told me I was crazy to go to Mexico. "Don't you watch CNN?" they would say. "Don't you know all tourists get shot on sight" they would tell me. I had concerns but most of the issues were at the border and we would be well south of there in Copper Canyon so I decided to join some friends from the FJR Forum that also had dual sport bikes for a ride from Creel through the Copper Canyon region out to the Sea of Cortez and back.
Don (BeemerDon on the FJR Forum) spearheaded drumming up interest and hooked our group up with Skip of MotoDiscovery
. A friend of Don's had to back out at the last minute which was the only reason I got to go since the trip was sold out.
Ten brave souls met up at the Hawthorn Suites in El Paso on Sunday to met with Skip and some of the staff to head over to the border crossing at Santa Teresa to take care of the paper work to get the bikes into Mexico.
The Magnificant 10 were is no particular order:
- Don (beemerdon on the FJR Forum) from Arizona riding a GS850 BMW
- Chris (ChrisD) from Georgia riding a 990 Adventure KTM
- Scott (FJRider) from Texas riding a 530 EXC KTM
- Russ (Rushes) our token hillbilly from Arkansas riding a 650 KLR
- Joe (Joe) from Arizona riding a 400 DR-Z
- Phil, the retired Montana rancher riding a 400 DR-Z
- Phil's good friend Ken riding a little Yamaha XT225
- Our crazy Italian Canadian Paolo who would normally be riding a Vespa but was on a rented 400 DR-Z for this trip
- Pat from Washington State on a rented 400 DR-Z
- yours truly (yamafitter) from the Great White North on my Yamaha WR450F.
There appears to be a new rule that the Mexican government considers any bike 400cc or smaller to be a dirt bike and cannot be ridden on the highways. It didn' seem to bother the buracrats that one of their co-workers rode to work on a plated 125cc machine or that 90% of the bikes licenced in Mexico are below 400cc. There were rules and they were going to be followed. My 450cc WR450F enduro bike was fine because it was 50cc over the limit. After a number of phone calls to superiors and a visual inspection of the bikes, by some divine intervention common sense was allowed to prevail. With tourist visa and bike import permit in hand we then returned to El Paso TX for the offical meet & greet dinner.
Skip, the owner of MotoDiscovery
would not be on the trip with us but two of the staff were at the dinner. Shelly who would be driving the support truck and Barack who would be one of the bike guides. We would meet the other two staffers in Creel.
The next morning everyone was ready and the first chore after breakfast was to load the bikes up for the trailer ride down to Creel...
My WR450F bound for Mexico...
It was time to get comfortable for the long van trip down to Creel. Just before Chihauhau we took a "shortcut" that took us through some very scenic areas to give us a taste of the views we would be experiencing for the next 10 days...
We stopped for a great lunch before the "shortcut" and by the time we took the "shortcut" around Chihauhau the sun was starting to set.
We pulled into Creel in th dark and parked the vans and bikes for the night and headed down the street for a late lunch and meet the other two staffers that would be on the trip, Alfanso "Chicon" Munoz who be be the jead rider for the trip and our historical and cultural guide Ivan Fernandez (more about Ivan later).
Time for a little food porn...
I'll end this post with Don contimplating how he is ever going to get his GS Beemer "Miss Piggy" over the Sierra Madre
More to come...