First, a dead battery, second an overheating radiator, third a burnt generator. Okay so we make our farewell from the family in Veracruz. You can imagine that people were crying and everyone wanted to see us off… blah, blah, blah. So away we went having agreed that this was one of the best visits, most productive family visits anyways, that we have had yet. Yeah for the success, until we get about 35 kilometres from town and my battery dies.
It was a weird battery death; these motorbikes are equipped with brains and the brains don’t just kill the battery they start turning off organs. First the ABS, then the head lamps, then the fuel injection, then you start pushing. The short story is we spent the next few days figuring it all out by taking a best guess. The alternator seemed to be giving power and the battery was old and had sat for a week so we thought it might be near death, we charged it and tried to leave again. Again we got a little further then battery death again. This time it was enough, by now 3 days had passed and we were taking off with a brand new battery.
The funny part is when you say your farewell to people only to show up later in the day with a look of stupefaction about the situation and then repeat it over and over again. Of course third one is a charm and with the new battery we were off, until we got to nearly the same place that the battery first died and guess what, stopped. Deya’s radiator decided to unload the total of its contents at the toll booth. This time we had our stupefied looks set in stone as we returned and started figuring out the best place to take the bike. It would end up in the BMW dealer in Veracruz. They would flush the radiator and swap the fluids for magic BMW blue stuff and break the thermostat getting it out. That meant a new thermostat which might have been the thing to do anyways, but I’m not sure.
There goes a few more days, but now we are good to go. We set off taking the ridiculously expensive and crappy toll highways in order to avoid the ‘zone of mechanical failures’. It all goes so well, minus some retards (I’ll rant later), until we get to Cuernavaca and onto the busiest street in the city, near a sketchy zone as it turns out. That’s when my new battery died and I started pushing 300 kilograms plus up hill in 32 degrees Celsius to a safe place to park.
Fortunately for us BMW MOA came to the rescue and Jimmy came by to tow us in. This became one of those good riders meet riders experiences and I learned how to tow my bike behind another vehicle with relative ease. We decided that for sure the alternator was the problem; it was giving power at 4000 rpm’s but only enough to slowly drain the battery on the highway and murder it in the city. We figured that the 90 kilometres to the Lerma BMW dealer could easily be made with a fully charged battery so Jimmy hooked it up and found us a place to stay for the night. Thanks Jimmy! By the way, Jimmy is moving to Vancouver Canada with his family and we’ll be lucky to have them, best wishes for the move and every success for your team!
It was decided on the spot that Jimmy would escort us to Lerma; being Sunday, some of the BMW Club members would like to come along. The next morning we met at a nearby gas station for the trip. We would start on the highway then take, what seemed like a secret route, to a fantastic and twisty road up to about 3000 metres for breakfast.
The route was one of the best we have travelled in Mexico (Lagunas de Zempoala National Park) and the entire group was fantastic to ride with. When we finished breakfast we parted ways as our trip would be short to the dealer. A couple other riders decided to carry on with us and make sure we got there. Of course my bike didn’t want to start at first and I immediately started pushing like a well trained mule. Eventually it did start and I think it might have been due more to the altitude and cold.
We got to the dealer and dropped off the bike and keys, since it was Sunday they were closed and we would attend in the morning to see the situation. The boys took us down to a motel that was very close and economical. The motel had been recommended to us by our other contact from the BMW Club in Morelia. It makes sense to go there if you are at the dealership and it’s located near a commercial centre where you can get food and other things.
We got dropped off, Deya as a passenger and me on her bike with most of our stuff. The motel only allows one vehicle to enter and once you leave you can’t come back. Odd, but what was really funny was when we got inside. The inside was a very comfortable hotel suite, they brought us complementary beer and chips, had room service available, good shower, modern furnishings, special pillows shaped like huge wedges of cheese and mirrors from wall to wall. The mirrors made the room look huge. I turned on the television to check the weather and found out it would be good, they had a couple movie channels too but mostly it was porn…lol…
At 330 pesos it was actually a good deal and much nicer than many places we’ve stayed for much more and in a pinch it was an entertaining place to stay. Deya walked over to the Wal-Mart and got some fruit and stuff for dinner and we managed to watch a series of Hellboy and Will Smith movies. Good enough, we didn’t even hear the neighbours.
The next day we headed to the shop and they started working on the bike. The generator was fried, literally it looked burnt and they said that it happens sometimes. The replacement would occur the same day but we would have to spend the night again. I was keen to get to the next city but Deya wanted to go back to the porn palace, hmmmm. The boss at the dealer said we could stay in their guest quarters so we did that instead…lol. It was a good all round experience at the Lerma Dealer.
They sent us to the cafeteria and treated us to lunch, which was good. We got a quick tour of the assembly operation for BMW’s armoured vehicles. Two different calibre lines were the principle assembly lines and it was impressive stuff. Basically you have to double the value of the car once it’s bullet resistant and the key with armouring is not the armour but making the vehicle so it is still capable of an efficient getaway. Much more complicated than it might seem.
Tomorrow we head off to meet with our Comrade Octavio. We’ve known Octavio for a while but have yet to meet him so this will be good. I’m still looking forward to getting North but this route through Mexico has been really regarding and meeting so many riders a real highlight. It takes a rider to understand a rider and being around people with a similar idea about things like this makes one feel at home.