02-02-2014, 09:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Alabaster, AL
After the ride
A few thoughts after the ride:
I wanted to debadge my bike before I left and just didn’t get it done. I wish now that I had and I will before the next ride. The BMW badge is very recognizable and it too flashy for me in the states, much less in Mexico where riding the BMW gets a LOT of attention. PlznMySoul said he was sure debadging his bike saved him some hassle at the south border and I easily see that happening. I am going to get some anvil themed brushed stainless steel logos laser cut for the recessed openings on the tank.
I enjoy photography and made the mistake of taking too much gear. I had visions of reshooting Sterling Noren’s “Beyond the Border”, but there just wasn’t that kind of time to really dedicate to setting up anything too elaborate. I set up my D300s one time with pocket wizards to get some riding shots and used it a few time to photograph Rick’s family. The rest of the trip I used my D50 in the tank bag. The problem with carrying around expensive (to me) camera equipment is the distraction of worrying about it. Along with the D300s, I had a 70-210 f 2.8 lens, pocket wizards, a couple of SB800 flashes and a few fixed length lenses. I would like to find a smaller and cheaper camera that will trigger off of the pocket wizards for the next trip or just buy a D70 or something in that price range that has the 10 pin connector for the pocket wizards. Next trip I will leave all the extras at home and have just enough to fit in the tank bag. I am adding a GoPro next trip.
One tip for anyone taking a bunch of photographs on a trip is the Lightroom software for editing photographs. It is easy to use and is a super quick way to wade through a bunch of photographs, select the keepers and edit them.
Not knowing the language is not a show stopper for making the trip, but it would add to the experience. I was lucky in having a friend who could show me the culture but I would have missed a lot of that otherwise.
I chose my BMW 1200 GSA on the advice of a friend of a friend that has a serious collection of motorcycles. It was good advice but if I could afford a bike just for Mexico, it would be a lot smaller. Probably in the 650 – 800 range, or smaller. The 1200 was really nice for getting to the border, but it was a little heavy for some of the places I wanted to wander through. The 1200 is very capable of these rides, but I get a little conservative when I am so far out of pocket.
New visitors should be aware of the lack of personal space on the road. If you are one of those people that believes paying taxes entitles you to your whole marked lane, with nobody riding your bumper, then you will not be happy in Mexico. Driving is not as structured as it is here.
I am going to get a cell phone for this trip, just so I don’t have to find internet to tell everyone at home hello. I am going to try to set one up before I leave.
The SPOT is very cool, but it drives me crazy thinking about buying a one year subscription for a couple of weeks of use. ADV Rider should add a category for renting SPOTS from owners who have them sitting in the garage between rides. I will try the flea market before my next trip to see if I have anybody interested in renting one.
That’s about it. I hope to have more in the next couple months. Thanks for tagging along.
PhillipsMetal screwed with this post 02-02-2014 at 09:54 PM
Reason: Fixing font sizes