If you are going to make a riding plan based on safety, you’re also going need a plan for Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador and Brazil. Those countries are all just as dangerous as Mexico.
Just ignore the sensationalized tabloid style news . The beheaded "tourist " story is a derailed account of a bit of intra druggisto warfare, the closest tto a tourist in that strory was some foreign content in the drug dealers who got killed , but drug related nonetheless.
As I keep saying if you mind your manners stay away from the drug scene and keep alert to situations around you you should be okay most anywhere. And do NOT drive at night on the open highways - they are open to all kind of livestock. (maybe check out page 7 under Sticky :hotels inMexico