Bolivia, La Paz: Gas, parts and service guide

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Azimuth South, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Azimuth South

    Azimuth South Adventurer

    May 19, 2012
    Between Canada and Ushuaia
    Hello guys,

    I just spent my afternoon going to possibly every single motorcycle shop in La Paz.
    Thought I'd share since finding this information has proven difficult.
    As I probably missed plenty of places please share the info and I'll update this post.

    Gas - Automovil Club
    Two grades "Gasolina Especial" (88) and "Gasolina Premium" (91) Premium wasn't available the day I was there
    Two locations
    - (Photo) Calacoto (S16°32.335' W68°05.239') (Av. Ballivian turn right into Calle 13, then go around the block on your left)
    - San Pedro (S16°30.910' W68°07.195') (Junction of Av. Arce and Av. 6 de Agosto)

    Octane booster is available at gas stations. Brands are STP and Amalie.

    Honda, Kawazaki at Nosiglia
    Two locations
    - (Main - photo) Calacoto (S16°32.783' W68°04.649') (Av. Costera and Calle 20) +591 2 2794904
    - San Pedro (S16°30.136' W68°08.327') (Boqueron and Rio Bamba) +591 2 2491000
    - (Photo) Calacoto (S16°31.549' W68°06.479') (Av. Hernando Siles and Calle 8) +591 2 2150505

    Here you'll find tires, tubes, filters, spark plugs and bulbs (mostly for Japanese)
    - L&B Importation (S16°30.180' W68°08.188') (Colombia and Zoilo Flores)
    - Tufimotors (S16°30.239' W68°08.241') (Colombia and Boqueron)

    Variety of good quality wrenches, racket wrenches and their sockets
    - Le Mans (S16°30.188' W68°08.056') (Colombia between Boqueron and Heroes del Acre)

    F800GS Specific
    BMW La Paz recommends 600ml of octane booster per F800GS tank (4Gallons) for foreign bikes.
    BMW La Paz doesn't know/cannot modify the octane setting of the engine (confirmed with their head office of Santa Cruz)

    Ride safe everyone :wink:
  2. bouldergeek

    bouldergeek Filthy, poor KLR dweeb

    Jun 30, 2008
    Palmer Station, Antarctica
    This is part of the buen karma payback from realtime on-the-road repairs.

    I got a hole in my KLR radiator the other day, between Cochabamba, Bolivia and La Paz. I was leaking coolant badly, and my motor was steaming under full coolant loss as I arrived in La Paz. Trying to get through miles of gridlock while my engine did a Fukushima meltdown caused me to make some hasty, poor decisions. So, in my haste, I added a roadside ditch tipover into a collectivo minibus to my stresses. Wounded pride and a crushed left side mirror were the results.

    It is Carneval weekend, and all moto shops were closing early on Friday, not to re-open until Wednesday and with a backlog at that. The hotel manager at my hotel (Cordillera Real, Avenida Americas @ esquina Pando) was awesome, and rode shotgun with me, all over town, no helmet, as my bike pissed pure water all over the city.

    Eventually, we made it to these guys:
    Av. Saavedra Nro. 1235 (Miraflores) - La Paz, LA PAZ

    S 16*29.813' W 68* 07.552' <-- Sorry, can't find the degree mark

    These guys bent over backward. They were maxxed out with backlog for Carneval weekend. ANd, seeing the buttload of miserably designed plastics removal that the Gen 2 KLR has, they said they had no time. But, when I explained that I had hit three shops who were closing, and all I needed was investigation of a radiator crack, they said that if I pulled the radiator, they would look.

    So, they let me pull the whole KLR apart on the street in front of their shop, loaning me tools (I had all I needed, but some of theirs were better), selling me oil filter and coolant, and providing spot-on mechanical and electrical advice.

    The manager put me on the back on a Chinese CB125 clone and took me all over La Paz, me holding on with one hand and onto the radiator with the other, bottoming out on the topes ("rompe muelles" here). He went back across town early the next morning to pick it up, so that I would have the radiator at the shop the next morning. My moto was stored in the main shop overnight, he advised me on implementing a manual fan switch to bypass the dead sensor switch, without damaging the OEM harness and connectors.

    I was charged a fair price, and he stayed open on a holiday morning until I was pressure stested and back on my way.

    I paid the very reasonable bill and a propina for cervezas and almuerzos for the staff.

    Dead-nuts, beyond the nornal scope service. This experience improved my impression of Bolivia a hundred fold. If you need a fair priced service with skilled mechanics who won't mess up your Japanese or Chinese bike, I recommend this shop whole-heartedly.
  3. bouldergeek

    bouldergeek Filthy, poor KLR dweeb

    Jun 30, 2008
    Palmer Station, Antarctica
    Since this thread also has Gas in the title, my road wisdome for Bolivia:

    You will get local prices only at non-YPFB stations.

    If you see the YPFB logo (which seems to be 90% of stations) that is a state-controlled, nationalized fuel station. They may even have Policia Nacional presence, watching the operators to make sure they fill out the right paperwork.

    Independent staions, however, don't have that scrutiny, and will frequently work with you.

    I have gotten local rates several times just avoiding YPFB stations where I could afford to.

    Hope this helps.