Well, I arrived in Ushuaia 2 days ago. I let the bike sit for a day, and didn't do a damn thing yesterday. It was great.
I had a lazy morning today, and I finally swung my foot over my bike at 11a to head for the actual end of the road in the Tierra Del Fuego Nation Park. So off I went--smile on my face, all bundled up, playlist a playin'.
My first block away fro the hostal, I felt the thump thump thump under my left foot, which I knew from previous final drive posts meant that my final drive might be failing. So I road on, and really started to tune into the bike. It got worse. I made it to the end of the road, snapped my photos, ate my tin of smoked oysters that I'd been carrying with me for 23,420 km (14,551 miles) and whopped it up with the bus bound tourists. But I knew in the back of my mind that my FD was probably failing.
So I swung my leg back over the bike and road the 18 or so km back into Ushuaia. The knocking got worse, and then I started hearing audile noises. I pulled over because I thought my bike was about to fall apart, put the bike up on the center stand and wobble the rear tire. I didn't see any oil (which means my seals are okay), but the rear tire wobbled like crazy.
I road into town and found the first gas station I could find. I bought some gear oil for 30 pesos (SAE 80-90W--which amazingly is the spec) and then cut a 2L water bottle down for an oil catch. I put my socket on the plug and loosed it--and it was at this point, on my side next to my bike, that I knew my FD had failed because I couldn't back the nut out because there was so much metal in the oil and on the magnetic plug. I eventually got the plug out, and the oil was burnt and full of metal--not shards, but small flecks. I cleaned things up, dropped in the new oil and road here, to this fine eating establishment with WiFi to try and figure out just what in the hell I am going to do.
I'm pretty frustrated about this whole thing, because I had preemptively put in a new big bearing before I left--plus I had my small bearing replaced in San Jose, Costa Rica. So I figured that I was set on my FD. No such luck. Man I'm bummed right now.
From a logistics standpoint, I was supposed to travel on the Feb 18 Navimag ferry out of Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt, which I paid $380 for. So now I am not only looking into the final drive grap your ankles event that is about to come, but I also may be out my $380 from the boat. Is swearing allowed on ADV?
The first thing I did was sent an email to Patagoniarider.com. I had met the head rider, Horatio, in Bajo Caracoles on my way down Routa 40, and his touring outfit is based out of Punta Arenas and they have 18 1150 GS/GSAs in their fleet. So I am hoping that Horatio gets back to me--and that he has a big bearing.
My other option would be checking with BMW Santiago and BMW Buenos Aires to see if they have a big bearing--and then flying up there to physically put my hands on the bearing--and then flying back down here. I could also take my final drive with me in a bag on the plane.
I could also have the bearing shipped to Ushuaia, but I have no idea who would ship it, how much it would cost, what the deal would be with customs if it came out of Chile--and more importantly, how quickly it could get here.
So I know what I need to do (swap my big bearing, BMW part number 33 12 124 2210) and I know how to make the fix (because I just *&^%ing did it), but I just don't know how in the hell I am going to get my hands on a big bearing. If anyone can offer any advice I would be very grateful.