I'm heading down in a couple of weeks, crossing in Nuevo Laredo and heading to Monterrey to explore the Sierra Madre Oriental area on KLR650's. I feel pretty comfortable with what I'm bringing equipment wise, we're stocked up on spares and are changing all the wear items before the trip. I'm hoping some of ya'll have done some riding in the mountains south of Monterrey and can give us a little lay of the land. I have a decent understanding of the risks we're undertaking just by riding in mountainous areas we're not familiar with, but I'm not too familiar with the threat of violence in the area. I know the US State department has Tamaulipas on the Do Not Travel list for now. Half the people I talk to here think we're on a one-way journey, the other half say we'll be fine if we stay smart (the usual: don't drive at night, don't draw unnecessary attention, don't ride solo). My current expectation is that the most hazardous part of the journey will be in Nuevo Laredo and San Nicolas de los Garza and once we're in the mountains the towns will be tourist oriented and friendly. I especially want to see Rayones, Cienega del Toro, La Ciruela, Iturbide, El Sacramento, El Chorrito, and maybe get as far south as Xilitla. So my question: Are there places in this area where we should avoid / Am I paranoid for no reason / Are we naive for expecting this to be a relatively safe journey?