So here we go again. The Jota is back in pieces after just 1200 miles. I suspect the head gasket has blown but it may be worse (knowing how my luck goes it probably is). Left the fuel on and the engine pulled a hydraulic lock. Removed the plugs and fuel sprayed out of #1 cylinder. Plugs back in and hesitantly I started it up – sounded fine. Rode a mile to get fuel but despite running okay the primary side of the engine was covered in oil 😦
I ran a compression check and the middle pot appears to be down. So it’s engine out and back to Scotland.
Still I was enjoying the Jota for the short time it was running. Such a gorgeous bike to look at and listen to. Every time I parked up a bloke would come along and talk about his bike and experiences. A Laverda is a great way to meet people 🙂 Aside from the engine blow up tho’ there are various things that need sorting and I’ll use the enforced downtime to see if I can polish the stone.
So a ride out with Mrs A resulted in the suspension bottoming and bolts damaging the rear tyre. Now me and Mrs A are carrying a few more pounds than 30 years ago but turned out the springs were a weedy 80 Ilbs item whereas standard Laverda is 100. Robin down at Falcon Shocks sorted this while I waited so when we’re ready normal service can be resumed. I must say for solo riding 80 weight shocks worked well but I doubt I’ll be motivated to swop springs unless I know I’ll be riding alone for any length of time.
Having the downtime means I’ll also crack on with getting the standard ‘Futura’ fairing fitted. I’m undecided about the looks of this fairing but when I know there’s going to be long motorway work ahead a fairing would be an improvement. If the fairing goes on I’ll also wire up the indicators.
I’m also musing how to fit mirrors on the bike. The handlebar unit I’ve been loaned only works at low speeds – it just goes into a blur at anything over 40 mph. Orban bar end mirrors were recommended but reading reviews suggests these are more about style. I think a traditional item for when the bike is naked would be okay but with the fairing this won’t work. Laverda didn’t fit mirrors to this fairing as standard and I’m advised that adding them by mounting directly onto the fairing just means a blur fest! Thinking about this maybe a frame needs to be incorporated like the RGS or any other Jap’ bike I’ve owned. Still first up is to get the fairing mounted and then move onto the mirror issue.
Oil coming out of the top is going to be resolved but there was also an issue with oil coming out of the bottom. I was embarrassed that my freshly repaired engine dripped oil. Initially it was thought to be coming past the copper washer under the nut holding the igition wiring. I’ve now traced it to one stud forward and installed a copper washer. I also think the primary chain adjuster bolt with its stack of washers leaks. The oil level was dropping so to be sure it’s not burning oil the exodus from the bottom of the engine needs fixing!
So now the clock is ticking for the LCF rally in Les Vosges toward the end of June. Hopefully the Jota will be back and road hardened. If not then I need to see if I can develop a Plan B. A fresh starter motor means the Atlas engine spins over so I have to see if it will run. I don’t hold much hope for this engine as last time it didn’t seem in good health but hey leave an engine alone for long enough and it’s sure to fix itself hey!