Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 137 (52km): Back on the path to Adventure

We are officially starting the trip again with the epic breakdown thankfully resigned to a mere memory in the trip log. Yay! But it is not without resignation. I'll be happy once my BMW is safely returned to Canada and have no plans to remove it from the comfort of Canada and the US anytime soon.

A bit of a reflection on our concluded situation. Its been 37 days with broken bikes and the bottom line is that neither of us is looking for charity, we just want answers. Instead we've been strung along on this crazy journey and still no one is the wiser. I'm happy to have a running bike again but I feel a little bit like the person who has been given fish instead of being taught how to fish.
Could the engine damage have been done by one crazy bad tank of gas? Maybe. The correspondent from Germany still doesn't recognize the fuel mapping change that is done to F800GSs in Canada and the US... very curious. It's still unclear if we are being covered by Factory or Goodwill Warranty. Canada says one thing, Lima says another. I've given up trying to figure it all out.

So without sounding like an Oscar acceptance speech I would like to do a few thank yous. First, thank you to the Motorcycle community (in particular for their input and support throughout this entire experience. It seems as though we are somewhat famous, though sadly for the wrong reasons haha. I should thank the BMW dealer in Lima, in spite of their lack of experience, having an authorized BMW dealer in any shape or form has been better than having none. The real people who stepped up were Island BMW and I thank them for taking action. Lastly I'd like to thank everyone that reads our blog and/or ride report; thank you for supporting us. We are happy to return everyone to regularly scheduled programming. 
When we first took delivery of our bikes from Island BMW.

Even though the parts came in late BMW Lima got an extra mechanic who worked like crazy to get our bikes running as soon as possible. It was a bit of a gong show getting the bikes on the road: misplaced parts at the dealer, the engines were overheating on the first test run and various other things... But today, well after the dealer had officially closed, we drove off with our bikes. If felt good to be riding again, and even 30 degree Lima heat and traffic didn't spoil it.
Alberto's rebuilt engine waiting to go in
My bike being double teamed
Fellow adventure riding stopping in for a service

There are still unanswered questions but I just want to ride now and will be crossing my fingers that nothing else crazy happens before I get back to Canada. One thing for sure is that the bikes will be getting the best gas available for the rest of the trip. Also I think we've opened not only our eyes but a lot of other riders eyes with this whole experience. Here's a link to the extensive discussion that's gone on regarding our bike breakdowns over on ADV. It's worth a look, I know I've learned quite a bit from what people have been posting in. 

If everything goes according to plan we will be hitting the road tomorrow first thing in the morning.

A single line email from my dad sums it up quite well "get your motors running, head out on the highway - dad"

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day ∞ (0km): Recap of activities

Sorry for such a long hiatus but this whole bike situation, compounded by my dislike of Peru, has broken my will. I just didn't have the energy to keep up with my blog entries as well as trying to keep them from sounding really bitter. But the light at the end of the tunnel is approaching so it is time for you guys to re-join us on our journey.

Most of the adventure community is already aware of the trials and tribulations we've been through during this hiatus that was inflicted upon us but for those of you that don't I'll give you a little summary.

Once it was obvious our bike troubles weren't minor we had to go through the warranty process. This involved the Lima dealer corresponding with BMW Germany to determine the cause of our particular issues and then determining whether or not the problem was a warranty issue. This was kind of a lengthy process that left us more or less in the dark. In the meantime we were like lost puppies in the city of Lima. Not really in the mood to do anything or spend any money and not sure if our trip was going to continue. When we finally heard back from BMW Germany that our engine failures were the result of using less than recommended octane fuel we were surprised, and then we were equally surprised that our parts would not be covered under warranty.

We were told that BMW Germany recommends 91 AKI, and that even though we had our bikes re-mapped to 87 AKI to “explore the far corners of the globe” we were still expected to use 91 AKI. What?? Feeling like we had run up against a wall we contacted BMW Canada (both the head-office and our local dealer in Victoria). We were confused that while we thought we were operating within BMW's parameters using 87 AKI we were in fact not? And now our bikes were broken and we are stranded in Lima... we expressed our distress to Canada and left them on the case. That same day they had sorted everything out and were going to cover us under goodwill warranty. At least we knew we weren't screwed, but we still didn't really know what had happened to our engines and how to prevent it from happening again. The next day we got upgraded to full factory warranty but the official cause of the breakdown remained the same.

It is still unclear to me what caused Germany to change their tune so dramatically (though I suspect all the bad press on the internet played it's part) it is comforting to know that either way Island BMW had our backs. 

While we were in Lima we managed to pass the time. 

A bit of motorcycle riding to make sure we don't loose our edge
Out for a bite with a friend from Canada who randomly happened to be in Lima for work
Chifa with the family
Sympathy beers sponsored by fellow inmate Lenny (here is his blog)

At one point I just wanted to fast forward because I was sick of it all. The wild goose chase regarding our bikes and the feeling of being lost waiting for them to get fixed. It has not been fun. Of course there are certainly worse situations to find oneself in.

The original plan for our trip was to go to Argentina via Chile and then return to Peru via Bolivia for some R&R and visiting with Alberto's family. Given the circumstances we decided to juggle the schedule a bit. We are doing the visiting now and will most likely be riding right up until the point before we go home. Also we had neither the means (budget, budget, budget) or the motivation to spend our new found free time doing the touristy stuff, so this always seemed the likely scenario.

We took an overnight bus from Lima and found ourselves in Trujillo early the next morning. We've spent the last three weeks in Huanchaco Beach. 
Getting my sleep-on riding the overnight bus
Going North again, the way we came
Some of the things we've been up to: going to the beach, body boarding, visiting with friends and family, practicing spanish, finding Adventure bikers on the street (Hi Brian)…
Keeping the adventure alive by camping on the roof once again
At the beach: Alberto's niece sporting an awesome mo-hawk
Alberto catching up with friends from high school
Cafe Lara: we set up this table right beside the tent. The most luxury camping we've had in Peru.
Alberto re-learning his body boarding skills from childhood
Saying goodbye to Brian. We found him in the street and spent the afternoon/evening hanging out.
It's not all fun and games. Many days were spent like this.
A food shot: Ceviche type dish
Alberto riding some waves
Comparing haircuts and styling techniques
Alberto pulling off some tricks
Collecting my prize for displaying my mad juggling skills
Kicking back watching a surfing competition. Go Alaskan Langostino!
Cooling off in Alberto's parents pool
Enjoying the pool
I prefer to hide in the shade

I never thought I'd say this but I'm glad to be back in Lima because that means I will be getting my bike back soon and we can hopefully finish what we started. 

The last three weeks have been enjoyable but when you are programmed to do one thing (ride your bike) and then you find yourself doing something else it always feels like you are just filling the time and not fully enjoying it cause you'd rather be doing something else.