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Old 19 Jun 2006
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Exclamation Help,my F650GS shock was broken in Kuelap,Peru..!!

Dear Guys,I need your advise on the following..

A few days ago,I pass through millions of deep pot hole on dirt road to Kuelap,famous fortess in Nothern Peru.
After 3 hours,I feel something strange on my rear shock and found that
the oil was leaking.
So,next day,I work with 3 mechanics in Celendin which was located in the middle of nowhere, to put a new oil(Engine oil) in the shock and it was a really time consuming job for F650GS,it took a whole one day.
Sadly,it begin to bleed again after 1 hours later..
So,now,my shock was up and down very crazily..like a real spring..
Also,I heard so many noise when I ride,maybe the chain hit somewhere..
maybe the aluminum pannier hit the bolt of swing arm..
I feel like having a big damage on the bike if I keep going like this..

Problem is that..
There are no BMW dealer in Peru and Boliviar,so I have to get down this rough road around 4,000 miles more with broken shock to Santiago,Chile.
I think they will fix the shock on warranty,because I already had changed the original shock to new one in Austin BMW dealer in Texas,it was on warranty.
But I{m not sure if the BMW chile are willing to do this or not..
It{s to expensive for me,buy the Ohline shock from U.S and ship it to Peru..
Maybe it will cost me more than 1,000 USD..!!!
I had spent huge money to get this bike keep rolling for the last 1 year,but
GS shock is really no good. I need to ride 3 years more to finish my 4 years round the world trip.
Also,I don´t know if I can find a new shock in Peru for my 2005 F650GS..

WHat should I do now? You are my only hope..
Please,let me know your opinion...

Se whan,Kang
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Old 19 Jun 2006
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Hi Kang

I think maybe you should have posted in the BMW tech. section. Anyway, I think your best bet will be to find someone (Travellers Seeking Travellers?) who can bring you a shock, any shock, that will get you to a proper workshop as it sounds as though continuing will just cause further problems.

Sorry can't help more.

Suerte, Mick
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Old 19 Jun 2006
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Hi Se Whan....good to see the BMW is keeping it together!

Find somewhere nice to stay for a while, get in touch with the BMW dealer who changed your shock absorber via the phone or internet and ask if they can organise for you to get a replacement under warranty somewhere in Peru at a BMW ( Car?) dealer or send you another. They know you and might want to help out.


Order a shock absorber over the internet and have it couriered to you (DHL FedEx). You dont need an Ohlins, but a good rebuildable aftermarket shock that is better than the BMW stuff. Ohlins is for expensive race bikes more than overlanders.


If you are really stuck..and I mean really stuck you could have a bracket welded to the swingarm and frame and put a car type damper on. This will be ugly but could give you time to find a proper replacement, down to santiago?


If you can organise to collect the shock from Santiago(Country Visa 's OK?), and travel down with the old one and back on a bus where you can start your trip again..but you need a safe place to leave the bike.

Ralphino doesn't have any good sugestions for Mechanics or spares where you are. I have sent you an email mate.

take care

Close to Antarctica and a long way from reality

Last edited by simmo; 19 Jun 2006 at 14:00.
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Old 19 Jun 2006
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I hate to add to your troubles, but getting a replacement shock sent to Peru is going to cost a fortune in import taxes (like 40%).

BMW in Santiago isnt very good for bikes & very expensive. It would be a long way to travel to be dissapointed.

I think your best option would be to find a nice place to stay for a while & send the shock for repair. When you receive the same thing back that you sent out you dont have to pay tax (well, possibly on the repair work). Get a document from Aduana at the place where you send it & show the document when you collect the repaired shock.

Javier of Dakar Motos (http://www.dakarmotos.com) got the shock rebuilt on my F650 & it only took a few days. That included changing the seals, re-gassing with nitrogen & replacing all the oil. I also got a spacer fitted on the spring to increase the pre-load a bit.

Hope that helps.
GPS Maps & Motorcycle Shipping
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Old 19 Jun 2006
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This might help you a little bit. I ride Chinese enduros and joined a group called ChinaRiders that discusses all kinds of Chinese bikes. On the forums section under the "where do you live" question, a member by the name Perata wrote in about his enduro. He lives in Peru. Join www.chinariders.net and go to the forums and find the posting under the "where do you live" question and find Perata. Perhaps he can help you.
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Old 19 Jun 2006
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From Chile

Hi, I´m from the Santiago Community .
The mail of BMW Santiago is wbm@inchcape.cl ( wbm= Williamson Balfour Motors) (www.bmw.cl)

Hope they help.

Jose Valdés

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Old 19 Jun 2006
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Hope this helps.

There is an authorized Ohlins dealer in Cordoba, Argentina. I realize that this is a long way from your current position but you could send the shock down there without the bike and see what he can do.

His name is Octavio and he speaks enlish pretty well. The last email address I have for him is octavio@gregorioracing.com.

Good luck.
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Old 19 Jun 2006
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Rear Shock

I had a fork seal replaced on my F650GS at the KTM dealer in Lima. Give them a call or email at KTMperu.com. They might be able to rebuild your shock.

Regards and good luck

John Langan
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Old 19 Jun 2006
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Thumbs up Go Hiking...

...and wait for the shock to arrive in the mail from the US. It's what I did when mine blew in Peru and it worked fine. Sent in the ordinary mail it turned up after a couple of weeks and with the fake invoice (for $25, from memory) cost nothing in taxes. Fitting a new shock is not difficult - no need to worry about finding a BMW dealer to do it. It's a lot easier to get the shock to you than the bike to a dealer.

Check this old post:

The Alpamayo circuit near Huaraz was my personal fave, by the way - that would take up most of two weeks.

James Courtier
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Old 20 Jun 2006
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F650GSD shock

I had the same problem on my F650GSD in Bulgaria, post Africa, and there with some mechanics we dismantled it and made another bush and oil seal by hand, but this only worked for a few 1000 more kms of tarmac. BMW/Showa do not sell the parts as it is a 'non-servicable item'. Mine was caused by dirt/sand scratching the shaft of the shock and damaging the chrome coating as well as the oil seal and bush. I have since installed a plastic flap to protect dirt from the rear tyre getting in between the swing-arm and lower fuel tank, but I still think the rear shock is a F650s biggest weakness.

If you are going to continue to ride then wind the pre-load adjuster up to maximum to reduce the pogo effect, to make it easier to ride and also so it doesn't heat up as much. I rode like this for about 5,000km more of tarmac and It didn't break, though my rear spring is 2 sizes harder than standard. That said I also once had the rear shock on a NX650 leak all of it's oil (Simpson Desert, Australia) and after 400km of gravel road the shock shaft broke from the lower U mounting point when I hit a wash out (gully/dip) a little quick. I welded it though and continued for 2,000km more but felt like a puppet from Thunderbirds TV series with all the pogo-ing!

*I bought a rear shock from the Motorcycle Breakers/Dismantlers in the UK for £90(~$165), so I could try to find you one again?
*Or a UK made Hagon shock for £255(~$470), as probably anything would be better than the standard shock.
*I think a WP(White Power) would be the best, at £475 (~$870) but yeah, price translates to a lot of Peruvian etc when you're on the road and is hard to swallow.
*Another option I thought of doing while in country with cheap engineering costs is to adapt a second-hand WP shock to fit, from a dismantled KTM LC4 would likely be most possible if the piggy-back reservoir can fit.

Good luck! - Simon
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Old 20 Jun 2006
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Thumbs up

If you can get in touch with
Desert racing / Tator racing at Colina 460
Miraflores Lima. Tel 447-9718. The work on most types of bike
I was there 6 weeks ago and they were rebuilding the geatrbox on a GS100 and were doing some work to the back end of an F650 so give them a call.
Hope this helps Skip
Do the best you can with what you have,
A stranger in a strange land now heading North South East West to.....
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Old 20 Jun 2006
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Smile Wow..thanks so much..!!!

I check your advice today and feel so happy that so many guys trying to help me..Thanks so much..!!!

So..I will do..
Take out of a whole luggage I carry on,then send it to my angel in Lima..,.
Go to Lima and take out of broken shock.

1.My bike is on warranty,so I'll call to BMW dealer in Equador,Colombia and Chile,if they give me a new one. If they will,I will take a bus with broken shock to the dealer then got the new one and back to Lima then install it.

If above is impossible..
2.then send the shock to Dakar Motos in Argentina to fix it. Because they already did it before..

3.My last option is buy the new shock from U.S.

I will let you know the result later..
Thanks again..
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Old 20 Jun 2006
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check your insurance

If you carry a travel-insurrance, check the conditions!
Some travel-insurrance companies (travel not bike-insurrance) include policies about spareparts and/or even change of transport (hire a bike/car/taxi) for the time it's not repaired.
Mostly if your means of transport is broken and cannot be fixed by a 'official' mechanic in three working-days or spareparts are not at hand.
Our insurrance would have paid shipping spareparts all over the world with DHL (24hour delivery!) in the case we couldn't find spareparts for our 1986 TLC in Africa (checked and confimed several times) didn't need it tho.
In the event of warranty on your shock it can maybe workout fine for you, warranty (new shock) + assurance (delivery), you just have to find a nice place to stay and wait, and maybe have to find a way with customs and taxes.
bart & sophie
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Old 20 Jun 2006
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desert racing

I also recommend desert racing in Miraflores, Lima - they not only stored my bike for a month or two, but also replaced my front seals in a real hurry, and were a professional and friendly bunch.

most of the road to Lima is beautiful ashphalt - forget about any time pressures you may think you have, and this should be pretty easy to solve.
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Old 20 Jun 2006
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My grain of salt, being a having a PhD in BMWs, with specialism "crap BMW shocks breaking in South Am".

Get somebody in Europe/USA to buy shock for you (Ohlins Holland even supplied the dodgy receipt, but it did require my father talking nicely to the nice lady who works there).

Get them to post it, by normal post, NOT COURIER to you at Poste Restante GPO Lima. The post office it arrives at is not the main one in town, but out in the suburbs somewhere (take a cab).

There the (post office) customs will have your box. They will open it. Make sure there is a super low value receipt in the box. Remember, you can get a car shock for 30 bucks... They don't need to know bike shocks are much more expensive...

Pay the 40% tax on the lower amount (hopefully they believe you) and you have your shock.

Once you've organised everything and are waiting for the gear to arrive, go do some walking in the Cordelierra Blanca/ Machhu Pichhu etc and plan your next trip that doesn't involve a Bring Mir Werkzeug pile of crap.

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