Navigation

You are here: Home / Messages / Heavy Twins / Atlas identity

Atlas identity

Up to Heavy Twins

Atlas identity

Posted by neil_waterton at June 20. 2017

Hi, just acquired a nearly complete 1968 Atlas, lots of it looks original (and untouched) but it has a K2F magneto, which I believe is incorrect, but looking for some advice. I have read that coils took over from 1966. It has a twin leading shoe front brake and twin clocks on a common bracket, and twin concentrics. Frame and engine numbers matching  20-125665. Anything curious or just an end of production line bitsa? i  Know the Commando came out the same month that this Atlas was registered as first used. Any help greatly appreciated. Neil Waterton

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by howard_robinson at June 20. 2017

Hiyah Neil - Your Atlas would have been fitted with a twin coil ignition system from new.  The coils located between the oil tank and battery box.  A twin points cum auto advance and retard unit located in a small aluminium housing that mounted in place of the magneto.  It was driven by a fixed sprocket mounted to a shaft supported in a rigid ball bearing drive shaft and afixed by a shear pin.  The ignition switch mounted to a small flat plate mounted to the frame at the fore of the oil tank.  Two small condensers ( one for each set of points ) mounted at the front of the tool tray.  A large (blue) capacitor also mounted underneath the tooltray permitted running of sorts without a battery which was 12V.   The points top cover was a plated tin round lid secured by a spring clip.  Good luck - Howard

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by Gordon Johnston at June 20. 2017

I would consider the K2F to be an improvement on the original coil and points setup - that's why my one is so fitted. How important is originality? Your decision.

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by neil_waterton at June 20. 2017

Previously Gordon Johnston wrote:

I would consider the K2F to be an improvement on the original coil and points setup - that's why my one is so fitted. How important is originality? Your decision.

Not over-bothered about originality,just wanted to know if there was any 'blending' of specifications in the last year or two of production, or as a definitive statement all Atlas's of 67/68 originally had dizzy type set-up and coils. Lots of pics Iv'e seen also show single leading shoe front brake, but this has twin l/s. Maybe single-sides all gone so to finish the build they used first of new Commando batch. Lots I don't know, just fishing for some basic build history. Nice looking bike though. Will finish it to ride not show. Dont want to ride a museum piece that needs a 2 hour clean every time you use it. Thanks for all the insight from a newbie. Neil

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by robert_tuck at June 20. 2017

A very common modification to be rid of a poor points assembly and adv /retard unit very prone to wear. A good mag does all you need .

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by howard_robinson at June 20. 2017

I agree - A magneto is probably more reliable but with age they deteriorate quickly and to repair are very expensive.  Also when you are thrashing the motor it's much harder to get both cylinders timed at the exact same point or even to have both points gaps identical.  On the coil set in question its a doddle to time both cylinders the same and have identical points gaps.  So the engines run much quicker and the weight saving is significant. When racing of course I don't have an advance/retard unit  - it's welded to one position. Also with the twin coil set it's easy to fit a Lucas Rita or Boyer or some such to boost the spark voltage and get a good burn.  So there are merits in both systems but the coil system is definitely needed for quick donks !!  Probably an Atlas would not require the coil set as they generally won't rev up that high to notice the difference.   Cheers and ride safe, Howard

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by neil_waterton at June 20. 2017

Thanks for the informative posts. I will research the bikes history a bit more, and try to see how many were made after this one, as it was registered 21st.May,1968, the same month the mk1 commando came out so must be a fairly late one. here's a pic.

Attachments

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by Alan Osborn at June 21. 2017

Nice bike or do I just fancy the blue tank? When worrying about originality this bike is way off the mark, not that it matters a hoot, the mudguards, the front gaiters, the front brake, the Zener diode heat sink. I wonder if the Atlas had the humped seat as certainly that was fitted to the Mercury. I also note the larger pipes for the American market cos they look good(!) which dropped 3BHP (we are told).

By the way Gordon, these magneto things will never catch on, or perhaps they will will never catch up! Having a magneto allows one to ignore the battery and its charging until you realise that the lights don't work too well but you can still ride on-no stop light or lights! Like what you always did......

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by Gordon Johnston at June 21. 2017

Al, magnetos are wonderful things - especially when rectifiers give up the ghost 200 miles from home. Anyway, the Norfolk lanes look enchanting at 02:00 as you pick your way carefully along by moonlight trying not to squash hedgehogs.

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by michael_sullivan at June 21. 2017

I notice what looks like a valve on the oil line coming out of the oil tank.

Don't forget to open it before you start the bike!!!

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by anna jeannette Dixon at June 21. 2017
Previously neil_waterton wrote:

Hi, just acquired a nearly complete 1968 Atlas, lots of it looks original (and untouched) but it has a K2F magneto, which I believe is incorrect, but looking for some advice. I have read that coils took over from 1966. It has a twin leading shoe front brake and twin clocks on a common bracket, and twin concentrics. Frame and engine numbers matching  20-125665. Anything curious or just an end of production line bitsa? i  Know the Commando came out the same month that this Atlas was registered as first used. Any help greatly appreciated. Neil Waterton

 

 
 HELLO  Have you not read  what I put on the NOC web For all owners benefits  on  How to ID  the year of build  of your machine  by  the data Stamp marks on the Top LUG  next to the headstock  in small numbers  you may need to remove paintwork to see them     Now Try looking for your selfs    Yours Anna J

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by neil_waterton at June 21. 2017

Previously anna jeannette Dixon wrote:

Previously neil_waterton wrote:

Hi, just acquired a nearly complete 1968 Atlas, lots of it looks original (and untouched) but it has a K2F magneto, which I believe is incorrect, but looking for some advice. I have read that coils took over from 1966. It has a twin leading shoe front brake and twin clocks on a common bracket, and twin concentrics. Frame and engine numbers matching  20-125665. Anything curious or just an end of production line bitsa? i  Know the Commando came out the same month that this Atlas was registered as first used. Any help greatly appreciated. Neil Waterton

 

HELLO  Have you not read  what I put on the NOC web For all owners benefits  on  How to ID  the year of build  of your machine  by  the data Stamp marks on the Top LUG  next to the headstock  in small numbers  you may need to remove paintwork to see them     Now Try looking for your selfs    Yours Anna J

 

You may know from my previous posts that I have only just joined the n.o.c. so I cannot see how i could have read anything you have written. You seem quite an angry lady. My first Norton for 40 years, so anything I ever knew about them I will have to research and/or re-learn. Thank you for the information on the build date, i will add that to my curve of learning.

regards, Neil W

 

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by John Shorter at June 22. 2017

Neil, as a new member, your feelings are understandable.  As you have just discovered, there are those too ready to jump in, with unwanted criticism (and irrelevant information), apparently to boost their own egos.

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by anna jeannette Dixon at June 22. 2017

HELLO  To the answer to criticism I am not an Angry lady and the information given is fact  and the information is relevant has you do have to know what year your machine was built and the Factory record's only give's  the date of despatch and NOT the date of build or manufacture!   yours anna j 

 

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by anna jeannette Dixon at June 22. 2017
Previously John Shorter wrote:

Neil, as a new member, your feelings are understandable.  As you have just discovered, there are those too ready to jump in, with unwanted criticism (and irrelevant information), apparently to boost their own egos.

Hello  I do not just jump in anywhere to boost egos Has I am not into Egos just stick with the FACTs of the Matter and not fansites or feelings has facts
 are clinical I am afraid to say   just like numbers      Yours   Anna J

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by neil_waterton at June 22. 2017

This thread has gone slightly off subject. My o.p. was to try and introduce myself in a roundabout sort of way, justify why I joined (to myself also) , and ask a few relevant questions generally and get any  members thoughts on my latest acquisition. With the ending of Atlas production around the time of my bike build, and the Mk1 Commando showing up about the same time, my assumptions might have been relevant. Doesn't really matter what day and time the frame was built or stamped, just matters when it all came together and was then purchased,registered and ridden. All this for interest only. Thanks for comments from all. Neil

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by David Cooper at June 22. 2017

Neil - just in case you are interested - if you are anywhere near the South East - there's a motorcycle day at Brooklands on 2 July.  There should be plenty of Norton Twins in one place to look at - if yours is going, (and even if it's not) why not come and make yourself known to some Atlas owners?

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by anna jeannette Dixon at June 23. 2017
Previously neil_waterton wrote:

This thread has gone slightly off subject. My o.p. was to try and introduce myself in a roundabout sort of way, justify why I joined (to myself also) , and ask a few relevant questions generally and get any  members thoughts on my latest acquisition. With the ending of Atlas production around the time of my bike build, and the Mk1 Commando showing up about the same time, my assumptions might have been relevant. Doesn't really matter what day and time the frame was built or stamped, just matters when it all came together and was then purchased,registered and ridden. All this for interest only. Thanks for comments from all. Neil

 

Hello Now the date stamps on the  frame will tell you a lot where is was sold  etc  around the same time  Its  sister Norton 650 Mercury was being sold  so ask Dave Catton   dating officer  for heavy twins  for more information  yours  Anna J Dixon   

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by michael_sullivan at June 23. 2017

Was not the fitting of a magneto an ooptional price extra on the Atlas?

Mike

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by andrew_windsor at June 23. 2017

Hi Niel,

Have you thought about asking Joshua Wexham from We sell Classic Bikes !!!

From the photograph it looks like it has passed through his hands he might be helpfull .

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by anthony_curzon at June 24. 2017

From engine and frame numbers 125102 to 125867 these were 650ss, and Atlas bikes so that would be about March 1968 for your Atlas for a date of dispatch.

Re: Atlas identity

Posted by neil_waterton at June 24. 2017

Many thanks for the posts. I am moving house soon, so have to wait a few months to start looking at this as a rolling project. Have to build a new 20 x 12 workshop from scratch first!! HS2 has made us refugees with their god-awful new railway through the home counties. New base will be South Northants.(Away from the route) It has been an interesting early journey through this forum post, and as i get more familiar with the club and you members, I am sure I can give (a little) and receive much information relevant to Norton. I am also considering embarking on a fresh build from parts, with a totally blank sheet of paper. Replica f/bed new frame for starters.

I am no purist as you may find out. Just loved riding and building bikes since I was 10. (55 yrs ago) Thanks again. Neil

Powered by Ploneboard
This is Brio Diazo Plone Theme