Tierra del Fuego — WHATSUP WITH SALSA? Puerto Cisnes, Chile 29 January 2019 Miles: 9,466 BACKGROUND: Salsa is my 1995 R100RT BMW “Airhead” motorcycle, with 115K miles on the odometer. On 1 November 2018 we left Colorado Springs, Colorado heading for the tip of South America. Prior to departing Matt Parkhouse and I worked to make her as ready as possible for the long ride ahead: new fluids throughout; new tires; valves and carbs adjusted; (relatively) new battery; and so on. She was as ready as we could make her for the long ride ahead. SINCE DEPARTING: Ecuador — The generator failed, and the battery went dead. A mechanic, at the Moto Hell shop in Quito, repaired the generator and re-charged the battery. Good to go! Peru — The speedometer/RPM cable broke. Using DHL Matt expedited the shipment of a new one, and soon we were on our way again. A few days of delay, and some $$$ for the cable and shipment. Good to go! Argentina —The volt meter stopped working, and so did the horn and turn signals. A 15-amp fuse solved the problem for a day, then they all stopped working again. Nirbhai/BattDoc, with whom I was riding, confirmed that the battery was still getting a charge, so I kept on going. The fuse was still good, so the problem lay elsewhere. OK to go! Chile — After filling the tank with gas, about 50 yards down the road I noticed smoke, and stopped. I was horrified to see actual flames, right underneath that full gas tank! A bottle of water and some coffee doused the flames. Under the tank I found a mass of melted cables and wires. At an automotive shop nearby I met Victor, the owner and also a motorcycle rider. Over the next few days he went “above and beyond” to help me get Salsa on the road, and offer me his friendship. He towed me to the home of Richard, who spent long hours cleaning up the mess and getting Salsa repaired. Melted BMW wires were replaced with ones from his shop. The BMW cables were replaced with bicycle ones. And he installed a new 30-amp “master” fuse for the entire bike. I hope that was a good idea! When I finally picked-up Salsa, everything worked! All the gages function properly. The horn blows, and the turn signals flash. Also, while in Puerto Montt, Chile, I replaced her rear tire with a Michelin on-off road one. In short, Salsa is in better shape now than before the fire! She’s good to go! NOTE: I’ve gained great confidence in the creative, MacGyver ingenuity and talents of the mechanics here in South America.