JT and I have done a lot of trips together. Even more important, we’ve done multiple rides in Mexico, so this wasn’t our first rodeo. For this trip we were most concerned about fuel, camping, and food – in that order.
If we couldn’t find gas in Boquillas then we were going to have problems. Sure, we could likely cross the border into Big Bend National Park, get gas, and then cross back into Mexico, but at best it would be expensive, a big hassle, and very time consuming. The more likely scenario if we were forced to try and transport gas across the border is that the customs folks at the border would not be happy with us since what we would be trying to do would be out of the norm. If they decided we couldn’t cross back into Mexico carrying gas, then our problems would be magnified.
Additionally, the gas tank on JT’s XR650R wasn’t large enough for him to make it to Boquillas on one tank. The XRR isn’t known for exceptional fuel economy, so the 4.9 gallon aftermarket tank wasn’t going to do the trick. He would have to carry spare fuel. Luckily he had a 1.8 gallon fuel bladder he could strap on to the back of his bike which would provide the additional gas needed for him to make it to Boquillas. Probably.
For me, the stock fuel tank on my Husqvarna 701 is only 3.4 gallons; good for a max of 170 miles. Not bad except it was 235 miles to Boquillas. I needed more fuel capacity. I had ordered an aftermarket Rade tank more than a month earlier, which at 1.6 additional gallons would push my total capacity to five gallons. I get 50 mpg on the Husky so five total gallons would theoretically be enough.
I say theoretically because I was still waiting for the tank to show up at my house. I told JT the week before we left that knowing how these things usually go, the tank would show up on Saturday. Which it did. And since I was leaving on Sunday morning, it meant I had enough time to install the tank but not enough time to give it a good test. If I screwed up the installation (not hard for me to do) or if there were quality issues with the tank and it leaked (a possibility) I wouldn’t find out until we were already in Mexico and likely too late to do anything about it.
In short, gas was the wild card in this entire scenario. We could go without food for a few days and not die. We could sleep on the ground if we needed to and not die. But if we ran out of gas before we made it to Boquillas then we would be up the proverbial creek without a paddle.