After discussing this w some friends and family that have been to Baja recently I'm starting to get worried about the crime factor. Apparently among recent activity the state department has issued a strict no travel warning to some states in Mexico. They are in the Mainland but Baja is on a Level 2 alert status. A few of the states are right across the Sea of Cortez from Baja. That makes me really nervous. All the talk about not traveling at night. Having bribe money. A fake wallet w fake credit cards and a little money in it....damn. I didn't even think about this stuff before. I was more worried about my truck than anything.
I want adventure but I dunno if I feel like dying/getting robbed to do it.
The driving/riding at night in Baja isn't about getting grabbed by the bad guys. It's about hitting livestock and other animals on the road. Only once did we ride at night and there were lots of coyotes on the roads - and a handful of fixed military check points. But evidence of cattle getting on the roads and struck by cars.
If you stick to Baja you'll be fine. Mainland is where the drug issues occur. There are certainly isolated incidents that come up and then are then magnified by press, people that have never stepped foot in MX, etc.
Over the past 6-8 months I've been working with a good number of CBP agents working with DSS. Guys stationed on/around the MX border - we always discuss MX, where I like to go, etc. They all pretty much say the same thing - Baja is quite safe/trouble free. The border towns/routes, etc are where you need to be a bit more careful. Mainland isn't Baja. Detroit isn't Vermont.
Like I said - check out Talk Baja on FB. Lots of American's on there living in Baja and they will give honest feedback. I'm watching that page regularly.
Going solo isn't a great idea regardless.