Motorcycle for Mexico City?

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by museumplanner, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. museumplanner

    museumplanner museumplanner

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    #21
  2. tejano

    tejano Adventurer

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    How many are "a couple of tenencias"?
    5 OR 6
    maybe i wil check it out. bought it in mercado libre last september forgot to update :D
    #22
  3. museumplanner

    museumplanner museumplanner

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    Does anyone know anything about the CBF150 Unicorn ? 29,900 Pesos ($2,278USD) ?

    Not sure if it is worth more than the GL150

    Thanks!
    #23
  4. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    It's a tarted up delivery bike. The basic platform is the same.
    Careful with buying a Honda, as you are paying a premium simply for the name.
    Parts are more expensive and yes, they are readily available, but not as easy to source as the Chinese stuff
    because you can get those parts anywhere and very cheap.
    Honda are no better or worse than Italika but you pay for the name Honda. For that price you can easily get
    a 200cc Chinese bike that will outperform the Honda any day of the week under the conditions you are going to
    be using it. Most of the Chinese stuff is simply Honda tech knock off.
    Have you ridden a motorcycle in Mexico City? It is not the same as riding a large capacity bike in other metro areas
    in the USA. Just want you to know what you are really getting into, the learning curve is steep when you venture out
    with only about 7bhp into one of the largest cities in the world. Bike insurance, copies of all your documents, and your health insurance are all really good things to have with you, along with eyes in the back of your head. Good luck.
    Hardly anyone commutes on small capacity bikes for obvious reasons. They are useful for deliveries and you can make them work for minor commuting, but if you are faced with long commutes, public transit is way better. Next, you'll need a really good lock and chain to be used at all times. Once you have ridden through a DF downpour or two you might arrive at a different opinion. Every trip is going to be something new. If you are commuting close, it will be no problem, but you'll find some headaches sucking on exhaust fumes during a February thermal inversion in the valley while trying to thread through gridlock. Sure, there are some hardcore riders who commute on smaller bikes but those are usually the bigger Italikas.
    Just want to make sure you understand the downside of things. You might find commuting to be less of a hassle with public transit and saving those pesos for something decent you can use on weekends and wheel around the city on when you have a free day or a real desire to commute on the bike.
    #24
  5. museumplanner

    museumplanner museumplanner

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    MikeMike,
    Thank you for the reality check! I have ridden motorcycles in NYC, San Francisco, India and Indonesia, but, Mexico City scares me more than any of my previous ridding. We live in Polanco, will be commuting to Roma and University of Mexico. I commute with my computer, people have been warning me not to take my computer bag on the public transit.

    Sounds like you are recommending the 200cc Italika, so weird buying a motorcycle at Walmart, but that seems the norm.

    Thanks for your advice!
    #25
  6. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Take a good look at all the bikes offered from all the dealers.
    It is easy to do in DF. Everyone I have known who has owned an Italika that size has been happy, even one guy who rode one over a 1,000kms to Acapulco in one day which is not the best idea but yes, it is doable if you like to suffer.
    He only did it once, by the way.
    Your daily commuting will be only about an 8 or 10 kilometer crow flying radius. But heavy traffic areas. Get insurance for the bike because someone will make a play for it sooner than you think. Using an old backpack to conceal your laptop is not a bad idea, even on the metro lines. There is no other city in the world like DF. It is something else.
    Careful if you ride with a plastic poncho in the rain, they love to get caught and torn in chains. LOL!
    If you are going to do your own maintenance, and you speak Spanish, MotoMundo offer do it yourself courses for free from time to time at some locations in Mexico City. They are overpriced for most of their stuff but when you are stuck they often have what you are looking for at a price. There are much better places and cheaper too, that Garry Dymond can likely refer you to and give you the addresses. Don't carry your laptop outside of an old back pack bag while you are on your bike, either. You'd be surprised how someone can "liberate" it from you even while you are sitting on your bike.
    Spend some time concentrating on how small cc bike riders go with the flow in DF traffic, you can do this simply standing on the corner of a busy intersection and watch how they handle the traffic lights, how they filter and thread, how they avoid getting punted around, how they handle the traffic and avoid problems. Get a comfortable helmet with an easy to clean liner and watch out not only for other cars, but the real danger of some of the more kamikaze Darwin award wannabee delivery riders. Only the really talented last in that field of endeavor.
    #26
  7. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    hi

    also check our forum with a lot of local chilangos, http://www.motoviajero.com many guys from Mexico city. I had a Honda Bros for about 4 years and 10,000 km until a guy from Washington hit a car that latter hit me... Anyway, it has 12 hp not 6, it did 100 km/hr with me and 145-165 lb (I got fat as I rode more and forgot about my bicycle). I live in a small city, at sea level so it will different. how ever a lot of my e-buddies have this bike and say it is good up to 90 real km/hr. I even went to usa a couple of times.

    How big and tall are you?

    I also have a KLR and in city trafic it is not my ideal bike.

    If you buy a bike in the usa you can make it mexican, it will cost you some money, my klr 2005 back then I paid $1,350 usd, now it has Mexican plates. So remember that when thinking about importing a bike, you could have it temporarly imported but that comes with a time limit.

    have you consider a Honda 250 Tornado? that will be a great bike if you can afford it new or used.

    About Italika, some friends have them and they say it is ok, and then add "for what I paid for". One of my students has one, a Honda Cargo look alike, it has been running for several years now, many kilometers and several things have been replace, shocks, clutch, several other parts... so I think it comes to the same price that a Honda Cargo (in the long time).
    Honda Cargo is a great bike, just not 2 up bike, and I have "closely fallow them Domino's pizza guys" at speeds over 50 mph on city streets so they can do it all day long. I remember a guy who work for Electra saying "I ran that bike for 2 weeks without oil until it broke down, I just wanted a new bike, like the one my friend had" I was very shock!
    And there is something here to say, Electra sells the Italikas but all it's employees drive hondas, does it mean something? I know Linda Gates does not have an Ipod, just saying.

    The Italika WS 150 or 175 cc scooter is cool, and I know of people that use it a lot for there daily transportation in Mexico city, with zero issues!

    if you speak or read and write spanish come to our site and will find many friends who might have info and why not, even let you drive there bike for a test drive.

    One question, have you seen the Yamaha FZ16?

    Bienvenido a Mexico!!!

    Damasovi
    #27
  8. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    Lots of good Advice from MikeMike and Damasovi. I have a Suzuki GN125 which I love. It now has 16,000kms on it basically trouble free. I had the first few services done at the Suzuki Dealer and have done everything else since then myself. I have only changed oil, filters and spark plugs plus cleaning the carb a few times. I have also changed a couple of headlight bulbs and the brakes. All in all a very cheap bike to run and so far trouble free. Much cheaper and more practical in the city than my V-Strom.
    Having said all that if I had to do it again I would buy the Honda 125 tool. The Honda is claimed to be made in Mexico but I think it is just assembled here the same way my old CBR1000 was. My Suzuki was made in China. My Suzuki is $22,000 new whereas the Honda is $14900. Although I do like the retro look of the Suzuki. In the end it will all come down to personal choice.
    If you can get a small top box such as the ones made by Givi that you can store your Laptop in while travelling plus some rain gear.
    I am very used to riding in the city but it will be callenging when you start.
    Send me a PM if you want me to help you find a bike or need any other help.
    Garry
    #28
  9. Chiriqui Charlie

    Chiriqui Charlie Been here awhile

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    Let me tell you about my experience, and my opinion as to why I think you should consider a one bike solution. When I lived in the States, my last bike was a Honda Shadow 1100 (loved that bike!) It got me everyplace I wanted to go, even the dirt roads were smooth and in pretty good condition. When I moved to Panama, one of the first things I did was to buy a Chinese 150. It was handy for getting around the local village, but it never really fit me, and I wasn't comfortable taking it much of anyplace. I had a lot of minor breakdowns, and never really trusted it. I put less than a thousand miles a year on it. I decided I couldn't live without something better and bigger, but the back roads are very bad here, and some of the places I wanted to go were reachable only on trails, so I decided on a dual sport. I wanted more power, but something light and nimble. I decided on a Yamaha XT250, and let me tell you, I couldn't be happier. Very easy and quick to handle in the city, and I just came back from a trip looping around Costa Rica. The bike cruises on the Interamerican very happily at 60 mph, but can go faster if you want to. No trouble carrying a lot of luggage. Yes, my Shadow was more comfortable on the highway, but it couldn't go places where this little XT can. Now I know I don't need anything bigger for local conditions, and I definitely don't need two bikes.
    #29
  10. italiano

    italiano Been here awhile

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    I live in the Polanco too, i had been using a bmw c1 scooter for very loooong time, but in the last year because of the works in polanco and periferico the traffic as been so terrible that i swich to a bigger bike in order to be able to get up and down from The sidewalk, yes iknow i am doing it at very slow rate and when there is no people walking around. My c1 was ok with 200cc and 16 hp , but barely ok for higway running because you are going to be pushed over by large truks and busses doing 100km hr. For that amount of money i will buing a used honda 350 dual, very hard to find but just barely ok for two up an higway speed. I have a susuki 200 dr and i have take it for a 150 km trip outside mexico city, tthat was my frist and last. For that price will be hard. Just stay away from chinese stuff. Very poor made and when they broke dawn you cannot find someone willing to work on them. From 50,000 pesos you can find a lot of used big motorcycle imported from usa.
    #30
  11. yellowbirdrs

    yellowbirdrs Been here awhile

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    for $50k pesos you can get a F650 or a Dakar easy to work on and fun to ride in the city but if you want a cheaper new bike take a look @ the Yamaha FZ16 for just $34k pesos or the Fazer 16 for $38k
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    #31
  12. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    What Damaso said - XR250 Tornado or even a NX400 Falcon (especially for two-up). They always come up on MercadoLibre if you don't want to spend the extra money they cost new over the budget you initially stated.

    http://www.honda.mx/motos/tornado/

    http://www.honda.mx/motos/falcon/

    Given the state of the roads in and around the city, the extra long and softer suspension is always going to be a plus, not to mention it opens up a lot of interesting exploring possibilities on weekends.

    Gustavo
    #32
  13. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    You are not going to get much of a Dakar in Mexico for $50,000 pesos. They are getting much harder to find here in good condition.
    Honda, like BMW, have overpriced parts here in Mexico. I followed a guy, by chance, who was two up on a 400 Honda the other day for about 20kms. That was on a secondary road, that bike would be stressing at 120kmh on the cuotas two up and small luggage load.
    #33
  14. asordo

    asordo Adventurer

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    I live in D.F and my daily commute is on a 800cc, I guess it all depends if you have to be moving around the city or if you will be at the office all day long and only riding in the morning and the afternoon. In my case I get to the office early in the morning, so no trafic, and leave at around 7pm, where I find heavier traffic but nothing too bad for the size of the bike. Also take into account that one of the nice things of Mexico city is that in a radious of say 200km there are a lot of great places to visit.

    In terms of security so far I have been ok, my feeling is that smaller bikes get robbed more often because its easier to make them disapear. Instead of buying two I would recommend something more intermediate to commute and make weekend rides.

    Good luck!
    #34
  15. museumplanner

    museumplanner museumplanner

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    Thank you all for the help!

    Today I put down a deposit on a 2012 Yamaha FZ16. Yamaha is having a promotion on 2012s FZ16s 33,600 pesos ($2,642USD) plus insurance and registration. It came down to parts and service. After talking to lots of people, getting replacement parts for bikes other than the Yamaha or Honda can be tough. I like the front disk brake, mono suspension and service department of Yamaha DF. Went over to Yamaha DF Service 153 Lago Peypus, many Federales waiting to have their motorcycles serviced, the shop seemed clean and well stocked with parts. Will get the bike the end of the month.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mXnIGJvuwajxyT-lCKxu4_Z46k2qp49qsHurAJA1URk?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JaI8gJBNuvQ/T16W72S1dsI/AAAAAAAAFfs/Yl55nfqEcFc/s640/BlackFZ16.JPG" height="480" width="640" /></a>
    #35
  16. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Have fun, get a stout lock and chain and use them, and ask at Yamaha about the track days they have.
    I believe they had one recently for owners of that specific model, the write up or mention was in one of the Mexican bike mags. Is that black one yours?
    #36
  17. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Now that you have the bike factor figured out, what are you doing in DF as a museum planner.....that sound interesting
    #37
  18. museumplanner

    museumplanner museumplanner

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    Supposedly Mexico City has more museums than any city in the world! I have only gotten work at one of them, but will keep trying! Still have work in the USA.
    #38
  19. museumplanner

    museumplanner museumplanner

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    Thanks for your help MikeMike!
    The black FZ16 are already sold out, my bike is to be in by the end of the month. A track day sounds great! Will look for the info!
    #39
  20. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

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    Congratulations. It is always great to get anything new but a bike is greatest of all. If you think I can help in any way just tell me. Those little Yamahas are great bikes and look awesome.
    Safe travels
    #40