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  #1  
Old 10 Jan 2012
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Question Stuck with engine problem in Mendoza, Argentina... Ideas?

Hi all,

I've gotten myself into somewhat of a bind down here in Argentina. Riding a 1993 DR650 around South America - toward the end of the oil lifespan I think the level got too low or contaminated, because my camshaft, rocker box, and rocker arms are worn beyond safe riding levels (at least for a trip down Rte 40). Must have been an overtemp sometime in the last 1000km or so .

My problem is this: there are no new parts available in Argentina that I've been able to locate, and the only used part I've found would be sight-unseen and $1100 USD from a completely unknown buyer in Cordoba. New parts from the USA would be $900 plus shipping and wasted time. Some of the parts could be repaired, but the aluminum rocker box case is the most damaged part and it cannot be repaired (according to the mechanic I have been working with).

I only have 2 months left in the trip and really want to see Patagonia, so I'm tempted to get rid of the bike ASAP and travel by bus to see Ushuaia and Bariloche. The problem is, the bike is registered in Bolivia and I don't know of any way to sell it here in Argentina after repairs, so I'd need to ride it back to Bolivia. That's a lot of time, so I'm thinking about parting out the bike or shipping it back to Bolivia on a truck to try my luck with repairs or sale up there.

Kind of a complicated situation - the bike is worth about $3500 in Bolivia, so I can't spend a huge amount on repairs. The $1600 I'm looking at now (including parts and labor) is above my threshold.

Does anyone have ideas about what I could do next? Mendoza is beautiful, but I'm getting sick of being stuck here

Muchas gracias,
Luke
Seattle, WA






Last edited by ljensen; 11 Jan 2012 at 00:04. Reason: Photos were not displaying, editing photo links again
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  #2  
Old 11 Jan 2012
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I found this:

DR650 DR 650 Complete Cylinder Head Motor Engine Top | eBay

everything from the head up, with a 10 second search on EBay. The ad says they ship worldwide.

You could try www.mercadolibre.com kind of the Latino Ebay.

Try Javier at Dakar Motos in Buenos Aires. He sees a lot of travelers bikes there, and may have access to parts for bikes not sold in Argentina.

Meanwhile, enjoy a bife de chorizo and a Quilmes for me!
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  #3  
Old 11 Jan 2012
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from the looks of bearing in above pic's... there may be damage other places too. anywhere oil was starved is possible damage.

has the mechanic torn rest of motor down?

if rest of motor looks like above pic's. I'd try salvaging an entire used motor from a bike that's wrecked and being parted out. less risk and probably cheaper too.

another option is to sell the bike as is ... let someone part it out and be done.
let a local Bolivian drive there and pickup dead bike up.
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  #4  
Old 11 Jan 2012
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Thanks CY and Andy,

Andy, thanks for doing a search for me! I found that in another 10 second search, but unfortunately it doesn't match my model year (only '92 through '95 are safe for the '93 model.). I've found some hopefuly parts on eBay too, like this one, but none of them are much better than my parts - I've sent emails to a few online part yards in the US but haven't had any response.

CY, my mechanic says he has looked at the bottom end and finds no problem regarding the age and miles of the bike. I know it looks rough... I think your last idea of parting out the bike here, or shipping to Bolivia, is as good as I can do. Anyway, I appreciate your ideas here.

Thanks
Luke
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  #5  
Old 11 Jan 2012
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Hi Luke,

My advice is to cut your losses, get rid of the bike as quickly as possible and move on. Forget about parting it out. Forget about shipping it back to Bolivia. Just sell it as is where is and put it behind you. You've been in Mendoza long enough. Patagonia is calling.

I have seen people stuck for weeks trying to salvage a dead horse. Dumping money and time, waiting for parts, throwing good money into a questionable bike, waiting for parts to clear customs, paying extortionist 100 per cent customs duty, shipping fees, additional parts and mechanics time etc. etc.

Shoot it, put it out of it's misery and move on. Any mechanic who says the bottom end is fine with top end damage that severe is telling you what you want to hear. I am here to tell you the harsh truth. That motor is toast. And buying a used motor that would fit a nearly 20 year old thrashed Bolivian DR and shipping it to Mendoza would be expensive and time consuming. (Although it would appeal to the masochists among us.)

If I was in a similar situation with two months left on a killer vacation in South America, I would try to sell the dead DR for a few hundred bucks cash in Mendoza, take a bus to Santiago Chile where it's easy for a foreigner to buy a bike, get a cheap, disposable Honda CG125 or Suzuki GN125 for a few hundred bucks, ride down the Careterra Austral for a couple weeks until the final paperwork is done, cruise back up to the Registro Civil in Coihaique or Puerto Montt to pick up the final paper work and head over to Patagonia for a few weeks. Sell the bike cheap after cruising around for a few weeks and fly home.

I would do the bus tour backpacker routine only as an option of last resort. That's just me though.

If it's any consolation, it is not the first time someone has failed to check the dipstick and starved the top end. Thankfully, it's not a new expensive bike.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Last edited by John Downs; 11 Jan 2012 at 12:30.
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  #6  
Old 11 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyT View Post
I found this:

DR650 DR 650 Complete Cylinder Head Motor Engine Top | eBay

everything from the head up, with a 10 second search on EBay. The ad says they ship worldwide.

You could try www.mercadolibre.com kind of the Latino Ebay.

Try Javier at Dakar Motos in Buenos Aires. He sees a lot of travelers bikes there, and may have access to parts for bikes not sold in Argentina.

Meanwhile, enjoy a bife de chorizo and a Quilmes for me!
I think Javier has direct access to about 5 parts covering all brands of motorcycles.

I think that if you repair your DR650 you are definitely going to need to have the parts air-shipped to you.

I have been in a similar situation to what you are in now. My advice is to cut your losses asap and sell the bike within the next week. Put an ad in the Mendoza newspaper and go around to the bike shops and see what they will offer you. The key is to contact as many people as you can in as short of a time as you can and take the best offer.

You did not go to Latin America so you could be a used motorcycle salesman. You went so that you could travel to amazing places and meet interesting people.

I rode my 2001 F650gs all the way down to Tierra del Fuego on Ruta 3. On the way there and the way back I had my chain break twice and my clutch cable almost break. If you ride Ruta 40 down there you are likely to break some parts and I hope you have extra spare parts to replace them with because the moto shops in the Southern half of Argentina do not stock any replacement parts. They have to be shipped from the North which takes $$$ and time.

I highly recommend that you take the bus down to Tierra del Fuego or even just fly down there, because most of the scenery on the way down there is wasteland that looks identical to Nebraska and it is windy as hell. It also rains a lot on the way down there. By riding down there you will spend a fortune on gas to experience mostly crappy scenery and crappy conditions.

It would cost $100's of dollars to have those parts air-shipped to you. It is also going to cost $100's of dollars in customs fees. Then you will have to worry about finding a good enough mechanic to do the job right and that everything goes perfectly. Shipping your bike to Bolivia would cost $500+ and you would also have to worry about escorting your bike through customs so that it makes it.

I had the chance to sell my 2001 F650gs in La Rioja to a judge for $4000 and I passed on the offer because I wanted to say that I rode all the way to the tip. Trust me, that riding the Southern half of Argentina is overrated and you will be happier if you just sell the bike now and rid yourself of the tremendous problem that it is creating for you.
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  #7  
Old 11 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Downs View Post
Hi Luke,

My advice is to cut your losses, get rid of the bike as quickly as possible and move on. Forget about parting it out. Forget about shipping it back to Bolivia. Just sell it as is where is and put it behind you. You've been in Mendoza long enough. Patagonia is calling.

I have seen people stuck for weeks trying to salvage a dead horse. Dumping money and time, waiting for parts, throwing good money into a questionable bike, waiting for parts to clear customs, paying extortionist 100 per cent customs duty, shipping fees, additional parts and mechanics time etc. etc.

Shoot it, put it out of it's misery and move on. Any mechanic who says the bottom end is fine with top end damage that severe is telling you what you want to hear. I am here to tell you the harsh truth. That motor is toast. And buying a used motor that would fit a nearly 20 year old thrashed Bolivian DR and shipping it to Mendoza would be expensive and time consuming. (Although it would appeal to the masochists among us.)

If I was in a similar situation with two months left on a killer vacation in South America, I would try to sell the dead DR for a few hundred bucks cash in Mendoza, take a bus to Santiago Chile where it's easy for a foreigner to buy a bike, get a cheap, disposable Honda CG125 or Suzuki GN125 for a few hundred bucks, ride down the Careterra Austral for a couple weeks until the final paperwork is done, cruise back up to the Registro Civil in Coihaique or Puerto Montt to pick up the final paper work and head over to Patagonia for a few weeks. Sell the bike cheap after cruising around for a few weeks and fly home.

I would do the bus tour backpacker routine only as an option of last resort. That's just me though.

If it's any consolation, it is not the first time someone has failed to check the dipstick and starved the top end. Thankfully, it's not a new expensive bike.

Kindest regards,
John Downs

Great advice there John. One of the hardest lessons to learn in life is when to cut your losses and move on.

I hitchhiked the Caterra Austral and it was amazing. You should see if you can get a bus tour for the Caterra Austral and Ruta 40 Luke. They are amazing roads, but definitely problematic since they are at the end of the trip for most riders and if you breakdown you are pretty much screwed.
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  #8  
Old 11 Jan 2012
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Agree,get rid of it.Someone there will use it.Get some $$$$ and move on.Contact the Mendoza HU community maybe someone can buy it?
Enjoy the rest of your trip on a diferent mode!
Karl
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  #9  
Old 12 Jan 2012
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Originally Posted by gatogato View Post
I think Javier has direct access to about 5 parts covering all brands of motorcycles.

How do you know that?????Didn´t stay at his place.....think?

I think that if you repair your DR650 you are definitely going to need to have the parts air-shipped to you.

I have been in a similar situation to what you are in now. My advice is to cut your losses asap and sell the bike within the next week. Put an ad in the Mendoza newspaper and go around to the bike shops and see what they will offer you. The key is to contact as many people as you can in as short of a time as you can and take the best offer.

You did not go to Latin America so you could be a used motorcycle salesman. You went so that you could travel to amazing places and meet interesting people.

I rode my 2001 F650gs all the way down to Tierra del Fuego on Ruta 3. On the way there and the way back I had my chain break twice and my clutch cable almost break. If you ride Ruta 40 down there you are likely to break some parts and I hope you have extra spare parts to replace them with because the moto shops in the Southern half of Argentina do not stock any replacement parts. They have to be shipped from the North which takes $$$ and time.

How dou you know that..... All shops???? think again?

I highly recommend that you take the bus down to Tierra del Fuego or even just fly down there, because most of the scenery on the way down there is wasteland that looks identical to Nebraska and it is windy as hell. It also rains a lot on the way down there. By riding down there you will spend a fortune on gas to experience mostly crappy scenery and crappy conditions.

Crappy scenery?????You just speed up all the way on your F650 GS...... think????

It would cost $100's of dollars to have those parts air-shipped to you. It is also going to cost $100's of dollars in customs fees. Then you will have to worry about finding a good enough mechanic to do the job right and that everything goes perfectly. Shipping your bike to Bolivia would cost $500+ and you would also have to worry about escorting your bike through customs so that it makes it.

Tax expert too????........think?

I had the chance to sell my 2001 F650gs in La Rioja to a judge for $4000 and I passed on the offer because I wanted to say that I rode all the way to the tip. Trust me, that riding the Southern half of Argentina is overrated and you will be happier if you just sell the bike now and rid yourself of the tremendous problem that it is creating for you.
Southern part is overrated?????.....very subjective....I trust you


The judge was a lucky guy then.......I think!

Geoff take an aspirin......you where thinking to much.....

Karl
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  #10  
Old 12 Jan 2012
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Everyone, thanks for the input!

I'm definitely in the state of mind to ditch the bike within the next few days. Will instruct the mechanic to re-assemble and give me the bike - it still runs fine - and then get as much out of it as I can.

Remaining question though, and I know it's been covered here but I can't find a good thread with search - what do I need to be careful about selling a Bolivian-registered bike in Argentina? Should I offer it without papers, or include the Bolivian papers with the bike?

Take care
Luke
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Old 12 Jan 2012
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  #12  
Old 12 Jan 2012
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Hola Luke

siento lo de tu moto. Unas gotas de aceite quedaron en el piso de casa donde estuvo.
Me parece raro que no puedas conseguir los repuestos, ya que hay muchas de esas motos en Argentina. De Buenos Aires a Mendoza tendrían que estar de un día para otro, el mecánico tendría que tener su proveedor. Si no fueran japoneses funcionan de todos modos, tal vez de inferior calidad pero te permitiría completar el viaje.
Si decidís vender la moto en Mendoza estás violando la ley argentina: todas las motos usadas que entran al país tienen que salir. Si de todas formas la vendés sin papeles tendrás que denunciar un robo para no quedar mal con la Aduana, sos joven y seguramente habrá otra oportunidad de andar en moto por estos lados.
Levantá una copa de buen Malbec a mi salud... y si puedo ayudarte con algo decime
Raúl de Junín
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Old 12 Jan 2012
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Hi again everyone,

Looks like I may have found a way to get a (slow) repair done here in Mendoza and hit the road by bus while it's in progress. I'll return in a few weeks, get the bike back to Bolivia, and try to get a better bang for buck there. I'll be in touch with the mechanic as we progress, but it shouldn't require much from me so I can go enjoy the trip...

Will be back with an update when this plays itself out.

Ride safe
Luke
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  #14  
Old 13 Jan 2012
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DR650 at Dakar Motos

dakar Motors had a crashed DR650 last year that belonged to Annette Person. It has a good motor in it but the bike has an expired TVIP and has been wrecked. I'd call them and ask about buying the entire motor and swapping it out.
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Old 13 Jan 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rauleloy View Post
Hola Luke

siento lo de tu moto. Unas gotas de aceite quedaron en el piso de casa donde estuvo.
Me parece raro que no puedas conseguir los repuestos, ya que hay muchas de esas motos en Argentina. De Buenos Aires a Mendoza tendrían que estar de un día para otro, el mecánico tendría que tener su proveedor. Si no fueran japoneses funcionan de todos modos, tal vez de inferior calidad pero te permitiría completar el viaje.
Si decidís vender la moto en Mendoza estás violando la ley argentina: todas las motos usadas que entran al país tienen que salir. Si de todas formas la vendés sin papeles tendrás que denunciar un robo para no quedar mal con la Aduana, sos joven y seguramente habrá otra oportunidad de andar en moto por estos lados.
Levantá una copa de buen Malbec a mi salud... y si puedo ayudarte con algo decime
Raúl de Junín
Raul
Lo de la denuncia.........no se y los pobres diablos que compran la moto????
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