Mechanical failure part 2

The hot-wiring has worked like a dream – but some or other gnat has crawled into the electronics and like a leach has sucked our battery dry! It’s a brand new battery, load tested and charged!

So we are crossing from one small bit of Chile to another smaller bit of chile, both bits wedged into a snippet of Argentina, at the Magelinnas ferry crossing below the 50th parallel en route to Fin del Mondo – Ushuaia, or worlds end…… And our bike won’t start! Now we are stuck on the ferry!

The landscape looks like the karoo.... but feels like the middle of the night in the karoo

A few silent prayers and signs to the ferryman to say ‘dead bike’ and she fires! 30km later in no-mans land the guy at the sole petrol station says he only accepts Chilean currency!(of which we have none)….so we top up with our extra fuel…..dead bike again! 2 hours later, re-wiring the fuel pump (which by the way it turns out was ok) and sending a pile load of volts through our battery we are alive and racing towards Rio Grande crossing border posts and blazing ripio with the engine never turned off!!!!!! Oh, in between not being smeared off the gravel by a howling cross wind – estimated speed 100km/HR wind, how I know this – it’s as hard a wind as you meet when standing on the back of a bakkie going 120km.

Cathy dressed in her full biking kit... notice how the jacket is blown forward and the stunning hairstyle courtesy of the howling winds

??? So what’s the problem- presumed to be the GPS – it draws a lot of charge continually from the bike, we disconnected it and so far the battery has held up….. It’s directly hooked to the battery so it draws ALL the time.

Let’s see if she starts tomorrow…….

Categories: Bike stuff | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Mechanical failure part 2

  1. tracey

    maybe you could just blow across South America? Congrats on the the glass half full attitude – character building stuff people! I hope that is the last hiccup and the rest is plain cruising!

  2. Andy Cluver

    Ok, More information from BMW . I went to the Cape Town branch today as Bellville have sold their last “electronic fuel pump”
    Turns out , the “blue” pump was recalled by the BMW guys a year or two ago (never told us) and is now replaced by the “black” pump !! I have it in my hand , and with the help of the “SAA” pilots network , we are accessing the next pilot/flight to BA to have it delivered to Allan Falk at Sundance Tours (just behing Harods ) .
    Plan ,part 2 , is for Allan to get it to a place near to you ??

    Maby a “jap” bike for the next trip !!!!


    Dad .

  3. Alex Cluver

    Very jealous of the adventure guys (albeit not so much of the camping in freezing conditions!) Enjoy travelling up towards the heat šŸ™‚ Keep the updates coming.

    Lots of love


    • Cathy

      Luckily we didn’t camp last night. I’m not sure if I would have survived the temperature with all of my fingers and toes intact. šŸ˜‰

  4. Hi Guys, great trip and great stories. Got onto your site from the cousin of your Cathy’s dad (David C.) I rode with David a few years back while I was travelling in SA. I have a few other Canadian friends somewhere near you heading south to Ushuaia. Jordan and Sandra from Canada, each on 650’s. Say hi if you see them! Enjoy the wind.

  5. DCL

    Hmmm. Sounds like enough annoyances to keep you challenged and Cathy impressed!. Hopefully the wind will drop a little and the electrons will build up. Thanks for explaining the pic of Cath – at first glance I thought you has captured a shot of the rare and exotic Chilean Yellow Armadillo.

    I would bet a buck or two that your battery issues follow directly from the fuel pump bypass. The pump is drawing much more power than usual and the alternator can’t match it and the other toys so the battery slowly drains while riding instead of charging. Turn off everything else you can (yes, that includes those fancy hand warmers) for now and find a way to get a new FPC.

    • Andrew

      It’s a rare species indeed – currently on the verge of hypothermic extinction- tomorrow will be the ultimate trial as it braves the Tierro del Fiego -camping after daytime low of 4.5 degrees…..

      Battery was load tested today and seems fine, suspect the culprit was the gnat! GPS banned to pannier bag!

  6. You guys are seriously impressive – Cath really impressed with you – prikkelpoppie with substance šŸ™‚ Sounds like you are having an amamazing adventure! ENJOY cannot wait for the next update. Keep safe and warm.

  7. Margy Gracey

    Hey guys it sounds like you are having so much fun! Just the kind of holiday we all long for! Pity no one pointed out how much of an energy gobbler the GPS would be. However, at least you would have been able to see where you were just before everything flat-lined… And at least you have been able to id and deal with each crisis so far. Hope you now have some local cash in your pockets!

  8. Franelise

    You guys are my hero’s. šŸ™‚ GO GO GO!!!

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