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Thread: Mexico and Central America in December

  1. #1
    Registered User rmarkr's Avatar
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    Mexico and Central America in December

    Anyone interested in joining us for a ride down south?

    We will be meeting near the Mexican border (San Antonio) on or after the first weekend in December. Two guys are riding all the way to the southern tip of South America, the rest as far as Mexico and Panama, and then returning.

    We have a thread going in ADVrider:
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=274892



    PM me if you're interested.
    Mark

    "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most" Mark Twain

  2. #2
    El Cid franze's Avatar
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    motto

    I believe you will have a great ride if you ammend your "question authority" to

    1. Salute authority
    2. Let authority know how important their job is
    3. Ask authority how many children they have
    4. Ask authority when the next mass is
    5. Tell authority you apologize for them having to take the time to explain traffic flow, don't advance during a yellow light, 2nd gear is far to fast for city driving etc.
    6. That you wished you met authority prior to booking your hotel as their cousins hotel is much better and maybe you will stay one more night just to make sure.

    Once you leave Mexico, these tips may or may not apply............

    I've only been through Baja, but I've been through there many times and this approach works.

    If you do get stopped for a BS reason, you will have to pay money. Best bet is to say, " Can I give you the money now and you pay it ?" It's a rip-off/shake down but that is status quo. Factor that in to your budget. It may not happen to you, but then again it might. I've been given the shakedown numerous times.

    Please don't take the above remarks as a sarcastic commentary, the brass owns your ass once you leave the US. That said, be respectful, smile, and asking forgiveness trumps asking permission.

    You will have a GREAT trip!!!

  3. #3
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    Wish I could go

    Mark
    Brian here Savannah. I have a business trip in Houston that week or I would drive to San Antonio with you. What is the exact date you are going to Start out from SC? Give me a call 912-210-0038.

    Really am jelouse of your nice trip you have planned.

    Murf

  4. #4
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    Brings back memories!

    Have any of you been south of the border before? Properly prepared (both mental and physical) it can be a wonderful experience. First time I went(4 winters ago?), I had a great experience, just threading myself throughout Mexico going down the Gulf side, into guatamala, and coming back up the Pacific coast. Veracruz, Oaxaca, San Cristobal de las Casas, Puerto Angel, Acapulco, the pyramids outside Mexico City, etc. etc. are all worth a visit. I went there with maybe 50 words of spanish, and a loney planet phrase book, and got by ok; but the more spanish you can speak the better. I mostly camped the whole way, except in guatamala where rooms were pretty cheap, sometimes $3 to $4....the people were very friendly and kind to me the whole way. I had no problems with the police or the food, or my bike (1995 R100GS PD). Just don't ride at night, look out for speed bumps, and don't drink the water!
    Maybe in January I'll be back diown there for another run.

  5. #5
    El Cid franze's Avatar
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    baja

    regarding the water, I've been told that the Baja has a different water table than the mainland. I've eaten off food carts in Ensenada ( must have the fish tacos!) and plenty of small restaurants as far south as Mulege and have never had any issues. I've heard horrible stories about the mainland water, and this goes for salads( rinsed in water) and ice cubes in drinks. Also, who gets affected in the group is a hit or miss so I guess it depends on your intestinal fortitude. There's a good ride report on the site now about the guy that went to the BMW rally in Mexico City. He describes the shakedown by the cops pretty accurately. A common ploy is to ask for your license, you won't get it back until you pay. I think the best thing is to accept that this is part of the journey. I'm looking forward to hearing about your adventure, wish I could go!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmarkr View Post
    Anyone interested in joining us for a ride down south?

    We will be meeting near the Mexican border (San Antonio) on or after the first weekend in December. Two guys are riding all the way to the southern tip of South America, the rest as far as Mexico and Panama, and then returning.

    We have a thread going in ADVrider:
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=274892



    PM me if you're interested.
    I'd be interested in the trip through South America with more notice. Have something else going on (visiting a military hospital for the holidays) but think I could find time for a quick trip to Panama. A couple of my brothers have been there but one under less than ideal circumstances. :-)

    I've been researching just such a trip on my own but it would be great to go as part of a group.

    One questions I've had, though, is Mexico requires a motorcyclist to bring an original title for anyone who is traveling more than X number of miles across the border. What happens if they bike and title are stolen? Does the required Mexican insurance cover the loss? If so, are they easy to deal with? i.e., do they pay?

    Another question is it looks like it's a PITA to cross some of the Central American borders. I've read some people hire/bribe people to "assist" them in crossing. Any information on this would be helpful.

    Saw that Google maps and Mapquest maps do not have travel routes in Mexico and CA. Have you experience in these countries? I do have paper maps.

    Thanks in advance!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by franze View Post
    regarding the water, I've been told that the Baja has a different water table than the mainland. I've eaten off food carts in Ensenada ( must have the fish tacos!) and plenty of small restaurants as far south as Mulege and have never had any issues. I've heard horrible stories about the mainland water, and this goes for salads( rinsed in water) and ice cubes in drinks. Also, who gets affected in the group is a hit or miss so I guess it depends on your intestinal fortitude. There's a good ride report on the site now about the guy that went to the BMW rally in Mexico City. He describes the shakedown by the cops pretty accurately. A common ploy is to ask for your license, you won't get it back until you pay. I think the best thing is to accept that this is part of the journey. I'm looking forward to hearing about your adventure, wish I could go!
    When I went to Leningrad and now St. Petersburg, they told us just what you wrote. No ice cubes, no salads, we should drink nothing that we did not see come out of a bottle ourselves, and nothing that was rinsed in water including fresh fruit.

    Not drinking anything that we did not see come from a bottle that we opened or was opened in front of us is a good tip anytime especially when traveling. Lots of eurostar horror stories of people waking up groggy who have lost their luggage or had their clothes removed. Same applies south of the border.

  8. #8
    Flying Turtle Ruben's Avatar
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    Let me know

    You'll have a great adventure, for sure.
    Please send me an e mail, so I can give you the list of the BMW Moto Clubs in Mexico, and some important contacts in Central America.
    We'll be very glad to have you home.

    Ruben.
    rtenorio@prodigy.net.mx
    Ruben Tenorio.
    International Delegate.- BMW Moto Clubes Mexico.
    Vicepresident.- BMW Clubes Federaci??n Latino Americana.
    Ambassador.- BMW Motorcycle Owners of America.

  9. #9
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
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    Damn but I wish I could go! If I wasn't going to Japan on the second weekend of December, I would be with you guys.
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  10. #10
    Registered User rmarkr's Avatar
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    South American Ride

    Thanks all for the advice and encouragement.
    Its been a hectic time of planning and preparation. And yes, I'll change my attitude about authority!
    The two of us will be entering Mexico during the first week of December.
    I'll be on the F650 and Goran on a 3 bedroom GS 1200 (he can carry an undue share of the gear - Jeez - my bike will fit in one of his panniers!)
    The plan is now to ride all the way south with him, and I will try and sell or ditch the bike and fly home - it does not appear to be worth the hassle or expense of shipping it back.
    Been through the vaccination mill, had my pocket lightened by the insurance industry, joined medjetassist, taking Spanish lessons, blew money on the bike and clothing and read what I can. The forums certainly have a lot of info by guys who have first hand experience.
    Looking forward to a memorable adventure!
    I'll post some progress - when I get the communication equipment/service sorted out.

    Mark

    "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most" Mark Twain

  11. #11
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    Enjoy

    Mark
    Enjoy, Call when you get back. I would love to see some pictures. After that run a Sturgis trip will be a piece of cake.

    Brian

  12. #12
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkasal View Post
    I'd be interested in the trip through South America with more notice. Have something else going on (visiting a military hospital for the holidays) but think I could find time for a quick trip to Panama. A couple of my brothers have been there but one under less than ideal circumstances. :-)

    I've been researching just such a trip on my own but it would be great to go as part of a group.

    One questions I've had, though, is Mexico requires a motorcyclist to bring an original title for anyone who is traveling more than X number of miles across the border. What happens if they bike and title are stolen? Does the required Mexican insurance cover the loss? If so, are they easy to deal with? i.e., do they pay?

    Another question is it looks like it's a PITA to cross some of the Central American borders. I've read some people hire/bribe people to "assist" them in crossing. Any information on this would be helpful.

    Saw that Google maps and Mapquest maps do not have travel routes in Mexico and CA. Have you experience in these countries? I do have paper maps.

    Thanks in advance!
    you don't need the title, you just need to prove you own it and make a deposit at the boarder to ensure you will not sell it in Mexico then you get it back when you return, minus $25. So No don't take the title, your license and registration to prove it yours thou. If the registraion is not in your name it could make things difficult. that info is from a tour group presentation I just attended. And he also said that the bribery has been cut way down in the past few years with the new President in place. there is even a number to call if someone does try that. Again that is from the tour group guy that works for Moto tours that goes down there 20 some times a year.

    RM

  13. #13
    rocketman
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by rmarkr View Post
    Thanks all for the advice and encouragement.
    Its been a hectic time of planning and preparation. And yes, I'll change my attitude about authority!
    The two of us will be entering Mexico during the first week of December.
    I'll be on the F650 and Goran on a 3 bedroom GS 1200 (he can carry an undue share of the gear - Jeez - my bike will fit in one of his panniers!)
    The plan is now to ride all the way south with him, and I will try and sell or ditch the bike and fly home - it does not appear to be worth the hassle or expense of shipping it back.
    Been through the vaccination mill, had my pocket lightened by the insurance industry, joined medjetassist, taking Spanish lessons, blew money on the bike and clothing and read what I can. The forums certainly have a lot of info by guys who have first hand experience.
    Looking forward to a memorable adventure!
    I'll post some progress - when I get the communication equipment/service sorted out.

    My understanding from good sources is You can NOT sell it in Mexico, don't know about further south, but I suggest you better check on it in whatever country you're planning on dumping it!

    RM

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