Baja on a Goldwing


Reports and stories from trips, planning of gatherings, questions about how to get there!
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GWHondaHog
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Location: BOISE, IDAHO
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Baja on a Goldwing

Post by GWHondaHog » Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:00 am



Any experiences (+/-) on riding the Baja? Bucket List trip on the planning board. Idea is down from Nogales to Topolobampo, & then cross the Sea of Cortez to La Paz; then on down around the bottom @ Cabo & then back up the Baja to Tecate, or Mexicalli. Comments & suggestion encouraged?



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Re: Baja on a Goldwing

Post by WingAdmin » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:34 am

GWHondaHog wrote:
Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:00 am
Any experiences (+/-) on riding the Baja? Bucket List trip on the planning board. Idea is down from Nogales to Topolobampo, & then cross the Sea of Cortez to La Paz; then on down around the bottom @ Cabo & then back up the Baja to Tecate, or Mexicalli. Comments & suggestion encouraged?
If you read through Tiffani Burkett's journals, she travels on motorcycle down through Mexico and farther, all the way to the Panama Canal, and back. It might be worth a read:

https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/auth ... ni-burkett

GWHondaHog
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:19 pm
Location: BOISE, IDAHO
Motorcycle: 2010 GL1800 Goldwing

Re: Baja on a Goldwing

Post by GWHondaHog » Sun May 27, 2018 11:44 pm

FYI: I have now made this Mexico/Baja loop Bucket List trip. As you may have all heard, Mexico has "speed bumps"; BELIEVE IT! They have almost every assorted kind & size. The worst speed bump of the entire trip occurred right at the crossing of the US/Mx boarder. They are almost all marked. We crossed at Nogales; if you're needing to visit the Mx Immigrations Office, it is located south of the town of Nogales - just keep going & it is located on the right hand side of the hwy with the office & bank complex. (21 Km/approx +/- 13 miles) You'll think you have gone too far; you have not - just keep an eye out. If you are required to get a Temp Import Permit for your motorcycle, it is here that you can accomplish that. Some Spanish is helpful but not required. Translator App function on your cell phone is very handy to be familiar with. This is where they will charge your credit card the import fee that will be refunded to your credit card account when you exit Mexico (more later). Have all your paperwork pre-prepared w/copies (2 ea) of everything & you'll be out of there in less than :30 minutes. There is a window to have copies made, &/or, purchase of Mx insurance if you haven't already done that. No one the entire trip asked or checked to see if we had the required Mx insurance policy, but in the event of an accident,...I'm certain it then would have been.
The hwy from Nogales is in a continuous state of updating construction. They are building what will eventually be a two lane each way, divided hwy. Should be very nice. They are doing a good job of moving traffic through the construction area. This project continued to Los Mochis (we exited to go to Topolobompo) & probably continues further sough.
If you're planning on taking the Baja Ferry across the Sea of Cortez to La Paz, plan on arriving +/- 3 hrs prior to departure (they require 2 hrs min). The process starts with having your motorcycle weighed & measured (for small fee). Then to the ticket office. Again, some Spanish is helpful but not required (same cell phone note). You will hear that motorcycles will be lined up & enter/depart FIRST; didn't happen for us. We were almost the last group on/off. You should plan on bringing some tie down straps to secure your motorcycle once onboard; they have some but takes time to obtain. Ferry personnel will check that you have secured your own motorcycle. Ferry was running about an hour late. (Note: bring some insect repellent with lots of Deets; "no see'ums" in the pre-loading area were busy eating pax's) We ate prior to boarding; only had time for a couple of Dois XX's after boarding. We opted for a cabin & were able to grab a few short hours of sleep prior to leaving the ferry on the La Paz side. Snug cabin for two (4 bunks are available) & tight bathroom w/shower. All worked fine & they DO provide towels. On La Paz side, after leaving the ferry, you will depart landing area via a couple of check points. Motorcycles stay to the right hand lane. Well organize getting off the ferry in groups & out of the compound.
Now you're in Baja. Most GPS's probably work fine in the Baja (providing date base updated for the region) but a map is handy additional reference (National Geographic-Baja North & South: Adventure Travel Map). Going southbound down around the lower tip of Baja, your choices are hwy 1 or hwy 19; once you head back northbound up the Baja, hwy 1 extends the full length until you're into the norther region. Depending on where you want to go or cross back into the USA, you then have hwy 1, 3, & 5. Pretty simple. There are also some good side paved hwys to a few other locations along the way. On the Baja, we overnited in Cabo San Lucas, San Carlos, Loreto, San Quintin before exiting at Tecate. Over that route, there are a couple of long stretches between gas stations but well within the range of a Goldwing. Overall, Pemex gas stations are plentiful & re-fueling was never a problem. Just remember that the fuel burns best from a full tank! We gave attendants a gratuity (20 pesos/about $1 USD) that seemed well received. Every small town has signs announcing speed bumps. THEY ARE THERE! There were a few government/military check points that we were waved thru without any delay. The road conditions are varied. Some areas are pretty good while lots are pretty rough/bumpy/potholes. (Don't believe everything you see on YouTube) Speeds were all posted in Km - no one seemed to pay too much attention to that - doing that equivalent number in MPH seemed to work for us. THAT IS NOT A RECOMMENDATION - ie: YOUR CHOICE. Locals (& so should you) adhere to traffice STOP LIGHTS. As a word of caution: the ALTO signs at street intersections seem to be a "suggestion" so be careful there.

NOTE: If you've purchased a Temp Import Permit - now is the time to get that refund credited back to your credit card account. Go to the Mx Boarder office FIRST - prior to going thru US Customs back into the USA. They will do a complete check on your motorcycle (including 4 photos & VIN check). They will then provide you with paperwork & tell you the refund will be into your account in 3 or 4 working days. Now proceed to the US Customs & clear back into the USA. At Tecate, motorcycles DO go to the head of the line so take the 3rd - far left hand lane & go to the front.
This was a long awaited & anticipated Bucket-List trip down the Mexican mainland & ferry crossing to the Baja & then riding the full length of the Baja. Am I glad I did this trip? YES Will I be doing it again anytime soon? NO

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