Embarking on a Harley Sportster 883 journey across the Sahara Desert

"I don't belong here," remarked one of the riders, not only referring to the solitary tree under which they sought shelter after their bikes ran out of gas but also to the vast expanse of the desert surrounding them. "None of us should be here. Look at this place, man! I have kids!" The previous night, they had listened helplessly as a man with a broken leg cried out in pain while the distant truck meant for his rescue struggled futilely against the sand. Around midnight, a camel rider had delivered morphine, bringing some relief to the suffering. By morning, they would scavenge the tires from his bike in a desperate attempt to improve their own chances of making it back to Marrakech.

Two months earlier, they had been introduced to Fuel Motorcycles, a Barcelona-based company specializing in classic motorcycle gear and hosting daring adventures. They had been invited to join the Scram Africa, a seven-day trek across Morocco on stylish but admittedly ill-equipped motorcycles. The concept was to challenge oneself and embrace the "old-school" way of crossing the desert with flair and audacity. They accepted hastily, unaware that it would become one of the most memorable journeys of their life.

The Scram itinerary varied slightly each year but was always led by Karles Vives, the founder and creative force behind Fuel Motorcycles. For the 2021 edition, the 3,000 euro sign-up fee covered transportation to and from Barcelona via ferry, accommodation, food, support trucks, GPS navigation, and other essentials. Participants were responsible for reaching the ferry, arranging their own bikes or rentals, and covering fuel expenses. Half of the nights were spent in comfortable hotels, while the rest were in spacious canvas tents pitched in the heart of the desert, offering decent amenities like firm mattresses, hot meals, and morning coffee.

As individuals with minimal off-road riding experience, they were aware of their limitations, though they weren't ready to admit them just yet. When presented with the choice of a Honda CRF250L or a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 for the journey, they were swept up by the adventurous spirit and their own ignorance, opting for the 883.