Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ann Arbor, MI and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Thanks for the comments. Re: the what I might ride in Mexico...
We've got a pretty sizeable group of mostly expat riders here and we regularly get together and enjoy the great mountain roads nearby. Mostly we ride pavement but sometimes we get off onto dirt.
In the group we have several V-Strom 650s, a few F700 and F800s, a couple of 1200GS class bikes (although they're a little big and heavy to use around town). Lately Triumph Tiger 800s have gotten popular with maybe three or four folks riding those, and we've also got three or four Africa Twins, both DCT and manual.
My current KLR is fine for in town and out in the Mexican countryside, especially when we do a little dirt. The brakes on it are terrible, though, even with an upgraded oversized rotor. The V's brakes are better and I'm only considering bikes with ABS for Mexico. I would put in a kill switch for when I'm in dirt in Mexico, but there are enough chickens, cows, dogs, the occasional loco driver here, and roadside obstacles like culverts and cliffs that don't always have guardrails, that I think it's pretty important to be able to stop without locking a wheel up.
The Versys 300 is an interesting idea. I haven't seen any of them here yet, although I have seen the new BMW 300cc bike around. I'm not sure it would be enough, though, because sometimes our trips to the mountains take us on the cuotas here (toll roads) and the speeds are pretty fast. But I'll check them out more. One advantage of the V-Strom beyond its reliability is, that if it does break, there are enough of them around that parts and expertise is available.
Surprisingly, typical deals here (I'm in Mexico for another ten days or so) for a new V-Strom 650 are about the same as in the states -- +/- 165000 pesos which today would be $8800 US. Other bikes, like the Africa Twin and BMW families tend to be maybe a 20% premium or so to the states.