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South of the Border: The Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico

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South of the Border: The Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico South of the Border: The Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico

South of the Border: The Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico

The Parque Nacional Cumbres de Monterrey (Summits of Monterrey National Park) is just south of Monterrey, population 1.1 million, but feels worlds away. The riding can be challenging on a big bike. Photos by the author.

I?ll admit I was skeptical. A land of mountains, twisty asphalt, endless dirt tracks, cheap lodging, good food and friendly locals just a few hours south of the Texas border" 

But I?ve seen this dual-sport promised land and I?m here to report it?s all true. The Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range, which begins just south of Monterrey, creates an international motorcycle wonderland that?s easily accessible for anyone living in the Midwest or Eastern United States. 

You?ll need a temporary vehicle importation permit (TVIP) to bring your bike this far south into Mexico. Getting one requires a valid registration in your name, your Mexican visa (free if you are staying seven days or less) and a passport. Some riders report also needing a vehicle title, but no one asked to see mine. You also pay a refundable deposit that varies depending the age of your bike; it was $300 for my 2006 Suzuki DR650. Make sure you get insurance, too. Again, nobody asked to see proof of insurance at the border, but if you get in an accident in Mexico you can land in jail if you aren?t covered. 

Map of the route taken, by Bill Tipton/

We made quick work of the McAllen/Reynosa border tangle and headed southwest on Federal Highway 40, the equivalent of a state highway in the U.S. South of the border, the posted speed limits are low, typically 60 mph or less, but few pay attention to them. The thing to remember is to stay to the right. People will pass and you are expected to pull as far to the right as you can to let them by. Even on a narrow, two-lane road, pull to the right as far as you safely can. Other drivers will do the same for you.
The fun began with a section of tight, twisty blacktop that turned south from Federal Highway 85 between Ciudad de Allende and Montemorelos. The temperature dropped and the clouds closed in as we wound over the Sierra Madre for the first of many times this trip and down into the pecan-farming town of Rayones. We were taking the ?fast? way to Galeana, our base for the next few days, and that meant a 10-mile dirt road south from Rayones that might be a challenge for inexperienced riders on bigger bikes.

Take a bike that can do it all because the Sierra Madre Oriental has everything from twisty pavement to endless dirt roads to challenging trails.

Galeana is small city at the base of Cerro El Potosí, which at 12,208 feet is the tallest mountain in the Sierra Madre Oriental range. The town has plenty of restaurants, stores, banks and supplies, and makes a great base for exploring the area. We stayed at the moto-friendly Hotel Magdalena, where a double room was $36 a night with secure parking for the bikes in the back. There are probably cheaper places to stay, but t...
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South of the Border: The Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico South of the Border: The Sierra Madre Oriental of Mexico


Fuente de la noticia: ridermagazine
Fecha de publicación: 28-11-2019 21:21
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