I’ve been in Buenos Aires about two weeks since my friends Tim and Angie headed back to the States. While I’m loving this fantastic city with its European flair, Latin feel, great food and wine, it’s time to get Doc back into shape and get on the road. Not sure what my plan is, but first things first.
It’s been more than 5,000 miles (9,500 km) since I left Santiago and headed for the bottom of the world. I through on a new set of tires in Santiago, Brazillian made Metzler Saharas. And now in Buenos Aires the rear tire is nearly done. Sure, I could get another 500 miles out of it. But my plan is to head to Brazil and we’re in the rainy season. I’d rather swallow the extra miles I might get out of the Metzler and just bite the bullet with a new tire.
Other issues I need to check include the steering head bearings and valve clearances. I could have the local BMW dealer handle this, however I feel more comfortable in the capable hands of Javier at Dakar Motos. Plus, I can assist, watch and learn — all the while enjoying the company of other motorcyclists, drinking mate and listening to good music.
To tackle the steering head bearings, Javier had to strip Doc down almost “naked”. It’s quite a project to get to these bearings. And getting the bearings out takes a little patience, experience and strengh. But when we finally had the forks off and Javier pulled the bearings out my thoughts were confirmed. A groove had started to wear in the outer race of the lower bearing. The upper looked okay, but it makes sense to replace everything new considering the amount of work required to get to the bearings.
The same thing applies to valve clearances. Lots of parts, including the cylinder head, of course, need to come off in order to get to the valves. Suffice to say, my valves were in spec but perhaps by the time I get to Rio de Janeiro they might need a bit of shimming.
Viajito. A small trip.
Over the past few days I’d been in contact with Daniel, my friend from Bolivar. He and Juan were planning a short weekend trip to Cordoba Province and the mountains surrounding. I’d had so much fun traveling, partying and hanging with these guys it was a no brainer to take the next weekend and head toward Cordoba. I had come close to visiting Cordoba in December, but then it just didn’t make sense to take the time.
So my plan this weekend is to get Doc put back together and meet these guys south of Cordoba and make the trip to Villa General Belgrano.