Mexico and Central America, summary
Having arrived in Panama City I'd like to give a brief summary of my experiences:
Timing: left Ottawa, Canada, on Aug. 1, arrived in Panama City on Aug 18, after some 6,000 miles in 17 days. Time of year not as well chosen as in 1997. Too much rain, heat, and humidity. Better then, when I left at the end of October.
Insurance: Only Belize, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica require third party liability. They dock you for it on entry. If you have your own, they don't mind, but still force you to buy theirs.
Best country to enter after Mexico is Panama. No hassles.
Biggest pain in the butt: the corrupt and inefficient borders.
Second biggest pain: the corrupt and inefficient borders.
Otherwise, no big deal, and a hell-of-a-good ride. Just watch those motorcycle-blind elderly ladies!!!
Suggested literature: My book, of course, 8 Around the Americas, still relevant (see books section). And Central American Handbook by Ben Box, the Footprint series. Much better for our purposes than the Lonely Planet, which is for backpackers.