Ride-ability upgrades for an Atlas 750

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Jul 28, 2011
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Hey guys, I did some searching and my results were all over the place, so please bare with me. After a struggle getting my title issues worked out, I now have a title and plates in hand so I'm back to being close to having my bike on the road. With that said, I've got a reputable shop that will be handling my tank issues and giving the bike a final once over after the new year. I'm wondering if there are any recommended upgrades I should discuss with the shop to do now, or over time, to increase the ride-ability and reliability. I do plan on riding on a regular basis, likely daily when weather permits, as well as multi-day runs similar to what I've have done in the past. I'm specifically looking for mechanical type upgrades, such as disc brakes, and not so much bar, seat, peg upgrades as those are much more related to personal preference.

Any suggestions? Links to said upgrades or parts would be much appreciated as well.

Thanks guys!
 
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I'd suggest Lansdowne dampers for the front forks. This was my Christmas present last year and I think they really improved the ride over the ripples. I especially like that the bike still looks basically stock.

http://www.lansdowne-engineering.co.uk/

John Bould is a member of this forum and very willing to help if you need it.
 
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The landsdown damper conversion seems like a good place to start.
I would also make sure your electrical system is in good condition, think of adding a H4 halogen headlamp (an easy, cheap and reversible upgrade) so you can see in the dark. You also might want to consider a LED rear light, it uses less power and will never break. If you do a lot of town/city riding perhaps some small discreet turn signals, some people might suggest electronic ignition but points or a mag can be just as reliable if looked after.

All the best

Webby
 
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Coming from newer metric bikes, there is a huge learning curve for me. I've gone through the manual working on what I can, and it's been fun, but there are some things that the manual can't teach.

I'm definitely going to look into the damper conversion. I put about 1,000 miles a month during the peak of the summer on my last bike, and I can see the same with this if all goes well, so the ride quality will be greatly appreciated.

Is there a h4 conversion, or is it a simple lamp swap? The LED rear light sounds good to. Again, is there a conversion? I'm pretty sure it'll require some type of resistor. Discreet turn signals may take more time, but aren't out of the question. It's a matter of sourcing controls that will work well with the design of the bike in my eyes, and they are on the list. Feel free to answer those, but I'll be digging around for the information as well.

It's my understanding that a points ignition is about as reliable as can be, but I'm not sure what "looked after" means. Everything I've dealt with has been electronic ignition. Can you elaborate on this?

Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
 
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Just be a little wary of some of these LED lights - some of them are not so visible from all angles. Some you can only see from directly behind.

Saw someone nearly get cleaned up (tintop) recently, the blinker light was barely visible in daylight. I had time to observe, the combatants probably did not...
 
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Here's a link for the LEDs http://www.norbsa02.freeuk.com/goffyleds.htm
Personally I have no experience of them, but I've heard good things about this guy. Just avoid the cr*p off flea bay. My old Bonnie runs a standard tail light bulb but with a modified rubber mounted license plate holder/rear light, it's been on the same bulb for the last 18 months/4000 miles.
As for the H4 headlamp, pretty any 7" lens will fit, although you will have to splice in the 3 spade socket (available from most auto accessory shops cheap) In the UK the cheap option is to buy one for an old Mini or Morris Minor, but anything off an old jap bike for example will fit. I have one fitted that used to live on my 94 speed triple.
You will need to lube the felt on the points maybe two or three times a year and check the gaps, provided they and the AAU (complete with springs) are in good condition you should have no problem. The great thing with points is that they will always get you home and will start the bike with a flat battery and if they wear out they cost very little to replace.
Of course EI is fit and forget but if it breaks you're walking home (this gives you plenty of time to think about the hole a new one will put in your pocket :mrgreen: )
Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti EI, I have one fitted to my bike but I sometimes wonder if I made the right decision.

I hope this helps

Webby
 
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Jul 28, 2011
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Thanks for the link, and probably more importantly the schooling on points.

The price for the entire tail light and lightboard is only $10 more, so I'll likely go that route. A reduction in voltage to the rear and an increase in voltage to the front, I'd like to see it balance out. We shall see.

As far as points are concerned, I certainly like the idea of being able to get myself home in the event of a dead battery. Sure, set it and forget it is nice, but it's a bike and I check it over before every ride and give it a more detailed check every month and even quarterly. Why can't I add this to my monthly or quarterly maintenance checks? I don't see any reason. It seems to me that keeping a spare set of points in the tool bag would be cheap insurance.

Regarding signals, I ran into the same issue on my last bike. The PO had installed some small and cheap led signals, and they weren't visible at all during the day, and hardly visible at night. I honestly don't believe they were meant for a vehicle application, and I didn't trust them at all. I used hand signals during the day, and I sold the bike before I rectified the situation. The subsequent owner put the original lights back on. I'll certainly keep it in mind when I get there.

As with anything, I'm sure this will evolve over time.

Thanks again! :mrgreen:
 
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Candlepower has a great deal on new surplus Bosch motorcycle H4 lenses for $25, have had one on my bike for a year and it is a huge improvement over stock and have not had any charging problems with the original Commando alternator and a 55W bulb.
http://store.candlepower.com/fco7h4mohebd.html
so far as bulbs go have been running a Sylvania Xtravision, they are extra bright but short lived in some modern vehicles but mine is holding up fine given the low average voltage of the Norton charging system....also be sure to buy a quality socket if you go H4, the cheap ones melt but heavy duty items are easy to find at auto parts stores
 
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Hymph . . . . . often , I believe , its better to get to know ' the mistress ' over a year or two . Rather than going Bull at a Gate .

On the presumption that someone somewhere had a vauge idea what they were up to when it was built , its not difficult to make the thing more awkward and more difficult to live with ,
If theres no ; light at the end of the tunnel ' to lend coherance and Homoginininity :shock: :lol: to the overall concept / finished product .

That Said , Whadarya gonna doo wiff it , Burning around at 80 plus , might require a few updates , below that velocity , the Commando / Tickle / or I believe the Triumph brake back plate , bolt on .
( Just the T.L.S. assy . std hub / wheel ) AND while the TLS is grabbier - Servo Effect , the S.L.S. , vented for repeated hard use , isnt a weakling , so for traffic , if youre not rideing their bumpers ,
a reliable option , you already have . WITH the drum tru , kept deglazed along with the shoes , and perhaps a upgraded pair of shoes , For moderate / touring use. BEING a part of the CHARACTER
of the machine .

Which the afore said rant is in order of preserveing .

IGNITION , The Joe Hunt Mag , for behind the cylinders is less expensive than the hang out the side job.
However , a ' SRII ' rotateing magnet Raceing Mag , as fitted to G-45 Matchless annd AJS porcipine Grand Prix bikes , is obtainable of 4 Cyl Petrol Tractors , albitwith a 4 cyl Distributor cap .

This leaves the ' electrical system ' surplous , other than for lighting . Allowing you to Connect the Lamps direct to the alternator or a generator. If required . Nice'n bright with the revs up , too.

SPROING.

theres some ' External ' springs around . PROGRESSIVE RATE . seem to work O.K.

MUFFLERS .

' We ' assume theyre the straight thru ' glass pack ' as per Early Commando & P.Racer .

Maybe a belt drive , one of these days .Outrigger bearing , if youre running it on Nitro .

SECUREITY .

Now , being really elaborate , as ' everyone knows ' the hands'l go numb , touring at 90 mph ,
Alloy Engine Plates ( 1/4 in thick ) and high grade bolts to them everywhere , with the threads starting at the outer face , and high grade Steel Washers , with Locknuts ( maybe Aircraft ones )
Should absorb vibration rather than transfering it . Bits get chewed up and break from vibration if its not all kept tight .

MONOBLOCK carburators are not to be sneezed at . The Concentric , AMALs revenge , Sneeze At You , amongst other things . Stuck floats often lead to fires . So with the Conc's a Fire Extiguisher
would make sense as a fixture .

Q.H. headlamp ( 90/130 ) if its not hooked up direct .

If running modern stickey rubber , and theres a ' slack ' occurance throttle related , Solid rather than Silentblock swing arm pivot , would be indicated . AS they used to say .

Therefore . The first thing you should do , is put 10.000 miles on it , and get to know its foibles and requirements , before wielding an Axe .
Its liable to be demanding and dictatorial , but keeping youre eyes open , the answers are often at hand , if youve a open outlook , rather than predetermined objectives .

Just think how much Whiskey you could have bought with that money , and you wouldnt have any problems there , just oblivion . :p :shock: :mrgreen:
 
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" CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS ' " ? Certainly ! :lol: :evil: :twisted:

IF you SCALE UP the contact breaker / points assembly ONE HUNDRED Fold ( Visualise ) we can see it CLEARLY . :D

If you keep it all clean , dismantle & Lube Ea 10.000 ( Service requirement , I think its called ) and set EXACTLY , its trouble free.
Most people cant be F'ed , and get what they pay for .

The NASTY little NYLON ( white icky Plastic :shock: ) toe on the Contact Breaker , runs on the ' Points Cam ' .

Putting new points in , dirty or unlubed , will wear it , close the gap ( weaker spark ) and advance the ignition setting ( Sizzle pop )

So CLEAN & a match head smear of the right grease on the ' Toe ' ( yukey white nylon thing ) will let it ' Run In ' smoothly .
ONLY wearing a few thou of as it hardens . and Only requireing resetting once or twice. For Starters . :wink: :twisted:

Dry , there buggered . The toe dematerialises in a melted flashing , as PLASTIC is wont. ( bloody whizz bangs :lol: ) .

THEREFORE , the Magneto is SUPERIOR , with its PAXILON ( I believe ) points / contact breaker assembly . Which ISNT plastic .

Therefore anything Less than a Magneto , is LESS than a Magneto . PARTIICULARLY when you can get Grand Prix ones of TRACTORS .
( been told by a nerd they wound one up to 10.000 rpm's at which the spark was a measured TWO INCH gap / jump .

But Go Ahead . use coil ignition . Its not my problem . :lol: :twisted:
.

HOWEVER , if you MUST , and CANT be TOLD , theres roumours , STORIES even , of TRIUMPH Mechanics , at Daytona , running around in desperation , turning parts stores upside down & inside out .
Untill they found BENDIX contact breaker assemblies , I believe from a Johnson , Evinrude or Chrysler OUTBOARD ( remember its 1970 ) that were fittable to discerning chaps such as these ( when they
wern6t at the Pub )
THESE were made from the PAXILON / Baklite . Whatever . The Redish Colthy inish woven moulded real stuff . Before all this orible plastic . :wink:

However , haveing put the wind up you . C.B. assemblies , if reputable , will wear in a thou or two , then hold setting . Pretty Much . Service Tools are a Ciggarette paper & cardboard , once you know
how much 15 Thou is . ( why , a HUNDRED FOLD , you can almost see it . :twisted: )

The AUTOMATIC advance mechanism , if DISMANTLED , cleaned , and lubed , every 10.000 miles , wont pack up . ( you have been warned :evil: )
All fitts on the shafts here are crucial.

POINTS / CONDENSORS / COILS .

If the Coil or Condensor rateing ( OHM ) isnt matched . It Will Erode the Contact Breaker Points . ( you can SEE them ) YOU chage the condensor ( little sausage ) one way or the other , according to which side
or the contact breakers are ERODED.

Possitive and Negitive and other elaborate electronic innanities .

THEREFORE , id start looking at TRACTORS if I was you , or google " Lucas SR 2 magneto " .

Theres K2F , & K2F ' C ' mags . DONT use a pre 1957 one .

However B.T.H. magnetos are superior , in the rotateing armature type .

If you can find one NEW . :evil: :cry:

( see ' Joe Hunt )

http://www.huntmagnetos.com/triumph-bsa ... -unit.html

P.S. its better to visualise it at 100 times the size .

Visualiseing YOURSELF at a one hundredth times smaller , can you imagine what would happen to yourself , if you fell in there . :shock: :wink: :lol:

I hope this makes it all clear , and relieves any worries you may have . :D :wink:
 
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Jan 21, 2011
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Jimmy_P said:
I've got a reputable shop that will be handling my tank issues and giving the bike a final once over after the new year. I'm wondering if there are any recommended upgrades I should discuss with the shop to do now, or over time, to increase the ride-ability and reliability. Thanks guys!
Wouldn't a reputable shop already know? I like Matt Spencer's suggestion to let riding tell you what it needed. I rode a Norton Dommi on the street for a lot of years and I think the number one upgrade for touring would be a more comfortable seat, especially if you are over 40 or have a bony ass.
 
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Jul 28, 2011
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Thanks for the info guys. Also, thanks for the insight. I'm certainly not trying to start causing more problems than they are work. I'm just looking for insight. I guess you could say I've let my ties with technology come into play. Putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. This is due to having dealt with some older vehicles before, and having become a fan of removing the week points as they arise. I've been building an older Jeep for just over 20 years, and I've made some serious mistakes by trying to learn over time. There are simple parts that if you change out early on, won't lead to other deterioration and the like.

Sure, I can have the shop just complete the once over, and ride it as is. My thoughts are simple in this regard. If I'm paying them to give it a once over, it may not be all that much more to correct some issues that will arise in short order. Am I going to do everything that's recommended? Well, I can't say I won't, but it's unlikely.

My goal for the bike is pretty simple, I'm looking for a regular all around rider. I'm not a racer, nor am I going to be going off road (although gravel roads aren't out of the question). I will ride around town, and on the highway. I'll regularly ride at speeds of upwards of 75mph, and in turn do plenty of slower riding as well.

So, what does all that mean? Not much. I'm bench racing. It won't be in the shop for another couple of weeks, and my dreams are filled with me enjoying the open road. Not to mention that the vast majority of my experience with cycles has been on a metric bike with a water cooled engine and electronic ignition. I do have a reputable shop on the hook, and I'm sure they have some upgrades that they'll recommend, but there may be some simple things that they may not think of. There may be some things that I think are a great idea, led tail lights for example, that they may think isn't worth mentioning, and even others they suggest that won't suit me. So I come to the community you've built here, and you guys point it out. It's like a breath of fresh air.

Let's stick with this ignition topic for a minute. I don't quite understand the magnito vs. points discussion. Is magnito a set it and forget it type ignition, similar to an electronic ignition? Is it much more work than points? I'm sure these may seem like simple questions, but to me they are like trying to understand why my wife enjoys soap operas, it just doesn't make sense! :mrgreen:

Thanks again, guys!
 
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Jul 11, 2010
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Hi

If I was you I would replace the Maggie with a new Joe Hunt maggie and you won't have any problems at all with spark they are so reliable and easy to tune, as well you don't need to rely on a fully charged battery, I would also put a belt drive kit on, over here in Aus if the bike didn't come with indicators no need to have them fitted, I have a 650 Manxman that will be getting rebuild soon but it has a Lucas racing maggie on it and will be running it on the bike, its going to be build as a caferacer for the road and will be given to my youngest daughter when she turns 18.

Ashley
 
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Virtue of a Mag. is its a self contained unit .

Contact Breaker Assembly . ( heavens , can he tie his shoe laces :p :oops: )

Back in the annals of time , there was a Evil Wizard , who lived in a Castle . His Name was Joe Lucas .
One evening , while in a unusually foul mood , he decided to invent a new and more brutal method of torture .
This , he decided , should be called the " 4 CA " ignition system . Along with his previous depredations in
the 6 Volt selective control alternator system , this brought strong men to their knees , drove them to the drink
and takeing long solitARY WALKS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE CONTEMPLATEING THE EFFECTS OF THE FUMES FROM BOILED BATTERIES GLOWING RED HOT
and pistons melted and scoured to cylinder bores .
Combined with the effects of conectors and switches suddenly malfunctioning at 30 degree angles of bank at speeds of 90 mph ,
this led to the sport of ' greenlaneing ' where they had punched holes in the hedges and created trails across the countryside .

Youll notice theres fewer of these ' green lanes ' in Cornwall , largely due to the use of rock walls , rather than hedges .
You needed something good and heavy to create a Green Lane , like a Royal Enfield . . . . :? :D Ahem .

One must become familiar with the intricacies of the mechanisms requireing adjusting , for the serviceing / maintance of the machine .

The problem being , when theyre Maladjusted , it leads to trouble . If we have troubke weve got trouble . Makeing the best of it , we take the trouble
to see things are Exactly Right ( Correct ) and see they stay that way . Combined with a good wax and polish , that'll get another 5 - 10 mph out of it
Then with an advantage of altitude and the sun behind our backs if we get them by surprise . . . Er . . . Yes . . .

If its not there it doesnt weigh anything and doesnt play up .
Atlases are renouned for handle bar tremmens delerium at 90 mph .

4 CA ignition is dual lobe cam , one contact breaker . Keep walking , dont stop , dont make eye contact . This is terminal & to be avoided at all cost

6CA ignition is single lobe cam , dual contact breaker assembly .This IS actually capeable of being adjusted to the required settings . ( the insurance
companies were starting to be awkward , regarding " FIRE " in the comprehensive policies , and suspicious " THEFT "
might not actually be all it seemed . motivationally .

K2F Mags were sigle contact breaker assembly , dual lobe circumfrential cam .After 12 owners and 2000.000 miles it wasnt unknown for points cam wear to cause timing to be inexact .K2FC competition version has a bit more kick at LOW speed . So It'll start . being a obstreperous tune . Hot .

Pre 57 they screwed the drive shaft out .

SRII was purloined from Tractors . Lucas couldnt make unreliable stuff for Tractors . It would have led to Crop Failure , Famine , Revolution and Bloodshed . And He'd of lost his Castle .These are Single Cam Lobe , Single Point , & rotor ./ distributor . For Multis . Like the Norton ' Twin " .

Joe Hunt , despite haveing the same name , is only distantly related to Joe Lucas . And appears to have inherited little of his Sadistic Attributes .

For Sparking NITROMETHANE , Methanol , or race fuels , these mags were really the trick . Despite some people being misslead by computors , diodes , e proms and led's . Some held true to the faith . So in fact , a real ignition system is still made and available.If theres no Tractor over the Fence .

These space age ' pointless ' solid state ignition systems are not sworn at by all . In fact Jos ( Lucas ) disant descendant RITA became involved .
Some would say shes a bit plain , but theres virtue in simplicity . Fitting here , will only leave you prone to innacuracies through bearing failure of the mount assembly, rupture of the timing chain , or whip . & incorrect matching of the advance unit taper & fit , letting too the Notorious ' Slipped Timeing ' of olde .

All inherant in the std. system .

MANUAL ADVANCE , left one the option to Retard , for start up ,& puttering through villages , Bringing it up , or forward , for comfortable cruiseing and throttle rsponce , economy , or to cause ' pops ' in the muflers to scare pedestrians .FULLY ADVANCING the Ignition allowed roaring Take Offs , and , once you Got Up Sun , and the Nose Down . . .
 
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My experience on the Lucas K2 & K2FC is they are pretty good provided they are set up right -----Beware if they are not!
I am referring to Lucas crap method of timing the 2 cylinders which I have found some mags can be 20 or more degrees out, between them.
They should fire at 0 &180 degrees with no leeway either side.
i.e. 0 degrees difference.
They can be corrected by a method if they are out.
 
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Bernhard said:
My experience on the Lucas K2 & K2FC is they are pretty good provided they are set up right -----Beware if they are not!
I am referring to Lucas crap method of timing the 2 cylinders which I have found some mags can be 20 or more degrees out, between them.
They should fire at 0 &180 degrees with no leeway either side.
i.e. 0 degrees difference.
They can be corrected by a method if they are out.
You are presumeably referring to the cam rings, which can wear, often unevenly ?
Any maggie shop can supply reground cam rings to correct this, and in a pinch an owner can "stone" the cam ring to get the firing angle the same for each cylinder.

P.S. The Owners Manual refers to regularly oiling the cam ring lubricating felt, to prevent wear.
Failing to do so could well precipitate what you describe - guilty ??
 
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Quote; You are presumeably referring to the cam rings, which can wear, often unevenly ?
Any maggie shop can supply reground cam rings to correct this, and in a pinch an owner can "stone" the cam ring to get the firing angle the same for each cylinder.

P.S. The Owners Manual refers to regularly oiling the cam ring lubricating felt, to prevent wear.
Failing to do so could well precipitate what you describe - guilty ??[/quote]


No, the brand new cam ring which I purchased from Lucas was found to be 4.5 degrees out on the lobes, so i no longer take anything for granted.
You don't have to '' stone '' the cam ring to correct the timing to fire 0 and 180 degrees.
 
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marinatlas said:
Hi, so what must I do to get the same advance on both cylinders??
Phil Irving (SlideRule in the old magazines) describes taking a fine oilstone, scribing a mark on the cam ring and lightly honing away until the timing is even on both cylinders.

Since the cam ring usually wears so that the cylinders are no longer firing 180 (magneto) degrees apart, the bumps that open the points are no longer 180 degrees apart. You judge which one needs grinding back to make them symmetrical, scribe a line where you need to grind to, and get honing.

Finding a suitable oilstone is probably the hardest bit these days, since most were quite large, and won't fit inside the cam ring. Doing it with any sort of machine is quite tricky, since it is far too easy to take too much off...

I have seen cam rings with little bits brazed back into them - hard life ? And some makers had cam rings made like this.

Hopethishelps.
 
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[quote="Bernhard"
No, the brand new cam ring which I purchased from Lucas was found to be 4.5 degrees out on the lobes, so i no longer take anything for granted.
You don't have to '' stone '' the cam ring to correct the timing to fire 0 and 180 degrees.[/quote]

Lucas are making new parts ??
This was recently, or back in history ?

If the lobes are not 180 (magneto) degrees apart, there is no other way to get correct timing....
 

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