ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-23-2011, 08:33 AM   #1
Shibby! OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Currently - Canada
Oddometer: 1,646
Dirt Donkey's Do Baja - 2011 (Feb 14-March 2nd)

A few months ago the idea was brought up by some local guys I've rode with a few times dual sporting. At first, being the way I am, I figured it's another dream that'll never happen. I'm usually very reserved and think of reasons why I can't go, rather then why I should. Reasons like time off work, money, and dog came to mind. I went home that night and started researching Baja a bit. Reading ride reports and checking out what pictures I could find. I instantly found myself overwhelmed with excitement about such a trip. I've always wanted to do big adventure trips, but lacked the bike, time off, and money. My goal was to always ride to South America.. more on that later...

I have experience doing motorcycle trips. Since I started riding, I've done at least one trip west and south for the last 11 years on a sport bike. Not ideal, but you make do with what you have. I'll never forget the adventures and riding I've done on those trips and will not regret them one bit. This past summer was the first year I wasn't given the chance to get away... and so it started.
It just so happened I bought The Baja Bike a few months earlier. A lightly used 2003 XR650R. Hoping to make it into a local adventure/dual sport bike I found myself making lots of modifications and adjustments to it. The bike is a stellar plateform, but needs a few items addressed. One thing leads into another, but overall, a great bike.

Here it is pictured. I could try listing all the things I've done to it, but maybe I'll leave that to later. It doesn't appear to be much, but it adds up. This was all pre-baja discussions:



Jumping ahead, here I am, at work, waiting. Bike is ready to go and sets off this Sunday morning for a trip to California for the King of Hammers race, then to meet me at the airport as I fly into Yuma, Arizona on the 13th. 1/2 day for a test ride, troubleshoot, and fix any issues I find. We leave the morning of the 14th.



I appologize for the paragraphs. I'll try to fix afterwards. Copy and pasting from another forum and the posting keeps compressing the spaces.
__________________
Tour of Idaho T1 Challenge - https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php...551f1642711d75
Eat. Sleep. Ride - The Great Divide: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...4#post19193704
Go, Get Lost - Heading South: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735690
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671095


Shibby! screwed with this post 03-23-2011 at 08:43 AM
Shibby! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2011, 08:35 AM   #2
Shibby! OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Currently - Canada
Oddometer: 1,646
Little bit about "The Plan".

We've rented a house in Cabo San Lucas for three days. Duration of trip is 14 days. That means we have six days riding to get down there, and six days riding to get back.

Total distance? Estimated at approx 4000 km's. That makes for some long, long days in the saddle and some very tender hind meat. ~330km of off-road riding per day.

For luggage we are almost all running Giant Loop Coyote Bags. I had talked to the Giant Loop Distributor in Canada and convinced Blackfoot to carry the line. We were the first to buy three bags off them (~$1,100) Estimated volume is around 30+liters. Let me tell you, there is only so much you can stuff inside these things. Normally I'm pretty good at packing efficiency. I have all my gear in my bag, with a fender tube on the front, and additional dry bag for shoes and MSR tent. MSR fuel bottles strap to the outside in case they leak. I will also be carrying 5 liters of water in my Osprey hydration pack. I think it's the Raven 14?

For bike prep I did the following:

- Changed oil
- Checked valves
- Added wide pegs (DRC = shat)
- 35 w HID headlight in the Trailtech 8" race light,
- 12v plug to charge helmet cam,
- Garmin Oregon GPS,
- Extra clutch cable. 2 throttle cables already.
- Extra kicker, and gear shift lever (thanks Rider Eh!)
- Spare levers.
- Complete suspension overhaul. New springs and valving front and rear with fresh oil,
- Maxxis Desert IT's. Guys I'm going with have decent tread left riding locally after 4800 kms (thanks Motokuhl!)
- The other typical bike maintenance. Bearings, greasing, loctite, carb adjustments, etc, etc.

I have already added a Clarke 4.3 Gallon tank to the beast for dual sporting. I will also be carrying an additional 2 liters of fuel in MSR bottles. This should give me a 230-250+ km range. Some say, still too short for Baja. I guess we'll find out. Thankfully some of the other bikes coming are better on fuel, and have decently large tanks to share fuel.
__________________
Tour of Idaho T1 Challenge - https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php...551f1642711d75
Eat. Sleep. Ride - The Great Divide: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...4#post19193704
Go, Get Lost - Heading South: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735690
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671095


Shibby! screwed with this post 03-23-2011 at 08:44 AM
Shibby! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2011, 08:36 AM   #3
Shibby! OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Currently - Canada
Oddometer: 1,646
I'll try to list everything done to the bike up until now:

- Trailtech 8" race light
- 35 HID bulb,
- Protaper bars
- Rox risers (1.5" up and 1.5" forward)
- Revalved and re-sprung suspension front and rear,
- Maxxis IT tires,
- 12v outlet,
- Heated grips,
- Moose hand guards (thanks Motokuhl!)
- Skid plate,
- Skid plate aluminum tool box,
- My own dual sport kit with Trailtech capacitor, Trailtech regulator/rectifier, and LED signals,
- Rewound my stator myself to get around 175-200w,
- DRC LED tailight with brake feature
- DRC wide foot pegs (shatty),
- wear protection on coil plug wire,
- Clarke 4.3 gallon natural tank,
- Inline fuel filter,
- Ram mounted Garmin GPS,
- Unabiker rad guards,
- etc

I will be riding with two DRZ's, a WR450, and a WR250R. Similarly equipped for long distance desert riding.
__________________
Tour of Idaho T1 Challenge - https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php...551f1642711d75
Eat. Sleep. Ride - The Great Divide: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...4#post19193704
Go, Get Lost - Heading South: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735690
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671095


Shibby! screwed with this post 03-23-2011 at 08:44 AM
Shibby! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2011, 08:36 AM   #4
Shibby! OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Currently - Canada
Oddometer: 1,646
I get asked a lot about a few things. Mostly the following:

1) Are you having support in a chase truck?
What fun would that be?
2) Aren't you worried about what's going on in Mexico?
No. Not the least bit. In general Mexicans are extremely friendly people.
3) Do you speak Spanish?
No. This worries me a bit, but I'm sure we can work out the basics. Food, gasolina, aqua? Some other stuff is doctora, etc. Who knows if those are spelt correctly.
4) What happens if something breaks down?

That's the adventure part. It will happen. Tires can be patched and tubes installed. We're packing enough tools to mostly disassemble anything minor on our bikes. At the end of the day, we're probably going to one of the best places for if something happens, the local people are most likely able to fix it. That's what Mexican's do. They don't go out and quickly buy the expensive anodized orange parts.. That being said, we aren't going through very populated areas, often not even seeing villages for 100's of km's, let alone towns. Adventure.

So here's the trusty steed. All packed and ready to roll. I load up tomorrow and wish it farewell until I'll see it one weeks time.





View from the cockpit:

__________________
Tour of Idaho T1 Challenge - https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php...551f1642711d75
Eat. Sleep. Ride - The Great Divide: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...4#post19193704
Go, Get Lost - Heading South: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735690
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671095


Shibby! screwed with this post 03-23-2011 at 08:44 AM
Shibby! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2011, 08:37 AM   #5
Shibby! OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Currently - Canada
Oddometer: 1,646
I sit here reminiscing about the trip trying to think of a witty title for the trip. My mind scrolls through ideas, but I can’t settle on one. This isn’t because the trip wasn’t good. In fact it was fantastic; however not one title could contain the experience I had while riding through Baja. For this reason, we’ll leave it at Baja – 2011.

So by now you know what was required pre-trip. Reading it over it doesn’t sound like nearly the work it was, but you get the idea. Lets move on to the good stuff. How the trip started.

Woke up at the ripe hour of 3AM. Sleepiness wasn’t a factor because I was on holidays and stoked to ride in the dead of winter. I grabbed my gear and started the truck. Once at the airport I ran into Dwayne who purchased the same flight tickets to keep things simple.

Flight was uneventful and drastically boring. Milling over a dirt bike and snowboard magazine I vowed to never buy another magazine again. I’m way too cheap to pay 5-8$ to leaf through crappy ads and poor reading material. What a let down.
Time crawled by and we eventually landed in Yuma, AZ. Walking off the plan onto the tarmac was like a breath of fresh air, mind less the diesel and jet fuel exhaust. The warm air and beaming sun made the boring flight soon forgotten.

It was here when we met the rest of the gang who was so kind to pick us up from the airport. That being said our stay in Yuma was limited. Here is about all you need to know:

- Frozen yogurt shops are a good idea,
- Yuma is filled with old people. Like lots of old people.
- Americans are rude.
- Yuma’s unemployment rate is 27%. It didn’t show.

Ok. So now you know Yuma. Onto the more important stuff. We soon loaded our gear onto the bikes and suited up for a test ride. I’ve never ridden sand before so I was stoked, yet worried.

Dion lead us on a test ride to start. There are riding areas just on the outskirts of town. We blasted down the road aways passing quads and cruisors dawning helmetless pilots. I can’t help but wonder what their thinking, other then them wondering who are these retards wearing full gear on a warm day..

We pull off the highway and I get my first taste of sand. Everybody said it’s similar to snow. Lean back, keep on the gas, and skip the brakes. Easy. We bailed off the highway at speed and soon I was in a sink or swim scenario. We’re doing around 60-75 entering a modestly whooped out sand road. What a hoot! Luckly I remember how to swim and made out ok. The last thing I wanted to do was bail before the trip, and with a highway traffic as an audience.

We rip over to the local riding area and find more KWADS and the like riding carelessly through sand hills and desert type terrain. Dwyane was nearly missed by a kwad rider right off the start. I wonder to myself how the kwad rider would make out in that accident without a skid lid…

The rest of the afternoon was spent putting around the sand hills and up some mountain trail which was a good test of skill and bike set-up. All was well and we decided to head back to BS with the rest of the gang.
__________________
Tour of Idaho T1 Challenge - https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php...551f1642711d75
Eat. Sleep. Ride - The Great Divide: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...4#post19193704
Go, Get Lost - Heading South: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735690
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671095


Shibby! screwed with this post 03-23-2011 at 08:45 AM
Shibby! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2011, 08:38 AM   #6
Shibby! OP
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Currently - Canada
Oddometer: 1,646
The next morning we awoke from our hotels, grabbed some grub, and went to suit up. In traditional fashion, this took way longer then it should. We were soon in a rush to get ready and make some miles. The Mexican border was waiting..

After some milling around, we were finally on the highway heading to Algadones border crossing. Temperature was already warming but we were all excited to get there and get this trip on the go. Once at the border we got to the gate, stopped, and after a couple seconds the magical light turned green and the arm lifted. No border guards or people to be seen. We were thankful and scurried into Mexico. Here we had to stop and get our temporary visa permit. This was a delightful process. It involved standing around in a hot office then walking over to the bank that was donning a teenage boy holding an assault rifle. We discovered the bank had one teller which resulted with us sweating our ass’s off in the sun, then walking back and having it stamped by the authorities. Overall, very simple but when you see Mexicans hiding in the shade you know it’s pretty damn warm already.

After what seemed like eternity, we were off! We weren’t sure of our route through town, but thankfully navigation can be fairly simple consider you take whatever road looks most well used. Lets call it Mexican nagivation.

I’d just like to comment on the crossing itself. Whenever going over borders it always amazes me how things can change so drastically crossing an imaginary line. Well, in this case a huge fence, but you get the idea. Once you step into Mexico, it’s completely different then anywhere in the states, or Canada for that matter.

The first day was mostly uneventful. We were tourists taking in the sights and smells. Oh! And what smells you find on the highways of Mexico. Dead animals, the common stench of burning garbage, and a heavy hanging odour of oil burning cars. Ahhh, Mexico, you just wouldn’t be the same without the smell.

We head just south of Mexicalli, then join onto the highway that’ll take us to San Falipe. On this highway you find lots of straight slab with the odd turn thrown in for good measure. It’s flat. Really flat. You cross the salt flats and that’s all you see in the eastern direction. Sandy clay that goes on forever and meets the blue sky.

Malcolm showing us some riding skill and scenery:



My bike parked by some scenery other then posted above. It was rare, but I enjoyed both types:



We get to San Falipe and find Rice and Beans to which we lunch. Our first taste of the Mexican cuisine. At the time we thought it was amazing, but later found to be not-so-great. Much better could be found in the smaller towns of Baja.
Some of our food:



Back on the bikes we’re heading south and looking for some adventure. For most, San Falipe is the starting point. From here on in, it’s Baja. Less Mexico, and more of that special spice that only Baja has.

Riding west of San Falipe:



Heading south of town we decided to take a sand road. On Google maps it looks shorter then the highway, and hey, it’s not the highway. Sounds good right?

Well it started off good, and then we hit a dead end. No problem, take another and road back north, join another road going west, and then head south again. Bingo. Rolling down the sand road putting my newly found sand skills to the test. I was railing the whoops and doing wheelies over sections. What a blast. All was going well until we found real whoops. These aren’t normal bike whoops. There is no mistaking bike whoops for “real” whoops. Bike whoops are fun and relatively easy. Whoops made by 700 HP Baja Trophy trucks aren’t bike whoops. We were soon in it quite latterly up to our necks. We’re talking 3-5 ft deep whoops spread far enough apart that wheelieing them is dangerous, and riding them is painful and very tiring. If this wasn’t fun enough, the soil type was either deep sand, or worse, deep pea gravel with the odd fixed rock in there. After about 10 km’s of this we decided to cut ties and head back to the highway. We weren’t making good time and we what time we had left was dwindling quickly.

No picture of the "real" whoops, but here is a pic of my bike taken when I was letting the dust settle:

__________________
Tour of Idaho T1 Challenge - https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php...551f1642711d75
Eat. Sleep. Ride - The Great Divide: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...4#post19193704
Go, Get Lost - Heading South: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735690
Dirt Donkeys Do Baja: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671095


Shibby! screwed with this post 03-23-2011 at 08:46 AM
Shibby! is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 07:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014