Life saving tips for riding to/through Mixico?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by BigT, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. Jeff Munn

    Jeff Munn Just along for the ride..

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    First tip, listen to Lone Rider.

    Second tip: Read this link on planning a trip to Central America. A lot of people have found it useful. I hope you do to.

    Third tip: Go for it and be ready to have a great time. Attitude can do worlds of good when all the planning fails.

    Good luck.
    #21
  2. BARB

    BARB Long timer Super Supporter

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    Mexico is a very macho country. If you get into a spirited road race with a local, let him win even if he is driving an old Ford. Ego needs to be kept in check, challenges can be serious on narrow remote roads. If you are female, don't get offended by wolf whistles and remarks. If the truck in front of you has on a left turn signal, he's telling you it's clear to pass. Eat at the most crowded street vendors. Don't dicker too much on prices when shopping, these people need to make a living too. Cab drivers or pizza delivery guys can lead you to addresses you can't find if you are in a city. Smile alot, don't expect anything to be on time- manana means "not today" it doesn't just mean tomorrow. Barb
    #22
  3. ezrydr

    ezrydr Dead Man Riding

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    Most of the main stuff has been covered. A couple I didn't see:

    (1) If you come to a one-lane bridge (of which there are many) and there is a Mexican vehicle approaching at the other end, the protocol is that whoever blinks his lights first gets to go first. In practice, LET THE MEXICAN GO FIRST. Whether or not you think you blinked first, he thinks otherwise.

    (2) Carry a small plastic bottle - a bicyclists's water bottle is ideal - and a supply of water purifying tablets or drops. Fill it with tap water and add purifier, let it stand the prescribed time - and then use this to brush your teeth and wash your toothbrush. A lot of gringos who think they're being very careful about drinking the water forget and use tap water for toothbrushing, and then wonder why they get Montezuma's Revenge.

    In addition - if you possibly can, for God's sake learn to speak at least some Spanish. It's a very easy language and even if you aren't very good, they appreciate the attempt, as showing respect.

    Oh yeah - I don't know if they still have them (probably do) but there are these guys they call the Green Angels posted along major highways, and their function is to provide emergency mechanical assistance to travelers. They're good guys; a couple of them helped me hotwire my old CB750K when the ignition switch died halfway between Monterrey and the border with night coming on.

    Pemex premium is excellent gas. The cheaper grade is very low octane and not to be recommended for high-performance engines. Unfortunately the smaller country stations may not have premium. Still, I got away with running it in my GS1000G - which pinged very readily - simply by being careful about accelerating suddenly.

    Have a good trip. It's a great experience; everybody ought to do it at least once. Good luck.
    #23
  4. err

    err Been here awhile

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    tell someone who is looking to ride into mexico from brownsville and see what the east coast is like, and the mountains south of monterrey, WHY we dont ride at night?

    as well tell me how bad of an idea it is to camp in said mountains
    #24
  5. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Black cow on a black road on a black night is just one reference.

    Cuotas are good highways, but do have construction zones at times.

    When on the regular roads and expecting the next 100' of road to be like the last 100', you will often times be disappointed.

    As your piss poor headlights reflect off the spilled diesel fuel in the outside of the turn, that bigass rock laying in the middle of your lane causes you to go inside and cross the centerline that's not there. The left Jesse bag holds up well as you glance off the burro's right hind quarter that was scared by your high beam lights and cartwheels into the pothole from Hell that you never saw but just bfore you run smack into the rear of the '72 Ford truck loaded with cut timber and without light stopped dead in the road because his frame collapsed.

    Just another dead guy riding at night in Mexico.....
    #25
  6. err

    err Been here awhile

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    so its not really roving bandits or alien abductions, thanks.

    anyone have any experience camping/hiking. im going broke essentially
    #26
  7. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    I've heard that if you go to the Silence Zone, you can jump a ride on the Santa Maria and discover new lands with its captain, Chris, supposedly a cool dude.....
    #27
  8. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

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    If you take a credit card only use it at banks and ATM's. Last time my dad paid with a credit card in Guaymas at a restaurant, we got a call from the credit card company saying someone was trying to charge $300 on it in Ensenada. Nipped that one in the bud, but he'll never do that again.

    Don't ride at night for sure, it is not safe to do so. Burros come out of nowhere, packs of dogs get more agressive and the cops got me once at a checkpoint insisting on a nice mordida (which I did eventually have to give $6.00 for) to get past and that was certainly more creepy at night than it would have been during the day.

    Everybody always gives you all the horror stories, but using good judgement will make the trip easy and enjoyable. I never camped either, as once you get away from the border regions hotels and motels are so cheap, I nevered bothered with camping gear. I did three trips to Michoacan and Guanajuato with no problems other than that one night I kept driving. I did do it one other time since though, and had absolutely no trouble whatsoever, but I would avoid night driving if you can.
    #28
  9. Knobbie

    Knobbie Ex Teams

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    Greatest advice for Mexico and most of South American I've ever seen on this forum. Keep some worthless (to us) trinkets handy to feed the children. And don't be surprised of the adults want a piece of the action. Hand it over and snap a few pics to post here.

    The best line of the thread below,... NEVER travel at night.


    #29
  10. Knobbie

    Knobbie Ex Teams

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    Oh yeah, Go to Kinko's and make a few color copies of your drivers license and have them laminated. Just in case the federales take it and you want to get back across the border. Long story. Usually happens in other countries rather than colonial Mexico, but BSTS.
    #30
  11. LongWays

    LongWays Skiing up a hill...

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    So I'm thinking of making a run down Baja on the RT in a week or two. On previous trips with smaller bikes I have more often than not ridden the bike into the room for the night (don't know why, must have been something I saw on this site :rofl ). Is this really necessary - 'cause I'm not interested in wrestling that pig through a door. And why am I not taking the GS or the G/S...the 1100 needs a clutch (and rear seal while I'm in that deep), and the G/S - well let's just say its a work in progress.
    #31
  12. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    This is important.
    #32
  13. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    :lurk
    #33
  14. crosscountry

    crosscountry Bear went over Mountain

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    I am enjoying this thread.


    Any other riding at night stories?
    #34
  15. err

    err Been here awhile

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    i plan on taking my passport, a few licenses, a few dummy wallets, tons of proof of id etc etc, but ill also be taking my dog. thats why i ask about camping, and ill be broke. i have a relative around brownsville, who has traveled all over mexico for the last 30 years, so i will get lots of tips, but not on a motorcycle.

    im still unsure of how traveling at night at a SLOW pace, and i mean slow, is bad, what is everyone not saying? ive been to mexico my fair share of times, and not tourist traps, we drove around at night lots, i understand how its inherantly more dangerous, which would warrant mucho slower speeds, but everyone staying NO makes me think there is more to it.

    still wondering if anyone has any camping experience. everyone tells me take cigarrettes and booze for the banditos when they roll up on you, whats a broke ass fool to do then?
    #35
  16. swjohnsey

    swjohnsey Banned

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    You will need some kinda paperwork on the dog. I'm not sure exactly what it is but you get it from a vet. One of the vets around Brownsville will know what you need.

    Hitting a cow at night is much more traumatic on a motorcycle than it is in a car.
    #36
  17. err

    err Been here awhile

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    from what ive read you dont officially need paperwork on them, but its wise. so ill have a folder of stuff, shes tattooed, etc etc. im wondering how riding ridiculously slow at night wouldnt allow for the avoidance of almost all obstacles. seriously, 15 -20 mph. im not going to be blasting around anywhere with so much gear. plus my bike gets 50% better mpg at 20-30 mph, go figure. still trying to find info on camping, not rv. actual tent and fire camping.
    #37
  18. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    I think you're right.
    #38
  19. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

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    Those of you who plan to take throw-down wallets, are there many credible stories of them being needed?

    :lurk
    #39
  20. Krashdragon

    Krashdragon Been here awhile

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    Ok, so I'm new on this site and havn't ridden off road much, but not new to riding... I see you're about the same age as my son, so...

    My best mother lecture.....

    On riding at night... NO....just because everyone here told you not to.
    Read what they said!

    About your dog.... get the vet paperwork, you'll need it to get him back in.... or he might end up as someone's meal.

    And why on earth would you want to ride around a bunch of rocky mountains on dirt roads in the dark when you can't even see where you're going, let alone anyone or anything else out there?

    Think, dude, THINK!

    Mom.... aka Mary aka Krashdragon
    #40