A Few Gaspipe Days of Baja Norte....

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gaspipe, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,354
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    A unique situation put me in striking distance of Baja, but for a very short duration, and with virtually no notice. Due to our peculiar economic circumstances, I opted to undergo training and renew my locomotive license for another three years. I completed the requirements on Saturday, and was furloughed Sunday :bluduh Oh, well.

    So I left for Baja Monday morning. :thumb I had to be back for Christmas, but it gave me about a half dozen days to be in Mexico. It left me almost no time to prep a bike. I loaded up one of the RFS KTM's. I wonder how far can I get?

    [​IMG]

    We'll see......more later.
    #1
  2. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    17,290
    Location:
    Über Alles,California
    :lurk
    #2
  3. double_entendre

    double_entendre Ticking away the....

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,446
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    :lurk

    Mmmmm...Gaspipe RR.

    Rancho
    #3
  4. KHVol

    KHVol Long timer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,570
    Oh, Boy....
    #4
  5. Trl Rdr

    Trl Rdr Big Red Bird

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,067
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE - The Tax me state
    :lurk This should be good!
    #5
  6. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,354
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    So here I am, near Phoenix, planning to do a couple day rides on the Mogollon Rim - a fringe escarpment of the Colorado Plateau - with a 35+ year riding buddy, when the furlough news shows.

    "Chollo, wanna go to Baja for a few days?"
    "Sure. I'm between things, but have to be back Tuesday night for a job."

    We headed to Calexico, and the next morning, we were rolling across Laguna Salada with no particular place in mind other than getting as far from the border as we could.

    [​IMG]

    We had minimal camping gear (I even upgraded to a super tiny down sleeping bag) and less stuff than usual. Heck, we're only gonna be in country for four, or maybe six days. Less is more.

    We pondered heading up El Mano, and maybe hit Mike's, but we had a lot of daylight. I didn't want to end up on the Pacific side this far north, *and* I had just heard that El Mano was locked for now. So we headed across the dry lake towards La Ventana.

    [​IMG]

    Did I mention the weather was getting dodgy? It was a motivational factor to get south and away from that clay as quick as we could. The 540cc KTM motor was happy to oblige.

    [more tomorrow....been a long day]
    #6
  7. sixer

    sixer I suffer from Ainrofilac

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,220
    Location:
    CenCoCal
    :lurk
    #7
  8. rider914

    rider914 Agnostic Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,961
    Location:
    Alta Loma, CA
    +:lurk
    #8
  9. PacWestGS

    PacWestGS Life Is The Adventure!

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    10,866
    Location:
    A Worldly Traveller
    I wish I was still there... :freaky

    Can't wait to hear the story... :ear
    #9
  10. d0gWateR

    d0gWateR Goat Stuntaz DSMC

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    463
    Location:
    Chilliwack, BC CANADA
    Glad to hear you made it back safely, hopefully you didn't bust up Chollo like last time...:deal Did all of us beat GB to the :lurk??:rofl
    #10
  11. Bimble

    Bimble In giro in moto

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,350
    Location:
    Apple Valley, MN
    :clap

    A Gaspipe report always brightens my day.

    :thumb
    #11
  12. PacificPT

    PacificPT Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    987
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    This could get interesting....
    #12
  13. dualist

    dualist Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Yucaipa Ca. (strange but true)
    :ear :clap may I have s'mor please
    #13
  14. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,354
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    I only had a day to build up a bike before I headed west, and this is what I cobbled up from the parts pile:

    '05 KTM 525 EXC, but with a high compression 540cc top end. The carb was bored to 41.6mm and the airbox modified. To finish off the engine, a Leo Vince silencer was installed. The tank is a 6.6 gallon Acerbis. The front forks are modified to provide for rebound damping in the right leg, and compression damping in the left leg. This allows for very precise valving stacks for each damping circuit. They work great. A Scott's undermount damper and an Excel A60 wheel finish out the front end.

    BBriggs supplied a set of DirtBagz brackets - these are very tough and well made. The DirtBagz and the Wolfman tank bag carry all I need. I've learned that I don't really like a rear rack much on smaller bikes, as it hinders my movement on the bike.

    A resprung and valved shock control the rear. An LC4 rear wheel (cush drive) was installed in the back. The front tire is a Pirelli Scorpion, and rear an MT18HD.

    In the first 80 miles, it felt good, and plenty fast.
    #14
  15. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,354
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    A rancher had told me the run up towards Valle de Trinidad via El Mano was closed, so we took off across the flats to the highway. We'd need to head through San Felipe to get fuel. We'd sorta made up our mind to get as far south as we could today, so we'd slab it to Puertecitos, and then see how far we'd get.

    [​IMG]

    I took a load of premium fuel in San Felipe, and it was rather uneventful heading south. I was amazed how little traffic there was, and how few people we'd seen so far. We hadn't seen another bike yet.

    The construction of the highway south from Puertecitos is moving along relatively rapidly. It is sad to see this happen, but progress is progress. Four years ago, the road from San Felipe to Puertecitos had almost gone back to the earth, but now it was freshly paved and starting to fall apart already.

    As we hit the dirt, I really poured the coals to the 540 and took off. I made it about a mile, when I got the first flat of the trip. The tube blew apart - separated at the seam - complete junk. I installed my spare tube, and made it a few miles before it picked up a nail. It went through the sidewall and out the tread. :bluduh

    In went the last super cheapo Kenda 21" tube, and as luck would have it, it went flat from a pinch, despite having 25psi in it. The couple patches we had wouldn't stick, so I'm in a bit of a jam. And it's about 1645 now on a Friday Afternoon.

    [​IMG]

    Well, in under 10 miles of dirt, I trashed all of our front tubes. What's the chances?

    The sun was already setting behind the mountains to the west.

    [​IMG]

    'Chollo unpacked the stuff on his rear rack, and we loaded my wheel and the perhaps salvageable tube onto his XR600, and he took off north in search of a llantera to see about a patch job. I sat there and waited.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And waited....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The last bits of sun climbed the peaks...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And darkness followed...

    [​IMG]

    Hmmm....it's been a while. Wonder what happened to 'Chollo?

    I watched the moon rise, as the temperature dropped.

    [​IMG]

    By 2000, still no 'Chollo........I zipped up my jacket against the cold and dozed, amazed that not a single vehicle had gone by in nearly four hours.....
    #15
  16. GA. DUALSPORT WANTAB

    GA. DUALSPORT WANTAB Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,302
    Location:
    Acworth Georgia
    I have never even met Gaspipe, but everytime I see one of his RR's he has me wishing I was a 35+ year riding buddy. :thumb Great stuff. :lurk
    #16
  17. drex

    drex So Cal

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    117
    Ditto! Go Gaspipe!
    #17
  18. Snuffy

    Snuffy Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,084
    Location:
    Tucson
    :lurk
    #18
  19. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,354
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    It was windy as hell, and the temperature dropped into the 40's. Some sort of front was pushing through the area. The sky to the west was overcast, covering up Venus and Jupiter, but to the east over the sea of Cortez, the moon continued it's nightly ascension.

    [​IMG]

    I fiddled with the GPS, and determined I have an internal continuity issue. I might be able to fix it with a soldering iron. If I jiggled everything just right, I could get it to power up.

    About 2030, I heard the rumble of a thumper off to the north.

    :clap

    The llanteria in Puertecitos was closed, but 'Chollo found the dude and convinced him to patch a couple tubes. The guy was drunk as a skunk, and after putting four patches on one tube, and it still leaked, 'Chollo abandoned that one and they went to work on the one with only two holes :rofl

    The patches held, and with the wheel now reinstalled, we had a choice to make.

    Go back north to San Felipe and find a spare tube, or take our chances and head south with no spares and a patched tube.....

    Of course, we took the safe approach, and went south with no more patches or tubes. :thumb

    If you've never ridden the road from Puertecitos to Gonzaga Bay in the dark with a 35 watt bulb, you've just never lived.

    [​IMG]

    It was dusty, and the wind was blowing - but parallel to our direction. The dust hung above the road for quite a while, so we spread out a mile or so. As I waited to see 'Chollo's ight before proceeding, I fiddled with the GPS.

    [​IMG]

    At Campo Miramar, the military had an improptu checkpoint, and I chatted with them for a bit until I saw 'Chollo approach again.

    It took us a couple hours to cover the whole distance. I was thinking about seeing holing up at Punta Bufeo, but it was dark and it was obvious that if anyone was there, they were fast asleep. We decided to move on to Gonzaga Bay - maybe Alfonsina's was still open and we could get a couple beers. Hell, it's been a long day by now.

    [​IMG]

    I got to Gonzaga, and everything was closed up. It was about 1030 by now, and we idled up to Alfonsina's. The wind was howling, so camping was the least desireable alternative, but we might have no choice. There's a gate now to get to the beach...but the guard was there and let us in.

    Alfonsina's was closed up, lights off. Not a car, truck or motorcycle in sight. I was amazed that on a Friday night that there was no one there! One of the help, awakened by the engines, let us in, and got us six ice cold Pacificos.

    Bad luck turned to good luck! A few beers, a hot shower and a warm bed made us feel like we made the right choice heading south!
    #19
  20. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    45,113
    Location:
    Salida, coloRADo
    :lurk
    #20