Stuck in La Paz, Baja

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by NathanCooper, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. NathanCooper

    NathanCooper n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    La Paz, Baja Mexico
    My brother and I left the UP of Michigan about 3 weeks ago on a KLR650 and a DR650 with plans of making it to Tierra del Fuego. We've made it down to Todos Santos, Baja Mexico, but my oil guzzling KLR seized up just short of La Paz. I hitched a ride the rest of the way in and went to the mechanic. The camshaft is done (there are a few other things that are needed on the list as well).

    All the parts ordered through the mechanic would cost me $1,500 (so that doesn't include labor). At that price, I count it as totaled.

    So now I'm stuck in La Paz looking for help. I could use a donor KLR650. Mine is a 2000, so I think the years that are compatible for my most expensive broken part (11008-1297 HEAD-COMP-CYLINDER) are 1997-2007. If anyone knows KLR650s and if I can use other years or anything, I'm kind of desperate here.

    Or, I guess I'm looking for a new enduro. So if anyone is around La Paz or Mazatlan or not too far from there that can sell me something cheap to get me to Argentina, that'd also be good.

    This is my first long motorcycle journey, so I'm new to this, but it'd be a shame to end it so soon.
    #1
  2. jachard

    jachard Been here awhile

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    Give Chris Haines a call( see contact information below). One of his guides, Pepe, is a resident of La Paz and might be able to help. Pepe is a great guy!

    Chris Haines Motorcycle adventures:

    tours@chrishaines.com
    (866) 262-8635
    #2
  3. MrPepper

    MrPepper Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Mexico city
    Kawasaki parts are not cheap in Mexico i think there is only one importer, my recommendation, buy the parts online, ebay or something. send them to San Diego, get on a bus to pick them up, that way you'll save some dollars. plan B, get to main land get the ferry to mazatlan i think it will be easier to find anything in main land, to be in la paz is like to be on an island. once in mazatlan contact some one in Guadalajara is on of the 3 biggest citys in mexico. there are a lot of klrs in mexico may be buy one used. this is like mexican ebay http://mercadolibre.com

    good luck!
    #3
  4. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

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    Strangel Living West of Hell, SoCal
    ....you might post here on this thread, if you have a Paypal account and solicit donations.
    No promises but can't hurt to try... :norton
    Best to post a pic or two to show you're the real deal as well.
    #4
  5. Baja Ho

    Baja Ho Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    844
    Location:
    Central Coast, CA. USA & Cabo San Lucas, Baja Sur
    Also, you may want to post in Trip Planning, Americas.
    #5
  6. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,558
    Location:
    Alaska
    This is the best idea. You are still close to San Diego, only a long bus ride or short flight away.

    Or you could even sell the bike, bus it up to SD and pick up another bike. Plenty of DRZ's, DR650's and KLR's for sale in SoCal.
    #6
  7. enduroranger175

    enduroranger175 Adventurer

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    38
    #7
  8. enduroranger175

    enduroranger175 Adventurer

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  9. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in

    Joined:
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    PM sent
    hello, ..... so did you get all the pieces of the broken doohickey removed when you were in Colorado? ...or is there more time bombs waiting in that engine?....you get what I am saying....

    from your blog...
    "He was even able to help me through a doohickey replacement, which is arguably necessary with all KLRs. Turns out mine was broken and probably had been for a while. Without the change, my bike was just waiting to self destruct.""

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. NathanCooper

    NathanCooper n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    La Paz, Baja Mexico
    Thanks for the responses, guys. I'll try posting things in their proper place from now on. I'm still figuring things out.

    The website I've posted most of the trip on so far is www.endurobros.com

    If you can help with a couple of dollars http://igg.me/p/212197?a=1090001 anything is appreciated. I expected upkeep costs, but this is a bit beyond that.

    Heading back up to San Diego to get the replacement parts doesn't seem to be in the cards just because it'd take too long. Waiting for the parts to ship wouldn't work for the same reason... people down here, local and expat, say that even "overnight" is far from.

    We've asked a couple local shops and one said he might have a donor not too far away, but that still seems a long shot. I think we're to the point where we're looking for different bike to finish the job.

    I'm waiting on a response from Pepe, but it looks likely at this point that we're going to head to Mazatlan and look for a bike in mainland Mexico.

    Thanks again for all the advice!
    #10
  11. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    This is good advice. Finding another KLR in Mexico is easy. Finding one with straight papers that you can register in your name AND that isn't completely thrashed for anything less than a fortune is NOT EASY. Bikes cost a lot more down here than they do in the states... especially if they're legal and in good condition. With the number of border crossings you have ahead of yourself, you want your papers to be straight. Labor to fix stuff here is cheap. Just make sure your wrench knows what he's doing. A lot of them down here DON'T. I vote to fix what you got. If you're that close to the states don't ship anything. It'll take 1+ weeks even if it's overnighted and stands a decent chance of not showing up. You'll get dinged for duty on whatever you ship too. Once you factor in food and lodging it's cheaper to just fly or bus up to SD, buy what you need and fly or bus back. Not cheap, just cheaper.

    Inspiration:
    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/ssd/mcy/3277520982.html

    Here's what KLRs cost in Guad:
    http://www.anumex.com/result.jsp?region=15&category=50&keywords=klr

    ...a lot.
    #11
  12. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    460
    Location:
    Mex City
    I agree with what was said. Go to the States by bus (Bus are cheap) after ordering the parts pick them up and come back. There are very few parts for a KLR in Mexico. I tried getting sprokets and it would take 3-4 weeks (Mexican weeks which can be much longer) You have no idea if a donor bike will have useable parts and will waste more time finding out. Things don't move fast here in Mexico and people work on a different time frame.
    I feel sorry you had the problem but the best solution has been given in various posts just do it.
    #12
  13. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    PLUS ONE!
    Exactly the right thing to do. ... or find a friendly Canadian headed North with room in his Toy Hauler. Get it to the US side, trade or sell cheap and buy another bike. Plenty around. SoCal ain't the UP. You can have another bike in a day or two.

    Good luck! Nothing in Mexico will be cheap in terms of buying a bike. But LABOR is very cheap ... except not so much in La Paz ... Gringo prices for Gringos.
    #13
  14. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Bellingham, Washington
    OP, you're not thinking clearly. First, your bike is not totaled at all based on what you're saying. Others have made that point clearly.

    Second, if you want to keep riding south your options are limited: you can fix the bike you've got, or you can buy another. If buying another, you'll save a thousand bucks easily and have a much better chance of getting a reasonable bike in California. If you think that's too much trouble, you haven't thought about how much trouble (in addition to money) buying locally will be. It sounds like you think you're a long way from home. You're not. Home is right next door. If this happened in Patagonia, THAT"S a long way from home.

    Lastly, you had a bike burning or blowing a lot of oil.....you knew this, yet ran it dry? Or did I misunderstand this part? Whatever: you will want to get a grip on this part of traveling by motorcycle: you can't just ignore serious maintenance issues without paying the price. I'm not clear why anyone would donate cash to your cause if you can't describe convincingly what you're doing differently to prevent the same thing from happening again. There are a lot of ways to trash a motorcycle, and only a few ways to treat them right (IMHO). If you want a bike which won't let you down in ways you can't even imagine, you've got to treat it right.

    Hope that's helpful. If not, please feel free to ignore.

    Mark
    #14
  15. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    out and about
    Buy a good, used DR650 in SoCal for $3k and share spares with your friend.
    #15
  16. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,558
    Location:
    Alaska
    $6500 USD for a 2008 model.

    2009 KLR in San Diego $3750

    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/mcy/3281310160.html

    Its really a no brainer to bus it up to San Diego for parts. If you want to get another bike, find a ride for you and your bike up to SD if you have already gotten the Mexican TVIP.

    Youre only in Southern Baja, not on the moon. If it happened in the middle of the Bolivian Altiplano you might as well be on the moon, or Mars, but this is not the case. SD is close and makes the most sense.

    Youre going to Tierra del F'king Fuego. It will only take a week to get things sorted in SD whether that be parts or a new bike. If you cant swing it financially the only downside is that a bit of a shorter trip is in your future. Lemonade man, make some lemonade.
    #16
  17. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    The KLR is some kinda cultish bike for long-mile travelrs. There's history there.

    GS'ers and KLR'ers...:)

    All bikes have their own faults - a given.

    If I were in Baja, and was considering a semi rebuild of a KLR to go further, to be used to realize great dreams, and had the bucks available to buy another good, low mileage bike of a different make, I would get another bike.

    Without question.
    #17
  18. ADV Fool

    ADV Fool Been here awhile

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    Dec 16, 2008
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    Plumas Lake, CA
    What he said, what's the plan?
    #18
  19. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    Location:
    Thailand
    "Adventure is just bad planning"
    Roald Amundsen

    After going through the OP's blog, seems to me some of the problems could've been prevented with diligent homework regarding the KLR's issues.
    I did a bunch of research prior to embarking with a KLR for a travel bike.
    Also it sounds like they entered Mexico with an oil burning bike. There's a very good solution for that readily available in the USA.
    The best solution really seems to be to backtrack to the USA and try again using all the hard won experience.

    I just got a blown shock on my bike down here in Peru. It had well over 20k miles of heavy pounding in some rather nasty conditions.
    Rick at Cogent has been the best help imaginable in getting a new one down to me.
    #19
  20. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    ...hmmm...no answers...scamagram?
    Guess I'm just a sucker for donating...:deal
    #20