T – The rest of the weekend passed uneventfully. We prepared Mabels new engine to go in, which basically involved drilling out the top engine mount, and enjoyed the luxury of being able to use a washing machine! Ahh the little joys! Actually, one thing we both have enjoyed is being able to flush toilet paper again! Weird hey?
C – There is a very simple pleasure in being able to go to the bathroom whilst not staring into a bin full of used toilet paper! Flluussshhhhhh.
T – Monday rolled around and we were at the Customs office when they opened the doors. We thought we would get a good jump on the process of getting our bikes freed by being there early. After a quick chat to the customs officer behind the desk it soon became clear that not only was the process here so stupidly convoluted, but we quite possibly would struggle to do it ourselves. We were handed forms that required filling in with certain internal Customs codes, which we didn’t know what they were or meant or where we would obtain such codes. The Customs officer told us that in her opinion we would be better off to get a broker as we would be looking at at least 3 days of paperwork and wait time before we would even get a sniff of our bikes. 17 countries through North, Central and South America and the longest border crossing we experienced was 3 hours. Try to bring Australian compliance and plated bikes into Australia, 3 days or more. It just didn’t make sense.
C – It seemed quite outrageous, but we definitely learnt that if you wish to take your vehicle out of Australia, the easiest way to return it is to have a carnet. We did not know this until now, but will definitely always get one if we do this again, regardless of whether the countries we are travelling to require one.
T – So we hired the services of a broker and for $120 he had our bikes cleared through Customs and booked in for a quarantine inspection within 2 hours. Unfortunately our bikes wouldn’t be able to have their final inspection and clearance until the following afternoon.
C – Well, nothing to do now but check out Brisbane! We have only been to Brisbane once before and it was only for one night, so we really do not know much about the place and we were both excited to go for an explore. We wandered down to the nearest ferry terminal and jumped on the ferry for a ride into downtown Brisbane. The ferry ride was really cool, with beautiful views over the many parks and city.
T – So we spent some time hanging about and wandering through the city of Brisbane. Which is quite a beautiful city. The huge Story Bridge that dominates the landscape of this lovely city was really something to see. Stupidly I forgot to take my camera.
The next morning we headed out to a place a little north of Brisbane where we had arranged to buy a CT110 engine for Rosie. Rosies rego had lapsed while we were overseas due to more bureaucratic nonsense from the NSW licensing department , basically they made it impossible for us to keep her registered outside of Australia.
We met with Joe from One Ten Motorcycles and admired some of the gorgeous posties and older 70’s and 80’s bikes he had on display there. He was quite excited about what we had done on the bikes and soon had us kitted out with an engine, sprockets, chain, new bars, wiring loom and also told us to bring Rosie up to him when we were ready and he would help us with the registration inspection! Thanks Joe!
C – Joe’s workshop is really cool and for a minute, I toyed with trading Rosie in for an old Suzuki T500! Boy, she was pretty!!
T – Finally it was time to go and free our bikes. I was quite nervous while we sat waiting in the quarantine office as I really hoped we had cleaned our bikes enough. But I needn’t have worried as the two guys who inspected them were quite impressed with how clean they were and really just wanted to talk about postie bikes!
That meant we were free to take our bikes! Woooooohooooo!
C – It was so exciting to see Rosie being bought out of the freight yard on the forklift. I am sure I spied a little twinkle in her headlight as I tore away at the plastic wrapping.
T – We soon had them unwrapped and their tyres re-aired and with the last dribble of fuel left in them we limped to a nearby servo.
It was good to have them back and be back on the road again. In fact I was so keen to get back into the ride that we stayed up quite late and ended up with both bikes sporting new engines, new wires, new wheel bearings, new handle bars and ready to rock! Rosie even turned off properly when we turned her key to the off stop.
So tomorrow we will ride up to One Ten again and hopefully get Rosie licensed.