Day 62 Altitude sickness for motorcycles revisited

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July 29th 2015
Published: July 30th 2015
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Distance driven today: 2miles/3km test ride

Cumulative distance driven: 10,915 miles / 17,566 km

Today’s trip: Hotel garage, around a few blocks and back to the garage

Funny thing happened earlier today. I went down to the hotel garage this afternoon, to remove the panniers (the aluminum boxes on the side) to prepare the bike for the tow truck that will come in the morning to take it to the dealership. I decided to try one last time to start the motorcycle; even though I had tried several times yesterday unsuccessfully. The electronics malfunction had persisted all day yesterday, and there was really no reason to believe that anything would have changed overnight. Imagine my surprise when I turned the ignition key and all systems and engine pre-check icons showed up on the display, and the engine immediately sprang to life when I hit the starter button! I just couldn’t believe it. Needless to say that I felt instantly relieved and could suddenly start envisioning again the remainder of the trip.

My only meaningful hypothesis around what happened is that some system/competent/integrated circuit got 'altitude sickness' late on Monday, as we ascended from sea level in Lima and all the way up to Ticlio towards La Oroya, at almost 5.000m/15,000ft, in a matter of a few hours, and then descended back to sea level. Something about the sudden and rather significant atmospheric pressure change must have caused the issue. It appears that the two days the bike spent since in the hotel garage at sea level must have undone it. Just to make sure that everything is really working properly now, I took a test ride around a few blocks in the vicinity of the hotel, and I am happy to report that the bike is running very smoothly and that everything is in order.

All in all we lost two days, during which Zoe and I had started making all kinds of contingency plans in case the issue was difficult to resolve, or it would turn out to take way too long to fix. We are now back on track and tomorrow morning, which is the first day after the long Independence Day holiday here in Peru, we will take the bike to the local BWM dealer for a quick service (oil change, valve adjustment etc.) and then we are headed south again. We need to make up some of the lost time, and we think that we can be at the Bolivian border around Sunday, and hopefully enter northern Argentina by mid next week. Stay tuned for more adventures as we still have 6.500 km / 4,000 miles left to go!


Tot: 0.497s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 11; qc: 56; dbt: 0.0161s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb