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Old 7 Dec 2013
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First Trip to Baja on BMW GSA's

New to Horizons Unlimited and first time post/question. Three of us are planning on riding down through Baja on our big 1200GSA's late January or early Feb 2014. This will be a new trip for us so any and all help would be great. We are trailering the bikes from Santa Fe NM to somewhere around San Diego and then riding from there. We'd like to travel safe on good roads for the GSA's. Any suggestions on an ideal loop for a 7-9 day ride? Good places to stay, whale watching, places to stay away from? Any special things we need to plan for in Baja like buying insurance..etc?? Where are good border crossings into Baja from the US and where should we avoid?

Thanks you very much in advance for your help!!!
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Old 8 Dec 2013
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I can't think about anything that you should avoid. Just don't spend too much time in Tijuana. Is not bad but is not the most charismatic town in Mexico.
For me the real Baja starts once you pass El Rosario. That's where you make the turn east and where the really scenic Baja is. That's also the longest stretch (El Rosario to Guerrero Negro about 210 miles) with no gas stations. most of the time there's somebody selling gas in Catavina on the side of the road which is half way between those two points.
You can get the required insurance from any place in San Ysidro and cross there. As soon as you pass the Mexican Customs you'll see the sign that says Rosarito Cuota, get in there and that's it. that's the toll road that will take you to Ensenada and from there you can't get lost.
In regards to the route I would recommend to stay on the main road (Hwy 1) and take side trips from there.
Santa Rosalia is the ugliest town in Baja but is also the beginning of the best of the trip. I really like Mulege and Loreto after that.
If you want some dirt on the way back North, once you pass Guerrero Negro, you can take the gravel road to the right from Chapala that takes you to Puertecitos and San Felipe. That's about 50 miles of dirt and about 80 of pavement to San Felipe. From San Felipe take HWY 3 back to Ensenada.
You probably know this already but you don't need a importation permit for the vehicle to ride in Baja but you will need it for the rest of Mexico.
You will find several military checkpoints but they will only ask you to open your side cases, take a look and away you go.
I've been in Baja several times in car and motorcycle and never had an incident.
If you need a place for your trailer I live in Escondido and I have plenty of space in my front yard. It's fenced all around.
Good luck and if there's anything I can help you with let me know.
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Old 8 Dec 2013
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Take another 4 weeks off and grab the ferry to Topolobampo.
Then check in again when you leave the port.
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Old 10 Dec 2013
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Green Devil..Thank you very much for your thoughts on this. Very helpful!!
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Old 11 Dec 2013
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Get Mexco insurance in the USA and the Tourist Card at the Otay Mesa where all documentation work can be done., from there it is an easy scoot to join Mex 1 toll road south. See www.borderhelper. com
If you cross at Tecate the highway Mex 3 is
rather nice, bit the toll road Mex 1 south out of Tijuana
to Ensenada has some great coastal views.
Do both , one each on the in and out legs of the ride.... that is if you
stay in Baja.
Be sure to do the Mex 1 - Mex 19 full loop south of La Paz around the south tip
through all the ' Cabos and the side trip to Ensenada de Los Muertos.and of course the run to Bahia de Los Angeles on the east coast.
If you want to see the glorious San Felipe and the prospect of dirt does not appeal you can get there by taking Mex 5 east out of Ensenada and
to avoid doubling back you can take Mex 5 to Mexicali where you get on Mex 2
west back to Tecate and Tijuana. Mex 2 is a very nice ride with the spectacular La Rumorosa climb to the plateau.
Take your time and enjoy.

Last edited by Sjoerd Bakker; 17 Dec 2013 at 21:58. Reason: Changa a Bahia to an Ensenada
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Old 12 Dec 2013
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Originally Posted by green_devil View Post
If you need a place for your trailer I live in Escondido and I have plenty of space in my front yard. It's fenced all around.
Good luck and if there's anything I can help you with let me know.
That is a very kind offer there! Good advice on Baja too. With a GS it's mostly going to be an ON ROAD ride ... But all good!

7 to 9 days means a very cursory inspection of Baja and dictates a pretty quick pace. If you can ... add at least 2 or 3 more days. This allows a few "hang out, do nothing" rest days along the way. There are some GS friendly dirt roads if you can handle them. Not hard, bit of sand is all. I did them on a Vstrom. But the paved roads are good too. Have fun.

Question for Sjoerd,
Do you know how far along the paving has gone on the Puertocitos section.
Last I was there (about a year ago) they were almost to Rancho Grande.
Now, I hear they are nearing Coco's ... but can't confirm. I'm guessing they will reach the main highway in another year and a half ... or so. Predictions?

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Old 12 Dec 2013
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There's a map at the bottom of www.MotorcycleMexico.com page with a bunch of points of interest you might want to check out.

If you only have 7-9 days, you probably won't make it to the tip. Well, you could, but you'd spend all your time hauling ass. Do you want to stay on only paved roads or are easy dirt tracks fair game too?

Hang out with Coco if you get the chance too...

Your only real worry is not wanting to leave... Have a great ride!
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Old 28 Dec 2013
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Mobile Coverage: I have Verizon for US phone service. Does anyone know if this will work in Baja California?
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