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Entry 34 // Finally it's Nicks turn!

Update by: Luke | March 18th, 2011

In Cape Town I felt really bad having my bike break down before we were even on the road. I felt like an idiot for buying a 08' KTM 690 when I was fully aware that many of them had bad fuel pumps. Why coudn't I be smart like nick and just buy a BMW and have no problems? I'll tell you why, I thought I would get lucky and not have any problems. Well on a trip this long, you are guarenteed to have bike problems no matter what you have. Lucky for me, Today is Nicks turn. We wake up at Jeff and Van's place and have a casual breakfast. They are excited to show us the town and we are excited to see it and hang out with them. However, first comes first. We need to trouble shoot Nicks bike to find out why it won't run. Nick thinks it will start up because it sat all night., but he was wrong. The bike just cranks over with no thoughts of firing. It's broke for real this time. Yesssssss!!!! I think, finally it's not just my bike. Maybe I wasn't dumb for buying what i did. Time to trouble shoot.

First we get out my volt meter and see if the fuel pump is even getting power when we crank the starter. It's not getting power. Bad fuel relay? There are no fuses to check. Hmm...BMW uses a CANBUS system that is basically a brain that doesn't allow anything to short out. I don't know how it works. I am wondering if this big brain is smarter than our limited mechanical thinking and not letting power through the relay for some reason. Let's make this simple. Let's take out the fuel pump, and directly apply power from the battery to the fuel pump. Nick's pump is much much easier to take out than mine. His pump is located directly under the seat. You pull the pump up from the top of the tank.
However, we just filled up the tank the night before which means Nick spills about a gallon of gas all over the ground.Now that the pump is free of the Canbus brain and the fuel relay we can run alligator clips from the fuel pump to the battery. We do this and the pump will not spin, twitch or even make a noise. It's a dead pump, just like we orignally thought, but why did the relay not send power to it when we tested it with my volt meter earlier? I doubt the pump AND the relay went bad at the same time. We retest the relay. This time it shows power going to the pump. We just tested it wrong the first time. Ok, now we are confident. Now for the hard part. Getting a fuel pump. Finding one will not be hard. It's the year 2011 we have the internet and a sat phone. Getting one hear could be harder.

Lets start local which means Kenya. We call Jungle Junction and find out there is a BMW dealership in Nairobi. It is a car dealership, but they can get parts for motorcycles too. Nick calls them up. The price is $900 US dollars and 5 weeks. We are not going that route. Considering they are the only BMW dealer in the country, now we have to get something shipped in. Nick looks up the part number and price on an American website. It's looking like around $400. Then we have to figure out shipping it here. I suggest that we give John, at Rally Raid a call. He obviously knows how to ship to Jungle Junction. That method is proven and fast. I got a bracket he sent me there in 3 days. I call him up and tell him our problem. He is more than willing to help. He says to call back in 15 minutes. When I call him back he only has good news for us. 1. He can get the part that day in his hands. 2. It is $300 ish instead of $400 like in the US. 3. He can ship it much cheaper because he has a business relationship with UPS. 4. He says don't worry about the money until we get back to the states. He doesn't want anything to get in the way of getting that bike fixed. Wow, is all I can say. Obviously we spring for this option, and we have a tracking number by the morning. ETA 3 business days.

Now I start thinking. Maybe I can get my Garmin 276c that I just bought from a guy on ADVrider.com shipped over here while we are stuck. I call my parrents and start running the prices on shipping. UPS is $200, that is not an option, so that idea kind of ends right there. It's a good thing that John has a good deal with shipping because otherwise Nick would be having to pay that amount to get a fuel pump shipped from the states. (John is from the UK if you didn't know)

So now we wait. This puts us even farther behind schedule, but it does give us a chance to catch up on the website.






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