2 Canucks, 2 KTM's and 2 Weeks in Baja

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Mud Bucket, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket Been here awhile

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    I thought I would post our resent trip because of the past posts I read on here helped me plan what to do for this one. Always good giving back to the community if this helps anyone.
    First time posting so like everyone else I apologize for typos and what ever else! haha

    So for starters, Myself and Claude Both ride KTM's. He's on a new 1290R and I have my faithful 2010 990R. We have been been planning this trip for about year but like most times you drink beer and plan things don't usually work out, but this one did. As usual we had some other friend that wanted to go but the recent level of security I believe changed their minds.

    Details before the trip.....
    Truck and Trailer to Calexico Motel 6 and leave in the parking lot
    Baja Insurance for the bike ($275) 2 weeks
    Baja Topo map for the Garmin
    National geographic map set (Amazon for $20)
    My Spot
    Claude purchased a Garmin en-reach last minute as his spot packed it in
    New meats hooks for the bike (Mine - E-12 and 606 front) (Claude's was TKC 80's front and rear)
    General tuning for the bike
    Some new gear
    - New MSR hubba hubba tent. My hubba 9 year old single person tent has been great but more space is nice
    - New klymit sleeping pad. Bought it and it leaked out of the valve. Simple fix on google university
    - And a cheap PTS sensor off Amazon. Try it over the length of the trip to see if it lasts

    Idea was to leave Vancouver 3am Saturday March 24th with the bikes loaded in the trailer ready to go. I thought we were going to make Calexico sometime to use the Motel 6 for the first night and start fresh the following day.
    #1
  2. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket Been here awhile

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    Our route
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    Ideally we were not going to make Cabo in 2 weeks with the route we had figured out.
    #2
  3. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket Been here awhile

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    Gear for my bike. Looked all compact and used many times before
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    I have to try to make these pictures smaller

    The Bikes
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    And we could not have left at a better time
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    #3
  4. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket Been here awhile

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    Day 1

    The drive to Calexico
    We left at 3am March 24th from Vancouver BC and made our way to the boarder. 30 mins into the trip I made my first mistake and left my spot on the window sill in the kitchen to make sure it was working....... So departure time once we returned to get the spot was really 4 am
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    Getting across the boarder was very easy with no traffic in our way. I-5 was a long ribbon of road ahead of us. What we didn't factor was how the gas prices have gone up!
    Many other trips we have done to Moab we split fuel between 3 to 4 people. The most expensive was 3.85 a gallon and as low as 3.25. We drove hard going through Mount Shasta area
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    We made LA around 12pm March 25th and continued to drive looping around LA on the 210 to Palm Springs. We saw that the idea of hitting Calexico was slipping. We finally gave up at the Salton Sea truck stop and slept in the truck.
    Super crappy sleep, haha. Trucks idling and moving around all night.
    Morning came soon enough for a Denny's breakfast of champions and some fresh fuel in the truck.
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    #4
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  5. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket Been here awhile

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    On our way the distance was closing fast

    I guess this would be

    DAY 2

    First stop was to locate the Motel 6 and see if they would allow us to keep our truck and trailer there for the 2 weeks..... Answer was a definite NO..
    I knew what day would be returning so i thought I would book a room for the return date April 6th.

    We continued through "Brawley" actually, not quite at Calexico yet. we asked around and there was a trailer repair place very close that did long term storage. We went by and the guy that worked there was a little shifty looking at us but once we said we would pay he was a new friend.
    $60 us for the month. We said we would be back 2 weeks so no problem. The area was large and had a locked gate in the front. Great find!!!

    We parked, unloaded and geared up
    Town of Brawley
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    #5
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  6. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    Pictures are not showing?
    #6
  7. Duzitall

    Duzitall old dude

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    I see pictures. This is going to be a great read. Thanks for posting MB!

    EDIT: first photos must have been cached. Just came back to this thread and all photos are broken. Mud must have hit a maximum upload limit.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #7
  8. Englishmaninsask

    Englishmaninsask Adventurer

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    My best mate and I are doing this march 2019 so looking forward to your ride report
    #8
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  9. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    No pictures for me either. Just a big minus sign
    #9
  10. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Subbed as I love all Baja reports! Imagine the pics will get fixed at some point, sounds like there was a little adventure on the way down too. Hard core driving from Vancouver BC to LA straight through :thumb

    I'm hoping to pull something like this off in the fall of this year; haul arse down with my bike in my truck, leave the truck somewhere, then jump on my bike and meet my family around Lareto or Mulege after riding for ~4 days. Hang out for 5-6 days, then make the return trek.

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing this unfold :ricky:ricky:thumbup
    #10
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  11. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket Been here awhile

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    Ill Have to see about the photos??? Crap. I am using Google photos to add them in. Is there any suggestions of an alternative site to attach them?

    The place we parked the truck and trailer was at Favela's Tire shop/ trailer repair in Blrawley on main street..Fyi for anyone

    I must say the travel down and lack of sleep was too bad. We were stoked on getting on the road and hit the boarder. From looking at the boarder crossings the Mexicali West boarder was our best option. I was looking online the weeks before and I was expecting 30min wait to go through. We were Sunday at around 11am and the road to the boarder was easy smooth and what I liked ...Warm! From Brawley the road doesn't get any easier to navigate South right to the crossing. We had both already purchased Pesos and US dollars. 10,000 Pesos, $250 Us to be exact and maybe a $20 Canadian left over. (Useless) We arrived at the boarder and the guards waved us through. No Line! Sweet....... We pulled over to the office right passed the crossing to purchase the Mexican Visa $35 US and again no line. The man giving the visa was like a bouncer at a bad night club. He created a line by going sooooo slow. We were first inline so it didn't matter to me

    Mexican Visa's..... Check

    We were off
    The GPS had the coordinates to the first night which was Canon De Guadalupe. I want this to be an easy day to get the Ring rust off as this was the first ride of the year off road and fully luggaged up.
    GPS said there was a toll to the Mex 2D road/Highway. Not to worry as the toll was over the mountain pass towards Tecate. The GPS took us along a wild goose ride through Mexicali though small street areas and confusing at first, roundabouts.
    Traffic wasn't bad, all street signs are a suggestion only to be interpreted as you like. On the Mex 2D we picked up some Tequila and a 6 pack of beer and there was a last premex gas station fairly close to the turn off to the off road section. Even gas seamed more expensive 91 octane....

    The highway was in good shape and we motored along passing trucks, buses at about 120km per hour.

    The turn off to the Canon road we blew by and had to back track a little to find it. Once on the dirt is was rough in sections with asphalt then once that disappeared it was a great ride of combo of loose gravel, dirt with pockets of soft sand. Felt great and we were making good time
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    We saw the turn off for the Canon. East to follow with signs.
    The road got gradually more fun and a little rougher to the camping area. We had a choice of left or right once there.... We chose left.
    A little water crossing and we were there!
    What we didn't anticipate was the amount of people there at the camp site. Sunday and totally full. We walked to the office and a lady pointed us to a guy that spoke good English. He said he could give us a site for 800 Pesos with its own hot tub but we had to wait for 2 hours before they could have it ready.
    I said no problem, we'll take it and I ask about cold beer and he said he'll bring it to us. That was awesome have to the door service.
    We waited and then we were show to the site
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    As we waited...... Some tequila and a couple of beers
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    Finally the site with another 6 pack of cold beer!

    The site was soooo worth it. Very clean, pool was awesome and the tenting area was raked and clean. No worries of cactus and poky things. We ate a couple of MEC freeze dried meals and had some cold ones in the tub. View was amazing for the first camping night in Mexico.
    #11
  12. Manrider218

    Manrider218 Been here awhile

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    Awesome, very nice pics
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    #12
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  13. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket Been here awhile

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    DAY 3
    So drive for 24 hours straight and then getting about 4 hours of, wasn't total sleep. I though I could sleep through anything. The wind in the canyon blew like a banshee all night. Just when it got still you knew a big gust was coming. To funny
    We got up early and had some coffee. The air was finally still. We looked at the map and thought we could go straight down following the mountains to Lazaro, then to Mike Sky ranch.
    It would be a big day so we packed and set off
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    The road heading south was as expected, like the day before. It gradually got worse....... I stopped and we talked about that the road wasn't that bad. There looked like a race had just gone through. There was signs everywhere and the road then got soft and Unholy!!

    WTF...... from where we stopped, trying to get started again was a combat sport of MMA with the bike. With the weight of it.... over 700lbs we were struggling. After a couple of drops and picking it up. Oh funny, I was digging a hole for each wheel so as I lifted I wouldn't just push the bike around.
    Many more drops and I found a groove with riding right beside the road dodging cactus's. 2nd gear and even throttle kept the front tire from sinking. Claude tried the same thing and his efforts did not pay off. His bike is heavier than mine and sunk. He had to stick to the main road and armstrong the bike through with more speed.
    In addition Claude was having problems with the 1290. After shutting off all the auto control stuff the bike would automatically turn them back on. This posed to be a problem when giving throttle in the sand and then all throttle shutting off sending him over the bars. It was tough to say the least

    Our fuel was going down fast with the high RPM's to keep afloat. We decided to head East to Mex 5 going through Trez Pozos. The road was soft and I kept to what was working, navigating around cactus's. The road eventually turned to a dried lake bed
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    It was a good feeling to get through what we did. Pavement was a nice rest.
    Smooth and fast to the highway. We spent a good 5 or so in this and we're tired for 2nd of riding. We had just enough fuel to get to San Felipe Premex station. We went to a bar there and had lunch/dinner and some beers.
    It was getting late so we went into town, nothing caught our eye for accommodation so we headed back out North. We passed Skyblue Hotel and decided to go there
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    I slept so good there.
    I will try to post the route we did by the day
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    #13
  14. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Woot...nice updates! The shots from camping are frickn' sweet, nothing like a good soak after riding for a while - especially if there's beer (and whisky for this nutball). Hope you're able to get the pics sorted from earlier posts - need to see more sunny stuff given the liquid sunshine falling here in the PNW...lol.

    Riding through the soft crap sounds awful, especially on fully loaded bikes. I dig the light bar on the 990...who makes it?

    Keep the updates coming, haven't ridden since early March and haven't been on an overnight camp & ride since September of last year...need this stuff to keep the insanity at bay :super
    #14
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  15. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket Been here awhile

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    Here are some random pics of the day
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    #15
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  16. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket Been here awhile

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    Totally get it! The light bar mount I made with Ridgid lights, 6" and 2 spots on either side
    #16
  17. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket Been here awhile

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    #17
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  18. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket Been here awhile

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    Sorry for the grainy look, but this was the only quickest way of showing the route, haha
    Day 2
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    Day 3
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    #18
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  19. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket Been here awhile

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    DAY 4

    We were still a bid beat from the day before. I love picking my bike up. It just makes you stronger right!!?
    Hydrated the night before with some beer and tequila made for a hungry morning. Right next door to the Bluesky hotel was a restaurant with great food. Couldn't be any closer. Huevo rancheros and coffee was a great start to head off to Mike's sky ranch. A good easy day
    Little bit of bike maintenance, loaded the gear and off we went. Fuel was good in the bike and next stop was Lazaro for fueling. Cooler morning but sunny. Water, beer and fuel (87 octane) all Lazaro had we doubled back to turn off
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    Blue sky and a straight fast beginning. Easy road, flowy with some ups and downs, went through a little stream and up to the ranch.

    Ever see the Shining...........

    I was thinking this was the Mexican equivalent. Monday and no one there. We entered into the court yard and started to unpack. The caretaker was super friendly. we arrived at 3 so lots of time for more beer and margaritas and a couple of shots. Rooms from what I remember were spendy and with some drinks, but this included dinner and breakfast.
    Needless to say, I think I went to bed at 7 to be woken up by the caretaker for dinner. Steak, green beans and rice. Very excellent.
    The heaters in the rooms were propane and worked great. It gets chilly in the morning in the mountains
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    The Road to Mike's
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    2 Lonely bikes
    #19
  20. Mud Bucket

    Mud Bucket Been here awhile

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    The Bar
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    To the room and Slept like a log.
    #20