Friday, November 18, 2005

Bummed at BMW

Friday, November 18, 2005 3:00 p.m.

I apologize for allowing the blog to fall behind lately. I’ve been preoccupied with the task of finding new tires, and it’s not the kind of stuff that makes for a good story. That said, of course I’m going to tell the story anyway.

I arrived here in Lima last Friday night, so that I could contact motorcycle shops Saturday morning. It has been six days, and I’m no nearer to having tires. But I’m not leaving Peru until I at least have a new front tire on the bike.

Meanwhile, the motorcycle makes a wonderful attraction parked just inside the wrought-iron fence of this hostel. Passersby pause to examine it. Cars pull to the curb to have a closer look. I guess it’s a very unusual sight here.

Once I have some tires on the way, I can relax and take some day trips. The current tires are fine for that.

This morning, Carolina resumed calling motorcycle shops for me, but the answers were all the same. Those tires are not available here. “Why not try Barbacci?”

I began focusing on the idea of importing tires from the U.S. and checking into costs of DHL, Fed Ex and UPS services. All quotations were in the $700 to 800 range.

Then, I posted queries on the "Horizons Unlimited" and "Adventure Rider" websites. What have other riders done in this situation?

I then wrote to BMW Motorrad dealers in Brazil, Colombia and Argentina to see if they could possibly supply them at a better price.

It’s just insane to have these motorcycles now traveling all over the World and not have tires readily available to supply the traveler. BMW needs to follow up on support, not just focus on flashy showrooms. (Their showrooms are like little cultural oases, but of what value is it when their service is useless?)

The unreliability of BMW representatives in Latin America has been astounding. Voice, e-mail and fax messages go unanswered. Promises are ignored. It's all about making the sale. Once that's done, the responsibility ends. Quito was a prime example.

(Is my frustration showing just a bit?)


Dusty Davis said...

Hi Tim,

It's Dusty here - I talked to you quite a bit before you left. I've got no advice, only encouragement. Your site is fascinating (I'm just catching up after not reading for a while).

If I can help in any way, please let me know. Best of luck and safe travels.


timtraveler said...

Hey, Dusty!

Good to hear from you. Thanks for the good thoughts.

As you know, you got me started on this blog stuff!