Originally Posted by tricepilot
There are lots of folks to ride to Copper on "road" bikes. The area is a gold mine of twisties and fabulous vistas. However to make the decent to Batopilas I would not want to go on anything but a straight-forward dual. I spent way more than half the time standing on the pegs - Fastway footpegs by the way - and was GLAD to have the capabilities of the bike underneath. I didn't see a single roadie going in or coming out of the canyon itself.
Motodiscovery did not originally plan to go to Batopilas on this particular off-road training trip. I advised the owner, Skip, that it was my opinion that most if not all folks who were making the effort to get to the Canyon AND to avail themselves of this type of training absolutely wanted to get to Batopilas. In my mind it would be like going to Colorado for climbing training and never getting vertical. So, Skip added a day free of charge to the trip and down to Batopilas we all went.
Like I said, you can have a blast on your road bike all over the Sierra Madres, the Canyon area, and more. But if you want to plunge down the canyon and along the cliff (see my first pic of this thread) - and you truly want to enjoy the ride, be safe, and not beat up your bike - go dual.
For places to stay, in Creel I recommend the Pueblo Viejo, but there are all sorts of places to stay in Creel. In Batopilas, there are several places that are talked about on other threads. I haven't heard of Batopilas filling up. Beware that there are trains with American RV tourists (and their RVs) pulling into Creel, and some of them have vans or pickups take them to overnight in Batoplias. Right now there aren't enough bike riders alone to fill the hotels, but I can't say what impact the RV gang has there. If you're the type that needs confirmation of accomodations, it wouldn't be hard to arrange.
You might want to push past Presidio, on to Chihuahua, and then down to Creel on your ride, then make arrangements to get to Bato somehow, just to see it. Leave the bike topside. Or, rent a dual sport and do the whole trip yourself to the bottom. It's truly one of the "rides of a lifetime".
As you've read in my thread, I did the River Road, Davis Mountains etc. leaving Mexico on this trip. I see why you go there all the time - west Texas alone is absolutely beautiful.
So go tell your wife you're adding another bike to the garage!
+1 It is possible to get to Bato on a street bike. When I was there in February, there was a guy who had ridden his Shadow down from McAllen. He said if he had known what the road was like, he would have passed on the trip, but he got down and he got back to Creel. His riding partners were a couple of guys on GSes. One of them looked completely wrung out by the trip down; his face and shirt were bathed in sweat. His buddy, who had a lot of offroad experience, seemed unruffled by the whole affair.
Having said that, the ride down is a whole lot easier on a dual sport. If you want to ride beyond Bato, to Urique or out of the mountains to El Fuerte and Alamos, you will be much better served by a dual sport bike, 650cc or smaller. The ride across the Urique River has been made by bigger bikes, but the accounts of those rides all seem to exercises in survival, lots of dropped bikes, and some late nights in the canyons.
You don't have to ride there, however. The train goes from Creel to El Fuerte and Los Mochis. On several occasions, members of our party who were not up for the ride for one reason or another have taken the train to meet us in El Fuerte, a very nice place to spend a couple of days.