Northern Baja California Loop
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Hooked
2015 Primavera 150
Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Posts: 137
Location: Portland, OR
Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:39 pm quote
Went on a ride in Mexico with Robot and Steve a couple weeks back while visiting family in San Diego. Here's the video. I probably should've added subtitles to the GoPro dialog. If anything is unclear let me know and I can translate.

Enthusiast
Stella, GTS 300
Joined: 17 Jul 2017
Posts: 97
Location: Portland usa
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:02 am quote
Wow. Excellent video thanks.
Addicted
Vespa PX 177 Settantesimo
Joined: 01 Feb 2017
Posts: 671
Location: Norf Wheezy
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:18 am quote
Great stuff. Thanks for sharing.
Addicted
GTS 250
Joined: 19 Oct 2009
Posts: 711
Location: london uk
Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:29 am quote
BAJA
Hi that sounded and looked like a load of random Mexican fun. I bumped into an adventure traveling lady, called Zoe Cano. She's english and quit her corporate job to have some travelling fun. She was signng her latest book at the Ace cafe, about her lates trip from Baja, from the top to the bottom, entitled Chilli, skulls and Tequila from Rad Dog publications. She normally does her adventures on motorbikes or horses,but this Baja one, she did it in a 4x4 Fiat, as she couldn't hire a 2 wheeler in Mexico. I told her a scooter would've been great, just like you guys have proven. I'll send her a link so she can try the Vespa way of touring. I've been scooting around Europe on my GTS and as you know 2 small wheels can get you anywhere. Mind you I don't think Id try jet skiing on a beach with mine. Too much salt. Gass silver machine gts 250
Veni, Vidi, Posti
'07 LX150 (Sold), '17 GTS300, '16 BV350, '15 EN650, '09 FXDF
Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 5287
Location: Home of the Alamo
Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:30 pm quote
Great video! I've wondered for what it would be like to ride with Robot and Steve. Both seem like very nice, down to earth guys.

When did Steve leave Vespa Motorsports, and any reason as to why?
Hooked
2015 Primavera 150
Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Posts: 137
Location: Portland, OR
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:26 pm quote
Jet Peddler wrote:
Great video! I've wondered for what it would be like to ride with Robot and Steve. Both seem like very nice, down to earth guys.

When did Steve leave Vespa Motorsports, and any reason as to why?
Thanks! They're awesome guys.

Steve left a little over a year ago by now. Just moved on to other opportunities.
Ossessionato
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 2716
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:40 pm quote
Loved that! Very cool to see those guys still at it and for you to partake.

Made my day.
Hooked
2016 BV350 White
Joined: 01 May 2010
Posts: 336
Location: East LA County, CA, USA
Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:33 am quote
I see in the video that you were getting hassled for "drinking in public". Really?! It looks to me those Mexican cops were just looking for a bribe.
Any advise on how to deal with that? For a one day trip I can see it not being worth the hassle to go back to the station to speak with a supervisor or to go to court to speak with a judge, especially if you don't know Spanish. However, giving a bribe feeds the beast. They will be out looking for more gringos to hassle for bribes. Are there any rules of thumb about when to bribe and when not to bribe? A friend of mine told me that if you want bribe them so that you can be on your way, just ask if you can pay them then wait and see what happens.

Some things I have thought about: A replacement Calif license is only $12, carry a spare, they last 8 years. I.e. loose your license and then find it later. I don't think they have a system to track foreigners in Mexico which is why they take your license or your plate. If they want your passport give them the wallet one and keep your booklet one. For when they take your license plate, carry a spare under the seat. You can order exact replica plates off the internet pretty cheaply. Rotate the real plate with the replica plate every year so they both have a sticker on them. When you get back to the states get a new plate from the DMV for about $17. Of course, if the bribe or bogus fine is cheaper than these costs, its less expensive to just pay it.
Member
Piaggio BV250 Tourer - Vespa Primavera 150
Joined: 04 May 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Santa Maria, California
Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:06 pm quote
I can not see a video or a link to one. What am I doing wrong?
Hooked
2015 Primavera 150
Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Posts: 137
Location: Portland, OR
Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:35 pm quote
bean counter wrote:
I see in the video that you were getting hassled for "drinking in public". Really?! It looks to me those Mexican cops were just looking for a bribe.
Any advise on how to deal with that? For a one day trip I can see it not being worth the hassle to go back to the station to speak with a supervisor or to go to court to speak with a judge, especially if you don't know Spanish. However, giving a bribe feeds the beast. They will be out looking for more gringos to hassle for bribes. Are there any rules of thumb about when to bribe and when not to bribe? A friend of mine told me that if you want bribe them so that you can be on your way, just ask if you can pay them then wait and see what happens.

Some things I have thought about: A replacement Calif license is only $12, carry a spare, they last 8 years. I.e. loose your license and then find it later. I don't think they have a system to track foreigners in Mexico which is why they take your license or your plate. If they want your passport give them the wallet one and keep your booklet one. For when they take your license plate, carry a spare under the seat. You can order exact replica plates off the internet pretty cheaply. Rotate the real plate with the replica plate every year so they both have a sticker on them. When you get back to the states get a new plate from the DMV for about $17. Of course, if the bribe or bogus fine is cheaper than these costs, its less expensive to just pay it.
Hi! Yeah, we were drinking "in public." I'm pretty sure that was private property (trespassing!?) but I'll admit we were also pushing it a bit by sitting there in plain view of the highway. None of us were drunk by a long shot. We had lunch shortly before and were splitting a single Pacifico Ballena (32oz, I think) 3-ways while eating chips. The police simply saw the bottle and the opportunity to make some quick cash.

I grew up in San Diego and crossed the border many times back then. On basically every trip I'd see the police stopping someone, usually for a legit reason (peeing on the street, etc) before going into the spiel about how they need to follow them to the station to pay their fine. Generally you just talk with them for awhile until the conversation works its way to a point of "Can we just take care of this right here?" The police speak good-enough English if you don't know Spanish. I actually left the house that morning with a folded up $20 in my pocket just in case.

I don't know if there's any best practices about bribes. I have heard that you should never attempt to bribe the better-paid Federales (Federal police). The Municipal Police are the lower paid of the two. Is it feeding the beast? Yes, but I'm not too sure what can really be done about it. In many parts of the country the police are in the pocket of the Cartel via payment or intimidation tactics anyway. What's a supervisor going to do about that? Corruption in daily life there is more evident than we're used to in the states. I guess the best advice is stay as straight as you can and if you get stopped, just play the waiting game.

Don't let this keep you out of Mexico though! It's a great place to check out if you get the chance!
Hooked
2015 Primavera 150
Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Posts: 137
Location: Portland, OR
Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:36 pm quote
ddennis669 wrote:
I can not see a video or a link to one. What am I doing wrong?
Hi! I don't know. There should be a preview of the vid in the original post with a big play button right in the middle. If that doesn't appear, try youtube.com and search "Northern Baja Vespa Ride." It should pop up pretty easily like that.
Member
Piaggio BV250 Tourer - Vespa Primavera 150
Joined: 04 May 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Santa Maria, California
Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:33 pm quote
NicerBurritos wrote:
ddennis669 wrote:
I can not see a video or a link to one. What am I doing wrong?
Hi! I don't know. There should be a preview of the vid in the original post with a big play button right in the middle. If that doesn't appear, try youtube.com and search "Northern Baja Vespa Ride." It should pop up pretty easily like that.
Thanks. Found it on Youtube.

Pretty cool visit. Looks like you covered a lot in one day. Fun to see your south bound border crossing.

While not on my scooter, but my NC700X, I spent 21 days traveling to La Paz and other parts of Baja last February along with two other riders. It was a fantastic time. The people we met were wonderful and we had no problems with the police. We came back through Tecaté also. Some video of one morning of our trip by my friend of the road to Comondu at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_uuafRpCsY
Hooked
2015 Primavera 150
Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Posts: 137
Location: Portland, OR
Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:51 pm quote
That video was awesome. What a crazy road. Impossible on a scooter. What was the issue with the double slide crash at the end - hidden moss?
Member
Piaggio BV250 Tourer - Vespa Primavera 150
Joined: 04 May 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Santa Maria, California
Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:01 pm quote
NicerBurritos wrote:
That video was awesome. What a crazy road. Impossible on a scooter. What was the issue with the double slide crash at the end - hidden moss?
We spent nearly all of the trip on roads that would have been fine with scooters. I have a pretty decent off-road background but I wasn't very happy with the choice of roads that day. We had been through five other water run-offs on the paved road from Loreto to San Javier without issues. This one section on our way to San Jaunico from Comondu got us. It was coated with algae. My friends went in a little hot, I however was the third bike, saw it all, nearly stopped completely, eased in and the bike still fell out from under me.

I'd really like to go back to Baja again. It was a wonderful place.
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