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Old 17 Jul 2003
Oz Oz is offline
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17 inch rear tires in cen/sth america

I am about to start heading south from Alaska and have been told 17 inch rear tires are rare and hard to find in cen/sth America. Anyone done this trip on a Dommie and are these tires hard to get hold of. If so i will put an 18 inch rim on the rear. Any info appreciated.
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Old 17 Jul 2003
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17 inch rear tyres are not that rare in Latin America. If you look hard enough and are organised (i.e. maybe carry one on your luggage for a few 100km) you will find them in all large cities. They may be more expensive than in the USA, but not much.

FYI: Most Pirelli tyres are made in Brasil. Their MT60 is a good allround tyre.
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Old 29 Jul 2003
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Oz -

I may be a dummy but I don't know what a "Dommie" is. If you are looking for tubeless 17s like on my Cagiva Gran Canyon, you may want to ship some ahead. But I am assuming you are looking for common tube-type 17" rear dual sport tires as found on KLRs, etc. These are not so easy to find as the 18"ers but there is some availability.

Belize: Rod Allen Hardware on the Western Hwy in Central Farm (a little ways east of San Ignacio). The one time that he didn't have them, he sent me to the Texaco station in Spanish Lookout, who had them. This Belize info is about eight years old, the rest of the info here is as of 2002.

Guatemala: This is dirtbike/dual sport heaven (even though they've been paving some of the jeep trails, like my old favorite from Sayache through Chisec into Coban). In Guatemala City there are a bunch of shops in Zona 4 where I have gotten 17" tires. Most notable is VRC on 7a Avenida 8-44 Zona 4. They saved my butt in '02 because they had an Acerbis headlight that I needed after mine got smashed by a rock kicked up by a truck. They have several other shops around the country, check out http://www.villeda.com
It would not surprise me to find 17" tires in some of the other larger Guatemalan cities like Zacapa, Chiquimula, Esquintla, etc., there is a lot of dual sport bike parts availability throughout the country.

Honduras: In Tegucigalpa/Comayaguela (my favorite Central American city, with the most gorgeous girls)the Honda dealer was just setting up in '02 and didn't have much inventory. But there is a small motorcycle parts shop in Comayaguela with a medium stock of tires, I bought an 18" there for my XR 650R. I forgot the name of the street, but it is the only main street that runs diagonal to the street grid, it runs southwest and uphill off of 6a Avenida, there is an Isuzu dealership at the bottom of the hill. The motorcycle parts shop is part way up the hill on the right on this major commercial street. A little further up the hill on the right is a family run car/truck tire shop that can change motorcycle tires (cheap).

El Salvador: This country has more critical needs than motorcycle tires. Availability of food that is more nutritious than papusas would be a start.

Nicaragua: The Yamaha dealer in Managua has a very weak supply of tires at high prices and I didn't find motorcycle tires anywhere else in the country.

Costa Rica: Aside from San Jose (where I would expect good tire availability), there is a Honda dealer on CA1 a ways north of San Jose called J. Esparza. I assume he distributes throughout the country because he has a large stock of tires. He is very helpful and even changed my tire and did other repairs on a Sunday for very little money. Tel 636-7896 or cell 382-0911.

In Perez Zeledon there is a motorcycle parts shop with tires and a full line of BelRay oils called Multi Repuesto tel 771-1210. The owner is friendly and also has cabins for rent outside of town.

Panama - The only possibility would be the Panama City area but I would not count on it. Some of the Mobil gas stations carry Mobil 1 oil, though.

I hope this info is helpful to anyone riding down who wants to get an idea of parts availability. This is definitely dual sport territory - pack light!

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Old 7 Oct 2003
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Ok, I´m answering my own question, but since this may be usefull to the beemer guys in 2 weeks, there is a great place in Cuernavaca (BMW rally on 15th) Jose speaks english and can get Metlers for you in 3 days max.

Jose Gomez
Euro Scooter
Emiliano Zapata No. 913
Col. Buenavista, Cuernavaca
(01 777) 313 88 40
102 21 65

How to find it. Come in on the route libre from mexico. When the road becomes 4 lane with an island in the middle it's about 1/2 a mile down on the right. Look for the KTM in the window.

Alternatively, go about 2 miles north from the city center along Morelos, which becomes Buenavista.

Because I don't want to carry the tire, he's even set me up with someone further south. I'll let you know if he's worth knowing about. (I may regret this....)

[This message has been edited by IanElsley (edited 11 October 2003).]
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Old 9 Nov 2003
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Ok, I did regret not getting the tire there.. the other place lied about having the tire.. (when will I learn?)

However, one way or another, I ended up getting tires and parts in Merida at a place called Bicimotos, on the intersection of Calle 59 and Calle 74. Mario owns the place, and speaks excelent English. I was told about him by the Kawasaki dealer in Oaxaca.. who has no KLR parts.

Anyway, tires take 2-4 days depending if you get Dunlop, Pirelli or Avon. Prices are not over inflated (I paid 880 pesos for a MT60 rear, got it in 2 days). Kawasaki parts take 5-7 days although he has some in stock and some non oem parts too, which are a LOT cheaper.

Also worth noting is the fact that they have good mechanics at this place, with the mechanics department being run more like a Euro/American operation than a mexican one, except for the number of disassembled bikes. Hourly rates reflect this, but are still very reasonable. (500 pesos for two guys, one for 3+ hours, the other changing the tire)
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