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Old 13 Apr 2013
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Bmw mexico dealers

I'm looking at getting a major service (30KM) on f 800 gs in the north of Mexico, before going back into the US, and to save mucho dineros.

Has anyone had any experience with bmw dealer north of Mexico city ?
Do they speak english ?
It would be a plus, as I will have to describe some technical issues.
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Old 13 Apr 2013
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If you mean BMW Lerma then I would say they are as good as most and better than some. At least 2 guys there speak English.
If you are comimg to Mex City and need a place to stay please tell me. I live about 45 mins from BMW Lerma.

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Old 13 Apr 2013
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BMW in Mexico is a hit or miss affair. You should read the following, understand it, or ignore it a your own peril.

Don't expect stellar service from any of them. Motorrad Mexico will also not give a damn if the dealers screw you or screw something up.
Some things are going to be a lot more expensive, other things will be the same price. Don't expect that a fully factory trained mechanic will be working on your bike. BMW dealers pay their mechanics dirt wages and the mechanics usually ride small Chinese scooters or maybe a Korean pizza bike. Few, if any, actually own a BMW motorcycle.

You will have zero consumer rights or protection if anything goes wrong.
Not so long ago on this forum, a rider took his bike in for service at a Mexico City dealer and ended up with enough problems to fill a page or two of ongoing drama.

The service at 30,000km on an F bike is a fork oil change apart from the normal oil and filter change. The valves are done at 20,000km intervals (inspection) and then there is the "annual" service which is usually a bunch of costly things a dealer adds on that are not always necessary.

The 30,000km service is not a "major service" per se.

You can get a Hi-Flo oil filter and 3 liters of Castrol motorcycle oil for about $400 pesos with tax and do it yourself. Then you can get the forks done by certified BMW tech and be good to go. The dealer will charge you about $800 to $900 pesos for the oil change and more if they have to drop your aftermarket skid pan if you have one. They will use the exact same oil you can buy anywhere however they will charge you about $30 pesos or $40 pesos more per liter. Sometimes it is in a fancy bottle with BMW on it, sometimes it is just a normal liter bottle of Castrol 20W-50. Do not expect them to have any other oil than that in stock.

If you skipped your 20,000km valve check, good for you, I have never heard of an F800 or F650 needing the valves adjusted at the 20,000km mark. I have been running an F650GS here in Mexico for the past 3 and a half years and more than 50,000kms. I had to use BMW dealer services during the full warranty period or the warranty was invalid. That is how things are here.

The dealers will also use the long snout new oil filter which interferes with some aftermarket engine protectors leaving you without the engine protector if it was built for the bike when only the short, stubby oil filters were available.

Major services can be done by independent factory trained mechanics who are worth seeking out. These guys usually own their own shop and actually have ridden and owned a wide range of BMW bikes. Rafael Lago at Motopits in Veracruz is one of the best all around bike mechanics in Mexico, he is probably in the top 5 of BMW mechanics in Mexico, fully factory trained and independent.

Make really sure you need the service or perhaps you can wait. There are is one full on BMW dealer in Arizona that you can trust and there is an excellent independent BMW mechanic in Daly, Texas. The MotoHank shop run by Hank Arriazola. Google him and you will see what a real BMW mechanic does, or visit Rafael, here in Veracruz.

You might get lucky and be fully satisfied with your treatment by a Mexico City dealer or a Mexican BMW franchise dealer in another state, but the odds are against this. You will see some dealers fall all over some customers, the high rollers that have bought many bikes from them and use the dealer for changing a light bulb on their bikes, that is quite common. You will also see things like poorly bled brakes, untorqued fasteners, stolen parts, swapped parts, billing for work not performed, waiting on parts, failure to meet delivery time to customer, etc...

If you opt for any dealer in Mexico, prior to paying your bill, relax, and go and take a very, very good look at your bike from top to bottom and stem to stern and inspect as much as you possibly can. Remember, you will be paying a tax rate of 16% on your bill, which can be pretty high if they decide that something is wrong and just has to be changed etc... and 16% on top of an inflated bill is just more money down the drain. Dealers sometimes are famous for delivering bikes at the last minute at closing time and rushing you through the payment process making you anxious to get on your bike and leave. Resist this.

Just a heads up. I have been living permanently and riding on and off road here in Mexico for two decades and have known the country since 1978 and there are very few shops and/or mechanics I would trust. Remember, large capacity motorcycles, including BMW's are fairly recent arrivals in Mexico due to import restrictions in the past. It has only been within the past two decades that large capacity bikes were being purchased here on a regular basis by normal citizens and not fleet buys like Harleys for Mexico City bike cops. Even today, dealers do not carry a full range of bikes, many models are not available, however BMW dealers do carry the complete range of products but will not regularly stock parts for all of them. Yes, you can wait 3 days for an air filter.

For the record, about 15 years ago, Arlen Ness, the noted San Francisco bike customizer, bought a used fleet of Harley cop bikes, thinking he would have the bases for some interesting bikes he could build with them. What he got was a pile of junk he could barley scrounge for anything. The bikes were beat to hell and very poorly maintained, nobody gave a damn as long as they started and could move. Yes, this is a Harley example, but don't expect anything different from BMW.

Hope your experience is a good one.
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Old 13 Apr 2013
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Go to texas or Areizona, ride safe chris

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Old 16 Apr 2013
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+1 on that great essay reply Mike .
As you say , about the only place where a real saving could be expected is
on the low cost of labour , and if things get screwed up it is not worth it. Caveat emptor. Parts may be unavailable and a standard response was a month or two wait for them to come from Germany!

Now Chef ,I am curious and a bit confused by your distance terminology which seems to be a bastard offspring of two systems.
By " 30 KM " what is it you really mean ?
Is it 30 kilometers. Unlikely
Do you mean 30 000 kilometers
Or, by borrowing an incorrect use of metric symbols ,
do you mean 30 000 MILES , or as you imply 30 kilo - miles
I know, I know the USA is not officially metric , but technically it
already really is .
Just , everybody, be clear in what system you are using and stick
to agreed upon international standard symbols to avoid confusion.
Google that video on Orange County Choppers on Why we use Metric
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Old 17 Apr 2013
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Thank You Mike for that lengthy post, you could not be any clearer as for the potential problems ahead.
I have 2 very good experiences myself at 2 bmw dealers, 1 in guadalajara
and 2nd in Oaxaca few months back, but i have to admit that it was rather simple procedure both times, bleeding brakes, and oil change, and it was done with bmw courtesy and knowledge from the mechanics as I was with them both times.
But I do agree that for more complex work like my oil forks at 30,000k and brake pads and few other little things, yes I might have to wait then for Phoenix, Az.
As for the confusion about the metric and imperial, well you are right Sjoerd
it is 30,000k but as I have to admit my origin which is French, we do in Europe use the KM, but since I have been living in Canada for over 25 years, I should know better but now I know better,thank you
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Old 17 Apr 2013
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Brakes are easy, I do them in my garage, takes 10 mins for both front and rear. Great Oaxaca worked out for you, personally, I would rather slit my wrists than ever let them touch my bike.
Try MotoHank in Texas or let me know if you need the Arizona dealer details.
Happy motoring!
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Old 19 Apr 2013
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brakes are really easy

Hey Mike,

You are right again, they are dead easy unless you have never done it before, I will be doing it in the future for sure from now on that I have seen them doing it.
Fork oil, for well I have no clue, probably a lot more complex to do I assume.
My buddy is sending his bike from Seattle to bmw phoenix where I should get my fork oil changed there at the same time ( don't know if there is more than one ? ) and we will ride back to Vancouver BC together for 12 days and also
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Old 19 Apr 2013
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Chef, the front are only a little more bother because you need to unbolt the caliper, but the rear are a piece of cake.
This is probably the easiest bike I have had for brakes and oil changes.
But wait for the fun and games when you go to change your spark plugs!!
Serious pain in the arse.
I wouldn't let anyone here touch my brakes apart from Rafa at Motopits.
The maintenance is simple and you should do it yourself and avoid delays.
There are a ton of videos up on the Tube for maintenance and you'll get a lot more satisfaction.
If you can cook, you can maintain the bike, I would bet your recipes are more complicated than the maintenance learning curve!
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Old 20 Apr 2013
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Hey Mikemike,

I do know how to change my brake pads and swap tires as well but since they probably have to remove my front wheel to do the fork oil I thought I would ask them to do it at the same time as it takes 1 mn to change the pads once the wheel is off.
I will not attempt on the other hand the spark plugs as I heard they're like you say, a pain the ass and they will do the valve timing at 40k anyway.
Do you know when the wheel bearings are meant to be done on the schedule ?
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Old 20 Apr 2013
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Wheel bearings are hit and miss. There were a lot of problems with rear wheel bearings on the F800 and the F650's. I have seen a few cases of complete collapse. I changed my front and rear wheel bearings, complete with seals etc... at 40,000kms. along with the steering head bearings which had been done at 20,000kms the first time.
The front pad change on the F800 requires two sets as you have the twin disc set up. To do the fork service they will disassemble the front end. Put the money you save on the brake pad swap towards the steering head bearings (I would swap them out because it is easy and cheap to do once the forks are off the bike) BUT DO NOT BUY THE BEARINGS FROM BMW!!!!!
You will pay a fortune for crap bearings if you buy them from the dealer.
But the bearings for the wheels, the steering, along with the seals and dust shields etc... at a bearing supply house. This is super easy to do, most bearing suppliers are very easy to deal with and helpful. You will literally save more than $150 dollars by using better quality bearings. Buying them from the dealer is a sucker play that BMW has been doing for years and is pure corporate rip off and greed. Trust me on this one. With the money you save on the bearings, it will pay for the service! You can also supply a better quality and much cheaper fork oil that you buy yourself and save even more and have better quality in the bike.
The valve inspection (they probably won't need adjustment) will require a lot of time and has a finicky gasket seal that has to be properly placed or you will have an annoying oil leak.
You are quickly approaching a large outlay of cash period of ownership of the bike, every 40,000kms you run into this. Save money by using better quality parts and pieces from the aftermarket suppliers and pay for the labor of a good technician. This will prevent you from getting into a chronic cash outlay situation and multiple expensive visits to dealers.
By 80,000kms you might be looking at a rotor/stator as well.
I wouldn't recommend running a K&N filter, you might save some money, but the bike already runs lean and it will lean out further with the K&N, just use the original type air cleaner and swap it out around every 15,000kms or so. Maybe 20,000kms with the air cleaner if you can.
Use the best quality non-BMW parts for fork oil and bearings, I also use different brake pads and oil filters and oil. BMW has a nasty habit of using poor quality bearings through their dealers, they also re-badge products like oil and double the price or triple the price.
BMW has always equaled "bring more wallet".
Say "no" to some of the OEM parts and you'll be putting more quality into the bike.
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Old 11 Feb 2014
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BMW certified mechanic in Veracruz, Mexico

Thanks Mike For the recommendation of Rafa at Motopits! He Provides a great professional service and is a BMW, Susuki (and Ducati if I remember correctly) certified mechanic. He has the basic wear type parts in stock and has access to any new replacement parts as any dealer does. On top of that he has more access to used parts than any BMW dealer would. To find Rafa you can do a quick Google map search for "Motopits" or find him at:

Av. Americas esq. Porto Carrero
91919‎ Heroica Veracruz‎ Veracruz-Llave

Rafa does not speak Spanish, but can be reached at:
+52 1 229 207 0159.

If you only speak English, I would suggest sending MikeMike a PM and would expect he would be happy to assist in some translation. MikeMike is also a great information source as he has lived/ rode in Veracruz for 20 years. He can point you in the direction of many great local roads to ride instead of the crappy coastal route (Mex # 180)

Background of my adventure: I am a Canadian riding from Vancouver, Canada for 3 months. I am riding a 2002 f650gs Dakar along with my friend on his 2013 f800gs. So far we rode down the western us and Baja Mexico, took the ferry to Mazatlan and continued to Costa Rica before turning around. We rode north to the yucitan and then to Veracruz, Mexico. While rolling into Veracruz, my rear wheel bearing went out. Rafa at Motopits was able to replace the wheel bearings in the rear wheel hub same day. Only problem was that my crush drive hub bearing needed replaced as well as the axle and drive hub itself. There were no new parts in all of Mexico! Rafa was able to track me down a used axle and drive hub for a fraction of the cost of new. The parts came across Mexico in 2 days and were in really good condition! I can't say enough about how thankful I am to have heard about Rafa at Motopits from this thread. I am now back on schedule in Texas headding to Vancouver instead of being stuck in Veracruz waiting for a couple more weeks on a package o expensive parts from Germany!
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Old 12 Feb 2014
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I know Rafa is happy to hear you guys are rolling on your journey.
Glad to hear it worked out well for you, come on back down soon!
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bmw, dealer, mechanic, parts, veracruz

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