Is Mexico Safe?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Arte, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Green-ee

    Green-ee Been here awhile

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    I've tried both and prefer the Laredo Bridge #2 crossing to Columbia. Turn in the Vehicle permit on the right (you'll be almost under the bridge you will soon cross back into the US) There's a booth you ride up to to return the permit. After that backtrack back away from the bridge in the direction you just came from. A sharp dogleg right and the bridge is ahead. There are some abandoned booths that once were used to return the VIP - ride slowly through to the next booth where there's a toll collected for the bridge. https://www.cityoflaredo.com/bridge/bridgecameras/pages/bridge-ii-mex.html (link to a camera to see what kind of wait you can expect).
    I last crossed in February 2020 - no escorts needed or available either southbound or northbound. N. Laredo has a bad reputation but I've crossed there dozens of times - even in the wee hours without an issue.
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  2. Grynch

    Grynch Long timer

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    These are the things that make us feel safe in Mexico.

    When I enter a town and I see topiary, I know that the town cares, therefore I feel safe..........
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  3. currenv

    currenv Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks, Sjoerd, that's helpful info.

    I'm really looking for the least nervous-making crossing. I've done the 85/85D route in the past; NL1 looks attractive! A motorcycling friend from San Miguel recommended Eagle Pass / Piedras Negras as being the safest these days. Google maps predicts it will be about an hour longer, not a deal breaker, and the route down 57 / 57D looks pretty straightforward. Do you or any other inmates have an opinion about this option?

    Complicating things, I'm undecided yet whether to do this on two wheels or four. I'm in Ann Arbor; my Mexican-plated VSrom is currently garaged with the wonderful MotoDiscovery folks in San Antonio; and I want to get it back to San Miguel for my first extended stay there since COVID. I have a "portachopper" trailer that assembles and disassembles using hitch pins to hold the pieces together. My current plan is to put the disassembled trailer in the back of our CRV and drive to San Antonio. Then, in the unlikely case that the weather looks bearable, I could store the CRV in San Antonio, ride the bike to SMdA, and when it's time to come home, fly back to San Antonio and drive back to Ann Arbor. It's tiring just to write it, let alone do it! Or, more likely, I put the trailer together when I get to San Antonio and tow the bike to SMdA. Then, when it's time to return to Ann Arbor, I can disassemble the trailer and carry it the back of the CRV.

    Anyway, I feel more vulnerable to bad actors as a car pulling a motorcycle on a trailer than I would feel just riding the motorcycle or driving the car. Given that, I'm trying to figure how I can optimize my chances for a tranquil journey.

    Thanks for the help,

    Vinnie
  4. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto Supporter

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    I think getting three different units into Mexico, the CRV, the trailer, and the bike is going to get complicated and if you're like me, border TVIP complications is way down on my list of desirable things. I like to occupy my thoughts with roadside pollo asado and huevos rancheros at quaint little restaurants. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
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  5. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    !!!!!!!!!"""Then, in the unlikely case that the weather looks bearable, I could store the CRV in San Antonio, ride the bike to SMdA....""" !!!!

    Are you expecting snow or freezing rain ?
    I had to go back and check the dates for this proposed transport. It is in JULY ! .
    I am shocked that you would express this sort of attitude for setting up a complicated either/or car/bike project . More fun and simpler paperwork IF YOU HAVE one vehicle .
    If you can’t handle a bit of summer weather I have no way to understand it .
    This is summer , the height of perfect riding weather ! Of course it is a motorcycle worthy ride down south, ALL THE WAY .

    So it can get a bit toasty --- work with it and enjoy it .
    I have done the Nuevo Laredo crossing numerous times and last year was the first and only time I ever encountered a policia escort situation .I find nothing nerve wracking about Mexican border crossings, such fear is only a personal fabrication ,too much worrying needlesly .

    If there is a heat wave on the Gulf Coastal Plain then Mex 85 south to Monterrey can be hot. In that case you could opt for entering a bit farther west at either PIEDRAS NEGRAS or CIUDAD ACUNA . ( from Eagle Pass or Del Rio respectively ) . These both feed you south onto Mex 57 and will place you in higher desert country which even in summer tends to be less warm than a heat wave at Monterrey etc .
    I have crossed at these ports also many times and they are eay peasy and secure . For both these places you do not need to do any Mexican customs processes at the actual border because they both feed the HIGHWAY traffic south to ALLENDE ,COAH where the OFFICIAL KM 53 customs terminal will issue the FMM and the TVIP 24/7. It is at the southwest edge of Allende and for anybody paying attention the signs can not be missed. It is also only a stone’s throw north of the entrance /exit of the TOLL road split of Mex 57 south to Monclova.
    I recommend using the LIBRE of 57 and touring at your own calm speed with every option to stop for refrescos if the warmth is a challenge .
    Tour through the small towns in the Zona Carbonifera , take yer sweat time .


    one last word needs repeating C O L O M B I A :rofl:baldy
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  6. Green-ee

    Green-ee Been here awhile

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    The thing that turned me off to Columbia was my 1st and only crossing there. Back then the Texas toll road booth was not staffed 24 hours. EZ Passes were uncommon. 3:00am we camped by the booth because we couldn't pay the toll. 5:00am the booth was staffed, I paid the toll and then waited until the border crossing opened a few hours later (not sure if it open 24 hours now - it wasn't then). Once the gate opened and we cleared that we then pulled up to a screwy 5 road intersection that must have been 400 feet across. Naturally a transito was stationed there and my one complete stop before entering this screwy intersection wasn't enough. The first time and only time I ever paid mordida came after an hour of sidewalk negotiations. The guy was relentless.
    That's 3 strikes. Maybe Columbia is better now but Bridge #2 is predictable and easy.
    One consideration about reentering the US at Bridge #2 is that US customs has a stop midway across the bridge now. Concrete barriers are placed to make lane splitting to the front of the line very difficult. The wait in the hot sun (northbound) can be tough. Southbound there's never been a wait but there now is what appears to be a mandatory VIN/Registration check right after the bridge. It's fast though.
  7. currenv

    currenv Been here awhile Supporter

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    Hi Jim,

    I've brought the car and trailer across before and it was pretty routine in Banjercito. The car and trailer are on the same TIP. I was importing a KLR-650 that trip and the custom's broker took the motorcycle across and dealt with the paperwork on that; I just had to deal with the car and trailer. We reunited with the KLR at the broker's Nuevo Laredo office after we had the TIP.

    I don't expect Banjercito to be all that difficult for this trip. The only wrinkle is that the car and trailer have Michigan plates and the bike has a Guanajuato plate. But I don't plan to even mention the bike in the Banjercito office unless they bring it up since the Vstrom is just a "Mexican citizen" going home. But, there's always the surprise "...una cosa mas..." syndrome which I've encountered plenty of times before with south-of-the-border officialdom. Not that we don't get some of that north-of-the-border too.

    And I totally agree with your pollo asado and huevos rancheros perspective!




    Thanks,
    Vinnie
  8. currenv

    currenv Been here awhile Supporter

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    Replying to Sjoerd,

    What can I say? I'm a wimp about riding in 100+ degrees!

    But you're a convincing guy, Sjoerd and you've now got me just about convinced to leave the car and stick to two wheels. I'm liking the Piedras Negras route as opposed to Laredo or ColOmbia -- a bit longer but not so urban and it's a part of Mexico I haven't been through before. And as you point out, the faster climb to higher elevation helps to avoid the hottest temps. The long range forecast for Allende is low 90s and Saltillo is high 70s -- almost spring-like!

    Thanks,

    Vinnie
  9. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto Supporter

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    Piedras Negras and Acuña are very easy places to cross. You would proceed down to Allende to get your TVIP/FMM. Monclova is a nice first day stopping place (Hotel Olimpia) along with Saltillo (Hotel Huizache).
  10. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Do you recall the rough cost to import the KLR?
  11. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    We have shaped trees here in Morelia too. They also do it by the aqueduct, probably elsewhere as well....I agree it classes up the joint a bit.
    061 Morelia.jpg
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  12. MikeS

    MikeS Fur shur! Vamos! Supporter

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    Not Mexico, but impressive topiary sculpture in a Latin America central plaza. Topiary work does seem to be a Latin America art form.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  13. currenv

    currenv Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks for the recommendation, Jim. Monclava is where I was looking at stopping, actually.

    Vinnie
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  14. currenv

    currenv Been here awhile Supporter

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    Couple of thousand maybe, all in? I didn't do it to save money It was about 5 years ago so my memory is fuzzy. I felt it was worth it because I had the bike set up well for me and, with the exchange rates at the time, buying a decent later model KLR in Mexico wasn't going to be that cheap either. Given what it would cost now vs the current prices of bikes on Mexico, I might not make the same decision.

    Vinnie
  15. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Thanks! Yeah my bike only has 12K miles or so, so I figure compared to the cost of a new bike down here it isn't a terrible idea to just keep it for touring around Mexico since it is already ready to go....but is a lot to import for an old KLR. Appreciate it.
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  16. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    In Cancun area now

    20210621_155030.jpg

    Visited Coba yesterday and 2 Cenotes

    20210622_131518.jpg 20210622_155852.jpg
  17. currenv

    currenv Been here awhile Supporter

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    If it were a Harley it would have been a lot cheaper because of NAFTA.... But then I'd be riding a Harley. ;)

    Vinnie
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  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I pulled a moto on a trailer with a CRV in the past. Don't think rules have changed.

    CRV & trailer in my wife's TIP/FMM.
    Moto in my TIP/FMM.

    You can't do all 3 unless the moto is considered an off-road only machine.

    If you expect a fully srreet legal moto, TIP, and insurance and all that's not gonna work.
  19. Bubwheat

    Bubwheat Long timer Supporter

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    I always cross at Columbia Bridge going south from Laredo. I've got a tick that doesn't allow me to go 100 miles and 2 hours out of my way because I'm scared! I'm that scared, I'm staying home. I crossed Monday around 1pm and it was 102F in Laredo, when I got to Monterrey, it was 106F. If Mr. Bakker thinks those temps are perfect riding weather, He is a tougher man than me!
  20. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Currenv , you got it others seem to not yet:dunno:baldy:dhorse:dhorse:dhorse
    • Green ee. , If that is a description of the COLOMBIA border crossing it suggests to me that it must have been quite a number of years ago before the spacious , modern and logically arranged Mexican Aduana complex went into service as it exists now. There is no five way intersection anywhere near it . You owe it to yourself to use this crossing again soon.
    • Coming off the bridge the Building for getting all the doc’s is on your right side when you are at the inspection portal , just about perfectly under the grey marker “H” . For cancelling the TVIP there is a small kiosk on the left ( west side!) of the main road in from Mex 2 .It is just to the left of the small badge with “1” in it. There is a clearly designated set of cross connector routes and one can ride around from one service to the other without hindrance
    • If you want the road NL1 south you go out the main gate onto Mex 2 and go NW for 1km , then turn south as the red arrow indicates
    • . It may be futile to provide a description and map , one rr recently demonstrated a total lack of grasp of these sort of directions even after such were clearly presented . 2861C456-A389-426B-B1E3-22185181F203.jpeg
    :clap105 F is ONLY 45.6C which is easily survivable if dressed in proper mesh and well watered . I’ve once run through Death Valley in July when it was 125F at Bad Water ( 58C ) , I thought it was interesting , hot yes, and I survived quite well , but no fool and aware of risks I was not going to exert myself .

    In Mexico it is not uncommon to see a local soccer or baseball game going at high temps. Even on very hot days there can be road crews working through the heat while wearing long sleeves and a quilted jacket .
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