Baja in One Week? Baja Riding Partner Wanted!

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Elibaba, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. Elibaba

    Elibaba n00b

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    Hi, I am looking for a riding partner for a Baja trip around Christmas/New Year 2017/2018. Got a BMW Sertao. Would like to do the whole peninsula in 7 to 9 days of driving. I am 31, male, Austrian, living in Salt Lake. Extremely uncomplicated and reliabel. Pretty smart, funny, and handsome ( the last piece of info was for the girls ;) ). Gonna load my Bike on my hitch carrier and drive to San Diego and leave the car there. I am gonna stay mainly on the main roads, but occasionally want to explore the dirt roads as well. Planning to do 300 to 400 mi a day, maybe with one or two rest days. I am student, so I am flexible with the days. I want to camp or stay in simple hotel rooms.

    For all who read that and have been to Baja already: I would like to hear your opinion. What would you do? Spend more time in the northern part or go all the way down south?

    Thx a lot,
    Elibaba
    #1
  2. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

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    The 300 - 400 miles per day is realistic once south of San Quintin but north of there has a lot of small cities and the Ensenada/Maneadero area takes a while to negotiate. If you're into partying at bars and really want to ride all the way to the tip and back, then go for Cabo. I rode there once and am glad I got it out of my system. I pretty much never get below Loreto now. Big enough to have tourist amenities but not a traffic zoo like Cabo. Mulege is okay as well and the ride along Bahia Concepcion is really beautiful. Bahia de Los Angeles is worth an out and back trip - I wouldn't recommend continuing south from there on the dirt road by yourself unless you're really self sufficient and comfortable with sand. And San Ignacio is worth checking out. I don't go over to the Pacific side as much since I usually cross at Mexicali so others can give better recommendations there.
    #2
    hankgs and slowriding like this.
  3. slowriding

    slowriding Dopeless Hope Fiend

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    I was there a few weeks ago. A round trip the length of Baja would be an 8 day slog with very little time to look around except for when you have finished riding for the day. It's easy to over estimate the mileage you can ride since the roads go from fresh and smooth to dodging potholes for long stretches. If it is your first trip to Baja I would go along with Jonz and use Loreto as a stopping place and check out the other areas he mentions. Baja is different than the mainland and rushing through it is not the best way to experience the area.
    #3
  4. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Minimum 10 days......and that just gives you one or two nights in Cabo...plus you have to haul ass. We've done it. It's 1000 miles. You MAY do 400 a day on road....off road you could do 50. Like he said...you WILL want to reach Cabo.....ONCE...just to say you did. It's a North American Tourist Resort...expensive and not at all typical.
    Speed limits are in force......don't ride at night......read my 'hit a cow in baja'.......and that was daytime!
    #4
  5. Motomantra

    Motomantra Registered Lurker

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    There are chuck holes that can end your day. I made it to Laredo & back with out getting swallowed. The roads are built up, so there's nowhere to go but into the rocks, cacti, & sand. Stay in your lane, truck's are coming.
    So again, don't ride at night.
    #5
  6. princess jamaica

    princess jamaica OLD DOG-NEW TRICKS

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    +1.
    #6
  7. nk14zp

    nk14zp Been here awhile

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    For a ride like that I would want at least three weeks. Just ride a comfortable pace till I want to stop and enjoy the scenery. I will not do a trip where I have to ride X number of miles a day.
    #7
  8. bobbyinredwood

    bobbyinredwood Adventurer

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    Sorry but 3-400 miles a day in Baja is not realistic and a good way to set yourself up for failure. There's a number of things that could happen in between legs that can slow you up. Considering you can't (or shouldn't) ride at night that leaves a limited amount of time for travel in the winter. If you only have 7-9 days I would instead pick a destination like Loreto or LaPaz. Cabo is a dump and there's no reason to go there unless you like to pay gringo prices and or want to party like it's spring break.
    I prefer the Cortez side for traveling, its prettier, the people and vibe is more mellow. I rode solo the last trip and took a month to go down and back up from SF Bay Area. Yes the dirt road south of Bahia de Los Angles solo is only for brave fools. Trust me I know...
    There's a group from Santa Cruz, Ca that has tentative plans to go down around the same time as you. If things materialize I will be in touch.
    #8
    hankgs likes this.
  9. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra

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    Just as an fyi, one of the inmates in the West regional forum just rode down to Cabo in 2 1/2 days and is shooting for 2 days on the way back. My opinion is that it's not that hard to do (especially from the Mexicali side) BUT there is no flower sniffing time built into that ride.
    #9
  10. Elibaba

    Elibaba n00b

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    Hey guys! Thank you all very much for the information and your opinions so far!

    Elibaba
    #10
  11. Elibaba

    Elibaba n00b

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    @bobbyinredwood
    Thank you! keep me updated!
    #11
  12. bobbyinredwood

    bobbyinredwood Adventurer

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    No doubt you can blast down there in a few days with a bit of luck on your side. I suppose it comes down to what sort of experience you want to get out of it. For me running down there really quick is just a stressful event and offers no pleasure or fun along the way. It also provides an opportunity for something to go wrong, in Mexico. Just one mans opinion.
    #12
  13. NevBlu

    NevBlu Been here awhile

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    As a side note, I returned from watching the Baja 1000 race via a truck. This truck trip was the first of my previous 17 trips on motorcycles. I love to travel to the desert and towns of Baja.

    For what it's worth after dozens of trips down there; some tips:
    1. Yes, do not ride after dark and remember it will get dark earlier in Dec.-Jan. as well as be colder.
    2. Cattle and horses can roam and are dangerous especially at night.
    3. People are now distracted with their phones, may be more dangerous than the cattle. Other people disregard the NO drinking and driving concept. #12 below.
    4. Get gas any every chance you get since some Pemex stations may be closed. In small towns you can ask for petrol and kids/adults will assist even though delivered in 1-gallon milk jugs.
    5. Vados (highway over-flow dips), pot holes and the small town speed bumps will slow you down and even surprise you. Construction crews will not be like US with good traffic warning signs.
    6. The pavement is good south of San Felipe to Gonzaga Bay; although I liked this stretch better when it was gravel (the tres hermana area).
    7. Flat tires can occur when you pick up construction debris or even cactus spines.
    8. I also would set 200-300 miles as a target and most importantly NOT go as far south as Cabo. Mulege or Loretto would be far enough. Your butt will flatten along with your mind, so that raises the possibility for human error (over shooting a curve or passing into oncoming traffic without adequate distance) could be terrible for your trip's success.
    9. The peninsula cannot be appreciated, in my opinion, when trying to clock extensive miles. There are sights along the way and people who really make a MC trip worth while. As they say, slow down and smell the roses.
    10. Carry some tools and some spare parts, (pump, tubes, master link, fuel pump, zip ties, levers, etc.) Bring tweezers for pulling cactus spines out; yes I've pulled these out for fellow riders several times.
    11. Do drink water to keep your mind alert.
    12. Do NOT drink alcohol while riding (that's for the camp site or hotel).
    13. The AAA Baja map is a good paper resource as is the Baja CA Almanac.
    14. Carry some pesos and US currency for Pemex gas stations. Exchange rate was 10:1 when I first traveled to Baja, now it's about 18:1, so good for travelers.
    15. Travel with another person whether you just meet in the field on a solo trip or plan ahead to share the experience with someone else. It's more fun even when not riding.
    These are only some of what my friends and other experienced riders have shared with me. Overall, a road trip through Baja is definitely worth the above risks. The above can be managed by preparation and using your 'gray matter'. Post up later of your experiences. Adios.
    Good luck to you. Baja Bob
    #13
  14. Clem Kevin

    Clem Kevin Nude With Boots

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    I'm looking to ride Baja as well over the break (I'll be based out of Southern California for the Holidays). I'm more interested in staying off pavement, and maybe doing 10 days of riding. I can easily ride 400 miles a day, but my bike doesn't like to be run over 60-65mph. Not looking to party (I don't drink), just looking to take a break from the grind and enjoy some camping and sights. I'd like to be back in California around the 10th so I can get back home to Santa Cruz the weekend before work and get ready for the grind.
    #14
  15. Ktm Greg

    Ktm Greg Adventurer

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    Are you planning on riding solo? ...My son lives in San Clemente he rides a 16' 500 KTM!
    #15
  16. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    A few years ago I headed for Cabo from Tucson. Eleven day round trip. Smartest move I made was to stop forward progress at Loreto. Spent a day riding out to San Javier and down the coast to a fantastic clam shack. I then had time to take in a short side trip up to San Francisco de la Sierra and the Bay of LA. Since I entered at Tecate and exited at San Luis Rio Colorado, I also had plenty of time to see Coco's and Gonzaga. IMO, it was a very well paced and fulfilling trip. It was my first taste of Mexico. Although I haven't been back to Baja, except for a three day sprint from the La Paz ferry, I have returned seven more times and seen twenty-one other Mexican states.


    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. Elibaba

    Elibaba n00b

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    What are you riding? How far down south would you like to go?
    From all the answers I got I am currently planning not to go further than Loreto, probably I am going to stay even further north. However, i am not a hardcore offroader. Dirt roads and wide trails are fine though
    #17
  18. chabon

    chabon Been here awhile

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    Got back a couple weeks ago. Took three days to La Paz from LA. We weren't racing but friend had to catch ferry on a certain date. I took 6 or 7 days to get home. Ditto on Loreto as a southern stop. Long slog of agriculture between Loreto and La Paz. Don't skip San Ignacio.
    #18
  19. Clem Kevin

    Clem Kevin Nude With Boots

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    I don't really care how far I go. All I care about is not spending much money, and staying off the asphalt as much as reasonably possible.

    I'd be on my XR400, which hums along alright at 60mph, starts to get pretty strained at 65mph. Done a few 4000 mile cross country trips on the bike (about 3/4 of both trips were dirt.)
    #19
  20. Clem Kevin

    Clem Kevin Nude With Boots

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    I currently live up near Santa Cruz, but I grew up in San Clemente and lived there most of my life, left for the second time in 2015.
    #20