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Old 02-19-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
rnrdozer OP
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Riding Little pigs in Baja!

Riding little pigs in Baja
I just returned from a two week ride in Baja and figured I should put together a ride report. Last year we rode Baja on KTM 990’s which was fun but I kept thinking about all the single track and tougher routes we could take on our KTM 500’s. Last year I put together a ride report entitled “riding big pigs in Baja” referring to our big orange pigs! So it seemed only appropriate to go with riding little pigs in Baja this year! Quin and myself each bought new KTM 500’s last November and had only managed to put about 15 hrs on them so we figured this would be a good way to break them in. We would have only one more rider with us riding a KTM 450 EXC the problem was that he could only ride for one week so we found a worthy companion that was willing to ride Zane’s bike to Loreto then fly home, allowing Zane to fly in to Loreto and ride his bike home. So riding south it would be Quin, Mark, and myself. Riding north Zane would take Marks place. Seemed like a perfect plan!
Next I would need to collect some good tracks to ride. This started out as a problem as nobody seemed to want to share! I bought the Lizard Lady stuff only to find a lot of it is simply roads you can find yourself. The good stuff she has is in route format which really sucks to follow, I would much prefer tracks. Then she requires you to buy a software Fugawi to be able to open her routes which I will never use again. You have to convert her routes to GPX to use on your garmin. Thankfully Stickman here on ADV was kind enough to hook me up with some great stuff along with Bigdog. So now all we had to do was get down there and do it!!
Bike setup
2013 KTM 500 EXC
5.3 gallon acerbis tank
Bibb mousse inserts with Michelin desert racer tires
Rekluse clutch with rear brake lever and slave cylinder adjuster
Tall seat, bar risers, and scotts steering dampner
Regeared to 15/48
Scorpion skid plate, pro moto billet rear rack
Acrapovic pipe, along with remapping ignition to the xc mapping.
Giant loop bag with wolfman tank panniers, rear stuff sack behind giantloop
Camping gear and clothes
3 season down sleeping bag 2.5 lbs
Big agnes SL1 tent 2.5 lbs
Klymit Inertia sleeping pad 16 oz
REI camp chair
Columbia pants, zip off legs, all clothes thin vapor wic style
3 shirts (too many!) 1 under armor warm shirt, two pairs underware
Sat phone, tools, extra levers, shifter, tubes, pump exc.
Mountain house food, jet boil, energy bars, coffee

We put all clothes, sleeping bags in compression sacks which helped for space. I think we still could have packed less clothes than we did. Probably the best thing I did was buy Merino wool socks. They last for many days without stinking! Really only needed two pairs of socks. The thin clothes wash well in the ocean and will dry very quickly! We also packed a collapsible ice chest for drinks.
As far as the bikes go they ran great! The fuel injection makes the bike start like a dream and you never have a dead spot on acceleration. The rekluse clutches are amazing in the tight stuff, I was glad I had it for sure! As far as the mousse tubes go they performed perfect! Lots of people told us they would break down if we rode pavement but they never did. We tried to keep it around 60 mph but most of the time you ended up stretching that out to 65-70. The tires held up great, they will be my go to tire from here on out!
So enough of this crap!! On with the ride report!!!!

Just so were clear on this! Big Pig!!


Little Pig.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:47 PM   #2
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Quin arrived at my house at 4:30 AM to load my bike and gear. The temperature was in the 20’s making the idea of heading down south seem like a brilliant plan! We were on the road by 5AM and headed for the border. We got to San Diego by around 3pm, collected a few remaining items then headed to our stop for the night Diamond Jacks RV park in Jamul,ca. this is the last possible stop before Tecate so we figured we could camp there and leave the truck somewhere safe. Teri and her husband own the place and were very nice people. They actually told us, hey! Why don’t you just stay in our motorhome so you don’t have to set up tents! We said, OK!!! Very nice people and a cheap place to leave your truck for two weeks.
I think Quin is still asleep!!


There's the girls all ready to go!


Cold as a witches, well you know!!


We got to Diamond Jacks at dark, I ended up with bronchitis so I was on anibiotics. 12hrs in the truck assured that Quin would now have it!! here he is self medicating!


Heres our motorhome for the night! living large!!


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Old 02-19-2013, 07:30 PM   #3
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Woke up really early and waited for the sun to come up. I got lucky and ended up sleeping in the master bed in the big motorhome. As I laid there I couldn’t help but think about the day that laid ahead! I was starting to feel better but Quin was full on sick! His day would end up being a tough one. Our plan was to ride a dirt track we had from hwy 3 over to the compadre then end up at Mike’s skyranch for the night. We got out of Diamond Jacks around 9:30 and headed for the border. Typical border crossing, albeit simple it took longer than expected. While we were doing our paper work we met two guys on GS’S that were headed to Mike’s as well. Daryl was from Virginia and James from Seattle. We would end up hanging with these guys on and off all the way to Loreto. We made our way to Mike’s to find it packed with a ton of guys on bikes as well as buggies. We felt lucky to get a room!!
Here's the route we took from Tecate to Mike's. since I'm a complete idiot I took a picture of the computer shot of basecamp. me no comprende computers!!

Right before we left Diamond Jacks for the border!


Daryl and James at the Tecate border.


Quin had a bad day! he sucked it up though and kept riding! I wonder where he caught bronchitis ?


First gas stop in Independencia


No room for our bikes by the pool at Mike's


Mark loving his room at Mike's!


There were some really cool people we met at Mike's, there were also some real gems!! we met some guys that were headed to El Coyote because the food sucked at Mike's but ruled at Coyote's. your right!! steak bbq'ed over wood with rice, beans and tortillas must be better at Coyote's!!
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:54 PM   #4
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Woke up to a great breakfast at Mike’s, although I’ll bet it was better at El Coyote’s! We got out around 9:20 and took the back road out of Mike’s. Went by the awesome El Coyote ranch and headed to the pacific coast. We had an off road route that took us to Colonia Vicente Guerrero. We then rode the dirt roads along the coast. We hit hwy 1 to El Rosario for lunch at Mama’s. after that we hit the dirt tracks all the way down to Punta San carlos. We ended up riding in the dark for about 2 hrs until we decided to camp along the coast in Punta San Carlos. Total miles for the day 186.


Breakfast at mike's.

We parked the bikes by the room.

Our bags were in need of work from the rough trail out of mike's.

Mark enjoys the view!

My litle pig!

We made it to the coast.

We set up camp in a low spot thinking it would shelter us from the wind, it did!


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Old 02-19-2013, 09:02 PM   #5
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Once again laid awake until the sun came up to find an awesome sunrise on the pacific coast! Since we rode in the dark last night it was amazing to see to landscape the next morning! We thought there would be much more at Punta San Carlos as far as Gas, food, people exc. But we were wrong! I guess I watched the fuel TV show “Rip to the tip” with Cameron Steel too much!! You know! The show that Cameron Steel does every year where he rides Baja with 50 of his closest friends! Where they become a band of brothers helping each other survive the harsh conditions of Baja! Of course they have helicopters, emt’s, mechanics, chase trucks, and a full time cook. They call themselves the desert assassins! I emailed them about possible tracks out of Punta San Carlos with no reply. I guess this would be where I started my hating on the desert assassins! I figured Cameron could at least pay one of his flat billed hat wearing buddies to watch his email and at least tell me “ sorry bro! that’s top secret!” well enough of my hating! We ended up meeting two guys that were camping that rode bikes around the area,Steve from Santa Cruz and Mike from Salt Lake. We had tracks headed out the Bill Nichols trail up the Mesa. Then more single track and faded two track all the way to Catavinia. We ended up running out of water midday which really got interesting! Quin offered me $100 for my last bottle of water, which I quickly told him “NO WAY”!! We ended up finding a ranch along the way and got water from the owners. It was well water and we all thought we would be sick later but we ended up fine. When we finally made it to Santa Inez we were starving and thirsty! Many beers and tacos later we decided to rent a room for 100 pesos each and call it a day!! Total miles 77.3



What a morning treat!!



Mike's little place in the world in Punta San Carlos!

The feathers behind the head never gets old!

Quin had an oil leak we had to fix before we headed out. a gasket was installed wrong while checking the valves.

The Bill Nichols trail was loose and steep in spots.

Single track baby!!

View from the trail!

The final climb to the mesa

My little pig on top of the mesa!

Quin making his way to the top!

This is what I was dreaming of!! epic single track for miles!

Shade seekers with no water!!

Here's yours truly! Thirsty as hell I'm sure!

We made it to Santa Inez, Oscar served us taco's and beer! he said he had been serving gringos tacos for 50 years!

Happy gringos eating tacos!

The rooms were a bit sketchy so we chose to camp indoors!



Bathroom was nice!

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Old 02-19-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
stickman1432
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Best Little Shit Hole I've ever stayed at.....They have redecorated for sure......Only for the strong at heart and stomach.........Keep it comin Rich !!!!!!
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:21 PM   #7
rnrdozer OP
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Thanks Rich! and thanks for the tracks and good advice along the way!!
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:11 PM   #8
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Keep it Coming

Been waiting for your trip report, looks like you guys kept it pretty light. Keep it coming and try to give some perspective of route difficulty of some of the more challenging terrain you guys covered.
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by superhobie View Post
Been waiting for your trip report, looks like you guys kept it pretty light. Keep it coming and try to give some perspective of route difficulty of some of the more challenging terrain you guys covered.
thanks superhobie! you make a good point on the route levels. let me back up then and catch up! I will add the difficulty level on each route moving forward. day one from Tecate to Mike's was all easy two track until you get fairly close to Mike's. The sand gets a bit deep in spots on the route we took. on the small bikes its fine but Jame's had a hard time on the big GS. on day two from mikes to San Carlos the only section that was mainly small bike country was right out of Mike's to about El Coyote's. after that its pretty much nice two track. On day three from San Carlos to Catavinia the Bill Nichols trail is not for everyone! I wished I didnt have all the gear on my bike! however there is a way around it up the main road then you can still cut over and catch the single track out to hwy 1. the single track can get rocky and can wear you down, it made for a long day for us, also bring a ton of water!!!
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:09 AM   #10
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We got an early start to ride a hard route from Catavinia west through the valle de los Cirios south through Chapala to the Chapala single track then on to Bahia de Los Angeles. The first 5 miles or so is sand wash that finally hits a two track road. It was at this point that Mark decided to head back to hwy 1 and meet us in bay of LA. I think he was still feeling the effects from the previous day being dehydrated and tired. I also forgot to mention that although Mark has raced motocross most of his life this kind of riding was new to him and sometimes the sand can wear you out if your fighting it! Actually it can wear you out if your not fighting it!! Quin and I headed south through the valley, at one point Quin’s GPS popped off so he spent some time hunting it down. He found it laying along the road. We followed the track through single track to no track, rocks, sand, dry lakes, until finally hitting hwy 1. We fueled up, ate some food along the road in a little restaurant then headed east across hwy 1 to the Chapala single track. We ended back to hwy 1 then hit the hwy on into bay of LA. We ended up staying at Costa Del Sol had the seafood combo which was really good! I think we were in bed by 7pm I almost forgot! this route is for the most part pretty tough. not a big bike route for sure, and you really should have alot of off road experience.
Total miles 156


Before we left Catavina we met JD Rockefeller! he bummed some change to buy a cigar, then his life story started!! he is Marilyn Monroe's brother he invented many things such as the hamburger, hotdog, pizza, popcorn ect. he also started burger king and dairy queen, names after the king and Queen of England of course!! his best line though was that cigarettes don't cause cancer, lying does. I actually like that one! if it were true all the politicians would be screwed!


JD's lost his ass along the way




A corral made of growing tree's!








A not so dry lake along the way!


We headed down through this draw, in was beyond beautiful!


This was our lunch stop along hwy 1


One of many dog photos to come.


Taking a break on the Chapala single track.


More single track!


Finally made it to Costa Del Sol in bay of LA, Quin locked the girls up for the night.


Mark was waiting for us, he got the luxury suite for $75.


OK, this is almost the last time I'm going to hate on the desert assassins! I had to put my sticker over theirs as a joke! I'm sure they will be pilling my off next year when they come through here!
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:23 AM   #11
rnrdozer OP
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1/23/13
We only planned to ride to San Francisquito today so we had time to have a nice breakfast. We had Pancakes and eggs and coffee. When it was time to settle up we were paying for the room, dinner, beers, and breakfast. Many times down here your asked to pay at the end of your stay and they will keep track. I’m assuming so they don’t have to keep making change since that always seems to be a problem down here. So Victoria said our total was 2560 pesos,seemed a bit high but I hadn’t kept track. I gave her 3000 and received 40 pesos for change. Then she kind of looked at me like, is this idiot gonna catch this? Well I did with the use of her calculator, she then headed for her house to fetch more cambio. A note on Victoria, and I know a lot of people like her and she was very nice but she sits in her restaurant chain smoking and watching telenovelas (Mexican soaps) on max volume, forcing you to eat outside even if its cold! Over all though I would stay there again just pay as you go.
We ran into Daryl and James the next morning at the gas station and agreed to meet them in SF. The road out there is for the most part pretty easy. Big bikes are fine if you have some dirt skills. There are a few sandy sections and rocky sections. There are also some dangerous holes in the road so be careful and don’t ride in dust! Quite a few people told us SF was closed but we figured if nothing else we could camp and eat our dehydrated food. However it was open and we had a good supply of beer, water and even meals cooked for us. Camping was $15 for all three of us, beers $2. This is still one of my favorite places to stay. We arrived at 1pm and Daryl and James came rolling in at around 4pm. Turns out Daryl had to help James up some of the hills! We built a fire and had a great time hanging with the guys.
Total miles 82


We found the old jail on the way out of town.


Had to do the behind the bars picture!


Lots of this type of road, pretty boring until you get to Poncho's place.


Finally see the ocean again! we rode this out to Poncho beach then rode the beach to vist the man himself!




We hit the beach, Poncho said this was Poncho beach! I wonder who named it that?


These guys were off loading their catch at Poncho's. They said this was two days worth of fishing. I'm sure the fish were on ice for two days right?


Lots of stingrays, and sharks!


We bought gas from Poncho, mainly to contribute to the fund.


If your passing through you have got to come out and meet Poncho at San Rafeal fish camp. he is a great guy!!


We made it to SF!


This was our camp site, I had to wash all my clothes because my whiskey flask broke and soaked all my clothes!


They are rebuilding one of the Cabanas, probably about a two year project!!


We all had a great dinner.


First food porn picture, I'm pretty sure these were stingray taco's! I wasn't complaining though!!


Now this is the good stuff!! hanging by the fire talking about your ride, priceless!
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:04 AM   #12
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When we finally made it to Santa Inez we were starving and thirsty!

Was waiting for this report....Met you guys a little further down the road.

We were riding the "Big Pig" this time. Been down there a bit, but seeing some new country here.

Mucho mas por favor
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:11 AM   #13
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Was waiting for this report....Met you guys a little further down the road.

We were riding the "Big Pig" this time. Been down there a bit, but seeing some new country here.

Mucho mas por favor
Bgunn, it was great meeting you down there! The big pigs are fun too, you can carry more stuff! let me know if you would like some tracks for your small bike trips! I'm already dreaming about going back!!
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:15 AM   #14
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Keep it coming.

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Old 02-20-2013, 10:40 AM   #15
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As I laid in my tent waiting for the sun to come up I kept hearing a noise coming from the sea. The sea was as calm as a lake and the wind was flat so you could hear really good. When I got up it turned out to be whales swimming in close to the shore and you could hear him breathing! It was a really great moment. Not to mention the sunrise was beautiful as usual. We ended up having breakfast that morning , chorizo and egg’s. it was very good. We topped our tanks off with gas and headed to San Igancio. I would like to note that the guys treated us really fair when we settled our bill. They could have charged much more than they did.
So Stickman provided us our track for the day, among many of the days! But this one was a special treat! The first part was fine, we had a nice track that took us south of El Arco, it was deeper sand but still fun on the small bikes. But the real fun came after we crossed hwy 1! We rode off road all the way to San Ignacio. The only glitch was it was the 2012 Baja 1000 course, and just happened to be filled with deep silt beds and sand drifts. I don’t mind sand but the silt will without warning take possession of your front tire and send you over the bars! Good thing we only had about 60 miles of this stuff. Lets just say we were ready for some food and drinks! This track will spit you out right at the checkpoint just north of San Ignacio. They will check you pretty good at this check point so be prepared! I always bring stuff to give the federales, small flashlights etc. Then all you have to do is ride a wheelie for them and your good!!!
We ended up camping on the lagoon, ate dinner at Fong’s, and had ice cream in the town square and handed out stickers to the kids.
Total miles. 155
Unless you like hitting yourself over the head for fun, I would skip the second half of this track!

This was the view from my tent in the morning!




This sticker cracks me up!

Breakfast!

They have flat screen tv's now!

Mark and Quin at Fong's.

His name is mini!

We had fun with the kids in town square! They were having wheelie contests.


These guys are good at collecting stickers!

This was our camp by the lagoon.

These birds were obviously designed to swim and not fly!

You can't go to San Ignacio and not add a picture of the mission!

The lagoon.
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