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Byron1 11-02-2012 01:27 PM

Snowflake Mag meets Honduran Pothole... Stuck in Nicaragua ADV SOS!
Fellow inmates, I am hoping someone out there can help us.

Background: My gf and I are currently riding RTW on a 1979 R100RS. We started in Alaska, rode down through Canada, West coast US to East coast US then back again. Now we are (were!) riding South... 19,200 miles so far and counting :D

We are riding two up and are very heavily loaded. Please dont tell me we shouldnt be carrying so much and should try to lose some weight. I know. You tell Isabel we dont need 4 pairs of shoes and a whole wardrobe!! :kboom


We left El Salvador yesterday with the intention of crossing Honduras in a day and getting to Nicaragua, which we did... just.

The problem: The road was an absolute minefield for potholes and we were doing well to avoid them until about 10 miles from the border when we hit one that was lurking in the shade from a tree.. this cattapulted us straight into another deeper one. We did well to stay on. My pants are now complete with a welded on skid mark.

Here is my front wheel (dink at 4 o clock) :cry:



As if that wasnt enough.. the rear suspension has collapsed too p1ssing oil everywhere :cry. It now feel like we are riding on a pogo stick with square wheels.


The front fork seals were already shot, but are now just a joke. I had planned to change these in Columbia (along with some other bits) anyway. I have had the parts sent ahead to a friend so these can wait. The top box mounting is also shot, but nothing that cant be bodged.

My priorities are as follows: 1) sort the front wheel, 2) sort the rear suspension.

We managed to limp to a rat infested "hotel" last night, got up super early this morning and limped and wobbled at 20mph the 70 odd miles all the way to Leon, Nicaragua. I am going to give the bike a good clean and look over later today to see what else awaits me. Hopefully nothing.

My questions:

a) The front wheel is fcked. The rim has separated from the main body of the wheel for a good 8 inches along the circumfrence. It is still holding pressure, but the tyre rim is popping out along with the innertube. Unless anyone can convince me otherwise :ear this cannot be repaired (safely) and is only good for scrap. Are there any inmates out there who happen to have a spare front wheel lurking in a shed somewhere that they are willing to sell / donate (!) ?

b) The rear suspension is fcked. I dont think there is anywhere around here I can get it repaired but will look around anyway. The biggest bikes they have down hear are Italkia 190cc jobbys. I am sure I could bodge some suspension units from them on but it wouldnt last two minutes with our load. Are there any inmates who happen to have a spare set of shockers they are willing to sell / donate (!) ?

c) Does anyone have any experience of getting stuff shipped down to Nicaragua? I understand there is a DHL office around the corner from here so I should be able to get stuff sent to that relatively quickly? I hope..

d) Is anyone in Leon, Nicaragua that fancies hooking up for a beer :freaky? Have a feeling I am going to be around for a while..!

Any help, advice or words of encouragement gratefully received.


If anyone is interested, see link below for more pictures and info on the trip so far.

This message will also be posted in the regional forum for the Americas..

FR700 11-02-2012 04:33 PM


Originally Posted by Byron1 (Post 19955932)

Any help, advice or words of encouragement gratefully received.



Maybe just bump your plan forward ... Chris has your answer. Shipping shouldn't be that bad.

Have fun and all the best.


Boxer Metal 11-02-2012 05:37 PM

I posted something on my Facebook page to see if there was anyone that could help you. Do I need to send you a wheel and some fork seals?

Cordless 11-02-2012 07:19 PM

This is probably out of your range but inmate elsalvadorklr seems to be a great guy and might be able to assist if you end up anywhere near him.

bikerfish 11-03-2012 03:47 AM

I had a similar issue a few years back, hit a chunk of firewood on the highway in new hampshire. looks like the exact same damage as yours. I limped to a gas station, borrowed a hammer and pounded the rim back together, then limped to a buddies house and stole his front wheel to get me home.
If you find no replacement, I think it could be repairable, pounded back into place, and find someone who can weld aluminum, just make sure it's all ground smooth to avoid puncturing the tube. I wouldn't ride it 100mph like that, but it would get you down the road to find a better fix. saying that, there will be all kinds of people saying how unsafe that would be, blah blah blah, but THEY aren't stuck in a 3rd world country with a broken bike. just sayin, if it was me, and no replacement was readily available, I'd try to fix it and limp it on down the road, SLOWLY!
BTW, how about sharing some more pics about your trip!!!

Zodiac 11-03-2012 08:43 AM

With a few pieces of soft wood, and a hammer, or even a hard rubber mallot, you can slowly hammer that rim back to rideable - I've done it twice.

Can't help you with the R drive... good luck!

Boxer Metal 11-03-2012 10:16 AM

Through posting something on my Facebook page I found some help. I have the parts they need. Time to sit and wait.

tdrrally 11-03-2012 10:23 AM

i have a set of non snow flake mags i plan to sell after i get the drz forks on my airhead

seriousracer 11-03-2012 10:45 AM

got a set of konis.. for the rear what else do you need?
sold the front snowflake i had but the guy has a set of lesters he may part with.

Boxer Metal 11-03-2012 11:10 AM


Originally Posted by seriousracer (Post 19961477)
got a set of konis.. for the rear what else do you need?
sold the front snowflake i had but the guy has a set of lesters he may part with.

I have a front wheel and fork seals.

princess jamaica 11-03-2012 11:42 AM

Gotta love this place!!:clapWish I could help....................................

Byron1 11-03-2012 02:05 PM

:clap:clap:clap :D

Everyone... I will start with a massive THANK YOU for all of the offers of assistance and advice to get us out of this pickle.

A quick update: This morning, encouraged by the possibility of actually being able to straighten the existing rim out, I took the front wheel off.. here are some pictures for your amusement / perusal / comment:



*** If I cant use my leatherman to fix this I may as well put it to good use as a ruler :D ***


Using my trusty hand axe and some choks of wood I found laying about I managed to close up the gap, but not completely straighten the dink out.


Another fantastic inmate from the Americas forum (BeachGuy) has recommended someone in Nicaragua who can roll this out and weld it for me. Will not try anymore hamfistted bashing until I speak to this guy. I still have a nagging doubt at the back of my head about the safety of doing this.. granted I wont be doing any track days on the bike, but for sure I will see more rough roads and wil be carrying the same load. Bearing in mind the current plan is to get as far as Tierra Del Fuego then boat over to Oz before riding home overland to the UK, we have a lot of miles to come. If the repaired wheel could last until Oz that would be fantastic. I am slowly being convinced that this is a viable option.

Out of interest, I got a qoute from a friend in the states to have a new snowflake shipped down and a set of new YSS shocks.. :eek1. Shipping by Fed Ex was 1,000 USD alone. New snow flake and shocks sent this into a trip ending amount of money.

As for the shocks.. took them off for a quick butchers as couldnt see them properly due to our panniers being in the way. No chance these can be repaired. Not the best picture, but what I am showing below is the nub that the pre-load adjuster rides on... ripped clean out of the shock body and the preload adjuster riding over the top of it. Same on both sides. That will explain the lack of damping and loss of oil then :rofl


The stud where the shock links to the drive shaft is bent at and angle of about 20degrees too so will have to bend that back carefully. Dont think I can stomach another spoonfull of sh1t casserole if that snapped off. Same for the bolth through the top mounting of the shock... a bit easier to replace though.

:evil The plan: Lots of options. Thank you guys. :D.

So our current plan is to wait on a qoute from Chris for a new wheel and shock he has sourced though his network.

Alex has also kindly offered to donate a set of old shockers he has lying about. Will get a qoute for the shipping of this.

Rather than have to pay for two separate packages to be shipped, it may be easier to just get the one sent out. Especially if it is going to cost silly money.

Beach Guy in CR has recommended someone who can weld the wheel, so depending on the cost of a new wheel and getting it sent down will keep this option in mind.

I dont say this lightly.. the kindness shown to us by people, absolute strangers, on this trip has been phenominal. When we finally get back home to the UK, if any ADVer finds themselves over the pond they will have a place to stay with us. Just let me know.

Byron1 11-03-2012 02:17 PM

Oh... Bikerfish..

Here is one of my favourite pictures of the bike taken in Mesa Verde, Colorado. I love this bike.

Here is a couple more of me on the bike at Muncho Lake in Yukon (I think!) and somewhere in the Nevada desert:



I did actually start a ride report for the trip here: but admittedly got a little sloppy with updating it.

If you are interested, we have a blog with 100s of photos and more info... see link in my signature below. Any comments, suggestions, criticisms greatly received!


Boxer Metal 11-03-2012 03:18 PM

It looks like we have them sorted out. Seriousracer is sending me the shocks and I have a wheel. Once I get everything packaged up I will mail it via DHL to them in Nicaragua. I love the power of the internet:D

Stagehand 11-03-2012 04:03 PM

sweet :D

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