Christmas in Baja!

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by rote_baron, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. rote_baron

    rote_baron Adventurer

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    Thanks! We had a great time and we are ready to go back. Love Bend, we have family over there and do a lot of riding in the area.

    Karen
    #21
  2. rote_baron

    rote_baron Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Day 8; San Juanico to San Ignacio
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    We started the day with breakfast at the market below the Hotel 7 then stopped for gas before heading up the coast.

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    Looks like the license plate is still on the IT so we must have lost it on this day...

    We weren't to familiar with the 2 roads going up the coast on which one would be easier so we ended up taking the high road. The road was torn up pretty good in some sections with sand washes everyone was saying from the Baja 1000 going through there. Next time I'd like to see what the lower road is like. So not too many pics today but some great video once Baron gets it put together.

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    More water crossings...

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    We take a left here otherwise I believe this goes to San Jose de Gracia...

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    Yes, my feet are off the pegs...

    We did make it to the fence where the fello came out and asked for food, medicine and batteries. We were able to give him some chocolate...

    Continuing on....

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    We stopped off in Laguna San Iganacio to find some food and gas.

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    This little boy kept crying because he wanted to sit on the bike and as soon as he got on the bike he quit crying. His grandfather was pretty excited to see the photo as soon as I took it. It looks like the license plate is missing now so if anybody finds it, it would be on the high road somewhere between San Juanico and Laguna San Ignacio:rofl

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    Yes, my feet are off the pegs again :shog

    We finally made it to San Ignacio and were starving so we stopped to eat before finding a place to stay.
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    We found a room at Hotel Posada as we wanted to be close to downtown and bummed around San Ignacio for the rest of the evening.
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    Tomorrow it's a short day to Guerrero Negro...
    #22
  3. rote_baron

    rote_baron Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Day 9: San Ignacio to Guerrero Negro

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    Today was a short day, not much to report. Had a good lunch, walked down the main drag and was in bed by 9pm even though it was New Years eve.

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    We stayed at the Malarrimo which was a decent place. Tomorrow we head for Gonzaga Bay but not without more excitement with the IT and back to arriving at our destination in the dark.
    #23
  4. rote_baron

    rote_baron Adventurer

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    Dirt road into the Comondu's, then onto pavement with goats, cows and water across the road. Stay safe and be aware that there is a lot to watch out for.

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    #24
  5. NSFW

    NSFW ktm's "the tourist"

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    16,951
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    very nice, i enjoy your version of a baja ride....:thumb
    #25
  6. rote_baron

    rote_baron Adventurer

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    Location:
    Oregon
    Day 10: Guerrero Negro to Gonzaga Bay

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    Today was suppose to be an easy day, we got an early start and no traffic on the road as it was New Years day. The morning was absolutely freezing but we were making good time. Since it was cold we decided to stop at Villa Jesus Maria, about 25 miles into our ride, to warm up and get something to eat.

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    After warming up for a bit we hit the road again. Baron was in the lead with Chance in the middle and me following behind and we both saw it when it happened... The chain broke on the IT:eek1 Baron knew what it was and pulled over immediately and started to survey the damage. Luckily the case was intact, no damage but the chain was bent a little bit. So it was time to pull out the tool kit again to see if he could fix it. The master link had broke but Baron had a spare that would work right? Wrong! When Baron had bought the bike the guy told him it was a new chain so Baron didn't really check it out since he had never had a chain fail on him before. When he pulled out his spare master links he noticed that they were 520 O-ring and the one on the bike was a 520 Standard (Non-Oring). Something about the pins not long enough... We were about 7 miles north of Villa Jesus Maria so we decided to tow the IT with the DR back to the gas station and then Baron would ride the DR back to Guerrero Negro to go find a new chain.

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    We made it back safely to the gas station and Baron took off to G.N. and he returned about an hour later with a couple other riders he met on the way back. No luck in finding a chain in G.N. as it was New Years day and everything was closed. These 2 guys had a couple spare masterlinks but they didn't work either. Thanks for your help!

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    So it was decision time. We didn't really want to go back to G.N. and wait for a place to open the next day so we continued on towing the IT.

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    We stopped about every 30 miles for a break as it was slow going because of the wind blowing against us and it was freaking cold. We stopped off for lunch in Rosarito and ran into some riders we had met down in Loreto.

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    Our next rest stop was at the BOLA junction and some guy pulled off in his car who looked like he was still drunk from celebrating New Years the night before and said he had a truck and could haul the bike up to Chapala, the junction for Coco's corner for $40. He looked a little sketch so we passed as we only had about 30 more miles to the junction and we had already been towing the bike for many miles. Once we made it to the dirt road we were happy to be off Mex 1 but then the boys had a new set of challenges with the rocky road. It was now getting late and by the time we passed Coco's it was after 4pm and the sun was fading fast. I was bummed we didn't have time to stop at Coco's because he wasn't there on our way down and going back we didn't have time to stop off and meet him. Maybe next time. At about 8 miles from Gonzaga Bay Chance caught the front tire of the IT in some sand and both boys went down. It was pitch black out by this time. So for the rest of the way I made sure to stay back next to Chance so he could have some light. We finally rolled into Alphonsina's sometime after six, had a big dinner and went to sleep.

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    Tomorrow would be our last day on the bikes and we thought our only challenge would be towing the IT back to San Felipe....
    #26
  7. young1

    young1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    794
    Location:
    Taranaki New Zealand
    Awesome report thank you
    #27
  8. rote_baron

    rote_baron Adventurer

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    Near La Purisima we had to cross a river wash on the way to San Juanico. We later found out that the road from the south had been completely paved so you could take that route and not have to make this crossing, but who doesn't want to cross a river :nod.

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    #28
  9. azcagiva

    azcagiva new orange flavor

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    Location:
    Camp Verde, AZ
    Very cool family. Enjoying your rr.

    -John
    #29
  10. simmersonwheels

    simmersonwheels Asleep at Switch

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Canuck Left Coast, Courtenay BC
    That IT warms my heart, it looks timeless in the desert.
    #30
  11. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
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    908
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC

    Yeah....because you're pushing it as much as riding it....:D

    Brave move to take an antique 2-smoker for more than a day ride in Baja:clap

    You guys picked a great route....next time you can spend a bit more time and chill in some of those places....you saw some stuff most Baja riders miss due to standard routes....good on ya !!
    #31
  12. rote_baron

    rote_baron Adventurer

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    Got the IT cleaned up and ready for it's next adventure - pics below. When searching for a bike that could make the trip I considered many different options. First was how much? Which is not usually so much a choice as a limit. I did have enough funds to purchase a new bike, but I have a good number of motorcycles and I didn't want to eat a substantial depreciation if it were sold after the trip. I could have also swapped out the old DRZ400 with a new or slightly used one, getting a new (new used) one and then selling off the old one. This was probably the "best" plan, but it was also the most costly upfront.

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    So I started looking and found several candidates, and also browsed a couple of vintage ads. A plated IT490 showed up and I was intrigued. Very nice looking bike that had a large tank and not too bad of a power band as it's more of a dual sport/desert bike. That being said it IS a 490cc two stroke, so still got a one hell of a power band and I'd heard horror stories about back fires that caused injuries and also ones that broke the case. These three things soured me on the 490, but the thought of riding a two stroke vintage bike had taken root. Within a day or two a IT175 that was plated showed up. I ran over to the guys place and had a go. Unfortunately it was a situation where the bike was in fair running condition, but tired. Even if it we're tight I doubted that the 175 would have enough to get me and all my luggage up a steep hill.

    <a href="http://s1136.beta.photobucket.com/user/katt_fish1/media/Baja%202012/it1_zpsd804620a.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1136.photobucket.com/albums/n491/katt_fish1/Baja%202012/it1_zpsd804620a.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo it1_zpsd804620a.jpg"/></a>

    I kind of went back to plan "A" and started looking for another DRZ400, but a plated '79 IT250 popped up. Off again to have a ride. This one sounded good and when I rode it, it went really well. When it cleared up and hit the power band, glorious. Nothing accelerates with the excitement of a two stroke. The sound, the smell and the pull; it's intoxicating. Making you forget the mixing of the oil, the sputtering and coughing, fouling plugs, stuff rattling off from the constant vibration, the noise (so much you and the person riding next to you will suffer permanent hearing damage:rofl). Twist the throttle and it's all fine. In the back of the truck it went.

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    The IT250 did provide us with an adventure. Everyday something happened, but it never failed to start and was still running even after the chain failed (which was not it's fault). As for the other things, a little more prep' time and those would have not occurred. Anyone who races vintage two-strokes will tell you to wire tie most every nut on the bike, I adjusted the idle screw and probably didn't tighten it properly and the kick stand wasn't welded on correctly from a previous owner. It was a good ride. If you get a chance to ride a vintage two stroke, have a run and experience the challenges and rewards.

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    Thanks for all the comments and we'll be posting the last day's pics and our final video - the most exciting one.
    #32
  13. rote_baron

    rote_baron Adventurer

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    Heading North out of San Juanico we took the High Road head and found that it had soft, blown out sections of fesh-fesh. The Baja 1000 had made use of this road on its route and had contributed to the number and length of these areas which made for some exciting moments. The last one was really exciting for Karen :eek1.

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    #33
  14. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >"The last one was really exciting for Karen :eek1."

    Nasty stuff... she didn't panic though, kept the front wheel pointed the right way.

    Hotel Posada... "Hot Water 24 hrs". Heh, there wasn't any hot water when I was there.

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    #34
  15. rote_baron

    rote_baron Adventurer

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    We had to let the water run for about 20 minutes before we got any hot water. It was kind of cold outside and I did not want to take a cold shower...

    Karen
    #35
  16. motoged

    motoged Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    908
    Location:
    Kamloops, BC
    Yeah....I hate silt, too !!!:huh :cry

    Two years ago I broke my leg (fibula....spiral break just above the ankle) going down in that stuff. The crash was north of San Juanico and about half-way to San Ignacio.....about 100 meters south of the rancho that asks for a small toll to pass....the flats west of the high road will be my route next time...:rofl


    That Ride Report ......http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=666961

    :cry:cry:cry

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    You guys did well :clap:clap:clap
    #36
  17. rote_baron

    rote_baron Adventurer

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    Oregon


    I remember reading some of your report when I was researching for our trip. Why I didn't pay attention to all the sand you were talking about on the high road I don't know... I guess I didn't want to get stuck in any mud:norton Definitely the low road for us next time:nod

    Karen
    #37
  18. The Walrus

    The Walrus Gone and back again.

    Joined:
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    When riding the Baja.......always.........always.......always.........check the agua calientes before you check in.

    If I remember, we signed the deal with Oscar after the hot water test............:lol3
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    #38
  19. rote_baron

    rote_baron Adventurer

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    Oregon
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    It was sunny but quite windy this morning in Gonzaga Bay but we had a good breakfast and knew we just had a 100 more miles to San Felipe.

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    We headed out in the late morning, once again towing the IT, filled up with gas and made it to the checkpoint just outside of Gonzaga Bay. When we rolled up to the checkpoint the military guy points to the DR's back tire and I see right away at what he's pointing at. I said Baron your back tire is flat...:eek1 He was not happy! Instead of changing it right there we decide to ride back to Rancho Grande. Before we left this morning we had talked about Baron riding the DR back to San Felipe and getting the truck, driving the truck down and loading up the IT then driving back to San Felipe. But we decided that would make for an extra long day. After the flat Baron was thinking he'll just ride the KLX back and get the truck but by the time we reached Rancho Grande he decided just to fix the flat.

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    He worked on it for quite awhile and I kept thinking it doesn't usually take this long for him to change a tire?? The tube had gotten down under the bead and he couldn't get the tire off. Luckily there was a tire shop right behind the store... Baron and the tire guy worked on it for about 45 minutes with grande tire irons before they could get that tube out.

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    The culprit!

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    Once Baron was able to get the new tube in it went pretty quickly. So once again we headed for the checkpoint.

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    We decided we stop about every 30 miles to give ourselves a break as it was super windy and Baron was only able to go about 25mph towing the other bike. Just before we got to our first break point a white pickup passes us waving their arms at us. We didn't really pay any attention to it because everyone who passed us seemed to do the same thing. As we crested a hill we saw the white truck had pulled over and was waiting for us. As it turns out it was a family we had met the week before at our hotel in Loreto. We put the IT in the back of his truck for the last 60 or so miles:clap:clap

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    Baron & Chance road the other 2 bikes the rest of the way and as it turns out the wind really picked up and Chance had a hard time keeping the KLX up to speed. An hour later we were unloading the IT at Kiki's, happy we made it back!

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    The bikes already to be loaded back up for the long slog home...

    It was a great trip, frustrating at times but in looking back I'm ready to head south again and explore some more:norton I had read many Baja reports here while planning this trip and hope our report will help those that are planning a trip south as well. Thanks for following along:wave
    #39
  20. stickman1432

    stickman1432 Crusty Adventurer

    Joined:
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    So.Cal.& St George UT-Baja-riding anywhere
    Nice report...............in watching your videos, did the 3 of you always ride that tight and slow? Did your air cleaners survive and how about all the dust you sucked in to your bodies?:eek1
    #40