Week 42: 8th October

A week on the VFR – just can’t face messing about with the Atlas. Frankly pissed off with messing about with old bikes and it’s nice to be able to swing a leg over something and just go. Having said that I had to put fresh oil in and change the front tyre. The tyre change almost ended in tears when I thought I’d lost a front wheel spacer – luckily Mrs A came on the scene and suggested I was trying to put the wheel in back to front…

Talked to the crankman about the Jota crank – bad news. One of the journals has had its oil hole butchered making it useless. The crank man is going to see if he has a spare – fingers crossed hey. The only good to come out of it is that I never tried to run the crank. It was pressed up incorrectly and now seems to have had a bad journal. It I’d tried running it then I’d have it in bits by now…

The crank man can get the powder coating off the front wheel I have – pity nice coating but too grey. He also has a good rear wheel I can have so now I should have the option of original thick webs or a pair of wire SFC 1000 hoops.

In despair at not riding my Atlas decided to wobble the 45 miles over to the Banbury ILOC meet. As is often the case you don’t take a camera and end up kicking yourself. There was Alex and his NSU 250 single, Andy and his green Mirage, John and his Chott, Richard with a freshly restored CB72 (mini Laverda…) a 120 Formula Jota (one of only 4 made apparently) and Paul on his 3CL. Probably one of the most eclectic gatherings and there I am with no camera!

Best news was that the secondhand Atlas mainshaft arrived in the post. Some slight damage where a sloppy sprocket has been used in the past but the locking plate slot looks fine. Nice to know I have this on the shelf for when the engine has to come apart.


Week 41: 1st October

Got off to a bad start when the Atlas wouldn’t start on Monday morning. I’d left it for a three days and it tried but failed. Eventually all I had was a click from the starter solenoid. The lights didn’t even dim when I hit the start button so it seemed that no power was getting to the starter.

A week of VFR days…damn!

Took the starter off on Sunday and tried one off an RGS – same result, nothing! Decided to test the starter itself by hooking it up to the car battery and it spun up fine. I decided the starter is probably okay so investigated the starter solenoid. Having prised the casing off I see that it has overheated and one of the contacts started to melt. There was that horrid smell of burnt out electrics – hopefully that is the problem.

While I was in the engine I noticed that where I’d been running the motor without the plastic starter motor cover water had been draining down into the sprocket chamber. I’d thought it was dropping oil but it seems that it is probably water dropping out of the case. I also pulled out a piece of metal which sits in front of the sprocket. I think it is some kind of guard but I’m not sure how it is held in the case – might just sit in there but will need to check. Finally I checked out side play in the sprocket and sure enough it is coming back. That two washer fix isn’t going to last forever…

Checked the internet and the Bosch 0332 002 180 part seems less common than the 0332 002 150. I wonder if the final set of numbers relates to the amps – if so then maybe the Atlas ought to have the 150 rather than 180. I found out in Belgium that the Zane bikes have an 18 amp battery as opposed to the 14 amp on the Atlas. As luck would have it help is at hand as Hande from Finland has offered to send me a relay and sell me a mainshaft!

Every cloud has a silver lining hey?


Week 30: 16th July

A bad week Laverda wise as the Atlas failed to start Monday evening when I went to leave work for home. Not only would the bike not start due to an apparent flat battery but when I went to bump start it there seemed to be no gears! A trip on the back of a recovery lorry from London…

My focus was on the lack of gears as the battery charged up and my initial thoughts were that the clutch had finally given up – I didn’t feel this was quite right in that although the clutch had a tendancy to slip it wasn’t ‘so bad’.

Simple to get the clutch off and measuring the plates and springs showed both had wear. The plates were down on standard but no unexpectedly – it was probably moe surprising that the cork insert patterns were not flat but still had some meat. The springs were noticebly longer and I think these rather than the plates were causing slack. I reassembled but still no gears so I turned my attention to the drive side.

When I first got the bike it had a non-standard 420 chain/sprocket setup which I replaced with 530. However before doing this there was an occasion when the drive sprocket slipped into the mainshaft well that retains the lock washer giving the appearance of no gears. I’d hoped the mainshaft wasn’t damaged but afraid not because the ‘well’ was now wide enough to take a 530 sprocket! A rummage in the cupboard came up with a new drive sprocket and two lock washers and all should be fixed.

As an aside the new sprocket has three locking bolts – supplied by Slater’s I picked up from somewhere that it is infact a standard part for a Kawasaki. Must do some research to see if a cheap source can be found.

Final nail in the coffin however was that it still wouldn’t start – no enough umph in the battery and when it did fire only on one. I gave up and resigned myself to another week on the VFR…

Nick 😦