Learning Lessons about Replacing Tires

Today was about learning lesson about replacing tires while outside of Canada and the United States.

BMW Autokam Sierra

I was up early excited about replacing my tires.

There was one BMW Mottorad dealership in Monterrey – BMW Autokam Sierra.


I was expecting it to be like North America where you walk in and have your choice of any tire you want – Wrong!

When I arrived I found one person who spoke English – phew! He checked around and said they only had Bridgestone tires. I was planning on replacing my Heidenau K60s with the same make and model. The most agressive Bridgestone tires they had were 80% road.

They suggested I go to the motorcycle shop area of Monterrey and they would have them.

Motorcycle Shops

Unknown to me, there actually is an area of Monterrey where most of the motorcycle shop are at. Apparently, this is common in Mexico.

I went to the place recommended by the BMW dealership. Parking for the shop is on the side walk huuummm. Well, they didn’t have any tires for my bike. But they did recommend the place one block down.

I got there and they tried to help. They best they could do is get 2 different tires and have them 4 days from now! That wasn’t going to work. They recommended another motorcycle shop a block down.

I went there and they had nothing. They recommended I go back to BMW, the “high end” motorcycle shop.

Back to BMW Autokam Sierra

Back I went to BMW Autokam Sierra. It looks like Bridgestone tires it is. They said they could have Bridgestone Battle Wing tires for me in 2 hours. Then it would be lunch time. After lunch they would get to it and my bike should be ready by 2 pm.

Well, that was about the best I could do. Bridgestone is a good make, but I wanted something more 50-50 offroad. Oh well.

It was the best thing to do. As I was looking around and people were inspecting my tires, I notice small cracks in my front tire as well.

Getting Tires

I checked around with contacts while I was waiting about how they get their tires. It all looked so easy on their blogs. It turns out that they do a lot of planning beforehand. When they know they will need to replace their tires soon, they contact the country distributor for the tires they want. Then they make arrangements to have them at a predetermined place to install. Who knew? Not me.

After that I did contact Heidenau Mexico and they don’t have a distributor in Monterrey.


Well, I had a few hours to kill. I sat around for awhile and then went for a walk. My Starbucks radar is still working!! Look what I ran into!


I also looked around for a haircut place. They only one I found for men had all men barbers or whatever you call them. For me, I just don’t want a man cutting my hair. Not that there is anything wrong with that, to quote Seinfeld 🙂

So I went back to BMW. Of course my bike hadn’t even made it into servicing yet. So I waited some more.


Warnings and Advice

While waiting a guy came up to me and started talking in English. He lived in Monterrey but his son was now in San Jose, California. When he found out what I was doing he had some warnings and advice for me.

The warning was that I could be killed by gang members who wanted my motorcycle. He thought I was very brave doing what I was doing.

His advice was not to stop anywhere between my destination and not to speak to anyone. He said he doesn’t do that and he lives there.

He said if someone approached me, tell them I am am riding with a group and they should be here in a few minutes.

I am sure he meant well, and I am sure there is an element of truth to what he said. However, I do not want to live my adventure that way. And so far, his experience or perception has not been mine.

For better or worse, I will continue to stop and interact with people where I can. However, I will take certain precautions.

Tires Replaced

Finally my bike was on the stand.


And here are my new tires!


By this time it was 4 pm.

Back to my hotel calling it a day. It was nice to have new tire and not have that worry.

My location for October 27, 2016


Safetly Reached Monterrey on my Cracked Tire

I felt a sense of relief today as I safely reached Monterrey on my cracked tire. All that anxiety was for nothing ha ha.


I continued with my breaks and listening to music. You know I can’t remember what I was even doing in the photo below. I was happy about something. Maybe it was the music.




During my breaks I would take off my helmet. When I did, it would catch my ipod earbuds and pull them away from my ear.

On one break the little rubber piece on the end fell off. I couldn’t find it anywhere. Then it happened again. Luckily, when I bought them they came with a larger and smaller rubber piece. When I get to Monterrey I need to glue them on so they don’t come off.


Monterrey is a big city of about 1.5 million and considered one of the wealthiest cities in Mexico. However, in recent years it has also had problems with violent drug cartels.

Like most big cities there were freeways and lots of traffic to negotiate. I was trusting my GPS to get me to the hotel I booked.

BMW Navigator IV GPS

I have been using the GPS that came with my bike when I bought it in 2013. I am finding out it isn’t very accurate or precise in Mexico. You have to do some interpretation when reading it. And it doesn’t always get you to the right place.

To compensate I make sure I also get the coordinates of the location I am going to as well as marking it both on Google Maps and Maps.me.

On this occasion my GPS took me “close” to my destination.

So as I have done several times previously, I had to stop, pull out my phone and see where I was on Maps.me. I was only a block away from the Suites DIOH.

Suites DIOH

The Suites DIOH is a non descript hotel I guess. You buzz to get into the reception area. This isn’t that uncommon in Mexico. Like usual, the people didn’t speak English. After some work I learned a new word, “piso.” They put me in the penthouse on Piso 10.

Parking was an issue. The ground parking floor was on a steep angle. Not good for parking a motorcycle. To get to the second parking level I had to negotiate a corner that angled one way and then angled a different way. Not a normal curve up to the next level. Complicating matters was that the road was not smooth.

My riding skills couldn’t cope and I stalled out. Not fun on a hill like that. But I finally made it up.

My room was big. And the views from my balcony were awesome.




There wasn’t much around the hotel so I picked up a few things from a local store and settled in for the night … looking forward to getting my tires replaced tomorrow.

My Route for October 26, 2016


Stop off at Torreon on the Way to Monterrey for a New Tire.

I decided to go to Monterrey for a new tire, but on the way I would stop off at Torreon.

There was apparently a tire place in Durango I could have gone to, but I didn’t feel like going backwards. Over the past couple of days I had gained more confidence in my cracked tire. So I decided to go to Monterrey where there was a BMW Mottorad. It was either a 2 day ride or a short 1 day ride for those Iron Butt riders


To date I have not listened to music while riding. I generally prefer just to hear the sounds of the road unless there is a lot of wind and then I put on my custom ear buds.

Today I decided I needed to listen to some music. I was feeling a bit out of sorts and thought the music may be uplifting. For the most part I find music depressing ha ha ha. However, the songs I have on my ipod are one I find uplifting.

The songs are everything from rap, hip hop, country, and rock. I would say they are mostly rock though. And mostly old school rock since there isn’t much being sung these days 🙁 But I do have Kid Rock and the much maligned Nickelback.


I have been keeping up with my breaks every hour and find them quite enjoyable.

Today was turning out really nice. The music is just what I needed. And for my breaks I had left over pizza from the night before ha ha. Hawaiian



It took me a while to find my hotel in Torreon due to all the construction. And it was right downtown. I like downtown hotel as it is easy to walk around. But they are a pain to ride in.

I finally found the Savoy Express.


I am staying at hotels because they are relatively inexpensive compared to the US and Canada. This hotel was equivalent to what I was paying for a Motel 6 in the US. And it is nicer.

Like I am finding at most places, the staff at Mexican hotels are so friendly. Perhaps it is because of my lack of Spanish ha ha ha. It is always a challenge, but fun. It was no different here.

After checking in I explored the town.






It was funny how they were building a big pedestrian mall and no one was on it. Yet on the main road it was packed with chaos.

I found Torreon to be a pretty cool city.

My Route for October 25, 2016


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