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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Call to Baja / Central Mexico

Hello, my name is Gregory. I love putting lots of miles my Versys. I am planning a month long solo trip Dec 17th - Jan 17th (5,000 miles). Ill be riding through Puerto Penasco,The Copper canyon area (Creel,Batopilas,?), Durango, Aguas Calientes, Guadalahara, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan. And all of the Baja Peninsula. If anybody has a couch, Bed or Yard to pitch a tent I would really appreciate that.
Also any advice on copper canyon maps or gps info would be great. I am hoping that there will not be a storm and the roads in the high country are snow free (creel, Divisadero) I am in San Francisco and you are all welcome if you find yourself in the Bay Area. Thanks in advance, Gregory
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 07:01 AM
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Good on ya Tincrow!! Go for it. I am thinking about Copper Canyon myself after new years? Please post a ride report and some pics if you have the time. Most folks back home love to see those. Also, I would like to know if you have a quick farkle list of any changes you made in advance for your ride.
Thanks,
Jose
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 09:30 AM
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Have a great trip. I'm leaving for the US next week, and won't return until at least January, (plus with my one bedroom, you'd be sleeping on the floor anyway). If you get to San Miguel de Allende, there are a bunch of options for lodging available in the 400 peso/night range ,(or about US $30/night). Friends of mine have a Bed & Breakfast located at 45 Guadiana, and will likely cut you a deal if you're here during the week, (probably around $40 US/night), including breakfast, secure parking, and a quiet section of town. You can phone them at 415 114 9938 if you want to check their place out when you get here.

Michael
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 11:31 AM
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Hey Gregory,
I'm gonna add my $.02 and you can take it for what it's worth to you.
First, Michael has a bunch more SOB riding experience than I do, so if he thinks this is a good plan and your biggest worries are where to stay in San Miguel, then go with that.
Having done a similar trip in '06 (Tucson, down Copper, then back up Baja) I would have some serious reservations. No way I would solo this trip, especially on my Versys. If I were an excellent mechanic and fluent in Spanish and this really was the Dream of a Lifetime, I'd sell my V and buy two early 90's DR350's, then convince a buddy to go with me. It's nice to know that somebody's got your back, plus then you get to be in some of the pictures!
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 12:50 PM
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Hey Gregory,
I'm gonna add my $.02 and you can take it for what it's worth to you.
First, Michael has a bunch more SOB riding experience than I do, so if he thinks this is a good plan and your biggest worries are where to stay in San Miguel, then go with that.
Having done a similar trip in '06 (Tucson, down Copper, then back up Baja) I would have some serious reservations. No way I would solo this trip, especially on my Versys. If I were an excellent mechanic and fluent in Spanish and this really was the Dream of a Lifetime, I'd sell my V and buy two early 90's DR350's, then convince a buddy to go with me. It's nice to know that somebody's got your back, plus then you get to be in some of the pictures!
Well now that you mention it Baron, I myself would have some reservations on the trip depending on the route he's taking. If I were riding from the coast to Creel on some of the dirt roads by myself, I'd be a little jittery about that for a couple of reasons, none of which are backed by first hand experience.

First, I've heard of stories of narco traffiking on some of those back roads that could put someone in a tight spot, though that said, I'm not sure how much good having another traveling companion would help in that case. I've heard of encounters in the area in which the narcos and the motociclistas just nodded and went their separate ways, but there's no guarantees here. Other than that, I've heard some of those roads from the coast are pretty rugged, (thinking of a description of the ride from San Bernardo up into the hills in particular), so if something happens out there, you're a long way from any help be it for yourself or the bike.

On the other hand if he's sticking to the highways, such as rt. 16 from Hermosillo to Cuauhtemoc, and then heading down into the canyon, I think he'll have less to worry about and will probably be OK, although I confess I've never done the ride down to Batopilas yet, and in fact opted not to ride it last summer when I rode through the area, as I was riding 2-up at the time. So I defer to you or any others here who have made the trip down. Not to say it can't be done, but I would not go down to Batopilas on my Versys if the roads are wet or snowy. Or at least without a knobby tire. As you said, I would take a full tool kit and parts bin, and be sure I had the knowledge to utilize both before attempting the canyon solo.

Michael
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate all the input. Keep it coming.
I ride or drive from S.F. to Rosarito Mexico once a month and all I ever hear is watch out for the Cartel. I realize I will be in the heart of Cartel country more than once on this trip, and they are very serious people. I "plan" on riding daylight hours only and I will be primarily on main and tourist roads. I would like to go to Creel, Divisadero, Drop into Batopilas and then retrace back to Creel before heading back to the gulf and South.
I am also "planning" a loop through Durango, Zacatecas, Aguas Calientes and back towards Puerto Vallarta The rest of the trip follows the The Sea Of Cortez on both sides. Ill hop on the Ferry in Mazatlan. Of course I can change directions at any point.
It would be great to have a friend along, but alas no one came through.
One concern I had with Creel was snow. Does anyone know how much they snow get? Once again thanks to all for concerns and input. Gregory
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Good on ya Tincrow!! Go for it. I am thinking about Copper Canyon myself after new years? Please post a ride report and some pics if you have the time. Most folks back home love to see those. Also, I would like to know if you have a quick farkle list of any changes you made in advance for your ride.
Thanks,
Jose
Thanks for the positive input. I am really excited to ride, relax, swim and ride, relax surf and repeat.

As far as Farkle goes...
SW Motech Engine Guards
Barkbuster Guards
KLM Rear Rack
CalSci Windscreen
Shinko 705 Tires
Beaver PC-8
Heated Grips
12 Volt power outlet
Stainless Steel Brake Lines (front)
Shinko Dual Sport Tires
Raised Front Fender
Speedys lowering kit
Foot Pad (kickstand)
Rear Spools
Modified Seat
SW MOtech Skid Plate
Hepco Becker Side racks
Caribou/Pelican Cases and Locking Mounts
Pelican Rear Case
Garmin 60 csx GPS

Wish List...
Clearwater Supplemental Lights
19" Front Wheel
Supplemental Rear Lighting

I bought the bike with 780 miles. Great shape. Here she is in July 2011



Heres a pic with some mods.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 09:11 PM
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I appreciate all the input. Keep it coming.
I ride or drive from S.F. to Rosarito Mexico once a month and all I ever hear is watch out for the Cartel. I realize I will be in the heart of Cartel country more than once on this trip, and they are very serious people. I "plan" on riding daylight hours only and I will be primarily on main and tourist roads. I would like to go to Creel, Divisadero, Drop into Batopilas and then retrace back to Creel before heading back to the gulf and South.
I am also "planning" a loop through Durango, Zacatecas, Aguas Calientes and back towards Puerto Vallarta The rest of the trip follows the The Sea Of Cortez on both sides. Ill hop on the Ferry in Mazatlan. Of course I can change directions at any point.
It would be great to have a friend along, but alas no one came through.
One concern I had with Creel was snow. Does anyone know how much they snow get? Once again thanks to all for concerns and input. Gregory
They do get "weather" around Creel, and I suspect you will have pretty high odds of running into rain/snow. The weather should improve as you descend into the canyon and the elevation drops. So, I'd be ready and willing to change plans as necessary depending on local conditions. Ciudad Chihuahua which isn't as high an elevation as Creel is all ready having lows near freezing, so that should be worse when you get down here.

I'll pass on some more travel tips here. I like the Posada Santa Elena in Durango, and the Hotel de Reyna Soledad in Zacatecas. If you work them, they'll put you up for around 500 pesos, and both have large, nicely appointed rooms, parking, (in the lobby at Reyna Soledad), and are right downtown, yet are quiet. You should be able to google them for location, or use the tried and true method of hiring a cab to lead you to them once in town.

Posada Sta. Elena



Hotel Reyna Soledad





Michael
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 09:41 PM
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Thanks for showing your farkle list. I've done about 50% of your list. I may get the engine guards and a skid plate. Similar to you, I got an 08 in Sept. that had less than 1000m on it. I'm trying to learn about the bike maintenance so I can help myself if the need arises. I still have a month or so to get ready. Your thread sure is making me want it too.
Are you taking camping equipment? I usually camp to save money but if the motel rates are good enough I will get lazy and get a room.
We will be following on the site and wish you safe travels.
Joe
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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"You should be able to google them for location, or use the tried and true method of hiring a cab to lead you to them once in town."

I love this idea. Thanks for the weather info as well.
You guys are great.
I am having a tough time finding a map with the Barranca De Cobre and surrounding roads and towns.
I have an 2008 Garmin 60csx North American map on my GPS but the roads around creel are not on the map? I believe theres a 2011 version. Anybody have this? Is there a road from Hermasillo to Creel on that? Any GPS and Map info would be awesome.

Gregory
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 12:42 AM
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good luck on your trip. i just had my first moto trip into mexico(mostly succesfull). i travled from sandpoint idaho to barre de navidad. about 3000 miles. i had no security problems. camped in the u.s. and used hotel-motels in mexico. miguelito and others are much more experienced at traveling sob than i. i went to the bottom of the copper canyon 2 yrs. ago in an suv. it is about 3 or 4 hors of good dirt-gravel road to bautipilas. i don't think it would be a problem on the v with my scorp trails. don't forget to go about 10 miles farther to the "lost church".
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 11:38 AM
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I am having a tough time finding a map with the Barranca De Cobre and surrounding roads and towns.
I have an 2008 Garmin 60csx North American map on my GPS but the roads around creel are not on the map? I believe theres a 2011 version. Anybody have this? Is there a road from Hermasillo to Creel on that? Any GPS and Map info would be awesome. Gregory
Mexico rt. 16 runs from Hermosillo to Cuauhtemoc/Ciudad Chihuahua and you will enjoy the ride. Atound Baseachic, you take rt. 22 to Bocoyne, then Creel. If you ride down into the canyon, there are dirt roads that you could come out on to Hidalgo del Parral, then south to Durango/Zacatecas. One thing you should know is that all maps of Mexico will eventually suck if you ride around here enough. The two maps you might want to check out are the Guia Roji, and International Travel Maps, (I'd buy 'Mexico Norte, and Mexico Central). They're both available online, and the ITM maps are usually available at Borders Books or map stores. You might want to check out the GPs section over at ADVrider for electronic data.

Michael
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Last edited by miguelito; 11-29-2011 at 09:07 PM.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 12:17 PM
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Gregory,
From your original post I had the impression that you intended to through-ride down to the coast. If that's not the case you should have better luck. Check ADV for better info on roads and maps if you haven't already done so.
The bike looks great and those are all good mods for adventure riding.



I have made similar mods to mine, but would undoubtedly choose to ride my '92 KLR (La Buena Nina) if I were doing it. The fact that it's slow and ugly is actually an asset. It likes to drink gas out of barrels and sleep outside. I can put knobbies on it and it doesn't break when it falls down. I bought it for a grand; I could just walk away.
I would however, need to trailer it to Bisbee.
No sense in burning up the knobs on the superslab.

When I was down these guys had good inf on Copper-
http://www.rosensrides.com/rosens-rides.asp
http://www.mexicohorse.com/

Rob
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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Are you taking camping equipment? I usually camp to save money but if the motel rates are good enough I will get lazy and get a room.
We will be following on the site and wish you safe travels.
Joe
I am going to try and bring my tent, bed roll, and a bag. I get my Pelicans Wednesday. Ill do some trial packing and see how everything goes. On my last trip (Rosarito Mx. - Vancouver B.C.) My camping gear took up 3/4 of my packed space.

I went through the process of getting my bike cleared for travel into Mexico. This only has to be done if your going into the Mainland Mexico regions below Sinaloa. The permit fee was around $70 and the deposit fee was around $630!
The deposit fee is based on the value of your vehicle. I had to pay this in pesos and will get refunded when I leave the country with the bike. I need these papers to board the ferry and if the federales or police ask for them. I was able to do this over the internet and they are being mailed to my house.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 08:10 AM
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I am going to try and bring my tent, bed roll, and a bag. I get my Pelicans Wednesday. Ill do some trial packing and see how everything goes. On my last trip (Rosarito Mx. - Vancouver B.C.) My camping gear took up 3/4 of my packed space.

I went through the process of getting my bike cleared for travel into Mexico. This only has to be done if your going into the Mainland Mexico regions below Sinaloa. The permit fee was around $70 and the deposit fee was around $630!
The deposit fee is based on the value of your vehicle. I had to pay this in pesos and will get refunded when I leave the country with the bike. I need these papers to board the ferry and if the federales or police ask for them. I was able to do this over the internet and they are being mailed to my house.
Good info thanks. I have 1550 pelicans and a 52liter? Givi topbox. I put the camp gear in cheap black Walmart travel bag and bungee my sleeping bag on top of it to the pillion seat. I don't have much room left over but I can carry all I need on this bike. Glad that $630 is refundable.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 11:09 AM
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The $630 is refundable as long as you bring the bring the bike back to the states (ie; don't sell it, crash it, abandon it down a canyon) and as long as you don't lose the paperwork. There will be a lot of checkpoints when guys will ask to see your papers, make sure you get it all back. You need to go to the correct office to get your papers stamped before you cross back into the US.
Before.
It's OK to lane split and cut the line at the border crossing on the Mexico side.

I wouldn't spend 3/4 of my packing space on something I wasn't intending to use. If you don't plan to camp just bring a space blanket or bivy sack and means to start a fire.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't spend 3/4 of my packing space on something I wasn't intending to use. If you don't plan to camp just bring a space blanket or bivy sack and means to start a fire.
My thoughts exactly. Im looking into the bivy set up. One thing I love about Moto touring is the beauty of minimalism.
I really like that picture of your bike and the tree. Was that a filter on the edges. Looks nice.

Last edited by Tincrow; 11-30-2011 at 02:56 PM.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Mexico rt. 16 runs from Hermosillo to Cuauhtemoc/Ciudad Chihuahua and you will enjoy the ride. Atound Baseachic, you take rt. 22 to Bocoyne, then Creel. If you ride down into the canyon, there are dirt roads that you could come out on to Hidalgo del Parral, then south to Durango/Zacatecas. the GPs section over at ADVrider for electronic data.
Thanks for this info. One reason im heading into the canyon from Creel was that the road is traveled daily. I am riding solo, so this is important in case of a breakdown.
Are the dirt roads you speak of from Batopilas to Hidalgo del Parral used on a daily basis?
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 05:07 PM
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You could try couchsurfing.net or horizons unlimited or adv rider. All three sites have listing for couches people will let ya use and the two motorcycle sites you can usually find people traveling the same way who will split room cost and usually know cheap places to sleep
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 10:49 AM
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Happy accident on the filter effect!
The ferry from Topalabombo (sp?) to La Paz was a lot faster; a 6 hr. night crossing as opposed the the 18 hr. from Mazatlan. Best sleep I'd gotten in Mexico to that point was on that ferry.
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