Denver to Copper Canyon to Baja & back HELP

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Sparkdaddy, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Sparkdaddy

    Sparkdaddy aventurero

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    Out of all the cycle sites I check out this one always seems to have the best stuff. Thanks in advance for taking time to read my post. Hopefully you will have some advice, tips, or your .02 for the trip I am trying to plan.

    The plan so far:
    Leave Denver mid to late April for Elpaso, TX.
    Head to Copper Canyon and then head South West until I hit water.
    Jump on a ferry to Baja and then ride north back to the USA.
    Basically a little loop. :D
    &
    Crash at cheap hotels, eat lots of tacos and have a few beers.
    Will be riding my KLR650 with GPS (What paper maps?)
    Put on new treads in Elpaso (Brand?)
    Bring some spare parts (Top 5?)
    Spare fuel?
    How long will it take, or should it take & still have fun while covering some ground?
    Guesstimates on mileage?
    I have training in desert survival but really don't want to call on that if at all possible. :evil
    May be going solo, waiting for a couple of answers from other riders who have never been by bike either.

    I probably have a thousand more questions but and I am reading anything I can find that has to do with Mexico. This will be my first international adventure on a motorcycle. I know, not much but this is hopefully a warm up ride for Panama.

    I really want to head to the caribe side of Mexico but I think this may be better riding and less time??? It would also be more tempting to keep riding south if I went that way. :evil I have to work sometime.

    Thanks
    #1
  2. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Miles per day: Similar to USA, mountains and canyons mean curves, do not ride after dark
    #2
  3. Sparkdaddy

    Sparkdaddy aventurero

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    Check, check & check.

    Thanks LoneRider

    I just saw they have a new GPS map for Mexico being released this week that works for Garmin.
    #3
  4. BCRides

    BCRides Been here awhile

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    Doing the same basic route March 8-17thish so it will be short notice once we're back but if you'd like feedback, just pm me after that.

    Here's a few trip reports you can review for some ideas. Many more on ADV Rider if you search.

    Husky 610... about 2 weeks?
    http://www.southbayriders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53019

    KLR ... 9 days from Dallas back to Dallas

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=290927&highlight=trip+copper+canyon+baja

    Also, google copper canyon baja trips and look at different adventure tour company itineraries. Looked at a few yesterday. Most do it in 12-15 days but usually have 1-3 days of "layovers".

    I'll be riding a 525 EXC with 3 others on 990/950/and 530 EXC.

    Haven't been to CC or Baja on bikes yet but live in El Paso and have been to CC twice. If you plan to slab it from El Paso through Chihuahua City for the fastest route down to the "good stuff" cross at Santa Teresa, NM just west of El Paso. Will be faster and easier. If you want to avoid the Autopiste (Interstate) route, head 60 miles west from El Paso to Columbus and head south. Will take a little longer to ride down to CC but you may very well enjoy the ride down more. The crossing should also be easier/faster than in El Paso.

    Feel free to pm me for more info or call me 915-526-2404.
    #4
  5. Highwayman

    Highwayman Saddle Up

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    I'm planning on crosssing at Presidio around mid-April, doing the canyon and Bato and coming back. I purchased the Mexcio GPS maps for $190 and they sent me the upgraded 2.0 version the other day...seems to be great for my garmin 2720. I'm riding solo from Mississippi if you want to meet on the road--my first trip also-just PM me. I've studied Spanish a good bit and would recommend you get the Pimsleur CD's from a good book store, if you don't speak any...that or Rosetta Stone.


    Mike
    #5
  6. SunnySideUp

    SunnySideUp O hell, I'll do it!

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    I'm planning on doing the same/similar route, only in reverse (South from AZ, north through TX) in early May. If there is flexibility in your schedule maybe we could meet on the road. If not I hope to get some good beta from you on your way back!
    #6
  7. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    ditto on the Santa Teresa crossing (Artcraft Rd exit)

    A buddy and I rode from El Paso to Copper and back last March - he on a 525 EXC and me on a plated XR400.
    The road to Janos, Nuevo Casas Grande, etc to Creel is pleasant two lane.
    Plenty of Pemex on the way, and good cheap lodging.
    Stayed in NCG and Creel, Batopilas, and on the way back a night in Chihuahua and cuota road back.

    I had Kenda Trakmaster II's on the XR, they did fine. The 525 had 908RR's.
    He had a GPS, I had printed the color maps that are found online and break the states into sections that have enough detail to navigate - but Lonerider's map suggestion is the right one to have.
    #7
  8. Sparkdaddy

    Sparkdaddy aventurero

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    Thanks BC! I can't freaking wait to go. I was stationed in El Paso back in the day and havn't been back through since 1990 or so.

    I was reading Gaspipe's web site and some of his travels through dirt to CC. Good info here for guys going in through AZ. http://www.whiskythrottle.net/

    Still waiting on my mapas from Mapsco. They are a little slow and had to order the map due to being sold out. May send you a PM later.

    Thanks, Todd
    #8
  9. Sparkdaddy

    Sparkdaddy aventurero

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    Thanks everyone for the tips. I will be riding with a buddy of mine AKA: Froman, the Chili King of Colorado. Our tenative date of Departure is 04/17 from Denver. I'll post later on and maybe some of us can meet up.
    #9
  10. gasandasphalt

    gasandasphalt Been here awhile

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    Without a doubt, Columbus, NM/Palomas,MX port of entry is easiest, quickest,,,, and no one there will mess with your bike and STUFF while you do your visa and bike permit,,,, small town, good folks,easy to do business with and they all speak english !!!
    #10
  11. Sparkdaddy

    Sparkdaddy aventurero

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    Anyone have some routes on fast dirt from there?
    #11
  12. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    We were going to go as a group, and schedules separated us before we went into Mexico....so my buddy and I were a half day ahead of part of the group, and the last bit crossed a full day behind.

    That last group was intent on doing dirt as much as possible. The closest they could find was an abandoned RR grade with ties intact.
    I think this is the one...
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=217619&highlight=dirt+copper

    I have seen a ride report that was mostly dirt, down the east side of the Sierra Madre Occidental - but they went in at Douglas, AZ.
    #12
  13. rpilottx

    rpilottx Long timer

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    You don't need to go to Columbus if you want the two lane route to Creel. If you cross at Santa Theresa and head west to Nueva Casa Grande, it is exactly 420 miles from the POE to downtown Creel.

    From Santa Theresa you go south about 15 miles to a "T" intersection, heading west takes you to Nueva Casa Grande while heading east puts you on the autopista. It takes me 7 hours on the autopista from the POE to Creel.

    The Santa Theresa crossing offers everything that Columbus does but is not as busy and there is secure parking which is not the case in Palomas. Mileage from El Paso is the same as you either ride west in the US or west in Mexico just south of the border.

    For new tires or if you want to talk to someone with lots of Copper Canyon and Baja experience, contact Badlands ATV in Las Cruces. They sell only KTMs and Polaris but used to do all the maintenance on one of the Mexico bike tour companies (MotoDiscovery perhaps) KLR's. In fact, my recently purchased 98 KLR is up there right now for a going over. They usually stock plenty of ds tires and have lots of KLR parts. The telephone is 575 647 8333. Most of the guys on KTM's around here purchased them there and they are a really laid back dealership.

    I have been to Copper Canyon three times but as others on this post will tell you, I am not a particular fan of dirt routes. So if you want info on the paved route or have other questions about El Paso, border crossings (just retired from Customs), want to talk to a human, or need something when you reach the border, my cellular is 915 588 5054. Rich
    #13
  14. Sparkdaddy

    Sparkdaddy aventurero

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    Awesome thanks for the info.
    #14
  15. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    Rich, that's great to know, glad I tuned in again. I'm hauling my KLR to Santa Fe on Thursday, then riding it to Las Cruces - where Shaun will meet me coming up from Houston.... load up and haul in his truck to El Centro for a week in Baja.
    Good to know there's a shop that's likely to have the KLR covered if I need anything.

    Enjoying retired life? :thumb

    mini-hijack over :norton
    #15
  16. BCRides

    BCRides Been here awhile

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    Great guys
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  17. rpilottx

    rpilottx Long timer

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    Yes, I am enjoying retirement and will probably loaf about a year. However, my year includes a bike trip to Newfoundland in June, possibly Alaska in August with Barko1, and am giving serious consideration to TDF next autumn.

    Badlands does not carry KLR's but I saw about a half dozen frames/engines lying around the backyard and I know they have an intimate knowledge of them. If you need anything specific, give them a call in advance but I believe they would have things like brake pads, chain/sprockets, tires etc in stock.

    Tim King races Baja and has lots of knowledge. He is great on suspensions and as he will tell you not so great on electrics. Give me a call if you are in the area and let's get together. I can be in Las Cruces in 30 minutes. Rich 915 588 5054
    #17
  18. Sparkdaddy

    Sparkdaddy aventurero

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    Did I get the right map? I have Guia Roji's 2008 Por las carreteras de Mexico? It's a spiral bound book. It's not nearly as detailed as the Viva Conchita fold out map I have. ????? The more maps the merrier I guess.
    #18
  19. ztrab

    ztrab Been here awhile

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    Bicimapas has the best ( for Mexico) Mapsourse compatable map software. With a good paper map or two and Arturo's GPS maps, it is the best I have found. Just came back from a short trip around the canyon - we were looking for back ways in for a group in March, getting bored with the same routes. We caught a 50 mile dirt road about 2-1/2 miles east of AP off hwy 2 that took us to Huachinera/Bavispe. The software actual auto routed me there. If you are dirt crazed , you can get to Madera from that point - see gaspipes posts - or take a 2 -year old paved road to hwy 16- very nice but kinds of west from where you are coming from. I have done the route from Janos to Casa Grandes/Buenaventura/Gomez Farias (Sierra Madre Inn is clean ,inexpensive, secure hotel with resturant if you run out of steam). Look for the cut-off to Hwy 16 in Guerrero, it is a beautiful paved road that bypasses Lopez Mateos - I always take the dirt shortcut on the north side of town for kicks) that is signed to Hermosillio. When you get to 16, turn left (E) for a few klm until you reach a T, turn right (sw) to Creel.

    If you go down to Batopilas, watch for a deviation after you turn off the pavement, the road was being bladed in Oct. and I missed the turn at the bottom of the hill that takes past a small village and medical clinic.

    If you are go to Cerocahui, go through Bahuichivo, across the RR tracks on the road to Urique. Justin Rosen has a small lodge just past klm 14, south of el Paridisco. From Bahuichiva, you can work your way over to the ferry at Tompalobampo or over to Alamos, then north to Guymas' Both are nice routes and mostly dirt. The Alomos route to Guymas on dirt isn't as well known as the other. I did it from north to south last year, it was fun, we had a few locals ride with us on different sections.

    You will have a great time. Most every small village has a gas stash and Pemex gas stations have cropped up all over. On the Baja route. You should look at coming up the east side on the dirt. From Gurreo Negro north, you can make it to Tecate or Mexicali on 80% dirt, stuff we have done on or 1200 GSes with camping gear. You will have to smart about fuel here - never pass gas in Baja. I have done this route on dirt bikes too and we were okay to SF on 130 mile range. Better start mapping and packing. Cheers, Mike
    #19