Busy as ever. Early April I took my own bike through to the Scottish bike show. I had intended to also take the orange Jota but van logistics meant I only took one. The show was busy and I chatted to many folk, but no indicator if this will ever result in new customers. But it's always nice to talk bikes with like-minded folk!
The new tank is only phase 1 of the makeover of my bike. Next phase involves converting to a single seat, with more changes as time and money permit. I'm still waiting on the seat base insert that will carry the foam padding, and I need that before I can drill holes for final location of the seat.
Finally got all the remaining paintwork back. 2 full sets plus 2 tanks. That was expensive!
I also took the 1200 bodywork to the painter at the same time. Decided it's going to be candy red. On that front I had the frame powder coated and I'm starting to fit it out as and when.
Rewired inside the headlamp of a 1200 to return it to stock. Also stripped the carbs, worst case of crap in them I have ever seen!
Work continues on the RGA Jota. Starting the rewiring. Fitted new coils (HT leads and caps will be replaced) and Witt box but a way to go yet. Braking system fully renewed, just needs bleeding.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, a million other things too, including re-purposing an old brake disc.
As always, lots to do, and getting through it.
The series 2 Jota is now finished, runs well and is up for sale at £18,000. I think this is a very decent price considering the bike has been restored from the ground up and I see unrestored bikes up for sale at almost £17,000.
Anyway, this bike will be at the Scottish bike show next weekend (7th-8th April) in Ingliston.
My enlarged tank is now finished and was sent in the post to me yesterday. I had it restored by my Spanish painter friend, so if it is here before the weekend I will take this to the show as well. It will be interesting to find out how much larger it is. I would be happy if I get close to 5 litres more.
I ordered a pile of brake hoses from Hel and had a couple of days of stripping, cleaning and rebuilding calipers and master cylinders.
I refurbished a customer's exhaust system by fitting rechromed downpipes and a new stainless collector box. Between the much larger bore of the collector (compared to what was on it) and the de-restricted air box this bike will breathe a lot better now.
eI also found some time to work on my 007 project. This is engine/frame number 1007, so 7th one off the production line. I HAVE to return it to standard. I had some gussets welded into the headstock and also had some brackets re-welded on as they had gone AWOL at some point. Then I stripped it down and plugged any threaded holes and took it for powder coating, should get it back next week. Still looking for a few parts for it (like 1200 cylinder block) and I have tracked down some other parts I need in Austria. I had a painted rear mudguard that I stripped (after around 10 applications) and then took it for polishing. It seems to be made from some odd type of stainless as it did not polish up perfectly, but I will see if I can use it on the final project later.
Well, the snow has all but gone and Spring is in the air.
I finally got the series 2 Jota front mudguard back from the painter (and delivered another set of Jota bodywork for another bike) and fitted it. All this bike needs now is first start, fettling and a clean so that it will be ready to for the Laverda stand on 7th/8th April.
It has had a ground-up restoration and is up for sale at £18,000. This is the same price as i sold one for a couple of years ago. And when I see unrestored ones for sale at £16,950 this is a stone cold bargain.
I also removed the heads from the 3 engines recently removed from the frames, and 2 will have full refurbishment. The third head is off only to change the head and base gaskets.
I also found a series 1 Jota still with noise reduction crap inside the airbox, as well as a narrow bore collector box, so once the engine is rebuilt it will breathe a hell of a lot better, large bore collector box is on order
Progress with the enlarged fuel tank project too. It has now been welded up and the basic shape established. Next week it will be filled and painted.
A bit more done to the RGA Jota too. Fitted new captive nuts and olives to the oil cooler but issues with the fitting brackets mean I had to order new brackets.
Lots more been done since last update.
I now have the engines out of 3 bikes, awaiting dismantling.
Another 2 pairs of instruments restored by Marcel and ready to fit. Superb work especially as one pair were almost thrown out as I thought they were too far gone.
Nearly finished another series 2 Jota, just waiting on the front mudguard to return from the painter. It was supposed to b at the Scottish bike show this weekend, but that was postponed until April due to the Beast from the East. The bike will be up for sale once finished.
Lots of bits and pieces this week.
Progress continues on my fuel tank that is being expanded so I have a greater touring range on my own bike.
Back from blasting, time for welding in the new inserts and panels.
Stripped, cleaned and rebuilt a set of carbs as they were starting to get gummed up by degraded fuel. The fuel I drained off was green/yellow and had a consistency of olive oil.
Again, another long time without updating, apologies.
Things have been really hectic, as well as 2 bouts of illness and a house move, so I'll try and bring things up to date.
I have rebuilt 2 engines (RGA and series 2 Jota) as well as a hundred other jobs.
I have taken 3 sets of bodywork to the painter, who I think will do an excellent job. The bodywork is due back February/March, and I want the first set (for the series 2 Jota) back by the end of this month so I can hopefully show the bike at the Scottish bike show in Ingliston on 3rd/4th March.
I have also restored 3 pairs of Ceriani shocks for a customer.
I've had 2 pairs of instruments restored already, with 3 more pairs in the pipeline for various projects including my own bike.
I want to tour on my bike this summer and for that purpose I bought a really beat up tank and have plans to repair the damage and increase the capacity. It's work in progress at the moment. Watch this space. The bike will also be treated to a new colour...
Been busy so apologies for the long time in updating the blog.
Got the Zane back to a happy owner. Had to replace the fuel tank as it looked like it was breaking up and clogging the filter. What an SOB that was to change out. Had to remove the entire rear end above the swing arm. Anyway, learned new things, so Zanes don't scare me now.
The Harris eventually sold to a German guy, and I acquired a new project in a round about way. So much potential...
Got another batch of 1200 stripes produced. These are quality items. See the For Sale section for details if interested.
Produced and sent out this year's Laverdaforum calendars. Each year I invite members to enter Laverda-based photos into a poll where the top ones make it through to the calendar. It's a ball ache organising but I still come back for more. 150 were sold this year.
I also sent off 5 sets of instruments to CB750Faces.com. So far I have 2 sets back. Quality work.
I also had some more photos of finished restorations laminated in A3 format. If anyone is interested I can have more made and can sell them for £7.50 each plus P&P.
I am also in the middle of restoring 3 more pairs of Ceriani shocks. Contact me if you need Ceriani or Marzocchi Strada shocks restored. £375 plus P&P.
Finally, I'm playing around with a beat up tank. My plan is to do some touring next year so I want a tank with a bigger fuel range. Just thinking out loud at the moment, but want to cut and extend the tank for at least another 5 litres.
It seems I'm a Jack of all trades, master of none at the moment as I have had to deal with so many different things, not just Laverdas.
I repaired a Chinese scooter for a friend as no one seems to want to work on them these days. Actually I found it easy to work on and, once I cracked the system, spares were readily available. A little bit of diversification.
So, it's been pretty busy here for a while now.
I finally had all the parts for the RGA engine so started to rebuild it.
And that's where it is for now, waiting on new Kevlar clutch plates to arrive.
I also had to bleed and refill the Zane 750S coolant, check the fan and some other stuff to sort out a cooling issue. All running well now, and MOT tomorrow and then back to the owner.
Looks like the Harris 1200 has sold. Just sorting out details at the moment, but it's all ready to go now.
And finally, since selling the van I have now bought a trailer and car, so I'm able to move bikes around again. I have no plans for long distance work but happy to travel as far as I can return home in a day.
Many varied things to report. Issues with the silver Jota after it blew 2 brand new starter relays turned out to be a dud starter motor. This has delayed completion as I was waiting on parts. Ironically the Zane bike progress was also delayed when it's starter relay stuck on as well. Now fitted a replacement and it starts well now. Prepping it for it's MOT yesterday and the main beam headlights don't work. So it will be off with seat, tank cover and fairing next to access bulbs and wiring. But progress is definitely being made.
Finally received new mainshaft and sleeve gear for the RGA so that will get rebuilt. Received barrels and new pistons for RGA and series 2 Jota too. Still waiting on the series 2 head back though.
In the process of having new stripe kits made for the early 1200s. First draft test sample arrived this week. Hopefully I will be able to offer them for sale soon.
And finally I have sold my wee van. After over 100,000 miles in 5 years or so it was time to part ways. I thought it would be difficult to sell an LHD van in the UK but I could have sold half a dozen of them. One guy even offered over the asking price. In the end it went to a guy from London who came up in the train and drove it back same day. I just didn't need the van as I have stopped doing long distance transport, and will eventually return to car and trailer for local stuff. Goodbye old friend, we had some grand tours together.