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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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Old 19 Sep 2010
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Luanda BMW motorcycle help


Well, I got about 200km from the DRC border before I had something possibly ugly happen to the bike (2009 BMW R1200 GSA).

I'm back in Luanda with the bike at the yacht club and am looking for anyone who might now of a mech. who knows BMWs. The president of the club rides a BMW, so I'll be asking him, but any other info would be great!

Thanks, and I'll update with the scene on the bike as soon as I get a better look whats going on. Whatever it was it started with the sound of metal-on-metal crunching and now the electrics are pooched...
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Old 19 Sep 2010
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Hey DR,

Sorry to hear about the mechancial trouble. Hope it can all be figured out.

For big bike help in Luanda, there are a few individual owners, but I found that they almost all imported their bikes and dealt with their spares themselves. There are two dealers that I found, a Suzuki auto dealer with a sideline motorcycle delership (no spare parts) and as of last year, a KTM dealer. The KTM dealer has probably the best mechanic in the city as he is Portuguese I believe and received his training somehwhere in Europe. He may not be able to help you with your specific issues, but as a guy to help you troubleshoot probably the best option. GPS co-ordinates I don't have on me, but you sounds like you have met the local bike club members and they will be able to put you onto them. If you can't contact the members on a timely basis, I'd get a taxi to take you to the Suzuki auto dealer near downtown, and the guy there is a member of the club and will give you directions or take you to the KTM dealer.
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Old 20 Sep 2010
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Thanks for the info!

I've got a number of hooks in the water and we'll see what happens. I also noticed a few big bikes (including BMWs) parked in front of the big oil company buildings and I'll put notes on them when I walk by...

I'll keep you updated and be sure to post any details that might help someone else in the future.
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Old 21 Sep 2010
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Good luck, hope you get it all sorted out. If you need any help (e.g. someone to organize and ship parts to Luanda) give me a call or drop me a line.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece, but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, shouting GERONIMO!"
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Old 21 Sep 2010
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Fancy a beer?

Hi DRad,

My wife and I live in Luanda, and we did a bike trip down the African west coast in 2007/8.

There's a BMW car dealership in Luanda, can't remember if they have bikes or not. There are others too, Yamaha, Honda and the previously mentioned KTM.

It will take time, as always, but I'm sure there's a way to get you rolling again..

I'll PM you my contact details and put some s in the fridge.

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Old 26 Sep 2010
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Hi all,

Sorry for the delay in updating this, but as soon as I was mobile I had to make a dash for the border as both my Angolan and DRC visas were running out...

Turns out my new (less than 5000km) alternator belt snapped and in doing so, exposed the fact that my battery couldn't hold any charge at all. I'm still trying to figure out why the bike didn't give me a battery voltage warning and why when I last checked the battery (when I changed the A-belt) it was reading solid... Mostly likely has something to so with my relative cluelessness...

So, luckily I kept my old belt as a spare and the KTM dealer in Lunanda had a battery that worked (scaaaary Luanda price of $232 for it!!!). So with that and a HUGE amount of help from the guys at the local bike club (AMIGOS DA PICADA) I was able to get on the road.

About the help, I really mean it- these guys were pure gold- from lending me a battery out of one of their own bikes to ride to the shop, to giving me lifts when I needed them, to taking me out to dinner! Really, just some of the coolest guys I've met on the trip so far.

Thanks for the notes and support- it really makes a difference when your riding alone to know that there are people out there that are willing to help.

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