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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 24 Mar 2010
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Question dumb Mexico question about roads

Call me confused ( I m trying to understand woman) but what is the mix of roads in Mexico? Mostly paved or not? Is it just the outlaying areas that are dirt? at what point in south America do you need a dual sport? Thinking of taking my old 78 Gl1000 goldwing down that way. yes I can power lift it up but I have a heart attack soon after.
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Old 24 Mar 2010
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You never need a dual sport. People prove this over and over by riding HD's, Buells, Ducatis and Chinese 125cc full-dress choppers. However, a dual sport gives you lots more options for routes, and lots more fun. The options and fun start right outside your door, more or less, and end somewhere beyond Ushuaia.

Didn't I just see (and try to ignore) this question over on ADV?

Mark
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Old 24 Mar 2010
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What can i say I travel around . thanks.
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Old 25 Mar 2010
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Road quality varries.

Toll road best condition. Many if not most interstate roads are toll.

City streets can be dangerous with MANY pot holes, loose gravle or dirt. Construction "zones," are allot diffrent with dirt / rock in the road. Bottom line is watch out for pot holes and dirt in the road.

Some roads through residental are dirt of cobble paved.
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Old 29 Mar 2010
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Mexico is a huge country with everything from goat tracks to well maintained toll highways. Unless you're planning on going off the beaten track, any bike will do for Mexico. Toll highways are insanely expensive but will get you there much, much, much, much faster. Google "Traza Tu Ruta" for the rudimentary Mexican version of Mapquest. It'll give you toll costs for whatever route you choose. The peso is worth about 7.5cents US.

Things to watch for are livestock on the road; serious potholes appearing out of nowhere (on the non-toll roads); topes (speed bumps) marked and not marked. Extremely slow trucks on steep roads just as you round a corner. When a road is extremely narrow, such as the road between Durango and Mazatlan, expect trucks to be coming into your lane when they negotiate the curve. They have no other choice and you have no other choice than to come to a stop to let them make the turn, lest ye be crushed like a bug.

Driving in Mexico is actually quite a lot of fun as long as you know how things work down here.

On the highway a left turn signal means "go ahead and pass". When pulling off the road or making a left turn they usually use their 4 way flashers. Truckers and bus drivers are usually pretty good at using their 4 way flashers to let traffic behind them know not to pass them when the see other traffic oncoming.

Don't follow trucks too closely or you might suddenly be faced with a rim crunching pothole without enough time to react. Signs indicating curves don't seem to have a lot of consistency. The sharper the angle of the curve on the sign, the sharper the curve. But a sign for a sharp curve seems to mean anything from "slow down to no more than 40km/h above the posted speed limit" to "even think of staying at the posted speed limit and you're dead". Exagerating a bit, but you get the message.


...Michelle
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Old 29 Mar 2010
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Virtually ANY bike can do Mexico as long as you are comfortable with it and it is reliable. Your Gold Wing can do fine.
The reason dual sport bikes are favoured is because of the option it gives you to not being forced to turn around if the road quality turns really bad or a long construction zone.
Dual sports also have the ground clearance to take most of the worry out of speed bumps, and those can be very high . Bump builders it seems are often totally ignorant of the ground clearance of passenger cars and bikes or how suspensions work.They want to slow traffic down, - so build a dike or a ditch across the road and that would do it !Its a tyrrany of topes !
Another reason to not follow cars too closely is that they wil slam on the brakes for the speed bumps without warning. Cars will wail past you - and then brake hard to turn off.
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Old 30 Mar 2010
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And use the topes for overtaking as all the 4+ wheeled road users slow right down for them, on the bike just squirt past them. But beware of people standing in the middle of the topes selling things. Have fun and ride safe.
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Old 31 Mar 2010
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animals...

slow down for donkeys! you dont want to hit one of these - or any animal really as even at a slow speed they can have you off.
Donkeys will look like they are all calm and sleepy until you get close and then they can move fast without warning - usually right into your path.
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  #9  
Old 15 Apr 2010
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One of my favourite countries!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrabblebiker View Post
Things to watch for are livestock on the road; serious potholes appearing out of nowhere (on the non-toll roads); topes (speed bumps) marked and not marked. Extremely slow trucks on steep roads just as you round a corner. When a road is extremely narrow, such as the road between Durango and Mazatlan, expect trucks to be coming into your lane when they negotiate the curve. They have no other choice and you have no other choice than to come to a stop to let them make the turn, lest ye be crushed like a bug.

Driving in Mexico is actually quite a lot of fun as long as you know how things work down here.
I spent 2 months riding a Honda Transalp through Mexico and experienced pretty much every road and weather condition imaginable (including a hail storm) but you can quite easily ride through all on tarmac. The most dangerous part was avoiding animals (especially dogs, which will try to attack your wheels!).

If you're going to Baja California, Highway 5 is gravel and sand for quite a stretch. That road to from Mazatlan to Durango is a definite MUST and lovely tarmac. I also have a couple of notes on the Mexican Highway code.

Amazing country though.

Have a great time.
Ollie
www.greasysprocket.co.uk
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