too heavy. Luckily I have a 1 tonne hoist in the garage but it did make me wonder what I’d do if this happened out on the road…

Silly old bugger!

Nick 🙂