Wypers do Mexico

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Chriswyper, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. Chriswyper

    Chriswyper Adventurer

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    Woke up in a very cold El Salto, frost on the seat of the bikes. We met Jairo for breakfast and he spent over an hour with us, giving us contacts for tyres, advice on where to store the bikes in Chihuahua and tons of other useful stuff. He even willingly let me try his new Africa Twin. My bikes have a rekluse auto clutch so I am used to the feeling of losing power at low revs- but the AT was a different beast. No clutch, no shift lever and LHRB. I only took it for a short ride so not very fair, but didn’t love it. I can’t imagine riding off-road without a clutch to slip.

    Nevertheless it was great to catch up with a fellow biker, and his introductions were wonderful.

    The road to Jurango is pretty easy going with few bends and hills. Nice enough scenery but not as dramatic as the climb to El Salto.

    We booked into the Hotel Elizabeth in the city centre. Free underground parking and clean rooms.

    Dropped off the washing at a lavaderia and explored the town. The city centre is pretty, with clean streets and strong civic pride.
    I tried a bag of crickets in chilli and lime, sort of crunchy and tasted of chilli and lime.

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    Dinner was mediocre pizza at Corleone’s in the piazza. Found a cool record shop selling vinyl from the 60s to 90s - but the prices were $20-$50 and we couldn’t carry any.


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    #61
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  2. bwanajames

    bwanajames Moto sapien

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    #62
  3. Chriswyper

    Chriswyper Adventurer

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    Once again - apologies for the delay, we have been too busy living the adventure to write about it.

    Our friend Jairo had organised an introduction to an expat living in Durango who could help with some tires. Stephen had some part worn TKC80s that would fit and kindly offered to meet us at the hotel. It turned out that they were quite hard and not in much better condition that the tyres already on my bike. We tried both the Suzuki and Honda dealers but no joy.

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    We decided to press on down the road to the next town. We had a vague idea of places to stop and we’re headed for Zacatecas. There was a sign for “Puebla Magico” which intrigued me at Sombrerete.

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    This was a surprise find for us, the Mexico we had imagined. A beautiful old church and 16th century monastery in the main square surrounded by shops and cafes. The people were all ordinary citizens going about their business, there was no feeling of being in a tourist town. Lunch of quesadillas in a superb cucina in the square.

    We pre booked into a hotel in Zacatecas. The Posalo Tolosa had private garage and wonderful large rooms overlooking the Main Street. Zacatecas is quite touristy but not offensive. I loved all of the shop signs painted onto the front of the buildings. Even Oxxo had no garish plastic sign on the front. Dinner at Henry’s bar where they had a wonderful selection of craft beers in bottles, and a decent pizza and burger.

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    The next morning we had a fine breakfast of crepes and waffles and strode up the hill to the teleferique. The original 1960s one had been replaced last year and was a great experience. One of the cars has a glass floor (she asked aluminium or crystal) so it’s like google maps over the town. AF4111CA-CF4D-46D4-A030-F8FD4CF054B5.jpeg 1E8C236C-B6E5-4606-9990-85E6CF0B8EC3.jpeg

    The church at the top is ok - nothing too special but the ride is worth it for the views alone.

    Attached Files:

    #63
  4. Chriswyper

    Chriswyper Adventurer

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    Nice easy day today. Left Zacatecas very late but only 100 km down a boring road to AguasCalientes.

    We stopped at a chopper custom shop that we happened to pass as he had a rack of tyres. The guy was super friendly saying he didn’t have a tyre in stock but had one at home. Sure enough 10 mins later he appeared with a 21” TKC80 asking P$2100. It was marked 2015 and was rock hard so I politely declined. In my haste to get away I managed to drop the KTM in front of the shop. How embarrassing....

    We stayed at the Quality Inn in AC - very central and secure parking for bikes. Ben was keen to visit the Museum of Death. It was free to enter, and quite interesting. Lots of Aztec skulls, pottery and paintings. More of an art gallery dedicated to death than a museum. Lovely building too.

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    AC is known for leather goods. We could have bought some nice snakeskin boots (size 9) for US$40. Fired the corn with mayo and cheese in the street which was a delight. Dinner in a rooftop bar overlooking the main plaza.

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    This is a shot that gives you an idea how Ben sees the world as a pillion. On the long straights I don’t mind him standing up or sitting on the tail bag.
    #64
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  5. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Order a tire on Mercado libre with the help of a friendly local and have it delivered to one of your next stops enroute. Or you are so close to Guadalajara go there and find a tire, lots of choice there. Do a search is Spanish llantas para moto or servicio de moto Guadalajara. Or a dealer brand of your choice.
    You should change the thread title to always looking for tires in Mexico :lol3
    #65
  6. Chriswyper

    Chriswyper Adventurer

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    Over dinner we had talked about what we wanted to see and do on this trip. Overwhelmed feeling was that big cities were expensive and hard work to ride through. Lonely planet guide focussed on the big population centres but we felt that we had more fun enjoying the small towns. Changed our plan - rather than ride to San Luis Potosí and Torreon we thought to take the small roads north back to Durango.

    I plotted a route on Google maps that only had about 4km of dirt, and took us through the high passes. We figured two days would be enough time but made an early start from Aguascalientes. First few km were pretty mundane but we soon turned off the main road and into the hills.

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    We stopped at around 3pm in the town of Bolaños for tea. I quizzed the 8 year old girl working in the shop about the nearest hotel (she was born in the US and spoke perfect English). She said that Mezquitic was the nearest and it was. 6 hours away. I checked the map and it was only 90km, and there was another big town on the way. (Hint - 8 year old girls know their surroundings better than google does).
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    The road out of town was patched up and had numerous pot holes. I lost sight of Tony so I pulled over, told Ben to get off and leant the bike on the side stand. Or so I thought - actually the stand was up and I dropped it onto the tarmac for the second time in two days. Went back to find that Tony’s top box had fallen off and he was strapping it using the tie downs we bought for the ferry. EB39B7C4-0D51-4277-8402-6FD5162258EA.jpeg

    It was now 4pm and last the time we chose to stop riding for the day. I had to make a call whether to carry on or go back to Bolaños. Decided that we could still make it as it was only 60km..

    The road quickly got worse. We went from dual lane tar, to moonscape potholes, to dirt and in one place slippery mud. Peter dropped his BMW trying to avoid the rut so Ben ran back and rode the bike up the rut. Tony had stopped to help and when he walked back to his bike he saw the right hand pannier was gone!

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    The bolts holding the lower bracket to the rack had loosened and the entire box was gone. After a short discussion I agreed to ride back 10 mins and look for it. There was no traffic coming this was, but no sign of the box. When I got back to the group Tony was sanguine and calm. The missing box had only clothes and copies of documents plus a few gifts in it. Nothing that would ruin the holiday. We had to carry on, going back wasn’t an option.

    The road didn’t get worse but there were some greasy rocky descents. Rather than lose another 10 mins to a fall or worse I asked Ben to ride his grandpas bike and put Peter on the back on the 1190. We made our way over the last pass as dusk fell and carried on down the hill in the dark. 8E689AE4-D447-495D-8EE3-28E2F6F61222.jpeg

    Leading a group with your own family, in unfamiliar territory, after dark, in the heart of Narcotrafficante land wasn’t a great feeling. As I rode I questioned my judgement and decisions - should we have stayed in Bolaños, or gone back. What would we do if there was a road block, or Banditos on the route. One consolation was that the road was so scarcely trafficked I doubt that Banditos would bother.

    We passed a rancho with a large field, fenced off, with flood lights at each corner. Decided that we could do better than ask them for directions!

    Around 7pm we hit a village with people. A family was sitting on horseback outside of their ranch looking warily at the gringos with the noisy bikes. “Donde esta la hotel proxima?” Was my rehearsed phrase.
    The rancher replied “Mezquitic - una median Ora”. His eight year old daughter thoughtfully added - “that’s half an hour away....”

    We rode into Mezquitic by the light of a full moon. The hotel was deserted but we eventually found the owner with help from the locals sitting on the pavement.
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    It was a pretty tough day and the first beer tasted sweet.

    We walked to the town square and found a taco stall next to a Tecate shop. Six Coronas and many many mixed tacos made me feel a bit better about the disastrous day.
    I also met Charlie, who I immediately liked. He was eating Tacos and nursing a large mezcal. We chatted about life, travel, the wall and the future for Mexico. Charlie offered me some Peyote (he was clearly stoned as a stone). Oh - he was also the secondary school science teacher for the town, and had work in the morning...
    #66
  7. Chriswyper

    Chriswyper Adventurer

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    Woke up pretty early as we had a long day planned. Some discussion on the route as Tony wanted to head East back to the main road and I favoured staying on the mountain route.

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    Checking over Tony’s BMW we noticed that the powder coat was cracking on the rear subframe mount. At least with no pannier it would be unlikely to deteriorate.
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    I asked a local what the road was like from Mezquitic to Durango. He say it was muy bien, and I should follow the bus. He was also two thirds of the way through a six pack of Tecate light at 730 am so I didn’t entirely trust him.


    Rode to Huejuquilla el Alto to make a call. The service station attendant was adamant that the road was good, and we conformed with his wife in the shop.

    They were right. The tarmac was impeccable, and the views were amazing. So glad we took this route instead of the highway.

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    It became colder as we climbed and I put my thermal layer back on. The desert scrub became pine, and we noticed that the people were less Hispanic looking and more Aztec. There were children filling the potholes with sand from the forest so we stopped and emptied our pockets of small change.


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    Noticed that at some stage Peter’s front rim had taken a beating. It was still airtight and didn’t wobble. Hopefully there aren’t any purchasers of used bikes on this forum....

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    For the first time we struggled to find food. We had planned to stop at Jesus Maria but it was a bit far off the route. I stupidly ride past one Marisco thinking that there would be others, but it was 4pm before we found a stall.

    This was a poor town with all the men sitting on their haunches outside the bottle shop. But the tortillas were good, and fresh

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    It was obvious we could not make Durango on the Friday night as planned so we stopped in San Francisco del Mezquitic, in the worst hotel so far but also the cheapest. No toilet seat, no agua caliente and had to share a bed with Ben, but P$250 for the room.

    Attached Files:

    #67
  8. Chriswyper

    Chriswyper Adventurer

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    Those people who have read from the start will know that Tagman offered us a place to lay our heads in Durango. We took breakfast in the plaza and then navigated to Tagman’s house (aka John and Dana)

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    John was already eagerly waiting for us outside and helped us stow the gear in his shed. The first thing that I spotted in the corner was a brand new 21” front tyre! We agreed a price and headed to the Honda shop to get the Llantera busy swapping hoops.

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    It was definitely time for the tractionator to go, although even money it will find its way onto another bike!

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    In the meantime the BMWs had a good wash courtesy of the car wash crew permanently stationed outside Johns house.
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    In the afternoon we were offered the chance to go on a short club run with the Renegado MC of Durango. Of course we agreed (who could resist) and found ourselves meeting in the car park of an Autozone with a mixture of choppers, Harleys, a Hayabusa and a Victory, three Beemers and a KTM super-obnoxious.

    We rode about 30 minutes to a school in a town outside of the town, straight into the playground of a primary school. There were maybe 60 kids eagerly awaiting our arrival. They lined up for rides on the bikes (Harleys were popular, KTM not so much)

    They little ones was easily impressed by shit wheelies too! 23794642-42B0-48C2-95B4-AE8F02BB859A.jpeg 30A5F6C8-9015-4F82-B1C9-82FA3E2FB811.jpeg 65E6C025-DCAB-4CA3-9186-9E4E662D0607.jpeg 4C86E6AA-E7E6-4159-9628-9CA23BF31BCF.jpeg B6654421-DC01-436E-AAFC-E2654E342A52.jpeg


    Kids all got a present and heap of sweets from the piñata. We were fed tacos from the canteen and left feeling pretty good about the world, and the frankly surreal experience that we enjoyed all thanks to the ADV family .

    Attached Files:

    #68
  9. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Did Tagman order that tire especially for you or was that coincidence?
    #69
  10. Pete Pilot

    Pete Pilot Been here awhile

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    Are you guys not going to Copper Canyon and Batopilas? Very wonderful. Although the ride into Batopilas was more interesting before the road was modernized and paved. The ride on the new paved road is still fun. Fun and twisty. But not to fast on the turns. Lots of fallen stones on road.
    #70
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  11. Chriswyper

    Chriswyper Adventurer

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    After the kids party we were invited to a grown ups party back in Durango town. We rode back to a gated community for the birthday party of one of the MC members.
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    Lovely evening with a very welcoming group of brothers. After a couple of beers we had the idea of staging some photos to send back home.

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    #71
  12. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Super update
    #72
  13. advrockrider

    advrockrider Long timer

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    Holly shit, those last pictures are the best! The cartel got you, lol... Good up date.. Several years ago we met a group of Mexican doctors that we rode with for the day and stage some pictures much the same way, they thought it was funny as hell! I love Mexico...….
    #73
  14. Tagman

    Tagman Been here awhile

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    I had double ordered a ft tire for my 89 BMW GSPD about 6 mos ago. I had decided to just keep it until I needed another ft ( it doesn't take me long to wear one out.) Chris homed in on it as soon as he walked in the house.
    #74
  15. Chriswyper

    Chriswyper Adventurer

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    Original plan was to sell my and go back to Australia. But my job requires me to come back to USA at least twice this year, once in April and once in September.
    So now I’m thinking it would be cool to leave my bike and some camping gear in LA and then fly/ride in the South West this summer.

    Would anyone have space to store my bike, boots and helmet for up to 12 months? Risk and insurance is my problem, all I need is a little space and access a couple of times.[​IMG]

    Can pay in beer and campfire stories, plus invitation for free use of any of my bikes in Australia.
    #75
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  16. Chriswyper

    Chriswyper Adventurer

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    Sunday was understandably a pretty quiet day. We unanimously decided to spend another day in Durango with the Cunninghams. My bike needed a wash and Tony had to report the loss of his panniers.

    I confess that I took a short siesta in the afternoon and caught up on some paperwork (including the trip report).

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    The car cleaning guys did a good job on the worst of the dirt and made my bike look respectable again.

    For dinner we ordered delivery of Mexican food- 6 different plates and tacos for $20...delivered.

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    #76
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  17. Chriswyper

    Chriswyper Adventurer

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    Next morning we left Durango early, on the road by 8am. Roads were long and straight. Filled up with fuel twice and had coffee then tacos.
    Actually the scenery was amazing, the tar smooth and riding conditions perfect. I guess we had been spoilt for so long with stunning vistas and perfect curves that we learnt to ignore the simply good.
    Checked into Los Pinos in Guachochi. Ask for rm 19 as the stove flu goes through the middle of the room heating it all night! 7B562CC2-5F5A-4D4B-B7F5-1CEE8F0E1460.jpeg
    #77