California to Argentina: Breakdowns and Maintenance

Here’s the rundown of what my 2007 BMW G650X Challenge motorcycle needed over the course of 8 months and 20,000 miles from California to Argentina.


Regular Maintenance

  • 3 Rear Tires (Heidenau K60, TKC-80, Conti-Escape)
  • 1 Front Tire (Heidenau K60 – entire trip)
  • Rear Brake Pads: 1 set
  • Chain: 2 (installed in Ecuador)
  • Front and Rear Sprockets: 1 set
  • Rear Wheel Bearings: 1 set
  • Oil Changes: 5


  • Flat Tires: 4 (rear)
  • Mirror mounts: 3
  • Rear Rack bolts broken : 2 at 6mm
  • Ignition wire solder
  • Heated handgrip wire solder
  • Exhaust to muffler gasket: 1
  • Front Wheel Bearings: 2 sets
  • Rear Sprocket Carrier Bearings: 1 set
  • Headlight Fuse: 1
  • Tool Tube brackets broke
  • Steering Stabilizer rod
  • Giant Loop pannier strap
  • Chain guard bolt: x3
  • Windscreen bolt: x1


  1. Brad Evans says

    My bike is a new 650 V strom, did you have a hard time finding tires that fit? Maybe, more importantly, where is the best city in SA to buy tires, brakes etc?

    Are you planning another adventure, you must be dying to hit the road.

    Your right about getting nervous, my heads going crazy with details. Im gonna do as you suggest and chill.

    Im heading from Vancouver south, about 50 F.

    Your posts are super helpful for planning.
    Thanks Dan

    • Dan Ford says

      I needed to replace my rear Heindenau scout around Columbia but I was planning on doing a few repairs in Quito so I waited. I spent a day in Quito Ecuador trying to find a tire with no luck. I rode south and easily found a shop in Cuenca, Ecuador (Tedasa Tires) where I picked up a new TKC80 for almost the same price as in the US. I also replaced my brake pads in Cuenca. But I had my spare pads with me. I again easily found tires in Santiago, Chile.

        • Dan Ford says

          Hey Brad – not necessarily. Big cities are a pain to get around and find the stores you need. For example in Quito I spent an entire day to find a tire. But in the much smaller city of Cuenca I found a tire and had it installed within an hour. Motos are much more common down there so there are many more moto shops.

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