Mexico Map Advice Please

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Mexico, Central & South America' started by carryonpompei, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. carryonpompei

    carryonpompei n00b

    Jan 9, 2008
    Hello all,

    Am plannnig two month trip to Mexico from New York, leaving early Feb 08. Itinerary not decided. Riding a 1973 BMW Airhead.

    Have no experience of motorcycle trips like this, or much money.

    Am very likely to buy Garmin 60CX. It'll help for the ride down to Mexico, and back up again. Yes I can read maps, but I have zero sense of direction, and a lifelong history of getting lost. I can use the gadget again when I get home.

    Getting lost in Mexico will probably be more of a pleasure, but all the same it would be nice to venture off beaten track.

    So my questions --

    Is it worth buying the $190 Bicimapas map for the 60CX, or is there something better or cheaper?
    (I'm not going to be searching for lost treasures, just want to get around Mexico easily, and maybe do some easy off-road.)
    Will the Bicimapas actually load onto the 60CX?

    Many Thanks in Anticipation
  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious.

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    $190 now?

    I bought the $145 Bicimapas before my trip to Mexico... and while the GPS maps were occasionally helpful, I didn't think they were worth $145. My Guia Roji was my main map, and I just used the GPS for general direction.

    I found the detailed city maps to be nearly worthless. They rarely matched up with real roads.

    The newest version of Bicimapas (I bought mine in April) might be better... but it'd have to be a whole lot better for me to buy it again.

  3. triumphant

    triumphant Been here awhile

    Mar 6, 2006
    Dallas, Tx
    Congrats on tackling a ride into Mexico.
    MY 2 cents.
    I use a Garmin for every trip I take all over the world. You will need 'World Map' in order to ride Mexico. There is not another mapping software that I am aware of for Mexico. I have travelled extensively through Mexico, my first experience was through Mexico and central America to get to South America.
    Must say I am not aware of the capability of the Garmin you speak of. I prefer the 276c for rough use - and it is capable of handling all the mapping you will need.
    Get used to a GPS - it will bail you out in a pinch. My personal observation is that a GPS is like having a friend sitting on your handlebar for those long, boring road sections.
    Good luck on your ride. If you're ever in Dallas ...


    If you want to go quickly; go alone.
    If you want to go far; go together.
    African Proverb
  4. ppuga

    ppuga Adventurer

    Aug 6, 2007
    Mexico City
    I just get the bicimapas for my Zumo and it's a great map, usining it with a paper "guia roji" maps.

    I get it on december, and it's supossed to get me a huge actualization in the next days with 18 more cities. Now it has 45 I think.

    But I don't know if the 60cx reads all the map info. But mail this guys on bicimapas they could help you for sure.
  5. dare2go

    dare2go n00b

    Jan 10, 2008
    on the road in Central & South America
  6. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

    Jan 29, 2002
    out and about
    What Jaimie said about using the Guia Roja map books is right.

    People who buy the Mex GPS programs could just be tired of masturbating themselves and need a new outlet.
  7. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

    Sep 13, 2003
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    I just bought the complete GPS atlas maps.

    I think they are the best thing you could possibly have for navigating Mexico and I wouldn't go without them.

    I also think they stink----badly.

    Just as all Mexico maps have in the past.

    I did call Bicimapas and told them that a lot of my tracklogs of the roads in Mexico where the locals drive their old Ford Pickups weren't on his maps-----he didn't believe me. He wanted me to send him all the places that this was true-----I told him that would take me 6 months to do---and I'd want paid for it. I don't think he liked me.

    Anyway-----they still are the best-----but stink.

    I really don't like badgering peoples products on the net---I'd rather just not say nothing--just me.

    So buy them--------they will help you out---usually
  8. turkish

    turkish Long timer

    Oct 28, 2002
    Gone fishin
    You can probably do without the Mexico map that Garmin sells directly. I bought it and have used it only once or twice. It does have pretty decent street-level data for Mexico City and Guadalajara, but it's blank in most of the places I wanted to ride.

    A friend gave me some other map of Mexico that I've been using. I'm not sure where it came from though. It's got a lot of the little out-of-the-way places, but falls down near medium sized towns. I.e., the roads in and out of town don't connect so you can autoroute through them.

    Garmin's World Map isn't bad, but you can't really count on anything that's in it. It seems like it was last updated in the early 1900s.
  9. climberevan

    climberevan planning the next journey

    Oct 2, 2006
    Carson Valley, NV
    i've ridden 5000k in Mexico over the last 5 weeks, and i completely agree that the Bicimapas are worth having along. they've only really gotten me into trouble a few times, and i just mean having to turn around. many other times they've been invaluable. having them in big cities is a real help--i navigated into and through Cancun at night and in the rain without once making a wrong turn.
  10. dtop1

    dtop1 Long timer

    Feb 27, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    As to the question of whether Bicimapas will fit on A 60CSX; they will, that's what they use at Bicimapas to check out their product. Dan
  11. Frank Warner

    Frank Warner Traveller

    Mar 14, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    The 60Cx has a memory card - upto 2G .. and that will more that fit Mexico!

    As an alternative to Garmins 'World Map' there is smelleybikers 'Wanderlust' world map .. v1.6 now. Version 1.7 to come soonish .. is suposed to autoroute, 100 meter contours .. probably better detail than garmin world map in that area ..

    Also some free maps on .. but you will have to learn how to gernerate the preview maps .tbl and .img for the maps you get .. large learning curve.
  12. Graywolf11

    Graywolf11 Lobo Loco Moto

    Aug 26, 2006
    Between Cimarron Ridge and the Uncompaghre
    I also am planning a trip into Mexico down thru the Sierra Madre to Copper Canyon area. I have a Garmin Zumo with Worldmap and Mapsource. I've purchased the Bici Mapas and am also downloading tracks from other ADVriders in these posts that integrate with the Bici mapas program. I assume that you would be able to incorporate these tracks into your tracklog.
    From what I've heard from other people that have ridden in this area is that often the different maps are very contradictory. Goat and horse trails can show up as roadways, roads are not in the places shown, villages are shown on one map but not others, there are many more roads than shown on the map and there may be several differnt routes to get from one place to another, and many intersections are not physically marked. If a local Mexican wants a road built he might get it on a map in hopes of it being built someday.
    Getting lost is part of the adventure. Remember - if you don't know where you're going then you're never lost!:rofl
  13. AHRMA17L

    AHRMA17L Been here awhile

    Sep 29, 2006
    At least as far as Baja goes, the bici maps are fairly good. I have the same problem that one of the other posters has--I get lost really easy, not so much in the major direction of things like N, S, E, W, and I can tell time within about 5 minutes by the sun, but take me down a road and I am lost in two turns.

    The bici maps are not right on, and there were a lot of roads that were not on the maps, but for the most part they were good, and the best part was tht I never got lost. Many times they would be a "road" no bigger than a donkey trail, and it was on the GPS.

    I had a copy of the Baja Almanac map (not the whole guide) and I never once had to take it out--the gps got me all the way from Ensenada to La Paz--off road.

    $145 or whatever it costs now may seem like a lot, but when you are hopelessly turned around in the middle of nowhere Baja, low on fuel and its getting dark, they are invaluable.
  14. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

    Nov 30, 2003
    San Antonio, Tx
    Bicimapas is good. :deal

    Yeh, it's pricey. But it's a huge help.
  15. Hawaii_Rider

    Hawaii_Rider Been here awhile

    Feb 2, 2007
    Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
  16. Kiko

    Kiko Long timer

    Feb 23, 2006
    I live in Mexico and ride mostly off-road. I have both bicimapas and E32. There is no comparison between the two. My pueblo is a dot on bicimapas and in E32 most all of the streets are displayed.

    I'm in the states now but hope to be home in Feb, give me a shout, I'll ride with you if you are in the central highlands area.

    You will have a great ride in Mexico! Hay in Jalisco no te rajes!
  17. Hawaii_Rider

    Hawaii_Rider Been here awhile

    Feb 2, 2007
    Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
    Anybody know of any free Baja or western Mexico maps?
  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    May 29, 2002
    Fort Collins, Colorado
  19. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Been here awhile

    Feb 11, 2007
    Kaslo BC summer, Yuma AZ winter
    Thought I'd jump in too. I have used bicimapas and I only use it strictly for off road purposes only. I just bought the E32 map and it does have more detail, but I've read it's only a bit more accurate than bicimapas. When I'm travelling through a larger Mexican city, I use Garmins City Navigator Mexico, which I have found to be very accurate.. again, only in the city. Garmin's latest release for City Navigator North America (Version 2010.2) which now includes all of Mexicos cities (and some more major off roads) and very good detail. It looks like they've incorporated City Nav Mexico with City Nav North America. If I could figure out how to post a screen shot of Mazatlan, you would see the what I mean.
    I see that you're riding an airhead, which suggests that you won't be doing any or very little offroad, so you might consider getting the Garmin City Nav North America (you usually get a free upgrade for the latest version) which you can not only use in Mexico, you can use in USA and Canada. If someone wants to PM me with their e-mail address, I can send you a Word Document with a screen shot of Mazatlan or any city you want.
    One more suggestion... if you get the City Navigator, get the DVD version. Do not get an SD card with the map on cuz you won't be able to do anything on Mapsource with it i.e routing, waypoints etc. Doing it on your gps is a real pain. Doing it on your cpu then transfering to your gps is a cinch and fast!

    I also carry back up paper maps because they give the big picture, and gps sometimes do fail, or fall off your bike.

    If you keep a low profile, you'll enjoy what Mexico has to offer. This forum has lots to offer for your benefit. A ton of great guys willing to share.

    Cheers, Hill Climber
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  20. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Been here awhile

    Feb 11, 2007
    Kaslo BC summer, Yuma AZ winter
    Think I've got it figured out. Here's a screenshot of Mazatlan with CN North America
    Hill Climber

    Attached Files: