Magnus’ guide bike had been running like a squirrel caught in a sewing machine since somebody took it for a bath in one of Cape York’s many bog holes.
But after just one day trying to stay ahead of Carl and Bruce, the clamor from the engine was so connotative of catastrophe that we had no choice but to pull the thing apart the first night of the tour.
So the tools came out, the lights came on, and the spanners started to swing.
The top end of the engine came apart piece by piece as Magnus and Bruce dived deeper into the project, and we all dived into a third bottle of Kahlua.
I was admittedly nervous from the get-go, but when the clutch was exposed and the cam chain was being held up with a string my sentiments were shared by the whole team. It was getting to the point where more of the motorcycle was on the table than on the frame, and BAC levels were creeping past the legal limit.
The boys had the bike nearly back together by midnight, but when nobody could remember which point the cam gears were meant to line up at we wrapped it up for the night and finished in the morning.
The next day the remaining ironmongery came together beautifully, and after a few tedious minutes of making sure the machine started we had officially transformed the poorest running bike in the fleet to a high-compression, power-pumping monster.
Share the elation of the moment in this clip of the first fireup: