I woke up early one Saturday morning, planning to head up to Road Warriors Cafe at Mt White to get an EPA label engraved for my after-market muffler.

I jumped on the freeway as usual, the bike powered up to a nice cruise slightly above the posted speed limit as usual. And after about 8km there is a very quick strange ‘rattling’ noise (which only lasts less than a second), followed by a sudden loss of power… then… nothing.

I roll to a stop in an emergency bay wonder WTF has happened to my bike :-

After some checking and wondering, I accept that it is “f%&ked” and call a friend (Sam, absolutely top guy, a fellow kwaka rider and racer, and -unknown to me at the time- my future boss) to pick me and the f%^ked ZXR up and take us home. Thanks again (2 years later) Sam! After we arrive home, I have another look and realise the engine is in serious trouble, but I am affraid to find out exactly what kind of trouble. So I enter a state of “motorcycless depression”, leave the bike on the driveway and spend the rest of the day / week / month sulking and annoying my girlfriend at the time.

Oh, and to make me just a little be happier, my housemate at the time moved the bike so he could get his car out of the driveway (my fault for leaving it blocking the driveway). 2 hours later I find the bike laying sideways in the garden, fallen over on it’s sidestand with a broken billet rearset! Arg…

A week or so went by trying to avoid finding out what happened. Until one day I finally opened the cam cover up and found some nice metal shavings along the cam chain (pictured). After a closer inspection; 1 dropped valve, 3 bent valves and 2 broken cam followers… and it hit me: this is not a cheap fix!