Road to the Mexican 1000 – on an XR400

Discussion in 'Racing' started by cavebiker, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. FirePig

    FirePig Ah'm a pig.

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    324
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    When it was squirting was it in pulses? (Seems like arterial from what you describe.)

    You can always stock some hemostatic (blood clotting) dressings in your first aid kit. Keeps things from bleeding until you get to proper medical care. http://quikclot.com/QuikClot

    I carry one in my riding med kit. I can pick one up and bring it down to Ensenada for you if you want?
  2. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,329
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Yes
    Yes, the squirting was in pulses. Thanks man, that will be a welcome addition to my med kit.
  3. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,329
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    OK I have to stay mello and let my stitches heal properly, so I might as well update this report.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yesterday I received word from Fabricio Barreto of BajaRide.com in Cabo that Rodrigo, owner of Motos Pits in La Paz has all the parts needed to finish the XR400 repair. I also saw two text messages from Rodrigo sent late the night before stating ‘the bike is finished’ and ‘do I want it delivered of will I pick it up’ At least that’s what I translated it to be. UNREAL! My heart pretty much leaped for joy. Heidi and I are looking intensely into each other’s eyes with elation and ‘Can you believe how lucky we are!’ emotions.

    I throw the new tires and mousse tubes in the back of the pickup truck and head into town to ask our property manager Josefina to talk to Rodrigo letting him know I will come today. I can speak Spanish OK but I still have a hard time understanding, and I wanted no misunderstanding today. Josefina also confirmed the location where his shop is in La Paz. My google search of the cross streets on his card confirmed what Josefina told me. Perfect.

    [​IMG]
    To have google map pinpoint the exact location of Motos Pits, google search
    “AV. CAMINO REAL Y CALLE SALMON La Paz, B.C.S.” And that is it, he is right across the street from the OXXO which has the same address. This is an outer suburb of La Paz heading South on Hwy-1, CAMINO REAL. I think FRACC is short for suburb or something similar.

    Here we go--->
    [​IMG]
    While tooling into Camino Real I started looking for some Mexican street food (my favorite). I could not pass up this opportunity, Camino Real is all Mexican and that means real Mexican food. I spot ‘Empanadas!’ Heidi and I fell in love with empanadas in the Caribbean, that love continues in Mexico. Score!

    [​IMG]
    Motos Pits is just a few blocks up.

    [​IMG]
    Rodrigo is there doing a final clean of the bike. He jumps on and kicks it right over. It sounds so quiet I could not believe it. The issue was the gear for the timing chain loosened up and finally jammed the chain, and that stopped the motor solid. Luckily it didn’t break anything else, I was just starting off. Rodrigo replaced the timing chain and timing gear, which now had a wobble in it now, and fresh oil.

    I asked if he would have time today to mount two tires and mousse tubes that I have.

    “Es possible instalar dos nuevo llantas e dos tubos mousse. Yo tango llantas e tubos” (I was pretty proud of those two sentences I put together. I practiced before I arrived by writing it down) No problem, I head out sightseeing La Paz for a couple and return with new rubber and mousse installed. They couldn’t do the mousse there so they took the wheels to a shop that did them.

    Talk about lucky. I could have been caught out in the middle of Baja with the possibility of spending the night. My main priority then would have been:
    1. Survive. I have water and power food. I should have my ultralight sneakers I carry with me during the race.
    2. Stash the bike and head off on foot in search of civilization so I can contact my crew chief to report my physical status and to tell her to call-off the search.
    3. I would anticipate pleading to anyone with a car, using a Ben Franklin or a Grant I have specifically for such situations, to take me to anywhere where I can get cell service. The service is quite good in Southern Baja but at one turnaround point where I tried calling Heidi I had nothing.
    4. Get somewhere where Heidi can reach me with our pickup truck, which is standing by with a ramp and straps.

    It’s not a complex plan but it’s a plan. I’m a firm believer a team must always have a plan, no matter how simple. Heidi and I look at plans as starting points, never a steak in the ground that can’t change. The closer you get to executing a plan the more knowledge you will have about it, so it’s only natural that plans will change with experience and time. Hence the need for our frequent ‘Hi-Level Discussions” so we can scrutinize the plan and change it if necessary. (I love that girl)

    [​IMG]
    Done.

    [​IMG]
    Rodrigo was happy to add my sticker on his shop front door. He points to the NORRA sticker then finds a good spot for mine. I feel honored.

    Now all I have to do is remove the Striker computer from the navigation platform, install the RacingTraX bracket in it’s place and wire up the connector to power. I have a new chain and sprockets I think I’ll wait until Ensanada to install. BajaBoundMoto is dropping me off there several days before pre-race activities start so I will have plenty of time to install chain and sprockets and give the bike a final once over myself. Even trailering the bike a thousand miles from Cabo to Ensenada could loosen something up. Having this time will feel so good, I will be 'Zen' by race start.
    Hipster and Cabrito like this.
  4. FirePig

    FirePig Ah'm a pig.

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    324
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    A Flying Pig Racing steeker would finish that off nicely.
  5. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,329
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    For sure! All inmates riding through Baja should stop by Motos Pits and offer up their sticker. And if you need anything for your bike, Rodrigo came highly recommended. The first thing I heard was that he could do a complete engine rebuild in two days if he had the parts, and he obviously has access to parts. Just a mile off hwy-1 turn East at the last Soriana outside of La Paz.

    [​IMG]
    Yeah Loren Heidi says she also wants a big Flying Pig sticker, for her side of the truck. It's looking kinda of bare compared to my side :wink:

    [​IMG]
    While waiting for Rodrigo to pick up the bike I noticed this in the tire. I can't believe I was thinking of running NORRA with tubes. It's cool how you can see the mousse lube juice out around the hole.
    keepshoveling likes this.
  6. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,415
    Location:
    THE exact center of California/Bass lake/Yosemite
    Stay off the bike until race day !
    FirePig, Strong Bad and keepshoveling like this.
  7. JDH5

    JDH5 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    25
    Does the bike handle different with the mousses?
  8. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,329
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Good advice. OK

    The mousse felt a little squirrel the first time on them but as soon as I get rolling I don't notice. I read mousse are like riding with 8 psi in the tires.
  9. Baja Dad

    Baja Dad Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,634
    Location:
    Norco California
    Depending on What Mousse you use....
    you must get the right fit mousse with tire
    you can get a feel from about *7psi up to about *18psi

    Here is a GREAT TOOL for fitting
    http://nitromousse.com/application-guide/
  10. h2o_snow

    h2o_snow Water, snow & dirt too.

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    964
    Location:
    North of Boise-vegas, ID
    Yup! Fresh corduroy! Yum.

    Done here - last day at Bogus was yesterday. They haven't groomed nordic in a while. Lift served was actually skiable - driving snowstorm after a day of rain.

    Mrs. Snow.

    upload_2018-4-9_11-1-4.png

    Have a great ride!
  11. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,329
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Cool tool, Looking at my notes it seems like I used this tool to select the Nitro Mousse i'm running. I most likely got it from you, thanks for that.
    Here is what I'm running:
    DUNLOP AT81 80/100-21 1.6 NM21-220 - Nitro mousse (80/100-21)
    DUNLOP AT81 110/100-18 2.15 NM18-305 - Nitro mousse (120/100-18)

    I see this on the tools chart but I'm not sure how to tell what tire pressure I can expect.

    I'll never forget the expression on the face of Rodrigo employee when he pulls the rear tire mousse out of the box! it looked huge to me also, like how the H is this going to fit in there? But it did. I wonder what type of pressure I'm running.
  12. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,329
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Dudes, I need a little help here. I was planning on mounting my RacingTrax bracket today but I'm not sure how close i can get to my roll chart box. The photos of the box suggests there is an antenna coming out of the top, but bends at a 90 degree. RacingTrex gives no dimensions of this, and the photos at NORRA and RacingTrex show a different bracket then the one they sent me.

    [​IMG]
    I'm thinking the extra space needed for the antenna is accounted for by the bulge out at the top right of the bracket, above the arrow. If so I can mount this close to flush to my scroll box. If not I need to mount it down by the amount the antenna will take, (which I have no idea) but that bill move it down making it harder to see, because i will have to lower my head and I don't want to do that.

    Any insight will be appreciated. if nothing else i will just drill two holes in my aluminium platform, a flush mount hole and a lower mount position hole.
  13. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,415
    Location:
    THE exact center of California/Bass lake/Yosemite
    Heres the deal I used that tracker at Parker this year. Tell them your bike is not suitable to wire. They will let you hand them in every day for a fresh charged one. They have mounting holes on the back of the tracker that a ram ball mount works on you can ditch that giant box mount and bar mount it or attach a ram mount to your nav tower. No wiring no fuss no muss. If you really want to use the bracket it looks iike the antenna sticks out from the right side.

    P1060033.JPG
  14. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,329
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    I think you were looking at a box for the cars with the right side antenna. No worries, I found the pic I was looking for with the antenna bent at a 90 sticking out of the top sitting on the bracket they sent me. Just as hoped, the bracket bulged is to make room for the antenna, perfect.

    [​IMG]

    So today is the day. My stitches got yanked out yesterday and all is good. My hand is the most delicate now with missing skin so Cavegirl dressed me up so I can install the RacingTrax bracket and put on a new chain without risking infection, she is the best.
    [​IMG]
    Sweeeet!

    [​IMG]
    And hey, I installed a stator so powering the RacingTrex box is no problem. Wiring up power... (fun to the highest degree!)

    [​IMG]
    I love to get up close and do intricate wiring but through the years I've learned to see what the H I'm doing two pair of readers do it all, I can see anything... (the fight of life continues. I will not call uncle until I am out of ideas to keep going forward)

    [​IMG]
    Oh geeze, i have to drill a couple holes in the bike. Freaking A yeah...

    [​IMG]
    I guess this is needed for the tracker beacon. last year i just used strong tape. I spent a lot of time today getting the old tape crap off the fender. I want the bike to look good at the starting line, like wrk2surf's bike looked in his pic. Well I guess it will never look that good ;)

    [​IMG]
    Now time to put on the new chain. The old chain was still OK but I want no chain problems during a 1,300 mile Baja race, chain problems sound like no fun to me at all.

    I asked Cavegirl to help push the create under the bike when I tipped it over. She didn't like how unstable it was so insisted to hold it while I installed the chain. I guess I can live with that (evil grin). I told her this is what Hipster did for me last year. She exclaims "I miss colter!"

    [​IMG]
    This works for me...

    OK, tomorrow all I have to do is take a long run on the beach with Sam, spend massive quality time with Heidi and sort through the tools I'm bringing along so I can keep the bike tight. Thursday I meet BajaBoundMoto Tim in Cabo to catch my ride to the stating line. How Cool Is That!
    FirePig and Gerst like this.
  15. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,329
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Allright! The road to NORRA continues.

    Earlier today cavegirl brought the bike and myself to Cabo so I can catch my ride with BajaBoundMoto to the starting line in Ensenada. [​IMG]
    We know of this great strip of Mexican street food stalls just before the airport entrance. This is a highlight of any trip to Cabo. This guy was admiring the bike. Heidi exclaims "es un cuatrocientos" (it's a 400)

    [​IMG]
    He gladly posed with his bike. This is Baja

    [​IMG]
    This is our favorite food stall. But all the stalls here look good. There are at least 7 or 8 of them.

    [​IMG]
    Check put those tacos! They're called Militos. Not sure exactly what they are but they are delicious.

    [​IMG]
    BajaBoundMoto Tim shows up with his crew at the end of what sounds like a fantastic 8 day run of over 1,500 miles off road from Tacate to Cabo. The stories around the trailer went on and on until almost dark, Wow is all i can say. One guy is seriously considering doing NORRA on one of Tim's bikes in just 10 days from now! Everyone was so stoked from the ride they just did. And of course I'm stoked just to see the #2 loaded on the trailer ready to head to the starting line. Oh freaking yeah!
    KZJohn, bajaboundmoto, NSFW and 3 others like this.
  16. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,329
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Super! Ron Tim and I get an early start from San Jose del Cabo towing a trailer with 8 motorcycles neatly tucked in along with heavy gear bags of the seven riders. These guys are pros, we tool through Cabo as if it were nothing while he headed north. BajaBoundMoto Tim has some motorcycle parts he wants to give to an old friend of his he hasen’t seen for over a decade. While we were eating breakfast outside of La Paz (the best breakfast in Baja Ron claims) Tim’s friend just swings in.
    [​IMG]

    Tim has a front and rear sprocket and a hand full of other parts he gives his buddy for his recently purchased bike. What a cool dude. He’s a heavy decal equipment welder. It was fun listening to him explain these huge highway construction machines he’s about to work on next week explaining what he has to do to them and is bummed he will most likely miss NORRA because of it.
    [​IMG]
    He had a sock in place of the air filter, which is one of the parts Tim gave him.

    [​IMG]
    Studly trio indeed

    Alright, we are tooling along starting to descend down the mountains toward Loreto when Tim claims he hears something funny. We all listen but heard almost nothing. Tim must be part Indian or something because he was so convinced the sound was serious. We all listen and listen. Tim claims the slight squeal happens only while breaking and turning hard left. We finally find an area to pull over and find the nut holding onto one of the trailer wheels was gone. There was nothing that held the wheel onto the trailer except a small grove the hub dug into the spindle after the bearing failed. We could not believe our luck the tire was still attached. As soon as we jack it up the wheel pulled right off. HS!
    [​IMG]
    Tim has a natural engineering brain and instantly comes up with a solution that will allow us to limp into Loreto safely. Ron jacks up the limp axel as high as it will go while Tim tightens two heavy duty straps around the axel to a metal bar he had fabricated in the middle of the trailer. The load was too much for the metal bar and bent it. Ron and I go off into the wilderness searching for something long and thick that will do the same function and will not bend.

    [​IMG]
    Ron scores an ultimate piece near some dilapidated building.

    [​IMG]
    Brilliant, It works!

    We still have a long way down the mountains before we are in Loreto so Tim takes it as easy as possible all the while watching the tire go flatter and flatter. He exclaims we should be OK unless he sees pieces of tire fly off, which he eventually reports seeing. Of course there is no safe area to stop or pull over for a while but Tim just keeps a super cool head while we crawl to the first slight pull over spot.

    [​IMG]Like the first repair job we start a stop watch to see how long it takes (These guys are so cool it’s like we share some DNA or something. I’m digging it and they seem to be digging coming up with solutions, keeping cool heads and just getting it done, like I like to think I would do if I were in their shoes) Six and a half minutes we have it jacked up, placed on a large rock I find (I try so hard to be part of the crew and be of some help) so we can jack it up some more, just enough to get the spare tire on, and off we go to Loreto in search of a more permanent fix.

    (I have to stop here for now and post this sucker up. I’m running on fumes and need to stop. I will get this up to date ASAP, so hang the Flip on, the adventure will continue…!)
  17. bajaboundmoto

    bajaboundmoto Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    716
    Location:
    Escondido CA
    AWESOME story so far Tom!

    OK, now, for everyone who wonders about this Cavebiker guy....
    Yes he tells lots of stories and posts a ton of pics.
    Maybe you're thinking he's a bit over the top, wacky, or whatever.

    Well, yeah, he does and he is.

    Honestly we (both Ron and I) were a bit aprehensive having this unknown guy riding with us in our truck for a couple days back up the peninsula.
    Scared? Maybe.
    But we knew we could drop him at any point we wanted ;-)
    And if you know me you know I'm not much of a talker and pretty opinionated (Ron moreso than I).

    By the time we had reached Todos Santos (that's less than 1 hour of our 2 full days together) both Ron and I were 100% down with our new compadre!
    This guy is totally interesting and has crazy freekin' stories, all true for sure.

    Tom, it was awesome having you along on what would have been just another journey up highway 1 like we've done a hundred times. Well, except for the rest of the story you're going to tell. You livened-up the drive for sure. You took it (the rest of the story) all in stride and seemed like you were enjoying the adventure.

    Thanks man!
    We'll see you in a few days in ETown!

    (remember Tom, no pics of my balding head)
    NSFW, keepshoveling and B1KSOLO like this.
  18. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,329
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Hey Tim, I resemble those remarks! Ha ha, thanks for the good words man. I could say more but that will all come out in the following posts ;)

    OK, yesterday was a busy day but I believe I have everything under control now, so here we go! The adventure continues.-->


    Alright, Tim and Ron see two options for us. One: find a trailer repair shop that can repair the axel spindle that got fried, new bearings and the works so we will be 100% again. Two: If we can’t find anyone in Loreto to do this entire repair, purchase a super strong tire to replace the lonely tire on the left side, like a BFG-AT or similar and just continue rolling up the peninsula until we find a shop that can do the entire repair.

    [​IMG]
    Tooling into Loreto Tim reminded me of the Terminator (tire repair shop on the right ‘computing-processing-forward’ another tire shop on the right ‘computing-processing-forward’ a tire repair shop on the left ‘computing-processing-pull in’

    Tim talks to the main man at the shop. A complete repair was not going to happen here today. He then discusses scenario #2 in Spanish, a stronger tire this size “mas duro” He’s got a tire but then explains to Tim where a shop is that can do the complete repair. We head off back tracking down highway-1 and pull into this shop.

    [​IMG]
    This is a nice shop and the owner assures Tim that he can get’er done. He maybe even has a spindle somewhere on site that will work. We are ecstatic.

    [​IMG]
    Tim and Ron know a bar and grill a short distance off the highway that has great hamburgers and fries; I think it’s called El Baracho or something. It’s easy to miss, there is a dark sign shaped in a silhouette of a cowboy on the West side of the road with an arm pointing down a dirt road. I exclaim that I will surprise Heidi with this place on our ride back, hamburger and fries are like her middle name. I say I will have to remember it because it’s easy to miss. Ron gives me crap stating “there’s a sign pointing to it!” At this point in the trip all three of us are clicking like we are brothers freely giving each other shit whenever we have the opportunity. I feel so comfortable with these guys whom I only really meet two days ago.

    Anyway, the bar was just like the bars in Northern Wisconsin, cowboy stuff hanging everywhere, animal hides, photos of Native Americans, wood beams and the works, it even has a pool table and a shuffle board table just like the Long Branch bar a short distance from our cabin home in Wisconsin. There was an American couple there that stopped by our table on their way out and asked us if we were riding motorcycles. They just finished a guided tour to Scorpion Bay. They talked and talked trying to impress us that they were hard core Baja people stating they would like to buy a place in Loreto to move here. But the guy said he has 15 motorcycles back in Washington State and wouldn’t want to part with them. Tim and Ron stayed mostly silent being good listeners. I being a loud mouth exclaim he needs to just part with them saying “they an anchor’ and suggested renting a place instead of buying. But then the guy said there’s really no where to ride down here stating there is only ‘one highway’ He obviously only rides road bikes and doesn’t think a thousand miles of pavement is sufficient. Then the STORY comes out! The woman talked about last year it took three days to get pesos for some reason. After they scored a roll they were out driving around and suddenly came upon some type of road block where the road narrows with speed bumps. They saw men in military uniforms holding big rifles waving then to come forward. They were both freaking out assuming they were about to get robbed of their roll and worse. The woman demands her husband turn their rental car around and get the H out of there, which he did just before the stopping point. He told his wife “Hang on I’m going to go fast” so he whips a shitty right in front of the military personal and floors the rental driving as fast as he could. All the while talking they kept saying they were so proud that they escaped this robbery and molestation attempt. Tim and Ron continued to be excellent listeners but loud mouth me had to say something “But those people are there to protect you!” But my words never registered to them, they must have thought Tim and Ron were with them on this, which they weren’t, because of their good listening skills or something. They kept saying how proud they were to have escaped unscaved. (And they want to move here!)

    [​IMG]
    Cute puppies at the bar. Ron asked the waiter about the pig. I guess last time they had a little pig that ran around just like a pet dog :)

    We waited and waited for a call or a text or an email telling us the trailer is done, but nothing. The shop owner assured us that if it isn’t done today he will be working on it first thing tomorrow morning. And it wasn’t like a ‘mañana’ thing, this guy was straight-up and sincere. So once 6:00 PM came we knew we were spending the night in Loreto. Which was alright by me, I love Loreto and I love hanging with these dudes talking motorcycles, racing and Baja, it was like I was in a great dream, I couldn’t get enough of it. But these guys were on the clock at the end of a long gig and I could tell their disappointment, this was going to cost them another day trying to get home.

    [​IMG]
    Loreto is fantastic as always. I head off on a long hike around town so Tim and Ron can just chill and unwind, perfect.

    [​IMG]
    Around 10:00 AM Tim gets a call ‘it’s ready’. We roll in and hook up the trailer. The mechanic installed a new spindle, bearings and greased all the other bearings on the trailer, sweet! Ron spots an early 80s Land Rover in the back with no rust on it. He said if it was for sale he would come back for it, but it wasn’t. We had a nice chat with the shop owner. He pointing to an old Bronco in the back he plans on restoring to race NORRA some day. He also talked about all the pot holes North of GN that brings in a lot of business for him. He was a real jokester and a pleasure to talk with.

    [​IMG]
    Alright, North of Loreto is a standard military roadblock where everyone is checked to make sure you are not a bad dude or are carrying anything illegal. Before we even come to a stop Tim spots a gentleman in a cowboy hat holding a clear plastic jug and a hose. Tim immediately says “He looks like a rancher and needs some gas” before we are even done with our inspection Tim asks the rancher if he needs some gas. The rancher holds out his small plastic jug, Tim pulls out one of his big gas cans and hands it to the rancher saying “todo” meaning take it all. After the rancher asks “Cuánto?” meaning ‘How much cost” Tim waves his hand and chuckles meaning nothing, it’s free. As if it was completely automatic. What a cool thing.

    OK! We are almost up to date, one more post should do it. So hang on, this adventure will continue--->
  19. keepshoveling

    keepshoveling DNF

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    3,781
    Location:
    NYC
    Waiter: "what pig? So... you still want the chorizo?"
  20. cavegirl

    cavegirl Girl on the Go

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    First of all I miss you like mad! But you have got to stop posting such horrible pictures of me. The tacos were birria, goat stew meat. Te amo, seguridad, see you at the finish line.