I hadn't been to Mexico since I was a kid, so heading down to the border crossing for the El Diablo Run had me wondering about a few things in regards to what I needed to get me and my motorcycle across the border or more importantly get back across into the good ole U.S.A.

Tips for Taking a Motorcycle Into Mexico

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Almost everyone's first question is "do I need a passport?" When I crossed the border into Mexico I didn't need one, they happily waived me right on by without even stopping. But coming back stateside you will definitely be stopped and your identification checked. You will need a passport or a passport card (allows you to travel to Mexico and Canada by car/motorcycle or boat). I would highly recommend your driver's license and vehicle registration be up to date also.

Insurance

You will need to purchase temporary Mexican insurance as the American policies are not recognized south of the border. I was never checked but legally you are required to have it. If you get into an accident and don't have the insurance the Mexican authorities can hold you and impound your vehicle until arrangements are made for payment regarding the accident. It's easy to get and fairly inexpensive. I used www.BajaBound.com for $16,000 worth of vehicle coverage and $500,000 worth of liability coverage and it only cost me $70.

Contraband

I wouldn't take guns or illegal substances into Mexico. No-brainer there. That being said, we were not stopped and checked going into the country. I had concerns about my camping hatchet but had it tucked away in my bag and it was a non-issue. I also had an auxiliary gas can that I had read I should have empty going into the country. So I used it before I crossed the border. In hindsight, I wouldn't have emptied it. We weren't stopped and checked and the gas can was visible when we crossed. And there's a good chance you may need the gas. The first two gas stations we stopped at in Mexico didn't have any. We coasted into San Felipe on fumes, it would have been nice to have had the extra gas.

Money

Depending on where you are in Mexico they may or may not take American dollars and or your credit/debit card. I went to a taco stand one day that took American money and the next day they didn't because they didn't have American change. My recommendation is to have both US and Mexican money. Also, call your bank ahead of time and notify them you will be using your card in Mexico and you should be covered.

Crossing Back into the U.S.A.

Know what lane you're supposed to be in when you cross back into the States and don't trust your navigation completely. I had Google maps running in my helmet speakers and it took me straight to the Sentri line. The Sentri lane is for pre-approved rapid crossing and if you end up there it's going to be a hassle. The Sentri lane entrance is a mile or so away from the gen-pop line.  The line will be long and tough to lane split at first because it's so narrow and there are people selling their wares in the road. If you see a lane barricaded off, take it. You can fit your bike through the gap in the concrete barricades and skip way ahead. Once you are towards the front of the line the lanes are wider and you can lane split your way to the front.

Overall it's a painless and enjoyable process. Definitely don't get scared off by the border crossing. Generally border towns are a bit rougher but all of the people we encountered were extremely friendly and welcoming. I highly recommend a motorcycle trip to Mexico if you get the chance.

We had a blast in our run south of the border. Check it out in our El Diablo Run 2019 video!