just wanted to share some info on bike shops in south america that i used. i had reason to visit quite a few
in some i only serviced the bike, others helped me with more serious problems.
don't recall many addresses, but just ask another local biker...
cuenca: mr moto: helpful (has a lot of offroad stuff)
loja: compucars: a car shop, eduardo is a good car mechanic, but rides bikes (and speaks good english). i was on a bmw, which is a car on 2 wheels anyway, so he was great.
la paz: walter nosiglia, the honda dealer. might also store your bike. v.good
iquique: sergio cortez. details in the footprint s.am handbook. really great guy. has a gs bmw, wífe is swiss
santiago: freddy valdaramma, near lira street, the bike shop alley... ask around
temuco: schurch (don't recall correct spelling): on panam, as you drive in from north, on right side, light blue sign, speaks german, not cheap, but good, trained in germany.
temuco: servitrens: an bit further along from schurch on left side. a very dirty workshop, but edgardo, the owner, is a superb bloke who will really go out of his way to help. don't abuse his kindness. speaks german and a bit of english.
esquel: good man, hard to find, up hill, gravel road. ask in town.
ushuaia: excellent fellow, forget his name: as you head along coast road for lapataia, just before turn off to airport, on right side
natal: on main rd into town: honda dealer on right side just after an overpass. easy to miss.
salvador: the official suzuki dealer: excellent fellow. really helped me out when my bike snapped. boss speaks no english, but some of his clients (who come round to hang out) speak a bit. also nearby is the yamaha dealer. very helpful....
in fact, i'd have to say all the bike people i met were very helpful, particularly if they were dealing with jap bikes. some of our friends with connections to that german marque were 'slightly' arrogant (eg williamson balfour bmw in santiago/chile).
however, i found the bmw clubs of brazil and costa rica were superb and also the bmw dealer in san jose/costa rica was very very helpful.
the bmw dealer man in guatemala city was dodgy, and his mechanics dangerous. IMO.
all the above are just my opinions. if i haven't mentioned someone, it was because i luckily managed to avoid them (i.e. there were one or 2 moments where i actually rode my bike, rather than worked on it)
enjoy south america
[This message has been edited by chris (edited 10 December 2002).]