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Old 04-07-2012, 02:51 PM   #391
mightymatt43 OP
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Quick Update.

We are a little behind, again, on our report. Working on it, though!

We've actually already made it down to Ushuaia and are now back in Puerto Natales (for the second time). The weather has turned pretty nasty! The past 4 days have been spent in the snow and ice (man, I wish we had a better tire on the bike) and while on Tierra del Fuego we had wind gusts up to 50 knots. Very difficult weather to ride in.

A bit of bad news regarding the bike. The oil leak has made a turn for the worse. This morning, the bike gave me the low oil symbol. I put in an entire liter but was not able to ever see anything in the sight glass. I bought another liter, and added a bit more but still wasn't able to see anything. We rode 150 miles and by this afternoon, I was given the low oil symbol again. The bike is totally covered on the right side with oil spray. It has reached all the way to the rear tire - in fact, the rear rotor was so covered that my braking was severally affected. Not good.

We've also had two flats in the past two days, which is not that big of deal other than being a little annoying.

Partially because of the state of the bike, partially because we've heard it's awesome, we've decided to take a four day ferry from Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt, which will cut off a good chunk of some rough stuff we had planned to ride. We are going to be missing the rest of the Carretera Austral, which really, really sucks, but I feel the need to make our way back to Santiago and a dealership before something bad happens with the bike.

Anyway, more picture updates soon (probably tonight) on our glacier walk, Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia and more.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:09 PM   #392
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymatt43 View Post
The bike is totally covered on the right side with oil spray. It has reached all the way to the rear tire - in fact, the rear rotor was so covered that my braking was severally affected. Not good.

when you get to Santiago to get the oil leak fixed, you're going to want to replace those brake pads...since they are contaminated with oil, they're now junk.

Good luck on the repairs...keep the report coming, loving the pictures.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:44 PM   #393
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Originally Posted by sion View Post
when you get to Santiago to get the oil leak fixed, you're going to want to replace those brake pads...since they are contaminated with oil, they're now junk.

Good luck on the repairs...keep the report coming, loving the pictures.
Yeah, I actually thought of that today when I was looking at the bike. I have some extra pads with me but I think I may wait until I get this leak figured out so I don't ruin two pairs - these things are freaking expensive!
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:28 AM   #394
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Oil Leak

That's a real bummer that the oil leak has gotten so bad. I hope its something simple or rather easy to repair but, I have a filling that you may have cracked the case. My thinking is that the sidecar's brace many have been beating the engine case to the point where you've started a stress crack. I had a similar thing happen to me. When I rode across Bolivia I had a large rock hit the side of my motor. I started to notice a slow leak on the left side of the motor, and I kept thinking it was my sidestand/centerstand mounting point. I keep taking out the bolts, cleaning and reinstalling several times along my trip. Finally when I got home and had time to really clean and watch the oil leak develop that I realize I had a crack in the case. I'm still dealing with that leak! If I can be of any help please let me know : info@motohank.com , I'm also in the San Antonio area.
On a positive note, your photos bring back fantastic memories of the roads I traveled a couple years ago!

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Old 04-08-2012, 08:54 AM   #395
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I guess it's all part of the adventure...right?
Try to keep the oil level up and don't wait until you get a warning light if possible.
I'm not an "Oil Head" guy, but on other bikes, " oil warning light" means you've lost oil pressure in the engine....not good....
Just keep dumping oil in it until you can nurse it to a dealer.

Worse case scenario....hire a truck to haul it.
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:28 PM   #396
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Replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank View Post
That's a real bummer that the oil leak has gotten so bad. I hope its something simple or rather easy to repair but, I have a filling that you may have cracked the case. My thinking is that the sidecar's brace many have been beating the engine case to the point where you've started a stress crack. I had a similar thing happen to me. When I rode across Bolivia I had a large rock hit the side of my motor. I started to notice a slow leak on the left side of the motor, and I kept thinking it was my sidestand/centerstand mounting point. I keep taking out the bolts, cleaning and reinstalling several times along my trip. Finally when I got home and had time to really clean and watch the oil leak develop that I realize I had a crack in the case. I'm still dealing with that leak! If I can be of any help please let me know : info@motohank.com , I'm also in the San Antonio area.
On a positive note, your photos bring back fantastic memories of the roads I traveled a couple years ago!

Hank
I'm hoping that it's not a worst case scenario type of issue. It could be that the vibration from the sidecar just keeps backing that bolt out and it just can't seal now - I keep telling myself it's not a tragic fail but something manageable . I'm hoping that nothing has cracked and that I don't have to deal with a chronic leak...

Thanks for your thoughts on everything - I appreciate the advise of those much wiser than me...



Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwhacker View Post
I guess it's all part of the adventure...right?
Try to keep the oil level up and don't wait until you get a warning light if possible.
I'm not an "Oil Head" guy, but on other bikes, " oil warning light" means you've lost oil pressure in the engine....not good....
Just keep dumping oil in it until you can nurse it to a dealer.

Worse case scenario....hire a truck to haul it.
I'm coming to grips with the fact that it's always something, and I'm good with that. We're having a blast regardless.

As far as the oil light, the symbol I got was for a low level, not for low oil pressure. As far as I can tell from the booklet that comes from the bike, anyhow. I'm sure that's all it is - if you could see how this oil is pouring out of the bike, it would make sense. I mean, my left boot is brown leather - my right is black.

Anyway - I'll just keep nursing it along until Santiago. No worries!
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Old 04-08-2012, 03:58 PM   #397
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Day 34-35 in South America: El Chaltén to El Calafate

Day 34-35 in South America: El Chaltén, Argentina to El Calafate, Argentina

Disclaimer: I realize that this is a motorcycle forum and this particular post has nothing motorcycle related but seriously, walking on a glacier was worth it for the pictures.



From El Chaltén, we took a fairly quick and uneventful morning ride down to El Calafate, another town completely defined by a natural phenomenon. El Calafate is much larger than El Chaltén, complete with a casino, a ton of restaurants and shops and a tour operator on every corner. Its most important characteristic is its proximity to Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the most popular (if not topping the list) tourist attractions in Patagonia.

*

We booked a tiny cabana just on the outskirts of the centro (we’re finding cabanas to be way more cost efficient than hotels and at times, even hostels) that had an interesting quirk. In no way do I mean to be racially insensitive, but every single person associated with the property was Asian. The owners, the staff, and every single guest - all Asian. I don’t know if it was just a coincidence, but it was not something that we’ve seen since coming to South America. We were now foreigners to third-party foreigners in a foreign country...

...does that make sense?

*

On our first day in town, we booked an expensive tour (I think it was $90/person - we rode our bike to the park which cut down the price a bit) so that we could actually WALK on the glacier. We awoke early the next day and made a chilly ride to the glacier while the sun was rising.


*

Most of the other guests had already arrived and were on the boat that would take us across the lake and to a portion of the glacier that is connected with the land. I took the picture below right when we got on board - it is mainly being used here because the woman in the background is performing an amazing photobomb. She literally was in all three of the self-takes we snapped, always in the same position - arms crossed, furrowed brow. Well done, ma’am, well done.


*

Our first glimpse of Perito Moreno:


*



*

Standing across the bank from the glacier, the enormity of the thing started to set in. This chunk of ice covers 97 square miles and is 19 miles in length. It has an average of 240 feet of ice sticking out from above the surface of the water and has a maximum ice depth of nearly 600 feet! Just massive. Perhaps most importantly, it is one of only three glaciers that is currently growing in all of Los Glaciers National Park (48 in total).


*



*

After milling about for a bit, we were directed towards a fitting station.
Before I get to that, I need to mention that Kristen’s greatest fear is walking across slippery surfaces. No joke. I have never heard of that even registering for anyone else in my life, but this terrifies her. This is important because as she was fitted for crampons, her fear slipped away...


*



*

As you can imagine, I was fitted with the largest size crampon they had. Our guide made sure to show all the other guides what was being strapped on to my feet... apparently a size 15 foot is not common here in Argentina.


*

Kristen was ready!


*

Before long, our guide was giving us crampon lessons and we were taking our first steps on the glacier. The main idea is to really stomp your feet into the ice to allow the crampons to give you grip. If you let them do their job, it’s a bit like being Spiderman...


*

...as Kristen is so deftly demonstrating in the picture below.


*

One of our first stops on the glacier was a huge fissure which apparently ran hundreds of feet down.


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*

We spent the next two hours tromping around a living glacier.


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*

Kristen found time, of course, to amuse the other folks on the tour. So much so that we had to wait around for other people to copy her climbing pose for pictures of their own.
My wife is a dope.
I like it.


*

I think the most interesting bit of information our guide shared was that the texture of the surface of the glacier is very similar, if not exact, to the bedrock on which the glacier resides.


*



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We obviously had a pretty good time.


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*

Our couple of hours on Perito Moreno concluded with a cold glass of glacial water on glacial ice (I think whiskey was also served for those so inclined) and some chocolates. Not a bad way to spend the day...


*

We were then given the time to eat some lunch and wander around a bit before our boat came to take us back to the other side of the lake.


*



*



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Every once in awhile, a bit of ice breaks off from the main glacier and falls to the water below. The sound emanating from each of these is like a cannon being fired.


*

Our boat had to clear away some huge chunks of ice from the loading dock before picking us up:


*

One of the really interesting things about Perito Moreno is the natural dam/arch that forms on the Northern face of the glacier. Over several years, the ice builds up to the point of splitting the lake in two and creating a spectacular arch in the process. The water level eventually puts so much pressure on the dam that the entire structure collapses. It apparently only happens once every 4-5 years and we had missed the most current rupture by 24 days.


*

A few parting shots:


*



Perito Moreno Glacier is really an amazing place to visit. I can understand why it draws so many tourists each year. The tour was expensive, but totally worth it - especially to see Kristen frolicking around the ice like a mountain goat.

*

Check another cool life experience off the list and go see the glacier when you make your own trip to Patagonia.

*

Next up: Tierra del Fuego.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:11 PM   #398
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymatt43 View Post

I'm coming to grips with the fact that it's always something, and I'm good with that. We're having a blast regardless.

As far as the oil light, the symbol I got was for a low level, not for low oil pressure. As far as I can tell from the booklet that comes from the bike, anyhow. I'm sure that's all it is - if you could see how this oil is pouring out of the bike, it would make sense. I mean, my left boot is brown leather - my right is black.

Anyway - I'll just keep nursing it along until Santiago. No worries!
My old R100S Sidecar developed a terribly leaking mainseal last summer while on a trip over to Denver to see a Brother. Clutch started slipping on a steep hill only 50 miles from our departure point, with 200+ miles yet to go to Denver.
What the heck....took it easy on the hills and made sure the crankcase was full and "let 'r leak". Completed the trip with no issues other than an oil soaked rear half of the bike and a lot of small puddles along our route wherever we stopped......never sweat the small stuff.
I'm confident that you'll find a simple solution and keep on truck'in!
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:46 AM   #399
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Great glacier pix (of course).

My wife & I visited Oz and NZ last year in December. We did the short hike at Mount Cook to see the glacier there. Pretty spectacular, but we couldn't climb on it.

RE: oil leak, I was thinking about your brake situation -- you might be able to use a plastic jug to make a shield for the brake caliper to keep the oil off the pads. That would allow you to install the new pads. IMHO, your rig is heavy enough that you probably want all your brakes working.

You could try to clean the leaking area real well (gasoline, followed by acetone or laquer thinner) and goop the whole area up with bathtub caulk to try and keep the oil in. Sort of a form-in-place shower cap. Since caulk isn't real hard to get off with a wire wheel, it wouldn't be detrimental to a repair later.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:51 PM   #400
mightymatt43 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwhacker View Post
My old R100S Sidecar developed a terribly leaking mainseal last summer while on a trip over to Denver to see a Brother. Clutch started slipping on a steep hill only 50 miles from our departure point, with 200+ miles yet to go to Denver.
What the heck....took it easy on the hills and made sure the crankcase was full and "let 'r leak". Completed the trip with no issues other than an oil soaked rear half of the bike and a lot of small puddles along our route wherever we stopped......never sweat the small stuff.
I'm confident that you'll find a simple solution and keep on truck'in!
I'm doing my best to be relaxed about the whole thing. As far as I can tell, the bike is running perfectly normal aside from pissing out oil .
Good to hear you had a happy ending with an oil leak for the confidence, however...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadracer_Al View Post
Great glacier pix (of course).

My wife & I visited Oz and NZ last year in December. We did the short hike at Mount Cook to see the glacier there. Pretty spectacular, but we couldn't climb on it.

RE: oil leak, I was thinking about your brake situation -- you might be able to use a plastic jug to make a shield for the brake caliper to keep the oil off the pads. That would allow you to install the new pads. IMHO, your rig is heavy enough that you probably want all your brakes working.

You could try to clean the leaking area real well (gasoline, followed by acetone or laquer thinner) and goop the whole area up with bathtub caulk to try and keep the oil in. Sort of a form-in-place shower cap. Since caulk isn't real hard to get off with a wire wheel, it wouldn't be detrimental to a repair later.
How'd you like NZ? My sister is obsessed and we've thought of shipping the bike there to hang out for a bit and then head on to the rest of Asia.

Good thinking on the shield - I can admit the braking situation is a bit scary at the moment, seeing how heavy our rig is. The rear brakes are totally unresponsive at the moment, surely because they've been corrupted with engine oil.

I had thought of trying to get the leaky area at least semi-plugged with something. I didn't know if there might be a danger associated with it. More to think about...
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:54 PM   #401
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Update.

So we're currently in Puerto Natales and are about to board a ferry which will take us all the way to Puerto Montt. It's a four day ferry and was recommended by another BMW rider we met while down here.

That being said, we'll not have an internet connection until Friday. We'll have four straight days on the boat with nothing but time, so by Friday we should have enough posts to get us up to date.

Bon Voyage, ADV. We'll be back in a few days.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:23 PM   #402
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymatt43 View Post
Bon Voyage, ADV. We'll be back in a few days.
So long, guys. Safe travels!
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:21 PM   #403
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Enjoy your sea travels! I love traveling by boat - they're big machines, and there's always a low hum that feels very relaxing to me.

Regarding NZ, it's spectacular. The scenery is wonderful, the glacial lakes are stunning, there is a lot of support for hikers, and ample nature preserves to visit on foot.

We have friends that live in Christchurch, and used their house as a base of operations. We rode around the South Island for 8 days, like all vacations, twice that would have been better. The traveling is not nearly as adventurous as your current journey, but a little less difficulty can be nice, too.

NZ is "first world" and there is never a worry about unfit food or water (although the earthquakes can and do affect water quality), or finding food and lodging. It's a small island, too -- you can cross width-ways in half a day with leisurely meals.

I can't recommend it highly enough.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:24 AM   #404
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymatt43 View Post
Kristen found time, of course, to amuse the other folks on the tour. So much so that we had to wait around for other people to copy her climbing pose for pictures of their own.
My wife is a dope.
I like it.
Haha, have a picture of me doing the exact same thing. "Really, we're doing a kitschy tourist photo..?" Peer pressure won, pass the velveeta.

Hope you get the bike sorted out. Would it have been possible to do the rough, snowy, windy parts on two wheels? Sounds like those wind gust would knock you off the road.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:25 AM   #405
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Great ride report and pictures…didn’t get a lot of work done yesterday and today while reading it.

Funny thing…I just started dating a girl who rides (we did a 3 day trip to Death Valley within 1 month of knowing each other) and reading about your experiences together made me even more excited about future travels with this wonderful woman I was lucky enough to meet. The obvious love that you two have for each other is very touching and makes your ride report that much better to read.
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