NW Mexico; A Copper Canyon report

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dirtdiver, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    Bitburger and myself went down to check out Copper Canyon and the surrounding territory over the last 10 days. He drove down from Seattle on his 650 Weestrom, I left from San Diego on my F650 Dakar. Thanks go to the good people over in the thumpers section who helped me get my bike squared away and thanks to gaspipe for some excellent gps waypoints and tracks.:D :D

    In general we were travelling heavy. We had tools, tire changing tools, tubes, tents, pads, sleeping bags, stoves, rain gear, cold weather gear, some food, and the water storage capacity for about 3 liters each. I had 4 sets of underwear and tshirts. We each had GPS's, flashlights, knives, and pepper spray. It seemed like our bikes had a lot of baggage compared to others that we saw. Although, we were camping and most were not. At the end of the trip there was nothing of significance that I would have left behind. We pretty much used everything except for the tire equipment. We had slimed our tires prior to the trip and did not experience a single flat tire. I guess we did not use the pepper spray either. :lol3

    Neither of us have much motorcycle touring experience but we figured that part of the adventure would be the OJT. :lol3 :lol3

    We had heat, rain, snow, mud, sand, gravel, 6 river crossings, Mexican federales, crashes, dehydration, food poisoning, cactus, eagles, a mountain lion, and vultures. Here is our story.
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  2. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    Here is a picture of our bikes in San Diego just prior to leaving for Mexico. Notice the bright shiny look.

    View attachment 157940
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  3. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    Here is a shadow of myself cruising through the desert between Mexicaly and Sonoya. As we were leaving Bitburger mentioned something about us needing vehicle permits for importation. I said, "let's not worry about it at this point, if we get stopped at a checkpoint we will get it then". My son chimed in and said something about if there is a checkpoint we could just ride around it through the desert. Funny how this worked out in hind site.:eek1

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  4. MisterMo

    MisterMo mach schnell!

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    on the VStrom, are those top loading caribou cases? I'm a fan of top loaders but didn't know they offered them. I just checked their site and didn't see them either. Info pls? Thx.
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  5. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    Sure enough it was approaching sunset, we were driving south of Sonoyta and we ran into a check point. The official at the check point asked for our vehicle permits. "We need permits?" I replied.:rofl Yes we did.:cry So, we get in line for the vehicle permits to find out first we need tourist permits. Bitburger stayed with the bikes while I went through the drill and then we swapped. Maybe an hour later and $50-70 poorer we were on our way.

    At this point it is dark and we were looking for a spot to camp. My plan for safe camping was to find a offshoot road and wind our way back into the wilderness where we would not be seen or noticed. Avoid banditos not by protection but rather by covertness. Since it was fully dark and we could only see the length of our headlights, we were having a heck of a time finding a suitable spot. We would drive off road only to find a gate or a no trespassing sign. After an handful of false starts I was back on the highway, glanced in the mirror looking for bitburger only to see a flashing police beacon in the distance. Not after me, I thought. Well, sure enough, they were after myself and bitburger. There was not a shoulder to pull off so I slowed way down and the three of us drove in procession till there was a spot to pull-off. The cops were nice enough and after a bit of halted/broken discussion and a quick survey of our papers they made a phonecall and finally told us to go. Bitburger later told me that the police had seen us drive out of one of the offshoot roads and figured that we had driven around the immigration checkpoint! :eek1 :eek1 Apparently my son was not the only guy to think along these lines...:lol3
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  6. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    On bitburger's bike he had two top loading pelican cases. The top loading was really nice but the volume was small. Sturdy though.:clap
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  7. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    We ended up lucking into a great place and set up camp by 9pm or so. The pics below are th next morning. View attachment 157946
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  8. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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  9. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    The first dropped bike of the trip. A heavy pig in soft sand did the trick. Notice the suit that Bitburger is wearing. Like he was from the northwest or something! :lol3 :lol3


    View attachment 157948
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  10. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

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    :lurk
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  11. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    On day two we continued to ride thorugh the desert. We turned east at Hermosillo and at around 4pm found a great camp spot along a river. We swam and bathed at the end of day two.


    :1drink :1drink

    View attachment 157949
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  12. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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  13. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    :thumb

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  14. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    By the way. Bitburger bought one of those GPS tracker gizmos that would send an iridium message to the internet with our location and status of either "OK" or "not OK". It had an automatic update rate of 1 hour (i think). Our families could get on a website and see our map progress almost real time. If we sent the "Not OK" message I am not sure what they would have done.

    probably :eek1 :eek1

    or maybe this :cry :cry

    or in my case...:clap :clap

    View attachment 157952
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  15. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    The third day was the day of the twisties. Oh my gosh the area around Creel is a motorcyclists dream. No traffic and curved roads that go on forever. Asphalt and dirt, whichever way you want it. We made it into Creel around 4pm and stayed at a hostel type of hotel called Margarite's. I went to check us in. No private rooms but they had two bunks left in the dorm area. One tiny bunk on the third level of bunks in a 10 person room for 80 pesos and one wider bunk in a room with 3 french girls for 100 pesos...:evil :evil :evil

    You should have seen bitburgers face when he saw the 80 peso deal I got for him while I sacrificed for another 20 pesos! :rofl :rofl

    Gosh Creel was a party town compared to the rest of our trip. Just bustling activity and tourists everywhere. It was energizing after being on our own for the first two days.

    At dinner we met three travellers from Europe via Mexico city. Students on an exchange program. Dorota from France, Laura from Belgium and Phillip from Germany. They were fun to hang out with. :freaky The next day Laura rented a helmet and toured the canyon with Bitburger and I down to the dirt road to Batopilas. Laura is the cuter one on the back below. :D :D

    View attachment 157959
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  16. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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  17. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    The plan for the next day was to leave Creel and drive down into the canyon at the southern end to Batopilas. We got up that morning to find that it was spitting snow. :huh The girls got up to say goodbye.


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  18. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    It was a snowing, raining, foggy morning. The pics that day were low contrast and not that great although we scored the next day as it cleared up. Here is myself getting re-dressed with all of my clothes. I got a few long stares riding in that camo suit and the red, white, and blue bike but it worked great. :lol3 :lol3

    View attachment 157966
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  19. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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    A shot of bitburger coming out of the clouds on the road into the canyon. From approx 8000ft down to 1500 ft elevation.

    View attachment 157967
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  20. dirtdiver

    dirtdiver Long timer

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