Friday, December 30, 2005

36,700 miles

La Paz, Bolivia

Replace rear tire

Again, 150/17/R17 rear tires were not available in Panama, Colombia, Ecuador or Peru. I was unwilling to pay another $400 to have a tire shipped from the United States (or $800 to ship from Chile!) So, I opted to try an undersized rear tire that should serve to get me to Santiago, Chile, where the correct specification tires are available.

1 ea. Rear tire, Pirelli MT60 140/80 R17 $65.00

(Price includes shipping from Jaime Medina in Sucre, Bolivia. )

Labor, mounting of tire at Sucoser, La Paz: $3.00

Grand total: $68.00!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

36,700 miles

La Paz, Bolivia

Right valve cover leaking

Temporary patch from Cusco failed. Replacement parts ordered from BMW of SF, to ship DHL.

Rear tire punctured

I checked the rear tire and found it flat again. This time I looked closely and found a tiny hole. Probing with a knife, I discovered a very thin two-inch nail. Tried plugging the hole but after destroying one insertion tool and 5 plugs, I gave up.

The failure of the BMW tire repair kit is concerning. I had brought two kits along, but thus far my experience is they are useless on steel-belted Metzeler Tourance tires. I’m left with only one plug.

Tire to be replaced here in La Paz.

Monday, December 19, 2005

36,225 miles

Cusco, Peru

Accident repairs

A low-speed fall (in rock) forced the BMW engine guard into the cylinder head, damaging the valve cover. In this picture, the guard has been pulled forward again, the broken plastic valve cover guard ("safety bar") removed, and a crack in the valve cover (lower right) has been repaired with epoxy. (The seal failed within two days.)

The plastic valve cover guards are easily broken with the slightest impact. At $50.49 each, I've have already replaced both sides, and the current ones are broken! They are inadequate to protect the valve covers.

I will try to replace parts in Santiago, Chile.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

36,200 miles

Puerto Malaga, Peru

Accident (low speed) - dropped bike after exiting river

BMW engine guard pushed into right head, damaging cooling fins
Plastic valve cover guard broken
Cracked right valve cover
Bent one valve cover bolt, damaging rubber and metal grommets
Cockpit assembly mounting frame bent
Right side gas tank cowling forward fasteners snapped
Plastic windshield mounts broken
Windshield slightly damaged
Right front indicator lens broken

Note: The stock BMW engine guard provides little protection if bike is in motion when it falls. There is little support against impact from the front. It is effective if the bike topples from a stationary position. Not a great design.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

35,600 miles

 Puerto Malaga, Peru

Near Puquia, Peru

Speedometer failure

Speedo reads 0 to 20 mph, when bike is moving 45+.

Odometer not affected.

(The next day, the speedo was working properly.)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

35,085 miles

Portachuelo de Llanganuco, Peru

Lima, Peru

Replace front tire

(after 15,893 miles)

1 ea. Front tire, Metzeler "Tourance" 110/80VR19 $153.95

Tax: $9.24
Shipping from Vermont: $323.26

Total: $486.45!

(I avoided additional VAT by asking Frank's Motorcycle Sales in Vermont to list the value of the tire at $63.19.)

(The 110/80VR19, or equivalent, was non-stock in Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Delivery time was quoted in "weeks". To ship a single Metzeler tire from Williamson-Balfour BMW in Santiago to Lima, Peru would cost $800! It is outrageous for a BMW dealer to fail to stock these tires. In Ecuador, I tried to buy a tire off one of the half dozen or so new R1200GSs the dealer had. "You can then order a tire to replace it," I said. They wouldn't do it.)