Smashed my DRz up in Colombia. HELP needed!!!

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by peteFoulkes, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    I'm currently on a round the world trip but had a pretty major off a couple of days ago and completely smashed my frame and crank case up on my DRz 400. I'm absolutely gutted. You can have a read about our trip here if you wish to: www.toughmiles.com
    We may be able to repair the frame by welding a new piece in but I need to get hold of a new crank case.

    I'm currently in Pasto in Southern Colombia. Does anyone know of any DRzs for sale in Colombia? Either new or for spares and repairs?

    Any help would be massively appreciated!

    Pete.
    #1
  2. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    If you only punched a hole in the case, and it's not structually detrimental (think bearing seats), you can patch it with some suitable material and something like JBweld...or possibly just JB by itself.

    If you posted pics, that would be helpful.

    Frames can always, always be fixed.
    #2
  3. DaytonaMike

    DaytonaMike Adventurer

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    #3
  4. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    Hey Lone Rider,

    Yeah, we're hoping we can find a fix for it. We have cut the damaged part of the frame out and will weld something in to replace it. here is how it looked before:

    [​IMG]

    The crack case itself took a bit of a battering and is quite badly damaged.

    [​IMG]

    In addition to that, the magnesium cover has also cracked:

    [​IMG]

    The mechanic here has told me that he has addressed the crack in the cover but I'm yet to see the finished product so fingers crossed. We initially thought the welder was going to have a go at repairing the case in the bike but he later asked us to drop the engine out. Once we got to that stage he then mentioned how the oil vapors present were effecting the weld so has requested we strip the engine completely down. This is beyond my exposure to stripping bikes down so I'm having to put a lot of trust in a mechanic with whom I can only speak broken Spanish.
    You really don't realise what you have got until it's gone! I would do anything to be able to get back on my bike and continue this trip tomorrow.
    #4
  5. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    Thanks for this Mike. Certainly not cheap but food for thought. Thanks for your input.

    Pete
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  6. GSAragazzi

    GSAragazzi Long timer

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    Not much help but wishing all the luck.
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  7. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the good wishes! I'm determined to ride South America. I'm sure we can work something out.
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  8. Byron1

    Byron1 Been here awhile

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    Hi Pete,

    Sorry to hear of your troubles... Hope you are ok?

    I am riding down through Costa Rica at the moment and will be getting the boat across on the 26th... Am sure you can get the same stuff there as you can hear, but if you think there may be anything you want picking up from San Jose or Panama City let me know and I can collect and bring with....

    Recently had a similar (although not as bad) problem myself. Sucks, but it is all part of the adventure... Calm seas make not skilfull sailors!

    All the best,

    Byron
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  9. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    Hi Bryan,

    Thanks for your concerns. No more than a few cuts and bruises for me. Thankfully I had all the gear on or it would have been a different story. As for your kind offer of parts, I have a feeling it will be as much of a struggle to source DR-z parts in Panama to be honest but thanks for a kind offer.
    As I understand, Ecuadorian customs is much more straight forward to clear in comparison to Colombian customs so if we really do need to get parts shipped from the UK or the States then Quito may be my best bet. As it stands, the mechanic we are using here, or the maestro as he is known locally, is confident he can work something out with enough time behind the welding gun using the existing damaged parts. I guess it's just a waiting game now.

    Keep in contact though. Maybe we'll see you pass through if we are still here. Pasto doesn't have a huge amount on offer to be honest so we would be glad of the company for a beer or two.

    Pete.
    #9
  10. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    A quick one to thank everyone for their input. Believe it or not we're already back on the road despite not sourcing any parts locally in Colombia. It turns out you guys were right when advising that I need to have faith in the local mechanics ability.

    In short, he cut out the damaged part of the frame and replaced it by welding in a new tube. With the assistance of the welder just further down the road they managed to weld up the damaged crank case although the welder did require the entire engine to be fully stripped before starting his weld. 'Maestro', as the mechanic is know locally had no issues rebuilding the engine and had it completed in no time.

    We've since ridden from Pasto, Colombia down to Banos in Ecuador and the bike is performing really well. Fingers crossed it can get me all the way down to Argentina.

    Here are some pics of the botched up job...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Always like seeing something repaired in SA:clap:clap:clap
    Amazing what can be done with a few resources.
    #11
  12. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Just incredible! :clap Beautiful work!

    I wish you guys well ... hoping the DRZ hangs together till Argentina!
    Looking at the broad view ... the bike is really of little importance. If you were seriously hurt ... well that would have been an adventure of another kind. :eek1

    Bike parts and repairs are simple and cheap compared to body parts and recovery time.
    Been there, done that. :cry

    Was your crash a single vehicle accident or other vehicles involved?

    PS: DRZ400's are relatively cheap and plentiful in the USA. Might not be a bad idea to arrange some spares from breakers, Ebay .. or where ever ... for stand-by use for future .... adventures. :D
    Getting parts in may cost you ... but ... there are ways around it if you contact the "right" people. I hope you need nothing ... but makes sense to at least have a plan ... like a Suzuki shop in the US who can post parts in a few days. Often times business to business shipments get through more quickly, even pay less duty. Maybe even American Suzuki can help ... since you have a connection there?? There are Suzuki dealers in Ecuador ... I think the Police use DR650's and Freewind's. Might be DRZ's there too ... dunno.

    Good luck guys. Stay safe!
    #12
  13. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Yeah, lots of Suzi dealers in SA. Very few Zeds down there though. Probably easier to get KTM parts there than Zed parts.

    Great job on the repair, Some of those Latino mechanics can work magic, they do it all the time down there. You learn to work with what you have.

    Grifter is correct, no matter what happens with the bike can be fixed with a little searching. Your body, not so much. Glad you came through that unhurt.
    #13
  14. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Great news.
    I'll suggest doing a very early - one or two times - oil changes on the motor.
    The environments in which the motors are opened and closed/rebuilt are not always the most clean.
    Just an fyi.
    #14
  15. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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    Nice. Way to get it back on the road at all costs. A lot of people would've given up on a cracked case and mangled frame. I hope it still runs right and continues to do so long enough to finish the trip. Even if it doesn't, you'll have gone down fighting. Way to be. I salute you.:devildog
    #15
  16. 150ron

    150ron Long timer

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    Very nice, glad you are once again on the bike, he did a great job considering, imo.

    was there a skid plate on the bike? (not the stock one, a aftermarket one)
    #16
  17. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I had an aftermarket one on. It got smashed to bits but he managed to recover around half of it! I'll get a pic up of that ASAP but this internet connection is far too slow.
    #17
  18. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    This is so true. I've just hear news of two riders we met in Mexico coincidentally crashing really close to where I came off just 2 weeks later. Unfortunately theirs ended in a broken leg and numerous operations in Pasto. It made me realise just how valid this point really is.

    Just my stupid self. I still don't know exactly what happened but somehow I found myself in the gutter on the side of a mountain road at full speed. I don't know if I just lost concentration for split second or took my eyes of the road to take in the view. I managed to somehow stay upright on the bike in the gutter for a few seconds before hitting a huge concrete block which smashed through the bottom end. I'll never forgive myself for such a stupid mistake.

    I really couldn't agree more and this really is a lesson learned for my future rides.

    The good news is we have now entered Peru and despite a very minor oil leak from the crank case, the bike is holding up really well! Fingers crossed!
    #18
  19. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I completely agree. We're on the case!
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  20. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    Damn! That is really Great News! :wings You may just make it through! :slurpCheers!
    You guys keep your heads up ... eyes open and focused well ahead!

    Suerte! y Seguro!
    #20