Daily Life

Replacing a Clutch Cable on a BMW G310GS in Mexico

During my last ride I noticed some problems with my clutch and shifting gears, it felt like it wasn’t working properly and in my mind, due to living in the desert, I thought it all needed a good spray with WD40.

At home, checking it all out, We noticed that the steel cable of the clutch had almost torn. It was literally hanging by a thread. or two. Not happy about that at all. The BMW is just over 1 year on the road, I did 24.000KM and had several repairs already to the bike due to technical issues and this was the fourth time BMW and his so-called excellent brand failed me.

But that was not feeding my annoyance as much as knowing there is no dealer here in his area. The nearest one is over 1000KM away. Or the short way where I had to go on a ferry and travel 4 days to get to and from a dealer across the Sea of Cortez.

BMW Motorrad Warranty may be worldwide, but dealers are definitely not!

So, dealers in this part of the world are scarce, but the bike is still under warranty, so I could have called Road Side Assistance. But the last time we did that with the BMW 850, it took nearly 3 months for the bike to return, because:

  • there are no spare parts on stock
  • the dealer couldn’t care less that your bike came in first, walk-in clients go first.
  • they have a severe shortage of personnel to offer any service whatsoever
  • the dealer has no communication skills at all

We organized with Road Side Assitance to send a pick-up truck their way two times only to find out that although they promised us the bike would be ready for transportation, it was not. And when we finally got that bike back it was a poor assembly of the bike after repairs, showing how little they care. There were loose bolds everywhere.

You have to be creative to repair a Motorcycle and there are no spare parts nearby

It is not the first time we had dealt with a situation like this. In the Philippines, on our road trip there, the front shock seal of the Honda broke and there were no spare parts, so an intensive internet search helped us out there as well. (watch: Honda Shock Seal replacement Philippines)

You can find all sorts of information about motorcycles of any brand on the internet, BMW loves to be secretive about details. Even the size of ordinary regular Home-Depot available nuts and bolds is not mentioned anywhere as far as I looked, let alone information about cable length. All in the hope you depend on them for repairs and you will pay their extravagant prices for parts, workshops time and workers.

Creativity beats the BMW Motorrad’s unfriendly attitude toward information

So, how to solve my problem? A quick look around town did not offer any solution, nothing even came close to the part we needed, since the end part of the cable where it is connected to the gearbox is not standard (Thanks BMW!)

We did find an Italika thingy (no idea what they are called!) to connect the cable to the clutch handle that was the right size.

Searching the internet we found something on Mercado Libre that might work. A clutch cable for a 600CC Honda seemed to have the correct end part and due to the frame size of a 600CC MC, it might have the right length as well.

So we ordered since the generic clutch cable repair sets had a delivery time of more than a month and this one only a few days.

Fingers crossed!

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Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher, and iPhone photographer. Always horizon bound preferably on a motorcycle. Currently, she lives in a desert village in Baja California Sur in Mexico. She is an emigration coach and works online.

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