Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding...

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by lightcycle, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. theofam

    theofam Been here awhile

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    Gene,

    You're more patient to wait the minute than I ever was on my 2008 GSA! If mine didn't turn on immediately, I'd just cycle it until it did.

    xover posted his fix to this problem earlier today. Here's the link, maybe it'll help.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=23665898&postcount=8

    I was thinking yesterday, "It's hard to believe Gene and Neda have been traveling for so long. To think he introduced me in an early post to 'Gangnam Style!'" That seems like eons ago. (Still kinda mad at you for introducing me to Gangnam Style even a day earlier than I would have heard it otherwise.)
  2. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Yeah, that would bother/concern me. My '08 GS, the delay once the key is turned is perhaps 1/2 a second. The BMW electrical complexity has always made me nervous. But knock on wood, no issues,,,,,other than 10% of the time, when the bike is started, the charging light does not go off, and requires a restart of the bike to 'wake up' the charging system again. Of course, a diagnostics run by the dealer shows no issues. Who knows.
  3. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

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    i'm gonna vote sticky RELAY, might have burned out or just worn some internal contacts, when it heats up it works normally.
  4. Quezzie

    Quezzie A. Scootertramp

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    Interesting, I've mostly gone on multi-day trips riding solo, sometimes with a fellow traveler nearby in a car (I call him my support vehicle, hehe). It's a different experience with another presence on the road, but I'm also a bit introverted anyway, and no communicators so there are long stretches of just me and my thoughts and the road. I think it works out when I'm riding solo though, because I'm more approachable and likely to be chatty at breaks when I've spent hours with just helmet time!
  5. TaterHarry

    TaterHarry Redneck Emeritus

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    I'm no GS guru but I have a 2007GSA and I stayed at a Holiday Inn once.

    This is probably a bad cell in the battery. If it's an intermittently bad cell, load testing may or may not indicate a problem. Replace with a known good battery and retest.

    EDIT 1 - I see you jump started the bike. Hope you didn't have the other vehicle running when you did it. If you did you may have sent a transient spike through the ECU, and this may not be a trivial fix. Let's hope not.

    EDIT 2 - The only relay of concern is the starter relay, which is up under the tank by the ECU. I doubt that a faulty relay would cause this particular symptom, a more knowledgeable tech would have to chime in.



    Good luck~! :thumb

  6. DrydenRider

    DrydenRider Sun Seeker

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    That's what I like about this place. A problem that has been thru the wringer of dealers etc is posted in the morning from thousands of miles away, and a couple hours later a realistic potential solution is posted. Hope it works for you.
  7. WeazyBuddha

    WeazyBuddha Carbon-Based Humanoid

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  8. damigo26

    damigo26 Adventurer

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    Dead Cell in battery gets my vote. I'm no BMW mechanic but I do work on multi million dollar equipment, that has lots of electronics, and batteries can cause all kinds of problems that will have you chasing your tale. (Over diagnosis ing) When troubleshooting a problem always start at the last known issue, in this case, the battery. Swap it out with a known good battery and see if it replicates the problem. Just my two cents. Good luck!:D
  9. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Thank you all so much for looking into this problem and giving me some leads to track.

    The OPs of the threads above don't seem to be active on ADV anymore, but one of the users who posted in the same thread is. When I contacted him, he posted up his solution (replacement ignition switch) which is what I'm going to pursue right now. Damigo's link to another thread confirms the same part number although slightly different symptoms.

    Hopefully the part can be sourced in Colombia and I can avoid drop-shipping and paying the heavy import tax from outside the country.

    Just some more background:

    - The jumpstart was done with just a battery that the shop had sitting on the shelf, it wasn't connected to a vehicle, so no alternator damage
    - One of the tests the dealer did was to hook up my bike to a brand new battery. Same results.
    - The truly boggling thing is that the electrics come on the second time I turn the key on even when the engine hasn't been started. Which to me rules out anything needing to be "heated up". :confused
    AND I can turn the key off the first time without the electrics coming on (so before the 10-50second wait), and the second time I turn it on -- electrics come on. It's very strange.

    I hope the new ignition switch will solve this, but if it doesn't I'm keeping track of all your other suggestions!

    +1. ADV has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion.

    Ha! I'm the poster child for impatience. I never waited the 10 seconds. I thought it was a total failure on first key-on, but when I Googled the symptoms, a few people mentioned that it was a delay. So the next morning, I keyed-on, then waited... 10 seconds later the electrics came on. Yay, Internet! :clap
  10. pceire32

    pceire32 Irish

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    Santa Monica CA
    Hope it all works out, in the other thread the guy said he could only find 3 of these parts in the whole US, I hope you have good luck in SA.
    It's great to see ADV work across Continent's.

    Let us know the result.:bubba
  11. nameless

    nameless 100% recyclable

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    Oct 1, 2010
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    Portugal, Europe
    If that's the case, i'm sure there's a German here that might be able to help you guys source it directly from the motherland :D
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Alexandria, VA
    I agree. It has happened before:

    [​IMG]
  13. Bad Dad

    Bad Dad Adventurer

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    Waited till there were 5 new pages and then caught up with your travels, and, excellent as usual! -4 this morning , so reading about your trip always warms the soul. as for your electrical problems a KTM rider replied, " They all do that sir", sorry, couldn't resist:D Hope you get the issue resolved. Best wishes to you both.
  14. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/139.html

    [​IMG]

    As predicted, we didn't make it very far outside of Bogota's city limits last night before being stopped by the darkness and the rain. We stayed for the evening in a cheap motel right on the main highway in a small suburb called Mosquera. The plan today is to try to head further west within the country.

    If it looks like we're backtracking a bit, it's because we're totally backtracking a bit...

    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/lpiBki6YouI?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    We've been squeezing our bikes into plenty of tight spaces lately...

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    Last night: Wet tires on slick tile = high pucker factor

    We're kind of getting sick of the cold and the rain. It seems like the waterworks has been following us ever since last autumn in Guatemala. The rough idea we had in our heads was that because we were moving so slowly, the rainy season would actually overtake us. It would seem that this plan backfired spectacularly, as the rain has actually kept the same pace as us. So in fact, we've been traveling in a perpetual rainy season for the last 6 months... fml...

    [​IMG]
    As we were preparing to leave in the morning, Juan and his dad stop by on their bicycles and pepper us with questions

    All over Colombia everyone has been asking to take pictures of us and our bikes. It's a bit unusual because there are lots of larger bikes like ours all around the big cities. I think what draws their interest are the overloaded luggage hanging off our bikes... and the only Asian person within 100 square miles is piloting one of the motorcycles... Latin Americans are very curious about me. I feel like I'm 25% Celebrity and 75% Alien...

    Juan's dad told us that he wants to do the same trip that we're doing with his son on bicycles one day. Cool!

    [​IMG]
    Heading westwards towards the Coffee Triangle

    The Coffee Triangle is an area in Colombia where cars, motorcycles and trucks mysteriously vanish. Oh, and they also grow a lot of coffee plants in this area as well.

    Since we're descending from the heights of Bogota, the weather starts off cool in the morning but quickly heats up as we dip into the lush valley. Between cities, most of the major roads in Colombia are only two-lane highways which means that there is a lot of aggressive passing when cars and motorcycles get stuck behind slow-moving trucks. We're told that most traffic accidents in Colombia occur because of bad passes resulting in head-on collisions or vehicles rolling over in the ditch, especially in the mountain roads on blind corners.

    This is where we got into a bit of trouble: Neda was leading for the day and we were following a truck that was crawling up-hill. As we hit a small straightaway, she pulled out to pass the truck over a double-yellow and I followed her... right in plain sight of a traffic cop who was standing on the side of the road.

    He pointed at us angrily and motioned for us to pull over.

    Uh oh.

    [​IMG]
    This is not the cop, because I was too scared shitless to take any pictures of the actual incident.
    But it gives you an idea of what it looked like...


    This is our first ever run-in with the law since our trip started (if you don't count Neda's no-helmet transgression with the bicycle police in Medellin). We're very wary of crooked cops in Latin America trying to shake down tourists, so we've discussed various strategies on how to deal with the situation if we're ever stopped.

    I've heard that a popular strategy is the "No Fumar Espanol" defense (translated: "I don't smoke Spanish"). Basically, you mangle and butcher the Spanish language so badly that the police officer gives up trying to communicate with you and lets you off in a fit of exasperation. We both agree beforehand that this is what we'll do because, quite simply, it's not far from the truth in my case.

    So we pull off right beside the police officer and over the communicator I hear Neda speak, "Buenas tardes, senor. Hay algun problema?"

    DAFUQ?!?!

    Because I don't understand Spanish, I'll give you my point of view of how the conversation went:

    A few minutes later we're on the road and I ask Neda, "What the hell just happened back there?!?"

    She replied, "Okay, so he said the fine for crossing a double yellow is that our motorcycles would be impounded for five days".
    (Five days? Is every punishment five days long in Colombia?)

    "He said that we would have to turn back towards Mosquera and wait till Monday to plead our case with the judge. Then I asked him is there any other solution to this problem?"
    (Did my wife just offer a bribe to a police officer?)

    "Then he scoffed at me"
    (Great, we get stopped by the most honest policeman in Latin America...)

    "He went on about how this was a really serious offense. But then for some reason he seemed to think that you were leading and then told me to explain to you what a bad thing you did and what a mistake it was to follow you."
    (What?!? I wasn't leading! I was following Neda! Did my wife just throw me under the bus?!?)

    "So I just nodded my head and agreed with him."
    (My wife totally threw me under the bus.)

    "It seemed to work, he let us go..."

    I listened to Neda's entire explanation in stunned silence. Forget "No Fumar Espanol". Next time we get stopped, we're "Throwing Gene Under The Bus!"

    [​IMG]
    Looking for a place to stay in Armenia

    We tiptoed through the rest of the ride, camping out behind slow-moving trucks, inhaling diesel fumes until the next broken yellow line appeared to our left. The day stretched out incredibly long this way. We were hoping to make it to the pretty touristy town of Salento, but the daylight escaped us and we were forced to stop for the evening in Armenia.

    [​IMG]
    Our hotel let us park our bikes in the spa! They slept better than we did!

    Armenia wasn't even on our radar as a place to visit, but the next morning we walked around the small city to see what it was all about. It was surprisingly nice.

    [​IMG]
    Medium size city, medium size traffic

    [​IMG]
    There seems to be an artsy vibe around town

    [​IMG]
    I do as instructed

    [​IMG]
    #PopsicleEverywhereDontCare

    [​IMG]
    Studies have shown that Omega 3 fatty acids from fish is beneficial for the heart
    ...which is totally what the artist was trying to convey. I'm sure of it...


    [​IMG]
    Hangin' out, playin' tunes.

    [​IMG]
    As if on cue, the afternoon brings rain...

    Do you remember the kid in Charlie Brown, called PigPen? He had a perpetual cloud of dust hanging around him wherever he went. I feel exactly like that, as if we've got a perpetual rain cloud lingering over our motorcycles.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Our bikes reluctantly leave the spa

    Okay, but seriously, enough with the cities, we're off to spend some time in the countryside!
  15. MrGoldfish

    MrGoldfish Been here awhile

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    Loved that last update! Enjoying this immensely.
  16. motocopter

    motocopter new place explorer

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    :rofl This is too funny!

    You two continue to bring a great story of interest and laughter. Thanks again. :D

  17. DrydenRider

    DrydenRider Sun Seeker

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    Yes, Pigpen always had a cloud of dust, but it was Shleprock, a character from the Flintstones, was the one who always had the rain cloud following him. I know tomatoe / tomato
    [​IMG]

    Of course there is always good old Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.
    [​IMG]

    At least it ain't snow, that is what we are continuing to get almost daily back home...........Onward! Keep on posting.
  18. Ratman

    Ratman Lucky Rider

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    Baja is good
    Great report, BTW. I love how you have no schedule, and go with the flow. :freaky

    I'm voting Ig switch. I fix things on my old Honda when I can. I've had my bike for 20 years. Honda's ignition switches have a contact that gets hot when the switch contacts get dirty/corroded. The hot contact burys in the nylon housing. Then When you first turn it on it gets hot enough with a little time to release that contact then you have contact.

    .....anyway a new switch would be neat, but Honda switches, at least, can be taken apart, and rebuilt. Prolly any bike shop (non BMW) could rebuild yours if you can't get a new one.

    They are just a little tricky...like on the Honda the key has to be turned to a particular position in order to get it apart. Good luck.
  19. Trane Francks

    Trane Francks Been here awhile

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    Sep 4, 2012
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    If getting thrown under the bus means getting off of a 5-day impound, I say we're good. :wink:
  20. Jake

    Jake crustacean

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
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    40
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    So Fla
    Awesome, and hello again! Loved catching up with your travels.

    Might I add, that was quick thinking and excellent negotiating with the law. Last time I was stopped I had my wife argue with me loudly and mercilessly, berating me for my poor judgement- all for the officer to witness.

    Officer: "Calm down please, Ma'am"
    Wife: "I'll calm down as soon as he stops being so stupid. STOOOOPIIIID!
    Me: Offered the most pathetic whupped "help me" puppy dog look I could muster (it was more natural to summon than I had hoped).

    When the officer returned to the car after running my tag/license (clean), he looked at me, sighed and said "Here's your license sir, and I'm going to let you go. You've been punished enough for one day."

    I'll take the bus instead of a ticket everytime. Works like a charm.

    Safe travels you two!