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Byron1 11-02-2012 01:35 PM

Snowflake Mag meets Honduran Pothole: Now 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 Airheads forum..

Airhead Wrangler 11-02-2012 01:59 PM

I'd get a /6 spoked hub (if they fit the later RS, can't remember) and lace up a spoked wheel with monster spokes. It'll take impacts a little better than snowflakes. Plus shipping just the hub down would save a bit on shipping. Also, if you can get that thing bent/welded back into temporarily usable shape, send one of you to panama or somewhere farther down the road by bus with as much luggage as possible to go receive the parts and have everything ready for the fix when you get there. That and ditch as much weight as you can.

Byron1 11-02-2012 02:57 PM

Cheers for that.

Will look into it now.. Did they have 2 discs at the front as well??

Hopefully something will come up.

garrydymond 11-02-2012 05:07 PM

Iīve bent rims on almost every bike Iīve had(exceptstrangely enough my old BMW). They were all repairable. You will need to find a shop that can do it. It may look like there are no big bikes but there will be some and somebody will have had the same problem and know where it can be fixed.I canīt help with the rear suspension but hereīs a link to BMW Nicaragua they may be able to help. Everyone loves helping a traveler with problems
You donīt have that much stuff Iīve seen people riding alone with more gear and Isabel must weigh next to nothing and youīre not exactly a heavy weight.
There will be a solution and it will be part of the adventure.

mundobravo 11-03-2012 06:22 AM

I had very much the same happen to my front wheel in Nica and got it repaired perfectly with a hammer and a welding torch. I was in Granada, went to my friend at "One on One " spanish school and he hooked me up with a taxi driver who then took me around to the " right" people. The repair and story is in this video. . There is NO BMW MOTO DEALER in Nica but San Jose , CR has the largest and best dealer in Central America. Good Luck.

mundobravo 11-03-2012 06:33 AM

AS for your rear shock, we had that happen also, only with front seals on a 92 GS. Get it to the BMW dealer in San Jose or just call them if you know part #, order part , wait 2 weeks.,hang out on beach, repair, ride on.

BeachGuy 11-03-2012 09:14 AM

Byron1, sorry to hear about your problems. I will give you a few suggestions that might help.

1. Same thing happened to me two years ago in Honduras at about the same location. Bent wheel on front. Not as bad as yours but deffently a front wheel shimmy.
2. I made it to my home in Costa Rica and then had it fixed.

Possible solutions:

I will email my buddy in Costa Rica and get the phone number and email of the shop that fixed my cast aluminum wheel for $20.00.

You could take Tica Bus from Leon to San Jose with the wheel and then return to Leon with it. I'm sure he could roll out that dent on the rim. They do it every day. I will also ask them who in Managua does the same thing, they will know a good shop if there is one.

On your second problem of the rear shock. I had put one on my K 75 just before I left for Costa Rica. I ordered it for a rather large (read as Fat Ass) rider, me. It has about 2000 miles on it and my bike is in Costa Rica. You and I can come to some kinda of agreement on it if its your last choice. I believe that they are the same length eye to eye.

The BMW dealer is in Pavas, just suburbs of San Jose. They have a Web Site.

My brother in law is at his place in Chichigalpa, Nic. now about 15 kilometers back towards Chinendaga, he speaks English and if you feel you need a little extra help with the locals I know he will be happy to help or give advice as he sells Chinese Motorcycles locally (under 200cc).

Let me know if any of this will help your cause.


BeachGuy 11-03-2012 10:14 AM

Motorcycle Shop in Managua

Not sure where you are in fixing your motorcycle but here is a shop in Managua that can fix your front wheel.

Ryano Ramierze phone # 505-8376-1746. Not sure if he speak English, if you can, tell him that Raymond Martinez Gallogo from San Jose, Costa Rica gave you his number.

Good Luck

Byron1 11-03-2012 01:18 PM

Everyone... thanks so much for all the comments and help.

Beach Guy: Awesome.. thanks for looking that place up for us. I took the wheel off this morning and gave it a tapping about to get it as good as I could, but it is still not great. If your amigo can roll it out, then perfect. Will look into getting over to Managua Monday morning.. we are currently in Leon so a bus shouldnt be a problem. Thanks also for the shock offers... think I have sourced a pair though. Thanks all the same.

Garry: Hi, All part of the adventure indeed.. my new catchphrase has become "Tranquillo" !

Will post some pictures of the rim as it is now following my beating session.. also will post some pictures of the shocks.

I also posted this on the airheads forum... to keep things simple will now post updates only through that thread:

Once again everyone.. thank you :clap

TeeVee 11-03-2012 08:06 PM

i'll be flying in from miami on the 16th. if you need parts let me know.

Misery Goat 11-03-2012 11:08 PM

I remember there being a ton of potholes in Nic and Honduras, they were fun on the 950. I bet it was a bitch on an overloaded airhead with mag wheels. :lol3 Leon is a great place to be holed up. :freaky

If you can source spoke wheels I'd give it some consideration.

TeeVee 11-23-2012 04:21 AM

I too love it when a plan comes together. Boxer Metal rocked on getting the parts in house and packed like a champ. Once the parts got here, it was simply a matter of slapping my name on it for checking in at the airport.

customs bought the line of crap that i gave them about the parts being for a 1979 suzuki gs 750, and accepted the prices i made up. no taxes due.

Byron1 and his better half made it to my house in Managua without any mishaps and surprisingly, the google map i concocted for them actually worked (pats self on back)!

getting to work removing his custom panniers.

yes, that's a tire and iron, and yes, he used it in removing the panniers!

a bit later on, enjoying some chicken, beer and then rum

sorry about the red-eye!

all loaded and ready to be back on the road (with yet another concocted google map with directions to the border...which worked!)

Via con dios my new friends. See you in Blighty!

garrydymond 11-23-2012 06:22 PM

Good to see they are on the road again. A very nice couple and great to see ADV coming to the rescue tey again.
Tee Vee must be a good, smart guy as he has a 07 V-strom 1000.
Safe travels


El Stigo 11-24-2012 05:33 AM

Great Job to ALL
Now this is what this site is all about.

:clap:clap:clap to all that helped out.

El Stigo


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