Mexico Virgin

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cro59, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    796
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    So, I’ve got a week, I’m in Tucson with two motorcycles, and I want to ride. Still a lot to see in my backyard, and of course there’s Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. Wait a minute! Did somebody say Mexico? Hmm...

    I’ve been toying with the idea of buying an RV, and my buddy is trying to be supportive while giving me shit at the same time. He suggested that I go down to San Carlos to look at boats. Much to the chagrin of the poor RV salesman in Mesa, I think this sounds like a fine idea. I like boats, I have absolutely no sailing experience, and I’ve been thinking about riding in Mexico for years now. Plus, I hear they do that scuba diving thing down there as well. I even thought about learning to speak Spanish a couple of years ago. Sounds like a plan.

    Like most of my trips, that’s about the extent of my planning. I have a rough idea of what documentation I need and know that I need Mexican insurance, but let’s be honest, I’ve spent more time looking at boats for sale and dive shop websites than anything else. More than likely, I’ll run down the 15 to get to San Carlos, spend a few days there, and then make my way up the coast to the Yuma crossing. I’m sort of hoping you fucking fucks can fill in the gaps and keep me out of trouble.

    While this sounds like a good trip for the WRR, the poor girl is sick. The left fork leaks, the chain slider is shot, and the chain isn’t in great shape if you look at it with your eyes open. The tires could probably make it, but the front is iffy. I just don’t have time to source the parts and do the work before I head back to the the sandbox. Fortunately, I have this puppy in the stable with fresh oil and she’s raring to go...

    [​IMG]

    So, yeah, I’m leaving Wednesday, about eighteen hours from now. Maybe I should get ready or something.
    #1
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  2. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    796
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    If you have route suggestions, dirt is an option for the return trip. Just bear in mind that the CBX is pushing 450 as she sits. I’m also open to any nice beach camping spots.
    #2
  3. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    And I’m off. Bit of a late start at oh dark nine, but I can live with that. Insurance...check; copies of title and registration...check; passport...check.

    [​IMG]

    The load is a bit heavy at 35 pounds, but that includes tools, camping gear, and a couple of liters of water. Not terrible, but not exactly minimalist either. I did leave the camp chair at home. I love the Kreiga bags for their flexibility and modularity, however they do carry the weight high. Something to keep in mind off-road.

    Plan is to slab down I-19 and I-15 to San Carlos. I’ll hang out there for a few days diving, drooling over boats, and getting the feel of things. After that I’ll make my way north. I intend to stay in the Baja and the Sonoran Free Zone to avoid the need for a TVP for the bike. All I should need at the border is a FMM (tourist visa).

    Okay, my coffee stop is done, so time to head out.
    #3
  4. kruzuki

    kruzuki Gear in the Machine

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
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    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Good luck! I love Mexico and plan on riding down the Baja peninsula in about 18 months from now.
    #4
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  5. Drybones

    Drybones Fish bones are on my truck seat cover, too

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    279
    Location:
    Oro Valley, AZ near 77
    I will be interested in this week-long trip. I have a home in Oro Valley and would have wanted to tag along but I'm presently up in WA state trying to sell my boat. I also have a '96 BMW R1100GS here that I might sell. Que tengas un buen viaje.
    #5
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  6. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    I was going to ask, “Why wait?”, and then saw your location. Not a weekend trip for you. I’d like to get to Baja, but won’t have much time on this trip. That is a trip made for the WRR.
    #6
  7. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    Would have been good to have the company. Next time. Pretty easy so far, although I’m beat from the day of highway riding.
    #7
  8. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
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    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    [​IMG]

    Made it to San Carlos. It was every bit of seven hours of hot, dull, highway driving. Guess I should learn to trust the GPS and not think that I’ll be able to cut off time. The total trip from Tucson was 8 1/2 hours, including rest stops and immigration. I’ll confess that this is not my first time in Mexico, but it is my first time driving, which is hard to believe considering that I’ve lived in Arizona since 2004. It’s easy to overlook things that are in your own backyard. Anyway, it was also my first time crossing an international border by motorcycle. That part was easier than I expected. I took the I-19 crossing in Nogales, expecting to see signs for Migracion, Aduana, or Bajercito, but I rode through the border, nobody stopped me, and before I knew it I was in Nogales, Mexico, fighting traffic and breathing pure, unfiltered diesel exhaust. I knew I needed a tourist visa (the Forma Migratoria Multiple or FMM) but had no idea where to get it. This is where that planning thing would come in handy. I stopped to get pesos and asked a few people where to go. After the normal language barrier struggles, everyone I asked pointed straight down the road and said go to 21 kilometers. Okay then, off I went. Anyway, here’s the deal. If you stay seven days or less then you don’t need an FMM. Also, if you remain within 20 kilometers of the border, on the Baja peninsula, or in the Sonoran Free Zone, then you don’t need to import your vehicle. Outside of that area, then you need a vehicle permit. You can get all of this taken care of at the Kilometer 21 immigration center. Just ride across trough the border and keep going straight. You can’t miss it.

    Edit: I’m not a Mexican Immigration expert. You may still need a FMM for less than seven days, although it should be free. I don’t research these things very well, so follow my advice at your own risk.

    Everything you need is here.
    [​IMG]

    Including an explanation of the Sonoran Hassle Free Zone
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Nogales crossing has a bad reputation for being busy and crowded, but it was easy to enter and easy to find the station. It took longer to ride to the office than it did to process through. I was in and out within thirty minutes. You’ll need copies of your passport, drivers license, and registration or title, although they will make copies for a buck or two. The six month tourist visa was about $22 and I didn’t import the vehicle. Pretty simple really.

    After that it is a long slog to San Carlos. If you aren’t from the American Southwest then you might enjoy the scenery, but it looked an awful lot like Arizona to me, so I just kept the throttle pinned and let the miles flow past. I had only two goals today...don’t die and get to San Carlos. I managed to achieve both of them, so we’ll chalk this one up in the win column. Honestly, the traffic and road conditions weren’t bad at all. I took Hwy 15 the whole way and only went through one toll station where I was waved through because I didn’t have any small bills.

    I’ll wrap up with a couple of observations. It may be October, but it’s still hot. Not “I’m going to melt into a puddle of my constituent elements” hot, but still 90+ (32+ for those of you from the unenlightened bits of the world). Also, there are a lot of fucking mosquitos down here. Due to those two factors and the long slab ride, I wasn’t in the mood for roughing it in a cheap room or wild camping. So like a good tourist, I splurged for this view...

    [​IMG]

    I think I’ll need to swim in that pool and climb that mountain. Yeah, life is good.
    #8
  9. kruzuki

    kruzuki Gear in the Machine

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Yes, it's a bit of a ride!

    I retire 09/2020, before I'm 60 (one more year!!!!). I'm going to travel early 2021. Sounds so far away........
    #9
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  10. Ride4Life4Ever

    Ride4Life4Ever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2019
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Hanoi
    From what l remember if you didn't get a visa/pass that is refunded on your return you can expect a hefty fine by the cops who will randomly stop all gringo's on the roads back to the border.

    Good luck though, & for diving, go to Cozumel on a flight, it's a great little place with $3 a day scooter rental.

    IMG_20170321_085041.jpg
    #10
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  11. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    I am within 18 months as well. It really depends on how much of a nest egg I want. It will be here before you know it.
    #11
  12. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    Is that the new Mosko Moto scooter luggage? :imaposer

    Yeah, have to stop off to return the FMM and TVP on the way out.
    #12
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  13. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    796
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    That mountain is just begging to be climbed.
    [​IMG]

    The next couple of days are about chilling out, looking at boats, and diving, so I’m not sure how much riding and reporting will be going on. There are a few dirt roads and trails to explore. I still haven’t installed the hand guards on the bike, so I don’t want to get too crazy (although I did bring spare levers just in case).

    I’ll talk more about the bike after the trip. For now, I’ll just say that this is the type of trip the CB500X ADV is made for. It eats up the slab miles and is comfortable to ride all day, plus the Rally Raid kit makes it more capable on the dirt than this rider. Yesterday would have been pretty miserable on the WRR. She’d do it certainly, but I’d have been wringing her neck all day. Now, Baja, from what I’ve heard, is perfect WRR territory. The CBX will get you where you’re going faster and more comfortably, but once you get there the WRR opens up much more in the way of off-road options.
    #13
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  14. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    Apparently, you need appointments to look at boats. Go figure. Looks like I might be riding today after all.
    #14
  15. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Well, I tried to get some dirt riding in today, but this generally means turn around.
    [​IMG]

    The population centers dwindle to nothing to the west and north. No roads going through as far as I can tell. There are a handful of resorts and vacation homes, and the normal shops, bars, and restaurants. All in all, San Carlos is a quiet corner of the world and everyone seems happy enough to keep it that way. Deep sea fishing in the summer and cruiser crowds in the winter, although, from what I heard, it is only really crowded during Easter when the Mexican tourists show up.

    There are some stunning views.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All in all, a pretty laid back day.

    Tomorrow I look at boats and maybe dive in the afternoon, but for now, adios, amigos.
    [​IMG]
    #15
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  16. Romero

    Romero At Cinépolis or OXXO

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    604
    Location:
    Morelia
    Awesome RR and a cool bike! I am not familiar with that area but I never ride dirt roads off the beaten path.. Our state I kinda know what's what. and whats going on - or at least my region.
    People trying to make a living.
    So cool you rode down, my parents live in Sedona so love to see this report.
    Be safe brother keep posting!

    As you probably know the IMS thread is the daily feed on ADV.

    Romero
    #16
  17. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    Sep 27, 2015
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    Location:
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    Yeah, I’m not about to go through closed gates or ride dirt roads that aren’t obviously public access. The key to receiving good hospitality is to be a good guest! I’m definitely liking Mexico so far.
    #17
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  18. Romero

    Romero At Cinépolis or OXXO

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Morelia
    All good! Welcome to the most beautiful country in the world.
    #18
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  19. Romero

    Romero At Cinépolis or OXXO

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    Oddometer:
    604
    Location:
    Morelia
    What type of boat are looking for? We have a 36' north of Seattle..love the water.
    #19
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  20. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

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    Sep 27, 2015
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    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    One day, I’ll come back to explore Mexico properly. There is so much to see. I remember @goodcat ride report. His plan was to blast through Mexico on his way RTW. Think he ended up spending two years here.
    #20
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