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Old 05-11-2012, 07:30 PM   #211
Carbomb
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The water pump and TCT could have been pure coincidence, or the water in the oil could have assisted with the TCT. The flat tire on the other hand may have been a slow leak assisted by the changes in air pressure during the plane flight.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:22 PM   #212
SS in Vzla.
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Originally Posted by crashmaster View Post
Hola Silviu! If you need a place to work on your bike in Bogota ask Silviu about the shop he sent me to, damn, I forget the name. They set me up with shop space to do a little routine maintenance. I have to look at my notes, but Silviu should remember.
That's Bike's Adventure in Bogota.
http://www.bikesadventure.com/
We actually did the work today on Ryan's bike there... The owner: Mauricio is a great guy. He lent us space (bike lift included) and tools. Ryan bought oil and coolant and even a new rear tire from him. He has good prices, plenty of stock and likes to help ADV Riders as much as he can.
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:11 AM   #213
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You in good company now Ryan Glad to see you are getting everything sorted out.

Take it easy amigo.

John in VZ now
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:48 AM   #214
woodly1069
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can't wait for more!

This is what it's all about, meeting people and finding out that it's all good! These nice and helpful people are EVERYWHERE and all we have to do is go out and do some looking. On a side note, my cousin moved from the states to Columbia a few years back and I don't know if he'll ever come home; he loves it! If for some reason you need something else while in the country let me know and I can try to send someone local to help!

Thanks to Silviu and the others for helping Ryan along!
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:59 AM   #215
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Bogotá

Quote:
Geez, hate to even think it but did you have to leave the keys with the guys in Panama?
No way! For 900 bucks they can push it.

Quote:
The water pump and TCT could have been pure coincidence, or the water in the oil could have assisted with the TCT. The flat tire on the other hand may have been a slow leak assisted by the changes in air pressure during the plane flight.
Exactly. Probably didnt help the tensioner to have oil with coolant in it. The tire probably went flat partially due to the air pressure. What annoyed me is that they would not let me see it until like 3pm even though it got there before 10am. It was very clearly very flat, Girag is not too bad but they are kind of sneaky and I dont like that.

Quote:
That's Bike's Adventure in Bogota.
http://www.bikesadventure.com/
We actually did the work today on Ryan's bike there... The owner: Mauricio is a great guy. He lent us space (bike lift included) and tools. Ryan bought oil and coolant and even a new rear tire from him. He has good prices, plenty of stock and likes to help ADV Riders as much as he can.
Huge shout out to Silviu (SS en Vzla) for giving me a hand. Actually more than just a hand he spent half his 3 days in Bogotá helping me out and I am very thankful for that. Very cool guy. Also huge thanks to Mauricio at Bikes Adventure for letting me use his shop.

Even if you dont need a shop I recommend stopping by his place in Bogotá just to meet Mauricio and say whats up. If you need tires or just some oil or whatever, hes got it. He also has a really cool Colombian made pannier set that I had never seen.

He is at Calle 72 #27 A-15
GPS: N 04° 38.86.3 W 074° 04.14.4
www.BikesAdventure.com

By the way Crashmaster, I heard some good stories about you my friend. So scotch is the secret to speaking Portuguese? Tequila works for Spanish, I would have guessed cachaça for Brazilian Portuguese...



Bogotá, Colombia is big, grey and faded. It reminds me a lot of Mexico City. Its also very alive and it feels great to be in a fully functioning city again. Its full of well dressed people in suits, students and everyday people in packed cafes and interesting museums. I am staying in a part of town called "La Candelaria" which is full of young hip kids with cool bicycles who congregate in the plazas at night to play music, skateboard and hang out. I met up fellow riders, Bob and Rebecca, who I met in Panama and also just arrived in Bogotá. Bob put it this way "Its been a while since I have seen cool kids." Its true, Bogotá has hipsters. There is something refreshing about this city, its a good omen for things to come. It also has very cool graffiti and murals.










Oil should not do this:










BBC





at almost 3000 meters and with 8 million people, one of the biggest cities in SA









This truck was selling Tinto (coffee) and Aromatico (home made sweet tea)





I rode across this plaza one night after I got lost trying to find the hostel. Bogotá is not safe at night. I have never been in a place where so many other travelers were getting robbed. I have met three so far just in my dorm room. I was riding from the other side of town at night and after a few construction detours and one way streets I got lost and found myself surrounded by creatures of the night. There were literally groups of people just hanging out on a side street near this plaza, all staring at me. People quickly began to approach me, the guy on the big orange bike, and I got nervous. Rather than riding to the end of the street to see if it went anywhere (or nowhere) I just hopped the curb and went speeding across the plaza dodging homeless people and dogs until I arrived at the main street which was a metro bus only street. I could see the hill above where La Candelaria sits, I knew more or less where I was but it was damn hard to get there without breaking some traffic laws. The rules for motorcycles are very loose here but I still havent figured out what I should and shouldnt do exactly.




Heres the full Girag story:

On Wednesday I went to the Girag office in the airport cargo terminal to pick up the bike. It took five days to get there even though the flight is only an hour and a half. I got there at 9 am and waited an hour for the plane to land. They would not give me the paperwork I needed until 12 so I waited in the upstairs cafe. Finally, at noon I got the magical pink paper and walked to the other side of the complex to customs to start the real paperwork. Customs people are very lazy and do not like to work. A trip to the Colombian customs (DIAN) involves walking around a huge office asking different people if they would be interested in processing the paperwork to temporarily import a motorcycle. The office is like a scene from a telenovela. Up front is a very pretty but utterly clueless girl who digs around in a drawer and says "hang on hang on" while she pretends to help you. Then behind her is the requisite grumpy old lady that sends me to a different floor entirely. Behind her was another girl with tons of makeup dancing slowly in her seat with her headphones on and doing her nails.

When I finally found someone to help me it was 1pm. I learned that there is a shift change at 2pm so forget about them helping you at that point, they just want to leave. Finally I found someone to do the paperwork but her computer was broken so she had to fill out forms by hand. Then she asked ME to go downstairs to the copy store to make copies for her. "You don't have a copy machine anywhere in this three story building?"
"No, only at the copy store." I just barely made it back upstairs before the shift change. When I got back to the Girag office, they said I would have to wait until someone from customs hand delivered the paperwork since the computers were down. They would not let me see the bike yet because it was still in the "private" area. Later I understood why. They wheeled the bike around to the front of the building and it had a flat tire. While they discussed what to do I heard some guy say "that's his problem."
No, its not. For 900 bucks I expect it to be perfect. I managed to get them to help me fix it. Ironically the guy who said that it was my problem was the one they picked to help me. I put the bike on the center stand and busted out my tools right there in the warehouse. I left the bike by a forklift next to a desk so they wouldn't be able to forget about me, and removed the rear wheel. He carried the wheel almost a mile to the nearest tire shop and I got it patched up.

They pulled a steep but stable ramp up to the loading dock and down I went, into Bogotá.

I got into town just as it was getting dark and that was when the bike started clacking. Calm down baby, we will get you fixed up. She is good to me when I am good to her. Shes an ugly puta but shes strong and loyal.



That was Wedneday night, my first night in Colombia with the bike. Worried about the engine I asked the nearest biker where I could find a shop.

“Motorcycle shop? Go one block down, one over, turn right and go two more blocks, on the other side of Avenida Caracas you will find everything that you could possibly need. Motorcycle heaven.”

I followed another biker down some one-way streets, the wrong way of course, and found the place.

I have described past travel experiences to certain places as being magical or movie like but this was the first time in my life that I actually thought I had stepped into a movie set. My jaw dropped in amazement, I have truly never seen anything like this. Groups of motorcycles were rumbling through the street, everywhere I looked, there was nothing but motorcycles and riders, mechanics and coffee stands with portable espresso machines adding caffeine to the steady stream of energy flowing through the streets. It looks like the wild west only with motorcycles. Some shops emply really hot chicks to change your tire. Hundreds of bikes line the street and there are probably a hundred different shops of all types. There are dozens of guys working on bikes in the street, doing all kinds of repairs on the oil soaked pavement. I stopped the bike, bought some oil and did a change right in front of the shop. I walked around, looking to buy some coolant. I walked a few blocks in each direction and saw nothing but more and more streets filled to the brim with bikes and bikers. There are stacks of tires, helmets and riding gear as well as big drums of oil with pumps on them, so you can buy whatever amount you need. I saw a sign that read “Mega Centro” and I walked into one of the buildings. Besides all the shops and stands on the sidewalk and at street level, there are several multi-level motorcycle shopping malls in the vicinity. I was not about to pull out my camera and start snapping away however. Maybe in the day time I will come back and try to photograph this place, it’s a little dodgy but I think it would be OK if I don’t linger too long. You have to see it to believe it.

Today, fed up with my bike troubles I talked some guy into trading me his 2003 llama (air cooled, 2 speeds). A BMW for a llama, yes sir I think we know who got the better deal.



Yours truly,
Ryan

as usual, more pics on my site

Does anyone know where the oil drain plug is on this model llama? I cant find it anywhere.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:51 AM   #216
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Did SS tell you what happened the night after i was speaking great Portuguese? Classic adventure rider stuff.

Just stick your finger in the hole on the back of that llama. That should get the oil to drain out.

Welcome to Colombia man. Leaving CA is like starting a whole new trip. If you feel that you absolutely have to walk around at night more than a couple blocks off Caracas, I know a couple guys that can help you out with that, but I wouldnt get in the habit of doing it. Once you get down past La Piscina, it gets rough pretty fast, especially around moto heaven as I'm sure you figured out.
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:04 PM   #217
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorLaTierra View Post
Exactly. Probably didnt help the tensioner to have oil with coolant in it. The tire probably went flat partially due to the air pressure. What annoyed me is that they would not let me see it until like 3pm even though it got there before 10am. It was very clearly very flat, Girag is not too bad but they are kind of sneaky and I dont like that.

Huge shout out to Silviu (SS en Vzla) for giving me a hand. Actually more than just a hand he spent half his 3 days in Bogotá helping me out and I am very thankful for that. Very cool guy. Also huge thanks to Mauricio at Bikes Adventure for letting me use his shop.

Even if you dont need a shop I recommend stopping by his place in Bogotá just to meet Mauricio and say whats up. If you need tires or just some oil or whatever, hes got it. He also has a really cool Colombian made pannier set that I had never seen.

He is at Calle 72 #27 A-15
GPS: N 04° 38.86.3 W 074° 04.14.4
www.BikesAdventure.com
So what is the verdict on your bike? Have they found the problem(s)? Are parts available in country? Or ... ? Hope you can get you bike back on the road soon!
Sounds like you've got quality help there.

Great pictorial on Bogota. I loved the Moto Centro stuff. I had heard about this area ... but no idea it was so enormous. Question is ... how do you find the good mechanics/shops from the Hackers? Sounds like you've found some BMW guys ... hope it all goes well.
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:15 PM   #218
SS in Vzla.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
So what is the verdict on your bike? Have they found the problem(s)? Are parts available in country? Or ... ? Hope you can get you bike back on the road soon!
Sounds like you've got quality help there.

Great pictorial on Bogota. I loved the Moto Centro stuff. I had heard about this area ... but no idea it was so enormous. Question is ... how do you find the good mechanics/shops from the Hackers? Sounds like you've found some BMW guys ... hope it all goes well.
Water pump was shot. Classic problem with the F650. They had the water pump in stock at Autogermana BMW. We already changed it yesterday. It's good now... New oil and coolant (obviously) and new rear tire. The cam chain tensioner is shot also, not in stock ina any of the BMW Dealers in Colombia but I have one in my spares in Caracas which I will FedeX to him on Monday. He should be on the road by Wednesday mornig.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:37 PM   #219
Adv Grifter
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Thanks for the head's up. Water Pump is what I figured. Most F650 guys I know carry a spare waterpump (or rebuild kit and seals) with them on long rides.

As someone who has been through this before on both cars and bikes ... I would keep a very close eye on the oil color after start up. There may still be some water throughout the system, sometimes takes a flush to get it all out. If the oil turns color or foams up ... time to change oil again.

Another option is to flush motor with Diesel (before start up) the best you can. (never run motor of course) Diesel will flush out most water. Add some Alcohol in there too. (absorbs water)

Perhaps use an inexpensive, basic oil as a "Flush Oil" after rebuild? After 30 minutes running, drain and add in your "good" oil. Just a thought. Best of luck, hoping for no permanent damage!
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:38 PM   #220
PorLaTierra OP
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Beat me to it!

Silviu beat me to it. I forgot to write about what we actually did. Yep water pump, and cam chain tensioner. I also got a really bad ass rear tire that I am stoked about. A little more dirt oriented than the michelin anake that I had. Should be up and running as soon as I get that part in. I will be here at the Cranky Croc Hostel, hehe, waiting for the part. In the meantime I am going to take Silvius and many others advice and relocate the new VR. Once I do that, and replace the tensioner, this bike will be good for a loooooong time!

Quote:
Most F650 guys I know carry a spare waterpump (or rebuild kit and seals) with them on long rides.
Should have, live and learn. Should have replaced the VR and the water pump before Ieft. Wow I would change some things if I were to start over. I should probably do a little gear review eventually.

Thanks again guys.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:23 PM   #221
woodly1069
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Once again, I need more! Sounds like SA rocks! Glad to hear you got the bike back up and running! Travel safely
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:21 AM   #222
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Ryan I am loving your ride report. I think you are seeing why the Darien Gap exists - A free flow of comerce, people, and ideas from SA would make CA much less ehm...errr..controlable. Keep the photos coming, I love the Banksy styled graphitti or perhaps it is authentic Banksy? Anyway, the only advice I can give is to move slow and drink lots of water.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:23 AM   #223
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Great pictorial of Bogotá. You've got a couple outstanding photos in there. Nice eye with the camera.

I think your luck with the WP failure was good. I had one fail on a KTM 990 in the middle of the Bolivian altiplano. Used a campground in the Atacama as a workshop. Like the F650, the 990 wp is a known issue so I always carried a spare.

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Old 05-13-2012, 12:18 PM   #224
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by PorLaTierra View Post
Silviu beat me to it. I forgot to write about what we actually did. Yep water pump, and cam chain tensioner. I also got a really bad ass rear tire that I am stoked about. A little more dirt oriented than the Michelin Anakee that I had. Should be up and running as soon as I get that part in. I will be here at the Cranky Croc Hostel, hehe, waiting for the part. In the meantime I am going to take Silvius and many others advice and relocate the new VR.

Once I do that, and replace the tensioner, this bike will be good for a loooooong time!

Should have, live and learn. Should have replaced the VR and the water pump before Ieft. Wow I would change some things if I were to start over. I should probably do a little gear review eventually.

Thanks again guys.
Yea, hanging that VR (Voltage Regulator) out in the breeze will help a lot.
Unfortunately there are several other things to keep an eye on with your bike:
1. F650's are known for over charging and cooking the battery. Hopefully your new VR will keep things in spec. But measure voltage once in a while to check up. Should not exceed about 14.2 volts when running. (over 2500 rpm)

2. Bearings ... where to start? F650's are also famous for eating wheel bearings. Check them often and carry spares. If you do lots of water crossings you'll need to clean and re-pack with grease more often. No idea why this happens ... but it is very well documented.

When you have time/inclination, also cop a feel on your steering head, swing arm and linkage bearings. Mostly these will survive, it's mainly wheel bearings that seem to fail prematurely ... but check them all when you can.

3. The Shock holding bolt (Upper) can bend causing mis-alignment of the Shock which can then cause leaking and eventually failure. Not super common, but has happened to quite few doing hard off road miles on loaded bike. I think there may be some fixes for this ... not sure??
Ask the old timers ... and avoid the Kool-Aid drinkers claiming these bikes never have problems. That is a lie. Been there, towed them.

4. Forks. The OE Showa forks on your F650 are underspec'd for the bike.
Quite a few have broken right off the bike. This is rare but not unheard of.
Look for tell tale witness marks that may indicate cracking. There is documentation on all this if you read up or ask long time F650 riders/travelers.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:16 AM   #225
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Also, watch out for that huge pitbull at the cranky croc. He really doesn't like motorcycles. He got a hold of my buddy's leg as he was riding into their parking area and managed to tear it open pretty badly through his riding pants.
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