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Hello to all riders,

I  am on vacation, and I am planning a trip, riding through Mexico.

I am from Israel, and I plan to buy a motorcycle in the United States and go through the paperwork and the red tape when I cross the border.

Going through the Benjercito webpage, there is no option for any other passports but American or Canadian.

I wondered if anyone here knows the procedure well and can tell me if a non-American/non-Canadian can make it?
I will be traveling with my Israeli passport, a tourist visa, and the FMM, which I will also be planning to do after the crossing.

Does my question make sense?

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I don't think you'll have an issue with your passport.  The border south isn't closed for any covid reasons right now either as far as I know.  But I always check the US embassy page for that country and get very specific info for what's required.  I don't think they require any covid tests or vaccinations either.  I checked the Israeli embassy page for Mexico and it seems you may actually have to apply for a visa in advance of your trip.  I think the US and Canada have a deal with Mexico because we make up most of their tourism.  Try here https://embassies.gov.il/mexico-city/Pages/default.aspx.  If your trip is just for a week or so to Northern Baja then I don't even bother stopping at the banjercito and just ride with no issue.

How long will you be in Mexico?  They typically will give you 6 months automatically.  You should also ask for six just in case.  As long as the bike is registered in your name, you won't have a problem with that.

Buy the bike and register it in any State other than California, like Arizona because it's much less expensive.  I also did mine in Arizona because I could get a 2 year registration because I wasn't sure how long I'd be gone and I'm now at the 13 month mark here in Colombia.

You need to purchase insurance for your moto prior to entering Mexico and I usually use Lewis & Lewis or Baja Bound (online).  You pay online then print out the pdf file as you'll need to show it to them in Mexico.  It's cheaper per day the longer you're there like 3 or 6 months.  I have gone sometimes for just 7-10 days and think it's way too expensive (~$100) but it's a requirement.  However, you'll ALSO need to show them your US insurance because they want to make sure you're returning there at some point and aren't in Mexico to sell your bike (not sure why that's so important to them).  Never had another country ask me that and glad I hadn't yet cancelled my US policy (obviously it doesn't work outside the US and therefore no need). I think an email or pdf will work.  I got mine from my insurance company (Geico) emailed to me then forwarded it to the banjercito guy while I was there in line.

Depending on how long and where in Mexico you plan to go, you may also need a TVIP or temporary vehicle import permit.  Definitely if you plan to use a ferry between southern Baja and the mainland.  It may be a few hundred dollars but it's just a deposit that is returned to you when you leave the country.  Don't forget to get that back either!  They'll want to see your VIN on your bike so make sure you know where that is beforehand so your not digging all over for it.  It's usually up front near the main tube and/or beneath the seat stamped on the frame or on a metal plate riveted to the bike.

Just be patient and calm and respectful and you'll see how nice they can be.  Play the angry impatient tourist and they'll shut you down.  I've been there more times that I can count and never had a bad experience.

The people are super nice and the food is my favorite next to French.  Cheap.  Didn't camp because places are so cheap to find.  I used hostelworld website and couch surfing app (not much luck as people are afraid of covid from travelers).  Ive been to Baja many times so I chose the mainland.  I did Chihuahua, Creel, Batopilas, Los Mochis (9 hours of challenging dirt).  Got to Mazatlan and didn't care for the heat/humidity so went higher in altitude to Durango, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, Queretaro, Mexico City, Puebla.  That took me 2 months and then did a quick flight to Colombia and Peru to help a friend get a bike back so I felt for some reason I had to rush south to Guatemala.  Got there in four days but regret it now.  Oaxaca is amazing, as is Chiapas and the coastal towns.

They seem to have toll roads all over the place so have pesos ready for that.  One day I think I went through 11 toll stations!  Motos aren't that expensive but it can be a pain.  Here in Colombia motos are free!  It has got to be expensive for the poor to get around in their own cars with all those tolls which explains the light traffic.  However, the traffic in Mexico City is the worst I've ever seen.  Filtering is hard because the lanes aren't that wide.  Tore a hole in my right side pannier once on a truck's bumper lol.  Don't hang out in the fast lane as some cars tend to drive super fast and they'll pass you before you even know it.  Some single lane roads you'll see motos just to the right of the white line to make room for cars/trucks to pass.  My opinion is Mexico has great drivers and many of their roads and signs seem better than the US even.  Super amazing road with numerous bridges and tunnels from Durango to Mazatlan you have to see.  Espinazo del Diablo is the old road next to it.  There's also Mil Cumbres which is famous for an annual rally race near Morelia.  Lots of tequila factory tours not far from Guadalajara but unfortunately I skipped that this time.  You'll learn about other regional types of "tequila" (from the agave plant) and my favorite is actually Mezcal (from Oaxaca).

Safety is always an issue I but park my bike securely at night, don't ride at night, don't go to bars/clubs.  You'll probably encounter cartel checkpoints but as a tourist you have kind of a special protected status.  They want you to have a good time and spend your money as a tourist.  You're also kind of both invisible as a motorcyclist (not a target for theft) but also a celebrity as many are curious and will ask you where you're from and what your bike costs, lol.  They've always been very kind to me.  Bring candy and stickers for the kids.  Don't be buying or selling drugs and you'll have no issues.  I was never stopped by police but if you're speeding, own it.  Many small town cops aren't paid well and may try to shake you down but never pay more than like $40 USD.  Strategies are pretending to speak no spanish and just fumbling around and wasting their time. You can also pretend to have diarrhea and say you need a bathroom quickly.  You can be nice and offer to buy them a cold drink if they like.  You can also say okay lets go to the court then so I can pay this fine.  Have a throwaway wallet with a copy of your license, maybe an expired credit card and $20 in pesos with your passport and wallet and other important docs well hidden in your jacket. 

I prefer riding dirt and back roads but everyone there told me not to do it.  I've also found local advice to be wrong half the time and I know Charly Sinewan did a ton of back roads there without issues but he's also a native speaker (from Spain) and he doesn't look like a foreigner (extranjero).  If you're single and meet locals via online apps then beware of scams and those out to drug/rob you.  Verify someone's id up front like their WhatsApp or Instagram.  Meet in a public place and watch your drink.  Tell a friend where you'll be and when you'll be back.  You can send them a pic and/or share your live location via Whatsapp.  I met a nice woman in Queretaro online and saw her for a few weeks.

You can find my ride report here and feel free to ask any questions!

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Hi Eric,

Thank you for the detailed reply. It is much appreciated, and very helpful.
I plan to travel for about 5-6 weeks, and most of your recommendations, are on my list 🙂

I plan to ride to Urique from Choix.

I already contacted the Mexican Embassy in Tel Aviv, and they confirmed that I can travel with the Motorcycle, But I will have to make all the arrangements, Pre-i Crossing, in a Mexican consulate.


I am carrying on with my plan, so should start somewhere mid November


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