Radek solo 2012 Baja 1000 on 990R

Discussion in 'Racing' started by rburkat, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. rburkat

    rburkat Been here awhile

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    Well I might as well throw my hat in the ring.

    I'm going to solo this years Baja 1000 on my 990. I already did it on a dirt bike a couple of years ago on a 2 man team, so I figure this should be a whole different challenge. This year is the point to point which I wanted to do and I've been enjoying my 990 much more than my dirt bikes so might as well see what it can do.

    If the race is closer to 1000 miles this year, I figure I can do it between 30 and 40 hours if it goes smooth.

    Last time I did it we shot a small documentary Road To Baja which followed our effort.
    Here is the 45 minute show we did last time...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnlRddEvGpI

    I'm contemplating on shooting one this year too with the difference being that we would follow multiple solo efforts instead of just one. So if you're a solo let me know if you're interested in being part of it.

    Any advice on racing the big bike, besides dont? :)
    #1
  2. Baja Dad

    Baja Dad Long timer

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    Have Bob bell set up the forks and Shock for you.
    He worked with KTM alot on the BIG Bikes.

    Bob Bell
    951-697-8488
    #2
  3. azcagiva

    azcagiva new orange flavor

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    You might want to look into getting some good wheels.

    [​IMG]
    The scraping on the wheel was from beating it back so I could finish the ride, it was and inch bigger.
    -John
    #3
  4. KZJohn

    KZJohn Been here awhile

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    +1 - Bob does the suspension on my Baja bike and I love it.

    If they run the same course as 2010,(we are assuming they are), it will be closer to 1100 miles.
    Should be fun ridding a 990 through the 100 mile long whoop sections on the southern part of the course,(Bob Bell to the rescue!)
    #4
  5. Baja Dad

    Baja Dad Long timer

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    The only woops are south of SF for about 45 miles.
    I would love to ride a 990 in this race.

    But I think I will be riding my 640 Rally bike insted.
    Cant Wait.

    As for your wheels: I use John Anderson ( owner )
    CALL : at DUBYA
    714-279-0200
    He can bulid you a GREAT set of Wheels Or Bulk your stock hubs up with Better spokes and DID or Excell Rims
    he ran QTM for years and also ran White Bros for years

    Or you could Call Woodys wheels.
    Sorry I have no Contact info

    I wood also get a Comfort Seat from Seat Concepts
    Call: Robert (owner)
    951-756-1030
    GREAT seat for have the cost and wait time as Renacco
    #5
  6. rburkat

    rburkat Been here awhile

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    I had James (superplush) do mine last year, but I'll need to get it tweaked for this. It seems a holly war between PC and SPS for this. It's hard to choose.

    I'm think I'll do woody's A60 and 2 rears.

    I'm wondering about rear rubber. In the soft/woops it's really nice to have some knobs to tractor through, but on 90% or the rest its harder dirt/rock so something that ill last and have more contact. Perhaps a 908RR is a good compromise.
    #6
  7. Baja Dad

    Baja Dad Long timer

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    USE THE DUNLOP 908 RR and Hevey duty tube in the Rear 140/80/18 and Front 21
    Woodys wheels are great but not cheep.
    I would run Talon cush hubs and DID Dirt Star 215X18 Rims

    As for Bob Bell he did all the testing with KTM when Scott Harden was running the USA Dakar offroad team.


    As for James at Superplush I have never used his stuff.
    But I have uesd Bob Bell's in Mexico at the 1000 point to point and won!!!
    #7
  8. rburkat

    rburkat Been here awhile

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    So one of the first things I am looking at is analyzing our first race to see what went wrong....

    Past Race
    ----------------------

    We did it in 2008, team of 2, in 30 class. This was a loop race and it was short 630 miles. We finished the race in 19:53 so that put as at about 32 mph total average. Seems slow. But here are some of the things that happened....

    Our ktm 540 blew up 2 days before the race so we ended up racing a tired 450exc. This slowed us down quite a bit. In the woops it did not have enough power, and i remember on the salt flats being passed by one guy because I had to have it in 5th gear as 6th would not pull.

    We screwed up on the second pit as I finished the section a bit faster and we were not ready. We were supposed to put on lights and new rubber in the daylight right before the woops but we just kept going. Not smart riding the whole san felipe section on toasted tires.

    This caused us to have to switch everything at night and we did not have any lights so we were doing it in front of our truck headlights. This pit stop was over an hour long!

    Then I broke down on the east coast and it took me almost an hour to get going again. At that point the fog had rolled in and our pace was reduced to a crawl. Also the break down took a lot our of me mentally. Giving up all those spots after battling for them so hard was discouraging.

    So best case scenario we would have shaved 3 hours from our time easily if we weren't stupid. That would put as at an average somewhere at about 38 mph. The other factor was that I had only been riding motorbikes for 1.5 years at the time and I'm a much much better rider now.

    New Race
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    So based on the previous race I'm thinking here are the pros/cons

    Going for me
    - I have 3 times the riding experience than i did then
    - It's a faster course
    - I have raced and ridden the baja several times since then
    - I'm racing a 990r which for non woops riding will be more comfortable than a dirtbike

    Going agains me
    - I'll be doing it solo instead of with a partner
    - the race is probably 400 miles longer than the last one
    - I'll be racing a 990r instead of a dirtbike which will be tough in the woops

    I'm actually thinking that the 990 will benefit me more than a dirtbike. As a big buy ( 6'4" 280 lbs ) a dirtbike is not fun to ride for long distances, and my size allows me to handle the big bike better in technical areas. I think if I can get through the woops ok, on the majority of the course I'll be less fatigued on the 990 than a small bike.

    So if the course is 1050 miles...the numbers would be this
    Best case: 38 mph that would put it at 27 hours.
    Probable case: 30 mph that would put it at 35 hours.
    Adjust for baja +5 hours : 40 hours

    At this point have to start thinking about sleep. I can probably make 30 hours without sleep, but after that would have to factor in some shut eye.

    From all this it becomes so clear.... to finish, be consistent and keep a higher average to finish faster! Duhh!
    #8
  9. Crashed Bad

    Crashed Bad Big man, little bike

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    Bob Bell/Precision Concepts did my 950 SE suspension, full revalve and I would not recommend them. I heard of his experience with the race bikes and his reputation and spent alot of time and money to get it right afterwards.

    For the 950/990 suspension nothing has beat the Superplush bikes I've ridden, both SE and Adventure 950/990. I don't know his secret sauce, but it just works. Give James Sidall a call before you do anything.
    #9
  10. Baja Dad

    Baja Dad Long timer

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    Sounds like your gearing was wrong on the 450exc
    What type of tires did you run?
    in the loop race you should only need one Tire change unless you have a lot of wheel spin.( Back to wrong Gearing )

    also NEVER put your race lights on before you run the SF woops!!!!
    ( if you are in the dark at that tme you are WAY behind!!!! )

    This year plan a Tire Change on the 990 at LA Bay or San Ignaico and make shure you gearing in good.
    Running in a higher gear makes the Tires last


    I know SPS out of San Fran can set up KTM very good ,but I have not seen too many in mexico
    #10
  11. azcagiva

    azcagiva new orange flavor

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    From what I can tell PC will do a great job if you know Bob or someone refers you.

    The things that he did to Crashed,( and three other buddies of mine) stuff was something I would not have expected from someone who charges so much. He found bent shims and the shim stacks did not match the other leg in the forks. It looked like they just used some shit they had lying on the bench. They were not polished like they are supposed to be either.

    Just sayin if you do go PC have Baja Dad call Bob first.

    -John
    #11
  12. Baja Dad

    Baja Dad Long timer

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    here is the seat you need!!!
    Seat Concepts low seat kit - NO pan, just the foam and cover, mounted and cleanly removed, sold bike, this stayed behind...used, Excellent.
    This is a very comfortable seat. They call it a "Low" but I don't think it's any lower than stock. It certainly is wider and firmer - two good things.

    $125 obo plus shipping

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. rburkat

    rburkat Been here awhile

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    Chris Blais gave us advise to run a Maxxis Desert IT front with a bib, and rear Bridgestone Gritty ED78 with Bridgestone Ultra Heavy Tube and 2 rim locks. So that is what we did... no issues. But the rear was on it's way out 190 miles in...and we ran it till rm420. You can see a shot of the tire at rm190 in the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnlRddEvGpI&feature=youtu.be&t=29m30s at time mark 29:30.

    We got to rm420 after to woops loop just after it got dark in 10 hours, but the night section killed us...especially the fog.
    #13
  14. Baja Dad

    Baja Dad Long timer

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    The Maxxis Dez IT is a GREAT Tire front and rear! for a 450.
    I do not like the ED78 you can spit knobs off real fast
    #14
  15. B1KSOLO

    B1KSOLO Been here awhile

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    the silt will be a struggle on that big of a bike, I'll be following your efforts
    great luck Dave
    #15
  16. rburkat

    rburkat Been here awhile

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    So earlier this year my buddy and I pre rode the 1000 on our 990s and as it turns out ended up racing a local off road race in Cabo. This is a bit of a story that made me realize that I should probably try the 1000 on my 990.

    I loaded up my bike in Vancouver, drove to the bay area where I picked up my buddy andrew and we drove to San Felipe
    [​IMG]

    We dropped the truck off in Kiki's in San Felipe and just ran with Giant Loop bags to be light enough to have some fun on the bikes.
    [​IMG]

    The bikes were great on the hardpack and even in the softer stuff we got used to riding all loose. Stopped in at cocos as usual for some beers and then proceeded to do Calamuje wash to Bay of LA. The wash was no walk in the park to do it with super explorer rear tires and at night, but we had a good buzz on from cocos so it was a good time.

    We partied with some dudes that night in Bay of LA and next morning realized it was Larry Rossler, Tim Herbst, and the go baja riding tour guides taking these rockstars on a trip. We ended up tagging along and riding with them for 2 days. They knew all the cool spots one of which was a 20 miles beach run out of Scorpion Bay that was a highlight.
    [​IMG]

    Hanging with Larry Rossler
    [​IMG]

    On the way from Scorpion Bay to Loreto we hit some mud and shortly after I hear something dragging. I stop and look and I see this.
    [​IMG]

    Andrew pulls up and starts to give me shit for being a loser for hitting something and ripping my fender off. I look at his bike and say - dude, you dont even HAVE yours anymore! ( his got ripped off and he didnt even know it )
    [​IMG]

    So within a mile of this mud we both lost our fenders.


    When we got to Cabo a local informed us that there was an off road race the next day and that we should come and "watch". We went to the staging area the night before and convinced the guys to let us race in the open moto class on our 990s. They were really hesitant to let us race on the big bikes but just told us to get out of the way of the little bikes when they pass us. They didn't expect us to finish or do very well. We were a little worried too because we were only running a tkc80 front and super explorer rear and had no idea what the course would have in store. The party before the race was great and we felt like rock stars when we got called up for inspection. ( check out the inspectors! )
    [​IMG]

    The race was the Tornel 300 a 300km race. We had no pits but figured that if we filled all our tanks including the advtank we would have enough range to rock the race non stop. The other issue was that we didnt have camel backs so I ended up racing with just a little water bottle strapped to my rack.
    [​IMG]

    We shedded the giant loop bags with the race organizers at the start line and started the race in the morning.
    [​IMG]
    ( Notice the lack of low or high fender! We started in San Felipe with low fenders but both of ours got ripped off in a muddy section near Loreto )

    The course went up north to todos santos, then across the pass to san jose del cabo and then through the washes back to cabo. It was pretty cool as it had bikes, quads, trucks, etc.... like a mini baja race.

    I ended up missing a turn and got lost and as I finally got some directions I ripped back to the missed turn and around a corner I almost had a head on with my buddy who also missed the turn. We got on track and never got passed by bikes but I did get passed by a couple of quads though...I just could not keep up to them on the descending turns down the pass to del cabo.
    I was on fuel reserve for a while and I dialed it back a bit and kept thinking that I should stop by some spectators to get some gas. As I passed some spectators on the side of the course, I second guessed myself on corner to stop, and I had a bit of a crash that made the locals cheer. I picked my self up quickly and kept going.
    Crossed the finish line and was surprised to know that I won our class and only one other bike came ahead of us by 10 minutes ( passed us when we go lost ). Andrew came in second and he did stop to poach some gas.
    We beat like 20 other bike so I think the talent pool was not that good, but it made us realize that the 990 is not bad for open racing like that. I finished in under 4 hours ( which made the average above 50 mph) and riders were still finishing an hour or 2 after us. The most important thing i noticed was that these guys on the 450s and 650s were coming across really bagged and I can tell you that I felt like I just did a leisurely ride and could have done another loops easily.
    [​IMG]

    So yeah, that was my first taste of racing the 990, and although it was a very short race, it made me think that the 990 just might be able to run the 1000. It's a testament to the bike though - run 1200 miles down, do a race, run 1200 miles back up...no oil changes, issues or problems.
    #16
  17. Baja Dad

    Baja Dad Long timer

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    You will have a Blast !!
    #17
  18. Crashed Bad

    Crashed Bad Big man, little bike

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    I've been thinking of doing the mexican 1k next year on my SE. Let me know if you want some company pre-running,as there's a crew of us from AZ with big KTMs that ride Baja. If you decide against ironmanning it, say the word if you are looking for co-riders.

    Rick
    #18
  19. bajaboundmoto

    bajaboundmoto Been here awhile

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    What a rad story of arriving in Cabo and doing their little race. Super cool.

    You will have a great time on this 1000 course on your big bike. Other than the whoops by Felipe that BajaDad mentioned and the 30mi of whoops near Constitucion your bike will work fine.
    I've raced a 1200 HP2 to La Paz a couple times ('04/'06 with good results) and I was pretty much a newb to giant bikes. I'm also about the same size as Larry so judging by the pic of you guys towering over him you guys are fit to those bikes just fine.
    Silt? No worries, just go around it (no matter what you're riding).
    #19
  20. BigWan

    BigWan The Cripple Maker

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    Oh, damn you Radek! :freaky

    TRAINING :cry
    #20