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Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
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Central America and MexicoTopics specific to Central America and Mexico only.
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I'm a long-time motorcyclist who has done some short-term tours overseas. I've rode a variety of street bikes, and currently ride a little Honda CBR125 in Canada. After talking with my manager, it sounds like I'll be able to take 4 weeks leave in February-March 2012, and I'm thinking of going to Mexico.
I have three options:
a) Ride or trailer my 125 down to Mexico in the middle of winter. Riding from Canada south could be terrible depending on weather. Trailering/shipping would be very expensive (say $1000 each way).
b) Rent a small motorcycle. The trouble with this is that any moto rentals I can find with Internet searches are Harleys or BMWs at $120/day. That's fine for a few days maybe, but I want to do as much riding in four weeks as possible - and I'd be happy to plod along on a 125cc rather than a big honking bike.
c) Buy a cheap little 125cc in Mexico. I think this might actually be a great option. You can buy something like a CGL125 or a YB125 for less than 20,000 pesos ($2000 US). The worry here is paperwork and registration.
So... what do you think? Does anyone know of some thrifty motorcycle rentals in Mexico? ...
Or is there a dealership in Mexico that is accustomed to dealing with us 'extrajaneros' who want to do a quick buy/ride/sell in a month..?
Where are you coming to in Mexico?
I bought a little Suzuki 125GN. It is a great little bike and costs 21,000 pesos. At the time it was the best option around and I think it still is. I don't think you will find a dealer interested in doing a buy back plan but you should check around.
When I got my bike I was looking for something second hand but there really wasn't a big saving. I can help you get a new bike and can give you a habd selling it but why not just keep it here so you can use it whenecer you visit?
That's not a bad idea at all, and in fact that was the sort of idea I had in mind.
I know a couple of people who teach in Huatulco, Oaxaca, so I could leave the bike in storage with them, but I'm not sure there is a decent motorcycle vendor there that would help me get the papers and registration in order...
When I look at rental rates, I find that Mexico seems to be really high. For example, I can do a search and find places in Guatemala or Nicaragua that rent out 200cc bikes for about $50/day. However, when I Google "Mexico motorcycle rental", these are about the only rates I can find:
Kawasaki KLR 650 7+ days: $115 per day
BMW R 1150 GS 7+ days: $145 per day
Harley Sportster 883 7 days: $475 /week
KTM 640 Adventure 7 days: $975 /week
Suzuki V-Strom 650 14+ Days: $110.00 Per day
plus insurance, etc.
The cheapest bike there is $70/day for off-season, and it's a 500lb Sportster out of Cancun. All I really need is a 125 or a 250.
I will recommend some friends near Mexico city who have good bikes stores and plenty of dirt and all purpose bikes for sale.
They are located at a small town 2 hours drive from Mexico City, and you may find some in Mexico City too, you just have to be carefull with registration papers as they may be stolen bikes.
Il be glad to help, I live in Mexico City, and know pretty well the area.
I am planning to go up north to St Fco in middle August in a Gs 1200, by the way, if anyone interested to go up.
I think Simon Gandolfini bought his CG 125 Cargo in Mexico.
Check out his blog(google Old man on a bike) or maybe pm him on the HUB and he might give you some tips.
I'd go with the Honda CG from the research I have done, if your looking at a 125
I've already written to Simon G. (I started reading his book "Old Man on a Bike" a few days ago; an entertaining read, BTW)
Mr. Gandolfi said he contacted Honda Mexico's HQ, and they put him onto a Honda dealership called Moto Diez in Veracruz. He managed to get his CG125 registered and on the road in only a couple of days... but he speaks excellent Spanish while mine is mediocre. One of the staff at the dealership offered to help him out with the paperwork, and claimed Simon as his grandfather while using his own address as a proof of domicile for the registration process.
I need to find a Mexican dealership that is used to dealing with foreigners and will offer a similar level of help. I think my next step will be to write to these Moto Diez guys in my crappy Spanish and see if they are willing to help me out.
So if anyone out there knows of other such helpful dealerships in Mexico, please let me know...
I can help you out: I am sure you will be able to find a dealer in Mexico City who can sell you a bike and get it refistered for you. If you want somewhere to stay while you set things up you are welcome to stay with us.
One of the staff at the dealership offered to help him out with the paperwork, and claimed Simon as his grandfather while using his own address as a proof of domicile for the registration process.
I think what he meant is that one of the people at the registration office referred to him as "abuelo" or more likely "abuelito" as an affectionate sign of respect for a friendly old foreigner. Claiming him as a grandfather serves no purpose during the registration process, unless he was getting stuck on registering with an FM tourist visa and somebody in the office was helping him out with that particular snag meaning they got someone to let it slide if it was a problem.
To get a good idea of the time you will need, he took two days to get to Tuxtepec, Oaxaca. Most riders get there in a few hours but they aren't riding a loaded down 125 with about 10 bhp. That KLR is looking more attractive isn't it?
I lived in Oaxaca from 2004 until 2007 and rode around on a 200cc while there, so I'm kind of familiar with the area. While a bigger bike would be ideal, I'm not going to be able to buy a KLR, new or used, for a price I can afford. I can manage a couple of grand for a nice little 125cc, though. I will have more time than money, and don't mind plodding along at 80 or 90 KPH.
Trust me, at 80 or 90 kph you'll be wringing its little neck.
You'll feel the difference from a 200 down to a 125cc.
If you spend $2,000 plus registration plus any insurance you then have the bike to store. If you rent the KLR for 10 days you can see way more, forget about maintenance, and you will have spent less. If you store the 125cc for a second go round a year later you will only be barely ahead of having rented the KLR. If you are going to use the little 125cc bike a third time around you will finally be ahead of the game but will still be limited as to how far you can go in the time frame of your vacation. If you buy the 125cc bike, wring its neck and then sell it for a good price, you'll be way ahead.
You can get bored real quick on a 125 Honda Cargo.
But its all about having fun, so I hope to see you on the road somewhere.
Good luck. At least you know that riding a 125 on the road in Mexico is not the same as in a Canadian city.
You can buy a used KLR in the States for the same $2k. I just paid $2800 for one with 6000 total miles, but higher mileage bikes are available cheaper.
I've tried the 125 route elsewhere and found it lacking in most respects although easy to carry up a flight of stairs. 200 or 250 is a good minimum in the mountains, particularly if you're not carrying massive baggage. For long journeys (tens of thousands of miles and 6 months or a year at a time) I prefer a 650.
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