for 1000 120!
A thought or two which may save some drama when fitting an after market exhaust system to a 120 degree triple.
The Megacycle system I fitted to the RGS appears over time to have a minor fault, not with tuning, although every bike is different in tuning, changing the 108main jets to
130 allowed more fuel in, with the trumpet removed from the airbox and 3 x 52mm holes cut in the bottom of the airbox, the breathing was taken care of I made up a bracket to act
as a stopper for the centrestand as it normally locates on the bracket between the two mufflers, with the motor being rubber mounted. It is important to mount the muffler in a
flexible manner also, I have achieved this by filing the muffler bracket to accept a grommet where it bolts to the bracket by the left side pillion peg.
In the event this extra movement is not allowed for in time, the left cylinder outer exhaust stud will break - at least that's the common weak link which has shown up so far on two
bikes. The result is a pain, especially if things go from bad to worse and you manage to break off an "easy out" in the stud. Another well worthwhile modification is to support the
system at the back of the motor with an extra support bracket clamping the collector pipe to the engine to retain flexibility through the engine mounts- The results are a healthier
sound in my opinion than the wheezing standard pipes with a 'little more dial on power available and a more noticeable sound able to be beard by other motorists. Fuel range is
about the same, best achieved yet is 283 km without hitting reserve between Sawtell and Bulahdelah - achieved laden but staying close to legal limits due to the large amount of
traffic. One added bonus is no further need to remove a muffler to get the rear wheel out. Pot belly stove paint works well on the headers - it's as good and much cheaper than
purpose labelled exhaust system paint. One day it will be completed by pulling a rollpin through the nut/axle on the right side so only the left will undo. Always something to
think about. Dan
RGS/ RGA Electrics
During my experience with wiring the new switches onto my RGA, 1 found an interesting point. The alternator on the RGS/RGA has four wires coming from it - one earth and
three positive wires,(one for each Phase). The earth and two of the positives go to the regulator but the third positive goes to the switch block then returns and plugs into the
regulator. A confusing mix of wire colour changes makes this actually look like a mistake from the factory. What happens is that under normal circumstances this circuit through
the switches is open and only when you turn on the headlamp is the circuit completed. _ Thus, only when you have your headlight on does the third phase of the alternator reach
the regulator to charge the battery- This is why I was finding unregulated voltage reaching the switchblock during my rewiring effort. 1 have short circuited this and now run all three straight to the regulator, as I reckon the battery needs all the help it can get, .more so for early triples and their low output alternators. I have checked the wiring diagram for the hard wired(i.e. lights on all the time) United States model RGS and all three positives go straight to the regulators I assume no damage can occur due to this mod. So if you're having
trouble with flat batteries you might want to look into it - the connections are under the seat near the airbox on the RGS. SteveBattisson
Living with an RG Series Toy
To stop screws securing side covers coming loose and fairing to tank mounts vibrating, a tap washer on the inside of the side cover/fairing will stop vibration and hold screws
in place- Headlight bulbs can he changed without removing the fairing, providing a flexible arm is available. Use torch through filler cap flap. Aluminium foil behind indicator bulbs
makes them much brighter. Fork seals can be changed by removing the lower fork leg and leaving triple clamps undisturbed. Jota throttle cables fit RGS/RGA - main difference
being Jota inner cable is heavier to counteract harder return springs. Both lower engine mounts come loose on occasions. Don't just tighten 8MM bolts, remove and inspect or it
can result in a sloppy fit and hole. When bleeding rear brake calliper, remove from carrier, fit suitable spacer between pads and turn calliper to get bleed nipple at top, otherwise a
pocket of air will cause a spongy feel. Dan Jottings 13 RGS Maintenance Well here is another maintenance report, this time on the RGS. With my RGS being one of the first into the
country I have not had any major problems up until now and cannot foresee any in the foreseeable future. The following is a list of my maintenance schedule with notes that I have
1 OIL CHANGES 1 always change the oil every 3000km and clean the filter every 6,00okm, which means removing the pipes for both jobs and have found that with
every second change it's best to replace the copper gaskets on the pipes and the sump plug to minimise any leaks As far as oil, I have found that Penrite 30 in Winter and 50 in Summer seems to stand up to the job , very well with the added bonus that it decreases the clunking in the gearbox during gear changes-
2. DRIVE CHAIN In these days of 0-ring chains has meant a little less hassles in tensioning chains and 1 have found that by keeping a regular eye on the chain tension should see you getting 3 chains out of one set of sprockets with my riding style. I lube my chain every second fuel stop.
3 - BRAKES Several RGS' have had trouble with the rear brakes seizing or not working correctly- Main problem that I can see lies in the remote cylinder with the seals turning inside
out and causing the rear brake to stay locked on. This seems to be an inherent problem with the design of the rear slave cylinder and the only way to keep a check on it is to change
the fluid every 20,00okm. As well as changing the fluid, I thought it would be a good idea to change the seals at the same time, as 1 found out the hard way. As far as pads go, after the original set wore out, I fitted SBS pads which I found excellent in all conditions except really torrential rain, where there seems to be a terribly long delay before the brakes begin to
work, which is very unnerving let alone down right dangerous, so I have gone back to Brembo pads.
4. SUSPENSION The front end is of typical Italian excellence and the original seals lasted 32,00Okm before needing replacing. As for the arse end, the Marzocchi's are nothing
short of shithouse, wearing out within the first six months of use. Throw them away and put a set of Konis with tri rate springs and external damping, your troubles are over and
you have a greater selection of suspension settings.
5. PRIMARY CHAIN ADJUSTMENT Quote from the manual "warming up the engine remove the adjusting screw cap and loosen the locknut screw on the adjusting screw with
the engine revving at 3,000 revs and listen carefully for a distinctive whine which is the sign of excess tension, back the adjusting screw off until the quite audible whine has just
gone. This chain should be replaced every 24,000km".
6. SWING ARM 1 have found that with every oil change I grease the swing arm and check for movement. If movement is
present, retorque the swing arm nuts to 46 to 52 ft pds.
7. TYRES AND WHEELS For those of you who have yet to have the pleasure of replacing front wheel bearings this part of the report might just stop you from killing yourself
or girlfriend or smashing the rim into thousands of tiny pieces. After removing the wheel, dig out the shield of the bearing with a screwdriver, and then collapse the bearing
cage, (the wavy ring that holds the balls), and move all the balls together giving you nearly half of the bearings free between the inner and outer rings of the bearing and then prize
or punch the inner ring out and then pull out the spacer before replacing the bearings. File a keyway like slot in both ends of the spacer to facilitate an easier removal by hammer
and punch the next time. As far as tyres go, I run a Pirelli Phantom on the front and an Avon Venom on the rear and check the pressures before every run - 1 up, 32in the front,
36 in the rear - loaded, 34 in the front, 38/40 in the rear. lan Hodgson
Own an RGS with a slipping clutch?
Check out your slave cylinder. The book suggests you change the clutch and brake fluid regularly- The spring that retains the piston in the slave cylinder had corroded, and
subsequently broke becoming much shorter. The condition of the fluid was pretty bad too. It was not until the spring actually broke that the problem grew, causing me to pull it apart. Preventative maintenance of draining and changing the fluid on a regular basis, (maybe 13 years is not regular!!) would have probably stopped the spring from corroding. Anyone had a similar problem, write or c all, and maybe someone has already had your problem, and can help you fix it in a jiffy, it's your club, use it! Martin Cutler Having trouble cranking over that
big triple? Much confusion and talk is generated about this time of the year as temperatures drop and bikes are-hard to start. I bought a 34amp/hr battery "the golf buggy battery",
about two years ago from Middle Harbour Motors Ply Ltd for $95.00. I haven't had to push start the Jota since. Just thought I'd let you know that. Middle Cove Motors Pty 1Ad.
221 Eastern Valley Way Middle Cove tel:(02) 958 5165 Wlodek
Saza of the Starter Clutch.
The words sprag clutch have struck fear into my heart. I haven't been, able to ride the RGS for 3 weeks now, and it feels like 3 months. I'm very aggivated, my right wrist has a
savage twitch, and I'm starting to make broom broom noises whilst walking around the house. I've got to go for a ride soon, or I'll go crazy. On pulling apart the starter clutch, it
was found that the rollers had been eating away at the casing which houses them. The edges of the rollers were also eaten away, and the plungers which push the rollers into place
had retracted into their respective holes, and didn't want to come out a, d play- All the bits of metal swarf floating around had found their way to the large magnet in the alternator,
thank god! I feel sorry for the poor Ducati riders, whose starter clutches are housed on the inside of the crank case. When they let go, bits of nasty metal end up in the sump, not
a very good place for them! Eades have replacement rollers springs and plungers for around $90 the set. Their plungers cost $9 each, as they had to have them especially made,
when the factory couldn't supply them any more. After a quick chat with Wod, it was decided to source the replacement bits from Lubbike in Germany. Looking at the housing,
it looked like a lot .if cold winter morning starts had really taken their toll on the metal. The rollers are hardened. and the casing is not. A spring steel cover plate stops the little
buggers from jumping out, ard this ;also had been well chewed. If you thought the little bits were expensive, well you just can't buy the big bits. After a bit of consultation with
Chris Pritt, it was decided to machine the housing so as to clean it up, and hopefully overcome another problem, which was that the whole unit had been running too close to the
cog which engages the crank, and was rubbing away on the face of the gear. The gear is case hardened, and where the rollers come into contact, the hardening has started to wear
through. This problem looked exspensive to rectify, so was left alone, hopefully it will last a bit longer. In the lathe went the clutch housing, and 20 thou was taken of the face, and
also of the outer edge, ensuring the gap remained the same for the roller to run in. A new spring steel disc was made, and the whole assembly is now ready for reassembly when the
parts come from Germany. In the meantime I have fitted a fork brace to the front end, and will let you know how the new setup feels on the road. Martin Cutler Own an RGS with a
flat battery? (who doesn't) 1 had a call from Les from Lithgow the other night, he was plagued with a flat battery, and couldn't find out why the machine was not charging it property.
He finally discovered that the brake light globe was blown, sending the current straight to earth. Les stated that after replacing the globe, the battery was charging again nicely.
Thanks for the tip Les. Talking of Batteries Last issue we let you know where to get golf buggy batteries for triples. The phone number was wrong, and is reprinted below correctly. I purchased one the other day, and am pleased to let you know they are still $95 two years after Wod bought one. At least there is-zero inflation somewhere in this economy.
1 lugged it home to replace the battery in the RGS (sorry, Lorenzo) which has been there since 1 bought it, so is at least 4 years old. The old battery was 5 inches by 7 inches.
The new one is 5 inches by 8 inches. Had to remove the grab handle and the rear brake master cylinder to fit the sod in, but it fits just). You can contact Middle Cove Motors
Pty Ltd. at 221 Eastern Valley Way Middle Cove on tel:(02) 958 5165
Martin RGS STARTER MOTORS It has been quoted that Italian engineers put all their love into the design and construction of a superb motor, only to be let down by the quality
of the standard components which are used. This is definitely the case with the starter motor used on the RGS. 750 Twins have a large 0.9 Horsepower starter, which if let loose,
would rip tree stumps out, let alone turn over the twin- The Triples' starter is only 0.5 horsepower- One of the main problems with this small motor is that during construction, instead of soldering the wires to the commutator, they were press fitted together. If the Starter is used excessively, which seems to be the case with triples not running the new type of electronic ignition, the wires let go and cause havoc. The rule of rewinding electric motors states that the sn~ they are, the more expensive they are to repair- It is very difficult and costly to
obtain spares, unless you go direct to Italy. However, 1 have found someone in Sydney who will rewind your starter motor armature for $200.00, and solder the joints together,
ensuring long life. His name is ~. from S & M Auto Rewinds, at 2 Reading Ave, Kings Langley, and he can be reached on 624 5858. The RGS now bursts into life quickly and easily,
which goes to show that apart from regular maintenance and oiling of the starter clutch the starter motor should also see periodic attention to ensure brushes are clean etc.
Martin Update - 4/12/98 These guys have disappeared, but Peter Scott in Seven Hills rebuilt my 3C starter motor for a very reasonable price. His number is 02 9624 1262
TOP TIPS ON RUNNING YOUR RGS by Alan Cudlipp Since I bought my RGS in the spring of 1989 it has now clocked up almost 96,00OKms, over 76,000 of which have been in my ownership. During this time it has let me down only twice (more of which later), and it still scores highly on the grin factor! The heart of the matter, that wonderful engine, has an
annual service and tune (on the rolling road) by Steve Winterton at Calere, with the rest of the Maintenance done by myself The engine has never been apart and oil consumption is negligible, due to oil changes at 1500 - 2000 miles using good quality 20/50 grade ( Valvoline 20/50 Racing Oil, available from a local motorists' discount shop). I would recommend t
he use of 'Slick 50' friction reducer. Over the years I have found a number of useful modifications and alternative sources for spares, some of which 1 list below:
*Copper exhaust gaskets are available from your local Honda dealer - they are the same fitting as a Superdream (but they always want to know why you want three')
*Silencer mounting blocks are the same as exhaust mountings for a Renault 4, and they are available as a. single block (i.e. with one threaded stud each side) which is better since
only one stud ever snaps at one time!)
*The headlight is the same as that from a Fiat 126, and benefits from a 10018OW bulb (I'll just point out that the legal maximum is 6516OW. -ed)
*The air filter is almost an identical match with the filter from an Escort RS2000 (MK2up to 1980), the only exception being that the Ford filter is approximately 70mm longer. It is
a simple matter to cut the end off the new filter using a sharp knife, then using the old filter as a template. cut the new one to the correct length and stick the end on using Superglue.
This may sound a bit of a bodge, but I can assure you that it is an excellent modification! Compare the prices of the filters too...
*The factory manual recommends that the cam chain and primary chains are changed at 16,000 miles (25,000Kms). This may appear to be a little over the top, however when you
consider that a full set of top quality German lwis chains are available at less than £35 to your door (Sprockets Unlimited, Tel: 01386 831341), it is a false economy not to change them - do you know the cost of an engine re-build?
*I have spoken to many owners who complain of poor starting, a problem my bike also used to suffer. 1 traced this back to the quality of spark plugs, and I now use NGK B9EV
which, although expensive, give excellent starting performance every time and are long lasting.
*1 would thoroughly recommend the use of a 'Scottoiler' chain lubricator which
works by vacuum, and in simple terms, the f aster you go the more oil is dripped on to your chain. 'Scottoilers' are simple to fit to Laverdas, and the special oil supplied with the kit
lasts for years. I have heard a number of owners say their bike doesn't do enough miles to warrant fitting a 'Scottoiler', but in reality this argument doesn't make sense - using one
makes the chain last longer (my previous chain lasted 40,000kms) and also requires less adjustment. It also makes less mess than conventional aerosol chain lubes, and five minutes
with Jizer or Gunk has the rear wheel spotlessly clean.
*1 have used Avon Super Venom tyres for a long time, and find that they give good combination of wear and grip
(20,000Km front, 9-10,000Km rear). However, I use a 130/180 section on the rear because I find that this gives a much larger footprint without 'over-tyring'.
*Should you ever need bearings or seals (e.g. fork seals, wheel bearings etc ... ), then try your local bearing supplier. You will, of course, need the number stamped on the bearing
or seal, but you should find that the prices are good and most are available 'off the shelf'.
*Those of you that use a tank bag will probably have difficulty in finding one that is a good fit on a RGS tank, 'Baglux' make tank harnesses with a range of bags which fasten to
the top of the harness, and 1 found that the harness made for Honda CBX55O/ VT5OO is an excellent fit. Mine has been well used f or the past five or six years and is still in good
order. One point to note - the harness has a cut-out in the middle f or the fuel cap and you need to put a soft cloth under this otherwise the base of the bag abrades the paint
on the tank.
*Most bikes (mine included) are laid-up over the winter months, and this is the time when the battery needs most attention. With a little care you will find that
the battery can last a long time; my recommendation is to remove the battery from the bike, and flatten it (use a headlight bulb), then recharge the battery using a 0.5amp trickle
charger for the required length of time (i.e. 48 hours for a 24 amp battery). Store the battery somewhere warm, such as the airing cupboard (yes, 1 manage to getaway with this!)
and every month trickle charge it for 3 - 4 hours. When the time comes to refit it to your bike, you should have a healthy battery. Mine has now lasted six years and is still going
strong. 1 mentioned earlier that the bike has let me down on two occasions - the first time was when the gear selector spring snapped and the gearbox was stuck in first gear.
A 30p spring caused a lot of hassle, particularly when 1 was 300 miles from home! The second breakdown was even further from home - I was in Norway! The problem was failure
of the clutch, caused by contaminated hydraulic fluid blocking the holes in the master cylinder piston,, Fortunately a local garage had the equipment to help me repair it.
Other than these two problems, the bike has proved to be very reliable; it has taken me on some wonderful holidays to France, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland
and Norway and Breganze in 1993. It is an excellent long distance tourer, and made me want to do the Simplon Pass again! Hopefully some of the tips and recommendations
I have given will be useful to you; there must be many more, so do as I have done, and get writing. Don't forget that one of the main objectives of the club is to encourage the
knowledge and enjoyment of Laverdas, so please 'do your bit' by passing on your tips and suggestions to us all.