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Old 11-14-2014, 01:38 AM   #1
One Fat Roach OP
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Braaaaapaja March 2015

Well, a friend and I are looking for some key advice for riding Baja. We are both currently in New Mexico and new residents here. Both on KLRs.

We are looking to do a out 10-14 days and about 70% off road when we cross the border. Initially, we wanted to cross into the mainland and ride towards Mazatlan (looking for advice on a route here) and then ferry it over to La Paz, where we would go south and around the tip and back north. But getting a few opinions thus far some have said the pacific coast along the mainland may not be best unless we had a guide. So option B is to ride to Tecate and cross the border there and do a loop down around the peninsula.

We dont have any places on mind (so far) that we wanna see but are looking for suggestions on where to stay, where to avoid and any fun dirt routes heading south and north. We've been reading some Baja ride reports and are stringing some info together into it I figured it was time to make a thread and ask for some advice for some first timers into Mexico.


Thanks in advance. Saludos
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:10 AM   #2
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Old 11-17-2014, 03:58 PM   #3
twisted-hog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One Fat Roach View Post
We've been reading some Baja ride reports and are stringing some info together
That's what I did for our trip.
Makes for good winter reading when you can't ride up here.

I got some of our tracks we used from Moto Vaquero's RR

My highlights from our trip in April
  • Compadre Trail, 1st experience with sand and whoops and unfortunately at the same time
  • Laguna Diablo with Jose the cerveza Angel in the middle of nowhere
  • Gonzaga Bay
  • Meeting Coco, twice
  • the road from El Rosarito to Bay of LA via Borja Mission
  • the dirt/ shell /clay road from Bahia Asuncion to Punta Abreojos
  • East Cape Road
  • the dirt road from San Isidro to Mex 1
  • and everything in between
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:17 PM   #4
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If you're as ignorant about GPS as I am, get the Baja Almanac. Even if you know your way around a GPS, the Almanac can be incredibly helpful, as it shows things (like missions) that GPS might not.

I'm not qualified to comment on riding on the mainland, but 10-14 days doesn't sound like enough time if you plan to include a ride to Mazatlan and then ferry across to La Paz. If your timeframe is confined to 14 days, your Plan B of crossing at Tecate sounds like the ticket. From Tecate, you can head south via either the Compadre Trail or ride through the Laguna Hansen area to reach Highway 3 (but do yourself a favor and stop at El Mejor Pan de Tecate for killer Mexican pastries and free coffee before you leave town ; you'll ride right past it on your left as you head out to either Compadre or Laguna Hansen).

If you stop at Coco's Corner, ask Coco about the condition of Calamajue Wash. If it is passable, it is a far more interesting ride to Hwy 1 than the boring dirt road from Coco's south to Chapala at Hwy 1. It was wet but rideable on my KLR when I was there in March 2013 - other times, depending on recent weather, you might not have a chance on a KLR.

The dirt route south from Bahia de Los Angeles to San Francisquito is ridiculously scenic, and totally KLR-friendly. Be sure to drop by and buy some gas from Pancho at San Rafael and watch the dolpins (porpises?) play in the surf.

San Francisquito is a great place to either pitch a tent under a palapa or stay in one of the very basic cabins. It's a little run down these days, but the location can't be beat. And the friendly people who run the place make some delicious shrimp tacos.

If you decide to take a side trip to Mission Santa Gertrudis (highly recommended), be sure to refuel either in San Rafael or San Francisquito, because you will find NOTHING in El Arco even though it appears to be a decent-sized settlement on the map.

The California Gray Whales should still be loitering about Laguna San Ignacio by March, so it's well worth the $50 to hire a panga to go pet the whales.

Las Casitas Hotel in Mulege is a great place to stay, with moto parking right in the courtyard, but I hear that Las Terrazas is good also, and much cheaper. Wherever you stay, Mulege is worth spending a day or two and exploring the local area.

I've only been as far south as Loreto, where I headed west to San Juanico via the road to Mission San Javier (also highly recommended), so I can't speak to anything around La Paz, Cabo San Lucas, etc.

In general:

- Learn to love the sand.
- Carry plenty of spare tubes.
- Carry plenty of water.
- STICKERS are MANDATORY . Kids at ranches and smaller towns expect to receive stickers from dirt bike types (yes, KLR's count as dirt bikes for this purpose ).

Have a blast! And please put together a comprehensive ride report, as I need something to pass the time at work.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:53 PM   #5
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Hi MufflerBearings

Quote:
Originally Posted by MufflerBearings View Post

In general:

- Learn to love the sand. I hate it, slit even more so

- Carry plenty of water.

- STICKERS are MANDATORY .
Have a blast! And please put together a comprehensive ride report
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for tips guys. Very helpful.

Personally, I love paper maps over GPS. Good things happen when you stop to pull out your map and check things out. I also love sand, can't say the same about my wingman, he's still learning. Loving in New Mexico 3 months has definitely developed mu samd riding skills on my fat pig. But I'll have a bit of cargo strapped to the bike, that will make it interesting.

My wingman will be more on a time.crunch than myself, but I think it will take a day and a half or the start of day two to cross the border. Leaving us at least 10 days to do Baja. Or... For Baja to do us....


Keep the tips and info flowing, please!
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This is an adventure, not a field trip!!
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Old 11-21-2014, 10:50 PM   #7
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Hey Twisted-Hog! I just recently returned from another ride down there to see the 1000. I'm surprised the usual suspects are not chiming in; maybe they're all riding down south?



Quote:
Originally Posted by twisted-hog View Post
  • the road from El Rosarito to Bay of LA via Borja Mission
  • and everything in between

Mission San Borja is an excellent suggestion. The family that lives on site and takes care of the place are very cool folks. One of the sons, Genaro, knows a lot of the history of the place and he speaks Spanish, English, the local indigenous language, and a little Italian.
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Los Tres Chaquetas Ride Baja 2013 - http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=878416

A KLR RIDES (to) THE BAJA 500 (to spectate)! - http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=893347
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Old Yesterday, 11:50 AM   #8
twisted-hog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MufflerBearings View Post

Mission San Borja is an excellent suggestion. The family that lives on site and takes care of the place are very cool folks.
The road out was one of the best with the beautifully changing landscape and road.
The sand changed colours and the views of buttes in the distance. You went from riding in a desert to a palm tree forests and we came across some huge cactus.
Sad to say my POV camera focus died here, I thought I had some great video of the ride but no, it was all blurry


The folks at the Mission were great and gave us a private tour for a small donation.

Hope to be back down here again in late April
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Old Today, 03:09 AM   #9
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Josh, make sure you put San Francisquito on your itinerary, coolest little place in Baja IMHO.....

Rosa y her familia are so friendly, great food & cerveza, ask to stay in the "Hamburglar palapa"



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Old Today, 01:22 PM   #10
One Fat Roach OP
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Great suggestions. Thanks guys, keep them coming
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Originally Posted by Mr. Fisherman View Post
This is an adventure, not a field trip!!
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Old Today, 06:04 PM   #11
princess jamaica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One Fat Roach View Post
Great suggestions. Thanks guys, keep them coming
If you make it to Mulege,look me up,we are 12 miles south.You are welcome to visit/stay.We are also from NM.
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