Top Ten List of How You Know Your Riding Gear Stanks:
# 10. Your riding partner walks in and says your room smells like a gym locker room
# 9. You find your hotel bed unmade because you left your dirty socks on the bed
# 8. Your riding partners roll forward when you pull up next to them at a stop light
# 7. You can't remember the original color of your shorts
# 6. You develop a nervous tic at the thought of putting your head into your helmet
# 5. You see roaches run from under your bed and through the crack under the door when you take your boots off
# 4. You wake up in the middle of the night and wonder what that strange smell is
# 3. People tell you to burn a match in your room
# 2. You come to the slow realization that you have not, in fact, just passed a 74 mile long cattle station
#1, the drug sniffing dog at the border has to be dragged by his leash to your bike.
Clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap
I thoroughly enjoyed Mexico, as I suspected I would. Our gang was a good group, great riders and good natured folks. Hank made the trip great with his knowledge and experience. Jimmy and I agreed Sherry gets the Golden Cajones award for her ability to sit calmly on the back of Hank's bike through everything. Wow.
Next year's convention is in Vera Cruz, and I'll be there for sure. These guys know how to put a great event together and if you come wear your race face cause the boys can ride!
Close approximation of the route and roughly 2700-2800 miles
Gear Gripes & Grins…
First off I wore the wrong jacket and helmet for the trip. When I saw we'd be around 9000' mostly, I defaulted to Colorado thinking and expected colder temps. Wrong. My Teknic Freeway is a great jacket but hot as heck - shoulda wore the Olympia AST silver. My XD3 helmet didn't do so well either. It's my first choice for DS riding, but I've never felt it was a great helmet - optical distortion in the shield and some other issues including shield in line of vision when up. In addition the detents will not keep the shield open at high speed. Shoulda wore the Shoei Multitec. Or better yet a Schuberth. Speaking of helmets Nolan had the X-551 Dual Sport helmet there and I liked it. They only had XXL in matte black so didn't buy it but will pursue one from overseas. Now where's them pesos I had left over...
GoPro's - have been a crap shoot and I lost a lot of great footage due to their unbelievable variance in battery life. I'd chalk it up to myself, however Hank had the same issues and is frustrated with his as well. I brought 6 new batteries and wall charger to make sure I had plenty of power. It made no difference. You could pop in a new battery, leave the camera off all day, then hit the on button when you got a good area and then later find out the battery had died or only lasted a few seconds. Then the next day you'd get 30 minutes of run time. Frustrated.
Still cameras - Had hoped to snag the LX7 before leaving but couldn't, so brought my trusty LX3. Beautiful images but limited zoom range so, I brought a Sony Nex 5N with the 55-210 lens for long shots. Nex is proving to be a fantastic camera for fast shooting and low light shots - some I'd have thought impossible. The Nex body is very small, and if/when they make smaller lenses for it, it would make a great travel system. Gold star for both.
The Heidenau K-60's have been superb tires and very happy I made the switch.
Issues with the bike clouded my enjoyment for a good portion of the trip, but the mileage did improve. In the past I could get 38-39 at 85 but now can't get more than 35-36 at those speeds. Plugs maybe. The brakes have worked alright after the intial rear scare, but have not been as crisp as previously. Time to rebuild methinks, and use the high performance racing fluid.
Best french fries in the world are in Mexico. Hands down. Never dreamed it but had many variations and some were amazing
Impressed with Rob's G650 twin. It ran 90 all day and never blinked. Rob loves it compared to the 1150GS he rode around the world. The high speed wobble issue was narrowed to the new top case installed for just this trip. He pulled it for the day rides and had no more issues. Great bike.
Amazingly, there were no serious accidents or major injuries at the event. 600 riders on GS's and many of them 2 up, riiding fast in dangerous roads. Wow. Rider skills were very good. There had been one fatality before the event began, when a rider was killed on the way to the event. There were several low speed tumbles on the dirt day, the worst injury being a young guy on his father's 1200GSA who fell and twisted an ankle in the dirt. He was at all the events however, limping his way around and we'd always ask how he was doing.
Mexico was beautiful, the food excellent and the people friendly (if not a little cautious of the giant Yeti from Texas LOL ).
I'll be at next year's rally in Vera Cruz for sure.
P.S. I hope to get some video edited and online here in the next day or two