I'll just get this out of the way right now. We are three grown men who rode around Mexico's Baja California peninsula for two weeks while sporting matching jackets. Insert YMCA joke here ______. Here we are in all our fabulous color-coordinated glory: We didn't plan it this way. We are each just incredibly cheap and there was a killer sale on these Tour Master coats. The only available color was Dirt Brown. Individually we are adequately vented and armored, but collectively we look ridiculous. And, good or bad, it's nearly impossible to tell us apart when we're geared up. Hence, the title of this ride report: Los Tres Chaquetas (The Three Jackets) Ride Baja. As many of you know (or have already phonetically deduced), chaqueta is the Spanish word for jacket. But wait, there's more! I recently learned that chaqueta is also Spanish slang for jerk-off. So the title of this ride report could be interpreted a couple different ways. Both are probably accurate. In no particular order then, I present you with the jerk-offs behind the jackets: Greg (frameoil on advrider), my brother for as long as I can remember: Greg started riding motorbikes just a little over a year ago. He only very recently ventured out from the dirt and onto the mean streets on his new-to-him plated 2001 Honda XR650R, and had probably accumulated about 300 street miles prior to the start of this trip. What better place than Baja to refine skills and adjust to a new bike? Scott (burntlawnchair on advrider), our life-long friend and brother-from-another-mother: Although Greg and I both now live in Southern California, Scott still makes his home in the Midwestern industrial center of soot and grit where we all grew up. These days, Scott's off-roading mostly looks like this: Sleds are plenty fun to be sure, but not terribly applicable to riding in Baja. Scott now rolls up serious highway miles on his Honda ST1300, but most of his significant dirt riding took place on a Honda CR125 before he reached voting age. What better place than Baja to re-introduce oneself to dirt riding? Scott will ride one of Greg's extra bikes on this trip: 1983 Honda XR350R. 350 cubic centimeters of ancient air-cooled fury. Would the old girl (the bike, not Scott) survive 2,000+ miles of Mexican desert? We had no doubts. We all love this bike. It is lightweight, simple and un-killable. It starts a conversation everywhere it goes. It seems like everyone on the desert has owned one at some point, and most have very fond memories of their old XR's. Me (mufflerbearings on advrider): I am riding my 2007 KLR650, loaded up with Scott's gear and mine (one can't carry much gear on an XR350R). I ride a lot. But that doesn't mean that I'm particularly good at it. Going way way back, the three of us have often recreated on two wheels (Greg on the left, Scott second from right, me on the right): (The fourth rider in the photo is Scott's brother, who was prevented by real-world grown-up responsibilities from disappearing into the desert for two weeks). Although we are each accustomed to travel in various forms, this would be the first time we embarked on a trip of this magnitude together. But the planets had aligned; we had the time, some extra money, and the bikes to make this trip happen. We knew that we must take this trip now because the opportunity might not arise again for a very long time. That's a lot of words. How about an actual trip report? Ok, here goes: March 14, 2013 Scott and Greg arrived at my place late in the day, and we got to work on packing and last-minute bike prep. The first order of business was to get our GPS squared away. Oh, wait; none of us own or know how to operate a GPS device. I guess this will have to do: The Baja Almanac is a great tool for a ride down the peninsula, especially a ride where every rider is too technologically challenged to be bothered with acquiring and learning how to use a GPS device. Except for a few minor instances where the almanac could be updated (some roads marked as dirt are now paved, etc.), the maps are super detailed and surprisingly accurate. The very vague and flexible goal for this ride was to reach Land's End in Cabo San Lucas mostly on dirt. There was probably no singletrack in the cards for this bunch, but dirt roads would be plenty challenging for us. Hell, just making it back home on our rickety old bikes would be challenge enough for us! We packed and re-packed in an effort to be as lightweight and compact as possible, since the gear for three riders would be carried on just two bikes. Pro-tip: just because a KLR650 is capable of carrying gear for two riders plus two bloated cheapie Coleman sleeping bags plus a boat-anchor of a car-camping three-man dome tent plus a one-man tent plus a tarp plus spare inner tubes plus a comprehensive tool kit plus an air compressor, does not mean it's a good idea to do so. Who here can spot the similarities in the following two photographs? As we tore around the garage tending to odds and ends, we realized that the 350 had no protection against broken levers in the event of a get-off. We therefore cannibalized the bark busters from my KDX220 to contribute to the cause. The combination of Kawasaki green and Honda red made for a very festive holiday mood! Packing and bike prep completed, and burgers and beers consumed, it was off to bed in anticipation of an early start to reach the border. Next up: We actually ride the motorcycles!