Motorcycle Rental and Repair in Mendoza, Argentina

Ruben Loza runs RideArgentina, and rents out Kawasaki KLR 650s and Honda Transalps. He also has a shop and provides service and spare parts for KLR 650s in Argentina.

His phone number is 54 9261 4728485

email is or and the website is

Idiots on Bulletin Boards

"I've never ridden the (insert model here) so I might be talking rubbish," is a quote taken off a bulletin board where some yoyo was attempting to offer advice to a neophyte interested in a particular model. This genius than went on and on explaining the advantages of the bike he rode over the model he never rode, couldn't afford, and knew nothing about.

One thing I hate about the world of motorcycles is the experts who have read all the brochures and navigated internet sites, and see others as someone they need to impress with the knowledge they have gleaned from these sites and free handouts. They do not know what they are talking about and should be taken to the edge of the village and beaten with sticks.

Mechanics and Spare Parts in South America

The best place to get you motorcycle worked on in Spanish speaking South America is Santiago, Chile. Most of the major manufacturers have distributors there, and the mechanics are excellent. A great contact for all your motorcyle related questions is Mario Molina, his email is

One of the best independent mechanics in Santiago is Jonny, at Jonny Motos. He works on and can fix just about anything. His numbers are Shop- 2229926 and Cellular- 093301408.

If you get your wheel bearings replaced in Santiago, you can get Japanese bearings, and not the Chinese crap you seem to find everywhere else these days.

For tires and oil changes, most of the major cities will be able to help you. My experience is that you should stay away from the shops that cater to "motorcycle travelers", because you will pay on an average 25-30 percent more than you would at a normal shop catering to the local population.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, a great resource for tire and oil changes is Motocare, Av. Libertador 6588, Capital Federal. Their phone is (0110 4782-1500 or 4787-1573. Email is they can put tires on and change your oil while you wait, and judging from the quantity and quality of used motorcycles they have for sale, are pretty well regarded by Argentines. They are very easy to find.

I have heard Brazil has some great mechanics and shops, but was thrown out of the country and haven't tried to sneak back, so I can't say.

If you need help in South America

If you find you need help with a motorcycle or travel related problem, the best resource a motorcyclist has is Rutas y Motos.

Their website is or

Occasionally it doesn't work. Keep trying, and eventually it will.

Overstay your welcome in Argentina?

Many people, at the end of a trip through South America, decide to leave their bike in Buenos Aires. There are motorcycle shops that cater to this aspect of travel, and the charges are usually about $20-30 per month. Once you get back home and realize just how broke you are and that you are not going to be able to save in eight months the same amount as you were able to save in five years, you soon realize there is no way you are going to get back to Buenos Aires before the 8 months are up.

Here are some FAQs about how the Argentine Aduana treats vehicles which exceed the time allowed in the country. This FAQ is by no means complete, nor should it be strictly relied upon in making decisions.

Q- So what will happen to my bike if I leave it in Argentina for an indefinite amount of time?

Once the owner of the place it is stored realizes you are not coming back soon, parts will start to disappear off it. Then you receive an email that the bike got stolen.

Q- Will I have any problems if I decide to come back in a few years with another bike?

Yes. There is a good chance you will not be allowed to enter the country with your vehicle.

Q- Can I give my bike to anyone?

Yes. You can leave it to Argentina.

Q- Can I sell it to a fellow traveler?


Q- What if I come back for it after my time is over?

Your bike will be confiscated when you try to leave.

Q- What do I do to get it back?

You pay a fine.

Q- How much is the fine?

At least 30 percent of the value of the bike, plus other fees.

Q- Can't I just say I paid $500 for the bike like I did when I registered it with the DMV?

No. The Argentine Aduana decides the value, not you. There is a person in the Aduana's office who's job it is to determine the value of your bike. He or she will first see what it sells for in Argentina. It will be more than $500. A CBR600 that has a list price of $8999 in the US sells for $17,000 in Argentina. If he can't find a value in Argentina, he will go to the internet and see what the bike sells for in the USA, then add a percentage, usually a high one. This is when that idiot on that thinks his bike hasn't depreciated in 10 years will hurt you.

Q- Can I appeal the fine?

Yes You can get an attorney, explain your case to the Aduana and hope the fine gets lowered. It will not get dismissed.

Q- How much does this cost?

About a month of your life and half of what you would have paid to get the bike in the first place.

Q- Can I make a Power of Attorney and let a friend cross the border to give me more time with the bike?

No. The bike will be confiscated because what you are doing is against Argentine law. You will have to come to Argentina and pay a fine to get your bike back.

Q- Can I tell the Aduana I lost the temporary importation papers?


Q- Then what happens?

Your bike gets confiscated and the Aduana contacts the Aduana at the place you claimed to have entered into Argentina. After a few weeks or months, they get an answer back and calculate the fine.

Q- Can I blame my inability to take the bike out of the country on a medical condition that I had treated in my home country?


Q- Then what happens?

Your bike gets confiscated because it was illegal for you to leave the bike in Argentina when you left the country.

Q- What is the best way to resolve this situation?

Once the Aduana has confiscated your bike, you are pretty much at his mercy. You are better off taking the paperwork to the Aduana and trying to work out the details of your fine without your bike. You are fairly safe traveling throughout Argentina in the meantime, especially in Buenos Aires province. You will pay a fine. Accept it. Once you pay the fine, you are free to come and go, just like before.

Q- Does the fine increase with time?


Q- What is the best way to prevent this from happening?

Leave your bike in Uruguay. You have a year, and if you overstay it, there are ways to resolve the situation cheaply. Email me for details.