Baja – A current take on exploring Baja using paved roads almost exclusively

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Vic5491, Aug 30, 2014.

  1. TommyTomlinson

    TommyTomlinson n00b

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    I just re read most of this post and seen that your are taking v strom 650. I am buying a v strom 1000 this weekend and I hope it will do well. Our second day will be riding down 5 to coco's and on to bay of LA. I will have my wife riding with me and our oldest is around 72. We can never seem to get his exact age for reason. His wife is riding with him also. The only reason I'm taking my wife is she can help push or pick up the bike for me.
    #61
  2. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    You are truly one silver tongued devil for sure.... help push or pick up the bike for you! LOL If she finds this thread, I hope you like doing without buddy!

    I plan to ride but could be persuaded to share the driving and expenses if you have an open spot. I have ridden out to CA from Atlanta 4 times and quite frankly there is not much worth seeing between here and there unless you go up through Colorado.

    Are ya'll camping or what? Any concern about availability of rooms due to the 1000? Are you going to be there though the races and, if so, are you going to watch from somewhere along the route?

    Congrats on the VStrom. I have not read the reviews on the new 1000 but I can tell you that my 650 has been a real winner. I load it up like a pack mule and run it 80 mph indicated whenever conditions allow and get 50+ mpg and in 42,000 miles, all I have done other than routine maintenance is clean the contacts inside the starter button. It is not sexy and it is not high tech but it has done everything I have asked of it with nary a complaint! I will have to say that it is top heavy and it is heavy though so if off road gets technical and challenging, there are better choices out there but for 90% of us, the VStrom is a GREAT bike. With your background I'll be curious to hear how you like yours.

    Vic

    #62
  3. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    Feel free to share your plans here. I think we are on the same page.

    #63
  4. TommyTomlinson

    TommyTomlinson n00b

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    We are staying in motels. Being the week before the race I don't think rooms we be an issue. I will try and get our plans on here soon. As I stated before I have not been there in a while and never rode big bike so I will need help making sure our route makes sense.
    #64
  5. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    We have NEVER gotten insurance......BIG mistake......I lost my bike after my crash 'hit a cow in baja' (faceplant)

    I think it would be prudent to get bike and self insurance. I think SPOT have a good deal and you ought to get a SPOT they are great.
    #65
  6. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Also be sure get the tourist visa (FMM) for traveling south of the border zone/tourist corridor. If you don't have it and you get in an accident, your insurance will be void as technically you are in the country illegally.

    I always use Baja Bound for my Mexican insurance, here is a linky regarding FMM described by Baja Bound:

    http://www.bajabound.com/before/permits/visa.php
    #66
  7. muddyrabbit

    muddyrabbit Lost Boy

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    +1 on Baja Bound for insurance. I have alwaysbliked that they give you a comparison of policies from different companies, and it has always been easy to get a nice package for the bikes and tow vehicle.
    #67
  8. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the reminder about the FMM.

    I looked at (called) Baha Bound and actually thought their insurance quote was a bit high. Plus when I pushed them to define what their emergency air service includes, I found that it will get you to the nearest hospital and that is all. It does not matter what your injuries are and what hospital is staffed best to handle your case, you get dumped at the nearest hospital and that is the end of it.

    I'd like to get some competitive quotes from several good companies that write Mexican policies. Anyone else have a favorite insurance company you can recommend? Ideally I'd like to find someone who packages liability, collision, comprehensive (fire, theft and vandalism), uninsured motorist, medical and air evacuation handled by Med Jet Assist.

    Vic



    #68
  9. muddyrabbit

    muddyrabbit Lost Boy

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    When you do it on their website you get a comparison of several companies that they are an agent for. Hopefully you happened to get the new person.
    #69
  10. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys!

    #70
  11. twisted-hog

    twisted-hog Been here awhile

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    I got mine here

    Lewis and Lewis

    It was a good price, but read the small print, the medical part is not valid if traveling on a motorcycle :eek1

    I didn't care so much I had other medical insurance from another carriers already to cover me for that part.
    #71
  12. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    Thanks! And a special thanks for sharing the fine print!
    Vic

    #72
  13. luckychucky

    luckychucky Long timer

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    Wow...
    #73
  14. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    You'll find more pics in your comic books.

    #74
  15. MufflerBearings

    MufflerBearings Been here awhile

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    Living as close to the border as I do, I ride at least the northern part of Baja pretty frequently, and have made a couple trips further south, the most recent trip being in April of this year. I only speak 'Tarzan Spanish' (a few words of Spanish with lots of pointing and grunting), and I frequently ride solo with no problems. I feel safer in most of Baja than I do in most of San Bernardino and Riverside. Even Tijuana isn't all that bad these days; I spent last weekend pedaling my bicycle around town and found Tijuana drivers to be more considerate than those in L.A. or San Francisco.

    Don't write off Ensenada; yeah, it's kind of a touristy suburb of San Diego, but it has its charms. A clean room can be had at Motel America in the middle of town for about $30, and from there you can walk to Hussong's Cantina on the main drag, and Tacos Floresta or Tacos Lulu on Avenida Floresta a few blocks east of the water.

    Someone mentioned Coyote Cal's in Erendira earlier, and I'll second that suggestion - it's a really fun, relaxed place to sit around the fire pit at the outdoor bar at the end of a day:

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    If you're willing to ride a few miles of graded well-maintained dirt once you reach San Quintin, Molino Viejo (Old Mill) has nice rooms on Bahia San Quintin for about $32 (just follow the signs in from Highway 1). Killer seafood can be had next door at Don Eddie's.

    Further south, Mulege is a great place to spend some time. Ride out to the lighthouse at the mouth of the river, and to the mission across the highway from town. Las Casitas Hotel is in town, has secure moto parking in the courtyard, and is walkable to everything. It was about $45 per night in April 2014 (that was for a room with three beds; maybe cheaper if only a single):

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    Hotel Junipero in Loreto is a nice spot also. It was about $40 per night when I was there last year, and offers red silk bedspreads reminiscent of a brothel and relatively secure moto parking right across from the mission:

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    From Loreto, be sure to take a short out-and-back ride west to Mision San Javier. The road to the mission from Highway 1 is now entirely paved, and a visit is well worth the detour:

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    You'll have a great time. Wave if you see a guy putting along on a wheezing KLR! I might be down there around the same time.
    #75
  16. Vic5491

    Vic5491 Been here awhile

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    Thanks a million for all the good tips! I really appreciate it.

    If you are going to be down there about the same time, let me know. Maybe we can cross paths and ride together some.

    Cheers,
    Vic

    #76
  17. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    why does no one mentions the Observatory road?


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    60 plus miles of winding mountain road from sealevel to 10,000 ft.
    #77
  18. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    RIP "The Observatory Road". Paving that road killed one of the better routes in all of Baja. It used to be a fun trip going South out of Mike's Sky Rancho and out through El Coyote Rancho, down through San Telmo out to the coast. Now it's just another line of the black death that is changing Baja.
    #78
  19. Johno33772

    Johno33772 Johnny Africa

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    Thank you for telling it like it is! I have felt more vulnerable in Detroit than in Baja....Go to Baja with an open mind! It's an awesome place!
    #79
  20. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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    No one mentions the observatory road is because Baja is about the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez not the interior
    #80