As part of our Adventurers Wanted campaign, launched in April this year, we asked the adventure junkies out there to submit a proposal for an epic trip they were planning. In return, we promised to fuel their dreams with financial support and a range of products to keep them safe, in style. We have now selected the two adventures that made us want to #LeaveTheMainRoad with them! Below, we speak to three friends from Mexico who are embarking on a journey to discover the incredible beauty of their home state.
Meet Iván, Luis, and Daniel. A trio of vintage motorcycle enthusiasts from the Mexican state of Coahuila, just south of the Texas border. They say their relationship is more akin to that of brothers; basically, they are ride or die amigos. The route they have mapped out starts in the city of Torreon and heads to Cuatrocienegas, Arteaga, Faro de Don Martín, Termas de San Joaquín, Sierra de Arteaga, Parras, before finishing in Mayran. It will take a week in total and cover 1,600km on the backs of a Kawasaki KZ400, a Yamaha XT500, and a Honda XR250R.
Here, we caught up with the guys to find out more about what inspires them, their shared passion for bikes, and what’s to love about their native Coahuila. Iván Jalife answered our questions.
How did the idea for the trip come about?
We’ve been riding around the city’s surroundings for quite a while. We do a lot of hiking and enduro trips on weekends, and we thought it would be a good idea to do our first long road trip in the state of Coahuila.
It’s our home state. A while ago, I worked for the state tourism office and realized that the state has a lot of incredible destinations that are not well-known and are worth checking out. There are many different types of landscapes as it’s one of the largest states in Mexico.
Can you explain a little about the area’s rich history, such as the revolution?
State location is a key factor for logistics and commerce, since it’s between the two seas, borders with the US, it hardly rains and is very close to the country’s center. Because of this, at the time of the Mexican Revolution, different groups always wanted to take control of the state because of its strategic position. The city we are from was captured four times. Additionally, some of the most important people involved in the revolution emerged from our state, including a few presidents.
Tell us about you as a trio of friends. How did you meet? What are your backgrounds? What do you all do? Where did you grow up?
Luis and I have been friends for many years, and a few years ago we became very close to Daniel. Now, we have a relationship like brothers share. Although we all live in Torreón, we have all lived in other cities and countries. We have always loved to travel and see new places; it was clear from the onset that we all liked motorcycles and the freedom they give you. I (Iván) have owned a photo studio for over 13 years and a cocktail bar; Luis is an architect, and Daniel is a software consultant for a global company.
What landscapes are you most excited to experience on your route?
La laguna de Mayran/Mayran Lagoon is a magical place, which millions of years ago used to have a lot of water and now is just a big desert. Coahuila is known as the “The land of Dinosaurs” - it’s very common to find marine fossils in the desert. You can also easily spot snakes and other types of animals since our state is home to a quarter of the serpent species of Mexico. Another place that is worth seeing is Cuatrociénegas, as it has a very unique ecosystem and wildlife. The expression “An oasis in the desert” is very accurate for this place.
Tell us about the bikes you have chosen to ride and why.
We all like Honda as a brand; we believe it’s one of the most reliable brands on the market. We specifically consider the XR250R a lightweight, almost indestructible tank. The trip is long and we need a model like this one. The other motorcycle is a twin KZ400: every one that owns a motorbike like this one knows how comfortable and fun it is to ride. They’re very stable and the standard driving position makes it ideal for traveling too.
Do you anticipate any particular challenges or potential problems en route?
The most likely problems we will face are breakdowns. Because of this, we’ve checked our motorcycles and got them in shape, but these are old machines and there’s a chance they can fail. We’re very well-prepared with spare parts and road assistance from our mechanical friends in our town.
What is it about adventure rides like this that you love?
FUN. That’s our mojo, if you don’t have fun there’s no point in doing it. We’ve never cared about having a brand or model just for what people will say. We care that the bikes are ridden and we have fun doing it. There’s a plan to wear costumes to make the trip more fun and enjoy the pictures.
What is the sleeping/food/drink situation on the route?
We’re staying in hotels in most cities, but we will camp for three nights; we enjoy having these epic talks around the campfire drinking a cold beer. Food will always be local to taste dishes from the region so that we can recommend something different to our friends when we return. There’s very good food in this state!