11-28-2007, 03:07 PM
El Gran Payaso
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: San Antonio
I was right behind him when it blew.
Cananda Dave (I) was sitting on top of a time bomb, it turned out.
We were rolling Mex 15, headed to El Fuerte. It was another, yet again, perfect day to be riding in Mexico. I was enjoying cruising along, lost in my own thoughts. I was on another day's ride when the IPOD was left in the bag, as I didn't want to hear anything but the hummmm of the motorcycle and those of other riders around me.
I felt like I was behind one of the Thunderbirds or Blue Angels when flight lead says "SMOKE ON!"
Tiny drops of oil hit my windshield and visor, and Dave pulled over so suddenly that I couldn't stop and had to swerve (safely) around him. We were two lanes in one direction, with no shoulder whatsover.
Bruce was up ahead of me somewhere, and I knew others were behind Dave and I and would stop to help him. Alejo was not too far behind with the van and the trailer.
I caught up with Bruce and made a slashing motion across my neck and pointed back to where we came from. He knew something had gone wrong.
When he pulled over, I told him Dave's motor had blown. Alejo came screaming along, having seen Dave on the side of the road, but he too had to pass initially, catch up with us, and then turn around to go back to fetch him.
Everybody collected and we made the decision to press on to El Fuerte since Dave was in good hands with a lifeline from Alejo and the van/trailer combo.
Motorcycle #1 of 2 not to finish the trip was done with Mexico.
Dave's bike is a 1974 flathead. That's a lotta years on a bike to take to Mexico, but Dave said he had gone over the bike pretty well and felt it was going to be fine down here.
There is no good or bad bike to take to Mexico, just one that suits you best and one that has had reasonable maintenance done to it.
Pretty much the things that go wrong with bikes in Mexico are:
(2) Electrical (mainly dead batteries)
(3) Everything else
If you don't have Alejo and his trailer to get you out of Mexico, then you have to use your wits.
What I would do if I was on my own and my motorcycle absolutely died, and I couldn't get parts to fix it in a timely manner, would be to get someone with a truck to take it to a town where I could leave it with someone, and bus back to San Antonio, get a truck of my own or a trailer, and go back into Mexico and retrieve it.
In any event, it would stink to have your ride give it up on any trip, but you have to have some idea of what you could do if it happened to you.
Dave ended up riding in the van with Alejo the rest of the trip, save for a day when Colorado Carl was kind enough to take a day off and let him ride his Honda.
I would take a Harley on a long road trip in a heartbeat.
In fact, I have one and I took it around Lake Superior in 2005. Note the Office Depot file crate strapped to the back with my camping gear. I remind myself of Putts:
I used to have some opinion on brands of bikes. Then I read Peter Egan's Leanings, and then Leanings II, and it changed the way I viewed all motorcycles. Now, I like all types of bikes, and I am more of the "its not what you ride but that you ride" type of person.
That said, no matter what you ride to Mexico, I would really, really make sure you have done all you can possible do to get it ready for longs days in hot weather and also for altitude. If you take care of the rubber and the battery, and have everything else checked out, then you'll probably be fine.
And have a plan on what you'd do if you broke down in the middle of nowhere.
tricepilot screwed with this post 11-28-2007 at 03:18 PM