Sorry for the very late write up, I had almost completely forgotten about my thread post Tuareg, or better said I was in a bad mood to write about it as I had nothing but bad luck
Day 1 went well, it was hard as nails through the fesh-fesh. Once I got back to camp, I snoozed away for a few hours, then got to work on prepping for the following day.
The second day started very badly. Before setting off for the liaison, the bike heistated to start, I figured it was "cold" in the morning and it needed a while to start. Whatever, it got gong and I set off on the road for a few km's. At the pre-start, I stoppped the bike and waited for my start time. Once it was time, it wouldn't start at all
I checked if I had fuel issues with the tap in the middle to select between the front and rear tanks, looked good. Time was running out, so I pushed to the start, 3,2,1, go, I pushed over the start line and watched my 3 start compeitors ride off whilst I pushed back to the pre start. I had drained the battery from many start attempts, had to kick for a while. I was lucky to find a Tunisian with a 4x4 and a tow rope who kindly helped me bump start. Luckily, it got going, yeah! Almost 30mins had passed, so I raced behind all the bikes, now last in the pack I rode like a mad man
I caught down 2 riders already and was on a roll on the nice hard packed tracks. Suddenly, the roadbook indicated a sharp right coming up, so I ease off the throttle, then the ride dies on me. On the side of the piste I check all the usual stuff. After about 10 mins, it got started again, got going, maybe for 2kms until it happened again. I check and the spark was there, fuel was coming, so the only issue I could come up with was some sort of tight valve clearance (or in fact none at all). Before deciding to continue and possibly damaging anything major, I decided to wait for the sweep truck. A lot of guys I had passed and from the second amature group stopped and asked if all was good, I had to wave them off and let me go, still very kind of them!
Eventually after about 2 hours of waiting and chewing on muslibars, the sweep truck comes by and we load my bike. I sit next to a Brit, Phil, and we enjoy each others company, each telling the other the issues we had on our machines. We spent a good 10 hours in the back of that thing, dozing off here and there I didn't really mind the bumpy ride.
This was unfortunately the day of Wesley's death. We stopped at one of the checkpoints and saw his bike next the marshalls, questioning his whereabouts. Later we were informed by the medic on site of his passing, we were in shock, especially Phil who was in the same team as Wesley. My bad day had gotten worse... R.I.P Wesley.
Later that night after a miserable day and bad atmosphere in the camp I check the valve clearance and all seemed fine, which left to the question of what caused the bike to stall upon getting warm. Only option left was lack of compression in the cylinder. I asked around for some opinions and many agreed. I was lucky enough to have packed a spare cylinder and piston and gasket set into my metal box (didn't have it on my packing list even!). I spent the night until about 4-5am ripping the engine apart and installing a new cylinder, piston and gasket kit. I got about 2 hours of sleep until it was wakeup time. Due to the tragedies of the previous day, day 3 was cancelled and I decided to load my bike onto another sweeper truck and take my time to check everything again at the next camp.