Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

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-   -   Help, In Bolivia-Potosi (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/south-america/help-in-bolivia-potosi-39912)

pslootmans 5 Jan 2009 21:24

Help, In Bolivia-Potosi
Hej guys,
Since we arrived at the border with Argentina - Bolivia, I have starting problems with my BMW F650gs...is this normal ? I thought with injection the altitude shouldnt be a problem.
We are in Potosi, does anybody know if there is a mecanic who could help me out if necessary?

tmotten 6 Jan 2009 00:46

Ours are finding it also more difficult but they get there the second time without fail. I can only bring it down to the lack of oxigen in the air. I know FI adjusts the fuel jet based on this reading, but that doesnt mean less oxigen means its not tougher. Its a very small opening on the air box nozzle. Thats why unifilter dont do a pre_filter. Some guys cut a section out of it to improve performance. Have a look in the F650 faq for it.

We just crossed paso de jama (4832m) without any problems but in Salta my bike wouldnt start untill I removed the nozzle after being parked for 2 days. No problem since but it is working harder for everything now. Including starting.

Is the filter clean?

mollydog 6 Jan 2009 01:21

No one can help you if you don't provide D E T A I L S
Best of luck,

demito 6 Jan 2009 10:55

low octane fuel

I was in the Area in the beginning of the year and imo the most likely cause of this problem is the low octane fuel in Bolivia. Argentina has 92 octane, Bolivia 85. For a 1150GSA there is a mod you can make yourself by connecting pins from the cat code plug. For the 650 I don't even know if there is a solution. Without the mod, the engine ran pretty bad and starting was difficult.


gatogato 6 Jan 2009 14:50

very true about the DETAILS. We want to help but we can not read your mind. Are you traveling North or South? There is a good mechanic in Cochabamba who can help you out but that is a ways away from Potosi.

daveg 8 Jan 2009 01:41


Originally Posted by demito (Post 221679)
Bolivia 85.

How did you find that out? I asked tons of people any noone even knew what I was talking about

It seemed even lower than that. I was using 84 in peru and it seemed stronger.

Once I got to Calama and put in some 97, i literally wheeled accidentally out of the gas station.

mollydog 8 Jan 2009 03:22

Who knew? :helpsmilie::thumbup1::welcome::rofl::rofl:

pslootmans 17 Jan 2009 20:27

sorry for no details :-)
hej guys, sorry for no details, you were right. am not soo technically. luckily i bumped into tmotten in Lago Colorado (border Chili - bolivia) and discussed a few things. checked the necessary stuff, spark plugs, battery, etc...nothing extraordinary.
the very bad starting probably comes from the small air inlet which this bike has (as tmotten explained). we have in the meantime crossed the border with Bolivia, into Peru. And when we were in Coroico (which is a lot lower, at 1700 m) the bike started at the first go.
so we are heading forward, only when we are at high altitute (3000 to 4000 m) it takes a while before I get it going. but for the time being it still starts.
we are heading to Cuzco, then to the coast of Peru, Nazka Likes, Arequipa, then down to Chili again. by the end of february we want to be in Valparaiso again.

Tmotten, where are you in the meantime ? Did you get through and did you ride on the Salar ?

In Peru it is 84 octane, took for the first time petrol this morning. I have still 10 liters with 97 octane in my jerrycans, in case off ;-)...

cheer and thanks to you all for your quick reactions, some of the explanations are to complicated for me, sorry for that.


tmotten 17 Jan 2009 22:39

No worries. Enjoyed talking bikes for a while. Glad it was something that simple. I can definately recommend Unifilters. For some reason there seems to be an American and an Aussie website. Not sure what that is all about and if it´s the same company, but the Aussie guys are really good on the phone as well.

we just left Coroico and spent last night in Copacabana. In Puno now on our way to Cusco, so I don´t think we get to continue our conversation.

Altiplano was tough on Mars eh. Doesn´t help that she´s sick for the last 4 weeks and that she keeps getting cought under the pannier. Had a few stacks in the second bit as well (sold on the soft luggage now. She really hurt herself on ones of the stacks.

Didn´t ride on the Salar. It was covered in water. The middle was sort of dry, but no way would we have been able to get onto it. As luck would have it we met Sp4ce and Nina (advrider.com) and we shared a 4WD and stories. Pretty good all up. Hope you guys have a great rest of you trip.

noel di pietro 21 Jan 2009 16:15

Full circle
He guys,

So the Circle is full. Enjoyed talking to all of you guys a lot, although on different moments. I thought you would meet up sometime later, possibly in Bolivia! And so you have.

All enjoy the rest of the trip and isn't this Hubb a wonderfull thing!!

Cheers from a drizzly Netherlands

Noel (and Marica)
with a brown face but cold feet

tmotten 21 Jan 2009 23:58

Eh mate. How´s things with you guys. We really enjoyed you guys´ company as well. Thanks for the tips on some mechanical things and torques as well. We couldn´t believe we ended up staying 8 days in Salta. We were going stir crazy, but did end up doing a full service, minus the valve check though. Somehow a few others in our street ended up doing work on their bike as well. Pretty funny.

demito 31 Jan 2009 10:27


Originally Posted by daveg (Post 222007)
How did you find that out? I asked tons of people any noone even knew what I was talking about

It seemed even lower than that. I was using 84 in peru and it seemed stronger.

Once I got to Calama and put in some 97, i literally wheeled accidentally out of the gas station.

Take a look at my website i-spog --- explore my trip. There is a pic of the mod somewhere on the site. I did it with two paperclips in the south of Bolivia ;-).

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