Gasket Search in Cusco

The morning I went to leave for Machu Picchu I started the bike and quickly realized I had a problem in my exhaust system. The rest of the hostal probably realized that too. Sorry! Then I remembered that on the ride to Cusco a few days earlier I thought my bike was loud but I ride with ear plugs and I forgot about it till just now.

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Since I already had my ticket to Machu Picchu I rode there and would fix it when I returned to Cusco. I’m not sure how but the gasket is no longer there from where the muffler connects to the exhaust pipe. The service manual doesn’t give an specs on the gasket but thankfully a few ADVRiders posted descriptions. I walked around to about two dozen moto and car parts stores and couldn’t find a gasket that would work.

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The street for moto shops is Ave Wayna Capac beginning at Av de La Cultura

Plan B – make a temp fix until I can get the right gasket. People suggested I try aluminum heat tape or hi temp silicone. Back to the streets of Cusco I walked around from shop to shop looking for either of these parts. It was a wild goose chase. One shop owner would say “oh the shop across the street will have that” I’d walk to that shop and they’d say “the shop around the corner is where you can buy that.” None of the shops had it. Finally I found aluminum tape, it wasn’t exhaust specific tape but it said for hot temps so I bought it. I then found hi temp silicone.

I opted to try the aluminum tape as I thought it would last longer. I cut the tape in 1 1/2 inch strip and wrapped it around the pipe several times until it looked thick enough. I ended up putting too much on and the muffler wouldn’t fit so I had to peel a bit off.

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IMG_4792I put the muffler back on and clamped it down. I started the engine and tested it out. No air was coming out. Success. Though this is just a temporary fix. I still need a gasket. I called and emailed every BMW shop in Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina and none had the gasket I need. Irv Seaver BMW has it in stock in California so I’ll have my friend mail it to me in Chile.

After I fixed the leak I wanted to adjust the rear suspension. I kept the stock air shock that BMW put on the X Challenge so I use an air pump to adjust it. While adjusting I accidentally let all of the air of the shock. It took a bit to get it back up to normal pressure but after that it was ready to ride.

Ooops. Low rider X Challenge.

Ooops. Low rider X Challenge.

UPDATE: During the first 30 miles of riding the adhesive on the aluminum tape melted off causing the exhaust to smoke a lot when stopped and left a residue on the frame. It held for the 300+ miles to Puno and to La Paz.

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