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Old 03-03-2014, 01:38 PM   #1
Grip and rip since 1983
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Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Eastern Long Island, NY
Oddometer: 824
YAHBO's for real Baja reflections...

After doing this in Sept. 2012:

I decided that Baja was next. Heard so much about it, how warm and sunny, the food watching Dust to Glory and all the race clips...

So, I started to plan the trip. I bought a 500 EXC from a dude (thanks, Dan!) I met on the TAT and this was to be the Baja bike.

As seen in regular trail duty form for eastern Long Island and New England.

I began to strip it down in November (I think) and build it for Baja. Mefos, Konflict Suspension, Trail Tech race light, GPS, heated grips, new chain and sprockets, checked the valves, new fuel filters, oil change, BIG wiring build for all the elec junk, Pro Moto Billet rear rack...

So, the bike is done and in the meantime through advrider, I was contacted by bmorebandit and kawcon1 and asked about my trip plans and if there was room for them to tag along at some point, (bmorebandit along the way in Baltimore and kawcon1 coming down from LA) or more accurately they were kinda hashing it out in their heads about the feasibility of the trip. I just happened to be going during the time frame that might work for them.

bmorebandit and I figured it out and I made it to his place day after the Super Bowl.

bmorebandit and Your Old Buddy, YAHBO on the road.

bmorebandit navigating the countryside.

The new Dodger was put to good use right away.

BBQ in Tennessee. bmorebandit got the wrong thing. The above shot of mouth watering brisket was the right thing.

Did some business with Clairemont Cycles in San Diego the day before the border xing.

Staging at the hotel in San Diego.

Across the border with kawcon1 on the left and bmorebandit.

First place we stopped and got tacos. And excellent coffee.

Heading south from La Rumerosa, we got into Constitution Natl Park.
Lots of fast two track and sandy roads.

SCORE pre runner truck. This thing was tricked out.

Lagunda Diablo, a huge dry lake bed.

kawcon1 mid melt down. After dropping his KLR a couple times, he had reached the limit.

San Felipe

Met up with some Canadian dudes and a young kid from San Francisco who was piloting a grossly overloaded KLR. We chatted for a few minutes and continued on.

Gonzaga Bay. Best lunch of the trip.

What a great place. Truly a unique spot in the world.

YAHBO and Coco having good times.

kawcon1 appreciates Coco.

One of four punctures due to running over barbed wire. I was running the tUbliss system so I was lucky. Got out of there without having to take the wheel off.

Some dudes we hooked up with in Bahia de Los Angeles. Robb from SF and Alex from Oakland.

kawcon1 laying down on the job. After discovering his chain guide was flapping around for miles...

An amazing thing to see, the whales came very close. Blow hole juice right in your face. Exhilirating.

The leaning tower of Polack. Scorpion Bay

bmorebandit after a long rip in hot temps.

The much welcome comfort of San Jose del Cabo.

The pavement was thrilling in some spots. Treacherous in others.

A tortilla covered in shredded chicken, two eggs, another tortilla and then the green sauce. This was breakfast in Loreto.

Much needed roadside gas.

Baja was spectucular. Truly better than expected in every way. The food was plentiful, fresh and amazing. You will not go hungry in Baja.

The weather was very hot for most of this trip. I was down there from 8FEB-20FEB and routinely saw 80-100 degrees. Only on the west coast did it get cool and cloudy. The interior and the Sea of Cortez side was hot and dry.

I would suggest bringing a synthetic thermal layer (they work in the heat too), a riding gear layer and then a waterproof/windproof shell layer. That way you can put the shell on for the cooler temps and not feel bulked up.

Neck warmer and two pairs of gloves are a must. There were chilly mornings.

The road(s) can be very dangerous. Paved roads I am talking about. They will be fine for miles and then, in the middle of the road, you'll see a cinder block or some other treacherous marker and you will be like "WTF is that..." and then you'll see a 10' wide hole in the road for no reason. Be careful. Don't daydream.

Don't ride at night. Don't do it. Animals, craters in the road, gas issues...etc. Truly out of all the hype you read about Baja, this is the one thing I can say is for real. Even though we did it (3 of us) and we all did separately too, it was stupid and not adviseable.

Nightime in Mexico is very dark. Like, you can't see your buddy standing next to you dark.

The dirt roads and trails are dangerous too, but the good kind of dangerous. The kind of dangerous we riders seek and exploit.

Other than that we drank the water, teased the locals, ate like kings, ripped around like we owned the place and generally disregarded all the other rules.

Gas stations are all over the place on the coasts. Not so much in the middle. Definitely want to have a range of 175 miles or more. 200 would be better. I ran out twice, once was a non event. The second time was almost a very bad event if it wasn't for the goodness of a Mexican dude and his mom going the other way who brought me to the road side gas 10kms from where I ran out. At night.

Which brings me to the second best part of this trip. The people. They are a beautiful bunch that had nothing but big smiles and waves for us no matter if we were stopping and spending money with them. Everywhere we went, they were friendly, helpful and kind.

Twelve days was not enough time in Baja. But, it was enough time to get away, explore a new land, cultivate ideas and get to know my two new pals in bmorebandit and kawcon1. We had a great time and we are all very fortunate that we could make this trip happen.

"A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles." ---Tim Cahill
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:35 PM   #2
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AWESOME write up Yahbo! Excellent job!
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:33 PM   #3
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Nice writing style sir. I'm going in a week and you've nicely primed the pump.
"Do or do not. There is no 'try.'"
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:39 PM   #4
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Old 03-03-2014, 05:01 PM   #5
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Excellent!!!! Thank you.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:28 AM   #6
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Thanks for sharing. Nice trip report.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:16 AM   #7
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nice work!

Cool story BRO!
Looking foward to more
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:00 PM   #8
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: High-Atop-Illinois
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Good to see th 500EXC is going strong--it is a great bike for those types of rides. You should have kept the 5.3 gallon tank I put on--probably wouldn't have ran out.
You still seem to have front tire problems. Didn't your support truck show up?
Due to all the good food you probably had to increase the preload on the rear shock.
I have a 2014 KTM 690R in the garage that I will prep for the CDR next September. I have a couple feet of snow in the yard and the driveway is froze over. Had 15 below a couple days ago. It warmed up to 15 above today.

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Old 03-05-2014, 04:40 PM   #9
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: So.Cal.& St George UT-Baja-riding anywhere
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Glad to see that you had a great time down south. Why did you run out of gas twice? In the tracks I sent you there were also waypoints that showed were gas could be had as well as other items like food etc. You only scratched the surface and Baja is always changing. Have more fun the next time you are down south.

You also saw how the people in Baja will help out even gringos.......they are great !!!

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Old 03-06-2014, 11:48 AM   #10
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Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Wet Coast, Vancouver BC
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Thumb Nice pics

Nice looking bike.

Great RR, good write up and some fantastic photos. 3 weeks this Friday I will be crossing Tecate and taking that good advise with me.

Hope to have a short RR posted when I return.

How manys days to Cabo, then how many back?

You didn't touch much on accomodation? Did you camp/motel it.
It looked like kawcon1 was packed for camping.

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Old 03-07-2014, 03:08 AM   #11
Grip and rip since 1983
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Joined: Nov 2004
Location: Eastern Long Island, NY
Oddometer: 824
We were all prepared to camp but never did. Always found hotels at the end of the day. It was never our preference to camp, we were just prepared to if needed.

Took us a week to wind down to Cabo and then I buzzed from Cabo to Oakland, CA in four days. The ride down was mostly off road and the real meat of the trip. The way back for me (solo) I wandered north at a steady pace, hopping off the road along the pacific on occasion to hit the beach trails a bit.

Keep us posted and enjoy the food.
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:26 AM   #12
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Location: central komifornia
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Nice pics-you could probably go to Baja many times and not see the same things over again.You are now officially addicted and will go back next year.With a bigger gas tank and less stuff on the bike.
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Old 03-07-2014, 04:06 AM   #13
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"Due to all the good food you probably had to increase the preload on the rear shock."

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Old 04-04-2014, 07:19 PM   #14
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Joined: Dec 2013
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
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Hey Yahbo! Just saw this post today. Great write up.
For anybody reading this you will not meet a better person to travel with than yer ol' Yahbo. I would probably be a pile of Joe Rocket Ballistic wear and decomposing KLR parts out on some sandy road in Baja right now if it wasn't for him. After dumping the KLR in deep sand several times it was good to see him come back to help me -- as I think I would have been stranded. Talk about being prepared and always helping out -- that's yer man Yahbo.

The other guy, (I won't mention any names, bmorebandit) had so much faith in me he simply rode all the way to a town and had lunch and beers -- while I was having my "melt-down" -- more like heat exhaustion in the desert. Anyway, it was a GREAT trip and I, for one, plan on heading back to Baja sometime this year. Here are a couple of additional photos.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:21 PM   #15
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This is where Yahbo (the ex-Medic) found me. I think I am somewhere under the bike.
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