Copper Canyon Crazies

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by yamafitter, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    Gardnerville NV
    Brings back some memories!:ricky Wish we had taken more pics on our ride down there what an adventure!
    #61
  2. yamafitter

    yamafitter Old Cranky Guy

    Joined:
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    Not Toronto therefore off the edge of the world
    I did report that it was Barak that ripped out the valve stem while trying to drag race Joe on the trip over to Alamos. Some may have got confused by the photos showing you changing out the trials tire for a knobby.

    Sorry I confused Donna the wonderpup with our FJR Forum mascot, Dolly the sheep of rather loose morals...

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    I'm glad to hear that Donna is adjusting to her new life on the ranch...

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    #62
  3. rushes

    rushes token hillbilly

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    Dean Springs, AR
    She may be refering to this...
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    #63
  4. pataska2007

    pataska2007 Adventurer

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    COCORIT SONORA MEXICO
    Hey Bill!
    This is Chicon.
    Years before it was legal to import more than one vehicle. Everybody was legal to import a pick up truck, trailer and one or two bikes no mater the cc size.
    Not anymore!
    Now days, if you want to import your truck and ONE moto, the bike should be under 400 cc You can't import a car or truck and a bike over 400cc :deal
    That's the reason the guys at the customs are always confused, goverment change the laws every minute.
    Anyway! If you are riding your bike and it is street legal, you can import it no matter the ccs :clap
    Ciao
    #64
  5. yamafitter

    yamafitter Old Cranky Guy

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    Once again I have led folks down the garden path. Sorry.
    As I remember Alphonso was riding Shelly's bike with the fake flowers tied to the handlebars. When we were stopped at the military checkpoint, the soldiers saw the flowers on the bike and thought Chicon may be "different".

    Thanks for the update on the import rules Chicon. I know some folks on the forum here were wondering.
    #65
  6. FJRPierre

    FJRPierre Catching up on lost time

    Joined:
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    Ottawa, Canada
    This is one sweet ride report ! :D
    #66
  7. yamafitter

    yamafitter Old Cranky Guy

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    I have made the necessary corrections to the map of the Day 6 track...

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    #67
  8. yamafitter

    yamafitter Old Cranky Guy

    Joined:
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    There was quite the discussion at breakfast about our nighttime visitor. What started out as 1 guy who scared us back into our room ended up as 20 guys with guns and we went out and opened up a can of whoop ass on them by the time I was done telling the story. Somehow I don't think Ivan believed me.
    We will never probably know the story as to why the guy was there but as mentioned eariler, nothing was touched so it was time to get going. The road immediately started climbing back into the surronding mountains as we followed a ridgeline to the top...

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    We stopped near one of the local mines to gather everyone up and to make sure we had our bearings correct...

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    Whenever you are near a mine there is a possibility of coming across a military checkpoint...

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    Remember to play in full-screen mode.
    Taking pictures of the police or military is a no-no but I forgot I had the helmet camera recording at the time.
    We were taking a short break at an interestion gathering everyone up when Don got this shot of our token hillbilly, Russ...

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    It was a realatively short day and we rolled into our hotel, Paraiso del Oso Lodge by mid-afternoon...

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    We had lots of spare times on our hands so we decided to go into town and do a little sightseeing to check out the Jesuit mission in Cerocahui. I was the only one to ride over as the rest of the group had already changed into tourist attire and rode over in the lodge owner's van. The mission was easy to find since it was in the town square and the lodge owner had given me good directions...

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    There was a little bit of activity in the square but acually the town was pretty quiet...

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    The rest of the group went for a walk to visit the Tarahumara Indian Girl's School. Chris and Phil had some candy to hand out to the girls. Fortunately Scott stayed back at the hotel or else the girls would have all ran inside to hide. Don took this photo and had previously been to the bar and was already a little "fuzzy" which might explain the fuzzy photo...

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    Meanwhile I had not really wanted to leave my bike & gear unattended so I headed back and stopped to take a photo of a indian couple walking back through the trees to their hut...

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    When I got off the bike back at the lodge I heard some yelling from the top of the cliff. At first I thought is was Scott and I was yelling back for him to jump but it was Barak that had decided to go for a climb...

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    Russ took this photo of yours truly relaxing before getting ready for dinner...

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    The owner is an American now living in Mexico so for dinner it was Steak & potatoes. Our bartender was an English girl (a POME - Prisoner of Mother England - as the Aussies would say) who was a licenced electrician back across the pond but had decided she wanted to see Mexico, saved up some pounds, quit her job and picked up an intern job at the lodge and was working her way around Mexico. Interesting girl to talk to.

    After dinner, our guide Alphonso got a hold of a guitar and we had an inpromtu karaoke in the middle of the Copper Canyon region.

    Here are the stats for the day...

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    Next Post - The final ride day
    #68
  9. yamafitter

    yamafitter Old Cranky Guy

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    There was a heavy frost on the bikes when we got up in the morning and given the extra altitude there was just no way with the jetting I had in my WR450 that the bike was going to start on the magic button. I can't bump start the bike due to the Recluse clutch but fortunately I have the old standby kickstarter. Some choke, a few twists to the throttle to get the accelerator pump to give it a few squirts of Pemex go juice and a couple of kicks and the WR can to life. Once properly warmed up the Yamaha would now start with the magic button.
    The first part of the day followed the "low road", a really fun road that follows the river at the bottom of a tight canyon.

    Phil & Ken...


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    This spot was one of my favorite photo ops along the Low Road...


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    Pat (I think)


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    There is no mistaking Don & Miss Piggy...


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    From the low road we jumped back up on the pavement for the rest of the day.
    Just as we got back onto the pavement all of a sudden Scott's ride came to an abrupt end. It appears that there were more loose nuts than just the big loose nut hanging onto the handlebars...

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    All but one of the bolts that hold the rear sproket were gone and the final bolt was on its way out when the sproket jumped off the hub and locked up the rear wheel. Fortunately Scott just skidded to a halt and did not go down but the ride was finally over and the KTM (Keep Tools Manditory) would shamefully finish this ride in the back of the truck. Since the KTM had already been on the truck before they already knew how to make room for the piece of Krap.
    The drama did not end there. On the way into a small town there was an indian woman staggering out in the middle of the road. Apparently she has suffering from the afteraffects of some local corn beer that the local indians spend much of their time either making, drinking or recovering from. Almost everyone made it safely around her. Ken who was an commercial aviation pilot and now working for the FAA as a pilot examier tried to go between the woman and the guardrail. The woman staggered back and Ken clipped her knocking her down and sending Ken into the guardrail. A few locals witnessed all this and thought it was all pretty funny.
    The woman has back on her feet wondering how she ended up on the ground. Ken was picking up the bike. Scott, Ivan & Shelly had seen the entire incident from the truck and were running up to check on everyone.
    The lady was OK and the locals were trying to lift her over the guarlrail to get her off he road which she was having no part of. Ken & Scott had to give the bike handlebars a tweek to straigthen out the forks. The locals then told everyone to get out of there and our group took their advise.
    Afterwards Ken the FAA guy was trying to write this off as a bird strike but I'm more inclinded to put this one down to pilot error.
    With everyone back on the road and the 530 KTM on the hook we headed over to the new tram that runs part way down into Urique Canyon. They built a tourist observation center with a glass bottom deck. We were not the only crazies in Mexico as I observed this guy swinging from a rope...


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    There were some other crazies going across a bridge that I won't be riding my bike aross anytime soon...


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    The government's plan is to turn this entire area into on of the world's largest eco-parks and is actively promoting eco-tourism for the area. For those of us without vertigo issues we went to buy our tickets for the tram.
    Don being cheap, pulled out his AARP card and got the senior rate. I flashed my Ontario driver's licence and also got the seniors' rate. I'm 58 years old. Paolo asked for the seniors' rate and was asked how old he was. He told the lady he was 62 and got turned down since you need to be 65 to get the rate. I don't know whether to be happy I got the senior rate or to be sad because I can pass for 65. Maybe I got the handicap rate due to my artifical knee. Yeah, I'll go with that since I don't ride a Goldwing which is an old man's bike but a muy rapido FJR Gen II AE.
    We had to wait 15 minutes since the schedule is to run a load of tourists down, shut the tram down for 15 minutes and then return. There were also a group from Cuba that were going for the ride waiting with us...


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    Along with some American tourists...


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    I had no concerns about the tram since it was brand new and was built by a Swiss company well known for their ski trams around the world. Russ took this photo from solid ground since he wondered about Mexican safety standards...


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    Here are some photos from the lower landing of the tram which currently only goes part way down into Urique Canyon...


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    Some of the local indians were selling crafts to the tourists...


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    It wa now time to head back up...


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    I have a short video of some of the tram ride back out of the canyon. Remember to play in full screen mode...



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    From the tram we headed over to the canyon lookout at El Divisadero...

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    That's one dusty WR450F!!!

    We went into the hotel for lunch which was IMHO overpriced and not very good. We should have gone across the street to the train station and got something from the street vendors which would have been quicker. Don, who is a train fan, took this photo of the Chihauhau - Pacifico train that runs through Copper Canyon...

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    There were also local indians selling crafts at this lookout. This is one of my favorite photos of the trip of an Indian woman weaving a basket...

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    Some people thinks she looks like Don. Poor woman.

    We were now getting close to the end. Our lead group of Chicon, Chris, Russ and I were road racing back towards Creel. Chicon & Chris pasted this van just as we were getting into a real twisty section. The van driver didn't seem to like that and sped up. Russ has able to get by but I didn't have the top speed that they have and had to pick a better spot to get by or end up getting separated from the group. I had a good sight line on a lefthanded switchback and went for it but the van driver tried to race me just as a truck came around the next corner. I blockpassed the van but at the angle I dove in I started running out of road and was headed for the ditch on the mountain side of the road which was cemented but had collected some rocks. I had the rear brake on hard enough that the rear Dunlop 606 was skidding but I scrubbed off just enough speed that I was able not to go all the way into the bottom of the ditch where the rocks were. I then gave the Yamaha full throttle and popped back onto the road. Probably scared the van driver silly. I know I not only left a skid mark on the road, there was also one in my pants. It was a dumb move on my part and I know better but I was now ahead to the van. It took a topo (speed bump) at a railway crossing to shake the van off my tail since I bunnyhopped the topo and at the speed we were going that speed bump would have taken the front end right out from underneath that van.
    We then rolled into Creel to pick up the trailer & van we had left there and to do a little shopping for family back home. This was one of the few opportunities I had for a group photo but it was like trying to herds cats...

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    Fom the left - Chris, Pat, Russ, Don, Joe, Shelly, Phil & Ken.
    Missing from the photo was me since I was on the other side of the lens, Barak, Alphonso & Ivan who were busy hooking up the trailer to the truck, Scott who we wouldn't let in the photo since he DNF'ed and Paolo because he is a Toronto Italian.

    It was time for the final section, the run up to San Juanito and the Noritari Lodge. we were trying to make it before sunset since we wanted to have all the bikes loaded before nightfall. It started cooling off in the long shadows but we all safely arrived except for Don who rolled into the lodge driveway and proceeded to topple over. We ran up the drive to help Don upright Miss Piggy and asked him what happened. Don said I hit a rock in the driveway. We looked around and found a pebble that had been distrubed. Out of he billions of rocks that we had crossed the last week and a half to be taken out by this pebble was pretty funny and not something we are about to let Don forget. I should have saved the pebble but I already had the heaviest gear bag and was in the penalty box because of it (that's why they drank all my cerveza at the beach house).
    The owner of the lodge was a woman by the name of Sol who on our arrival concocted a tequila cocktail that was delicious...

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    She also works with ceramics and had her work displayed all over the lodge...

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    Dinner that night was one of the best of the entire trip.

    Here are the stats for the day...

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    Next Post - I try to wrap this all up.
    #69
  10. MotoBoss

    MotoBoss Bad Influence

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    Location:
    Martinsville, Indiana USA
    Great report and from the looks of it a great trip. Enjoyed+++
    #70
  11. srad600

    srad600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
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    Chino Hills, CA
    Very, very cool. :freaky
    #71
  12. rushes

    rushes token hillbilly

    Joined:
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    Dean Springs, AR
    Tequila, that orangish stuff, some kind of soft drink, and soy sauce.
    Noritari Special she called it. It was good. :thumb:
    #72
  13. DocAxeYarYar

    DocAxeYarYar RideDualSport.com

    Joined:
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    Wow your adventure gets better and better! Sorry you have to wrap it up, I am totally hooked! Good you stayed away from the "corn beer" too! Very inspirational report thanks, makes me want to go to Copper Canyon also.

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    #73
  14. yamafitter

    yamafitter Old Cranky Guy

    Joined:
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    Not Toronto therefore off the edge of the world
    Breakfast was early as we had a long trip in the van to get back to El Paso TX. Don & Chris had volunteered to ride back as space on the trailer was somewhat limited.
    We said our goodbys to Alphonso who was headed back to the coast and dropped off Ivan in town at the bus stop so he could get back to Creel.
    I cannot possibly thank Ivan enough for being our curtural and historical guide on this trip. Skip, the founder of MotoDiscovery was hearing about Ivan for a number of years and it was a major feather in Skip's hat to bring Ivan onto MotoDiscovery's team for this trip. Ivan's enthusiasm was infectious and kept everyone's spirits high throughout the trip. His open & honest discussions on the good & bad of Mexico were very refreshing from the bland discussions you hear on other tours. He worked very hard to make sure everyone had the opportunity to take home some of the flavour and true culture of the area and this would not have been near the same tour without him. I am in his debt for a number of great memories I have from this trip.
    With Shelly & Scott pulling the bike trailer, Don & Chris following and Barak driving the van with the rest of us in the sweep position we headed north.
    We bypassed the "shotcut" and drove through the outshirts of Chihauhau which has modernized with the influx of the auto industry moving into the area...

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    The bikes needed gas so we stopped about an hour south of the border and grabbed some quesadillas. I had a chicken curry quesadilla that while messy was one of my favorite lunches of the trip...

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    We finally arrived at the border and had to get our bike import permits cancelled which required the offical taking a photograph of the VIN number from each bike and comparing it to the permit to ensure everything matched before pounding a rubber stamp all over the paperwork...

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    Once the bikes were taken care of we had to go insde to have our tourist visas cancelled. It all went surprising smoothly until Paolo couldn't find the reciept for his tourist visa and the fact that he was travelling on an Italian passport even though he has lived in Canada for 30 years just to add more confusion to the mess. I had visions of camping at the border for a few days to straighten this mess out but in the end it was only a half hour and the US Customs was a cake walk by comparison though the border patrol was amazed that we were still alive after 11 days in Mexico. I think they watch too much CNN.

    We were back in El Paso and Skip flew in to meet us back at the restaurant for the wrap-up dinner. Everyone stayed the night in El Paso and said our final good-bys as everyone started back to their homes.

    I like to thank Shelly for driving the support vehicle and riding sweep keeping watch over everyone and making sure everyone was properly fed and hydrated while we were on the road. Thanks to Barak for riding support and being our organizer, providing the riders' briefing every morning and ensuring everyone had some idea of where we were going. Thanks to "Chicon" Alphonso who led the group on the road and supplying the musical interlude at the Oso Lodge. Thanks to Donna the wonderpup for not peeing on my computer while riding in the support truck and thanks to Skip and the rest of the staff at MotoDiscovery for allowing me to part of this tour.

    Finally thanks to my other riding partners Scott, Chris, Russ, Joe & Don from the FJR Forum and Phil, Ken, Paolo & my roomie Pat for putting up with me and sharing in this great adventure.

    That's it. I'm done though I will monitor this thread to defend / deny any of my actions, statements, half-truths, outright lies etc.

    Yamaha RULES / KTM DROOLS
    #74
  15. rushes

    rushes token hillbilly

    Joined:
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    9
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    Dean Springs, AR
    Great report Bill!
    Thanks!
    #75
  16. rickcorwn

    rickcorwn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
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    820
    Location:
    'sota
    :clap:clap:clap Great report!

    Now that the snow is here all I can think of is heading back to the canyons :wink: Looks like that'll happen in March.
    #76
  17. bigborefan

    bigborefan Making new friends

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
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    2,183
    Location:
    USA - Midwest, Central Illinois
    Are you crazy? Don't you watch CNN?

    :D:D:D

    Nice reports. Thanks
    #77
  18. Athena

    Athena Rookie adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Sunny So Cal
    Awesome ride report. Truly the adventure of a lifetime. I was on the edge of my seat, even though I already knew that you guys made it home safely.

    Just think - if the tale is that good already, how good is it going to be after being told a few times? :clap
    #78
  19. DocAxeYarYar

    DocAxeYarYar RideDualSport.com

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Yes excellent adventure and report. I really like that it's inspiring to those who might be put off Mexico because of problems, to see that a large group sticking together, and having good back up can do just great. Thanks!

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    #79
  20. donsethbear

    donsethbear BeemerDonS

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    12
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    Chandler, Arizona
    +1, Gunny! Outstanding, Bill; Saludos! I'd ride anywhere again with this group of guys, on or off road. In January I'll be putting a road ride to Carnaval 2012 in Veracruz on both www.fjrforum.com and www.azbeemers.org for same group of M/C Riders and their significant others. Can't wait to ride MEX con mis bueno M/C Amigos! Suerte, Papa Chuy
    #80