Indian Motorcycle Forum banner
81 - 92 of 92 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I am white, live near Houston, TX and my Spanish is poor. I have been considering a solo trip down south of the border perhaps crossing at Brownsville or Harlingen. Stick to the main highways, carry extra gas, follow the coast to the Yucatan and spin around the Yucatan perhaps all the way to Belize - English is the language there. I've never had a problem staying in a cheap motel on the "wrong" side of town and I've done that a lot here in the USA although it has never been my first choice. Use planning and good sense - much like Youtuber Itchy Boots is doing. Part of the trip is to see what is available as far as housing - I am considering a permanent move or second residence in Mexico as the USA seems to be going down the tubes.

My sources say the cartels are a bit overblown. Cops are underpaid so I get that part. There are 5 star hotels on both coasts. As with everywhere, some areas should be avoided.

This has been a good thread and given me a lot to think about....
 

·
Silver member
Joined
·
6,963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #82 ·
This is good advice about the YouTuber called Noraly from Itchy Boots. There isn't a chance in hell I'd take my Vintage down there. You would do well to watch her video series starting from where she enters Panama and heads North through Central America and into Mexico. Keep in mind also that she did that part of her trip during the dry season. There's lots of great places to see here in the USA with no fear of getting waxed or stranded.

If you want to live on the wild side a little head out to Sturgis this August for the Rally.
Yep, made four trips to Sturgis so far. Nice ride. I’ve found that the ride there and back is 85% of the trip. I’ll make more in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,285 Posts
My group of riding friends are planning a ride this fall to the interior of Mexico. They say it's beautiful down there and I can't argue with that, but it's a bit dangerous for the Gringos these days. I've been invited along but I do have my reservations about riding down there. I talked to a great friend of mine who is American of Hispanic descent, speaks and understands Spanish fluently and is in international sales so he gets down that way from time to time. He's from El Paso, Texas and we were in the Army together. He definitely advised against it, saying that the cartels and banditos are getting brazen as of late, and they have no qualms about waxing anyone to include touristas from the Estados Unidos ( the EEUU, what they call the US in Mexico) as they see fit. He said that the last time he was down there there were superbly armed guards based in the hotel they were staying at. Seeing armed guards in Mexico is not something out of the ordinary, but in the posh hotels in the downtown areas is a bit out of the ordinary. He said that some of the cartels were hitting places where the well connected American businessmen were staying for ransoming efforts, hence the armed guards. Big money in that these days, ransoming that is.

The way my friends described to me what the plan of action is was on the first day in country was to fill up the gas tanks to the tip top before crossing the border. Then once the border is cleared we're to haul ass and stop for nothing until it's time to fill up again. By doing this they say is to reduce the chances of "being surprised" by the potential neer do wells along the way that we might or might not encounter. They ride BMW AT bikes, and one rides a KMT AT bike, equipped with 7 gallon tanks. My Chief Vintage sports a 5.5 gallon tank, so do the math. I'll be stopping a bit more than they do for refills. Not that that's a problem in itself, they'll stop with me, but the whole scenario just doesn't set well with me at all whatsoever. And once we're down there, we'd have to run the gauntlet again to get home.

They said that going down Mexico way is no more dangerous than going into New Orleans. Maybe, maybe not. In New Orleans at least I can go armed and be reasonably able to take care of myself. Can't carry weapons in Mexico at all. Also in Mexico there's another situation to endure. The tourists get "munched" by the policia from time to time. Getting munched means being shook down for valuables, usually cash. I hear that they don't pay their police very well down there and this is merely an opportunity for them to score a few bucks from the rich touristas. Who they gonna tell.... I guess that you could carry a wad of counterfeits in a cheap wallet when it's munch time.

So, with all this said, what would y'all do? I am not going along on this trip. Hopefully the next one in the spring will be one of a healthier choice in destinations.
Road to New Orleans. Daytime though but easy peasy walking around..you get hit up from the homeless for cash but no big deal.i worked with many Mexicans no I would not ride down there ...you will be robbed sooner or later......
 

·
Silver member
Joined
·
6,963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #85 ·
“In New Orleans at least I can go armed and be reasonably able to take care of myself.”

Carry a weapon to take care of yourself, what! I love the USA and have been there multiple times but to live in a country where you feel the need to carry a weapon to take care of yourself, I can’t fathom that, only in America. From Oz down under.
Like mentioned by others before, there are bad people and bad places and bad things happening to good people all over. Yes some places more than others and New Orleans seems to have more than there fair share of ne'er do wells and shady activities associated with such folks. I love going to Nola (New Orleans, La) on occasion and in spite of the problems down there will continue to do so. When I go I go armed. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Common sense does play into things when venturing out down there like maintaining situational awareness, don't get too liquored up, don't wander off alone in the less frequented streets of the French Quarter, stuff like that. Yes that sounds like some of the negative points that played into my decision to not ride into Mexico, but also as mentioned before I have been a policeman for 41 years in various capacities and I know all too well that things can turn ugly that are beyond your control quickly. In Nola I have much more than a fair chance to protect myself and those with me if the situation arises. I can't do that in a foreign country.

And as far as feeling the need to carry a weapon to take care of myself I do so as a choice, while many others don't feel the need to carry and don't and seldom do they find themselves in harm's way at all. I carry due to my personal preference and past negative experiences, which by the way were all when I was on duty. Never had any trouble when down there for fun and off the clock. I just feel better knowing I won't be an easy mark if the situation arises.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
To those who don't want or don't feel the need to carry, go for it. It is your decision, and your life. Maybe also the lives of your family.

But I can tell you this from personal experience: It only takes ONE bad experience to change your tune....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Aho! I spent many years in Mexico. If you are not looking for drugs you probably won't run into cartels. The problem of riding in Mexico is trucks and buses they are dangerous especially in mountain areas. Their driving sucks. The biggest vehicle gets the right of way. Motorcycles get no respect from any vehicle, they are not used to seeing bikes. Riding at night is just stupid and a rider should be settled in by the time the sun goes down. There are many places to bed down other than Howard Johnson's. Small Mexican motels are more aware of any local problems than some rich ass tourist hotel and you get treated better. The tourist business in the USA spews out a lot of negative b.s. about dangers in Mexico because the money to made on travelers is astronomical. I would do the journey but be wise about the driving mentality down there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
I wonder how many of the naysayers have gone to Mexico recently or are they just repeating internet stories. EVERYBODY should be scared to travel to the large DEM cities at night, but we still do. The wife and I just came back from a week trip to Ensenada on our 15 RM. It was a fantastic trip with no issues. Before Covid we went to Punto Penasco for their annual poker run, another excellent vacation. In 2018 we rode our RM to Mazatlan for the Mexican version of Sturgis, rode all over Mazatlan, then we took the very across the Sea of Cortez to La Paz, rode down to Cabo, then rode up the Baja Peninsula back home. We never had a problem or even the least bit concerned. Stopped many times by The Federales, were asked many questions by local police, let many kids sit on the RM. We've always had great times and we will go back soon.
In Ensenada we met The President of a Motorcycle Club who gave us great insight inro Mexico. I would rather run out of gas in Mexico than the south side of Chicago.
View attachment 693976
Well, I think you're being somewhat naive' and not thinking about some of the nuanced aspects of this.

Now I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that your heritage is South American / hispanic etc. Facial features, skin color and the words (of which I have no idea what they mean) on your jacket. So you speak the native tongue I'd guess, and you're also much MUCH less conspicuous when crossing over to Mexico.

For a white boy like myself, riding around on a pretty Indian motorcycle, I'd stick out like a soar thumb. I'd draw more attention, and I'm not necessarily nuanced with the cultural colloquialisms. As my German father would say in German (I've lost the words and can't speak it) "Be where your feet are...". In other words, use your brain, understand where you're at and be conscious of how you fit in (or don't).

Since I can understand a small portion of Deutsch, though my grammar would be disgusting and horrible, I could probably go to a pub in Stuttghart, Bundesrepublik Deutschland and fit in until I opened my mouth; more than saying "danke", "vas ist das" etc.. I could also see trouble coming a good distance away in any situation by knowing German culture, and how the people behave in most given situations. Doesn't hurt that my last name is pure German as well (there's even a street with my last name on it in the previously stated city).

Then again Germany isn't famous for selling drugs, having issues with drug cartels and the like, they're famous for Audi, BMW, Porsche, lots of very dark beer, and eating lots of Chocolate. Let's be real here... I agree with you about S. Chicago, Detroit, Miami, DC and several other cities here in the US; however those are proportionally very small areas in relation to the nation as a whole. Let's also say that I just moved from the South East... I learned real REAL quick how to say "ya'll", "sir"., "ma'am" so I could fit in and "be where my feet are".

Just sayin'
 

·
Silver member
Joined
·
6,963 Posts
Discussion Starter · #89 ·
Let's also say that I just moved from the South East... I learned real REAL quick how to say "ya'll", "sir"., "ma'am" so I could fit in and "be where my feet are".

Throw in a dang every now and then and they'd swear that you were a native red neck....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
Well, I think you're being somewhat naive' and not thinking about some of the nuanced aspects of this.

Now I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that your heritage is South American / hispanic etc. Facial features, skin color and the words (of which I have no idea what they mean) on your jacket. So you speak the native tongue I'd guess, and you're also much MUCH less conspicuous when crossing over to Mexico.
Just sayin'
I am not in the picture. That is my wife with the President of the local motorcycle club and that is his vest. It sounds like we are both very similar. Good ole fashion American Mutt. I could possibly pass for Spanish/Mexican until I open mouth. When I say more then Bano and cerveza they know I am a foreigner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Throw in a dang every now and then and they'd swear that you were a native red neck....
Exactly... I also learned that you only get "Sweet Tea", and never turn down chicken and biscuits!

Seriously though, people treat you differently as long as you learn to talk with a Southern accent; that was tough for me particularly growing up in the MidWest. I immediately took the big block "M" (Michigan Wolverines) sticker off my car. Sounds stupid... but swallow a little pride, and save some money at the local stores, car dealerships, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
My group of riding friends are planning a ride this fall to the interior of Mexico. They say it's beautiful down there and I can't argue with that, but it's a bit dangerous for the Gringos these days. I've been invited along but I do have my reservations about riding down there. I talked to a great friend of mine who is American of Hispanic descent, speaks and understands Spanish fluently and is in international sales so he gets down that way from time to time. He's from El Paso, Texas and we were in the Army together. He definitely advised against it, saying that the cartels and banditos are getting brazen as of late, and they have no qualms about waxing anyone to include touristas from the Estados Unidos ( the EEUU, what they call the US in Mexico) as they see fit. He said that the last time he was down there there were superbly armed guards based in the hotel they were staying at. Seeing armed guards in Mexico is not something out of the ordinary, but in the posh hotels in the downtown areas is a bit out of the ordinary. He said that some of the cartels were hitting places where the well connected American businessmen were staying for ransoming efforts, hence the armed guards. Big money in that these days, ransoming that is.

The way my friends described to me what the plan of action is was on the first day in country was to fill up the gas tanks to the tip top before crossing the border. Then once the border is cleared we're to haul ass and stop for nothing until it's time to fill up again. By doing this they say is to reduce the chances of "being surprised" by the potential neer do wells along the way that we might or might not encounter. They ride BMW AT bikes, and one rides a KMT AT bike, equipped with 7 gallon tanks. My Chief Vintage sports a 5.5 gallon tank, so do the math. I'll be stopping a bit more than they do for refills. Not that that's a problem in itself, they'll stop with me, but the whole scenario just doesn't set well with me at all whatsoever. And once we're down there, we'd have to run the gauntlet again to get home.

They said that going down Mexico way is no more dangerous than going into New Orleans. Maybe, maybe not. In New Orleans at least I can go armed and be reasonably able to take care of myself. Can't carry weapons in Mexico at all. Also in Mexico there's another situation to endure. The tourists get "munched" by the policia from time to time. Getting munched means being shook down for valuables, usually cash. I hear that they don't pay their police very well down there and this is merely an opportunity for them to score a few bucks from the rich touristas. Who they gonna tell.... I guess that you could carry a wad of counterfeits in a cheap wallet when it's munch time.

So, with all this said, what would y'all do? I am not going along on this trip. Hopefully the next one in the spring will be one of a healthier choice in destinations.
I attended the Puerto Panesco “Rocky Point” rally last year in November. No issues and had a great time. The boarder on both sides even had a lane just for bikers. Always get insurance prior to crossing the boarder.
 
81 - 92 of 92 Posts
Top