My Road to the Mexican 1000

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cavebiker, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,490
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Disclaimer: I believe this qualifies for Ride Reports, it’s a 5-day race, after the race I will be riding the bike back a thousand miles to the starting point, so another 5 days or more. And there are all the months of preparation (I have never raced a motorcycle before), tuning new skill sets, endurance training, motorcycle preparation, etc. I will be asking specific questions in the Racing and Thumper forums but I think this post will work here in Ride Reports, we will see.

    Where did this come from? :

    Heidi (cavegirl) and I drove down to Sothern Baja last winter to do some windsurfing. Near the end of April we were lucky enough to catch the Mexican 1000 race, it passed two blocks from our rental. We had beach chairs, were taking photos and having a blast. While we were watching the race zoom by I was taking photos like there was no tomorrow and starting tearing up. I turn to Heidi and tell her I’ve always wanted to do a Baja race. I meant watch a Baja race, Heidi took it that I wanted to race a Baja race. She immediately turns to me and says “You should do it!” And she meant it, I should race it. Heidi is the best. At that instant in time my entire life changed. I knew what she meant, she believed I was capable of racing a motorcycle over a thousand miles through the Baja desert and at that very moment so did I. It wasn’t like a lightbulb moment, it was more like a nuclear explosion moment that I could not ignore. Later that day when we got back home to our Baja rental I googled Mexican 1000, and holey shit, the Mexican 1000 is made for me. It’s affordable and there is a tote box support service included in the registration fee for unsupported people like me. I pulled up notepad and created a little text file (like I always do when I have a great idea) and wrote:

    1. Acquire the race equipment to do the race safely.
    2. Buy a bike capable of finishing the race.
    3. Save up enough vacation to do the race right.
    4. Do It!

    That’s it. The rest is history…

    49 years ago ‘Wild World of Sports’ first aired an off-road race from Baja California, the second Mexican 1000. At that time I was addicted to ‘Wild World of Sports’, I was 9. At 14 I got my first motorcycle, a Suzuki my older sister gave me. As soon as I could I installed two knobby tires and started overnight motorcycle camping adventures on the back roads and fire-lanes of Northern Wisconsin. At that time the word “Baja” came out of my mouth every time I hit some rough terrain, as it still does today. “Unfulfilled passion is a call to action demon” And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.

    Picking up the bike.
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Tyrepower

    Tyrepower Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2011
    Oddometer:
    357
    Location:
    Perth WA
    You had me at Baja................ I live in Australia but dream of doing this as well.
    Keep the story coming. Keen to follow along.
    Cheers Richo.
    #2
  3. borscht zanetti

    borscht zanetti Pura Vida ! ... eh?

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,268
    Location:
    Castlegar, BC Canuckistan
    Wide World of Sports .... yep. I was 11 but saw the same show!!

    [​IMG]

    I am making my first solo trip to Baja this Oct. Well, I will if I heal from a recent crash, nasty busted ribs and punctured lung. So I am very in and can use the motivation to stay on course and heal up for my trip ! In !
    #3
  4. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,490
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    " nasty busted ribs and punctured lung." ouch that hurts. As soon as you can laugh again you will heal fast. You have over a month. With luck you will keep us posted on your Baja trip!
    #4
  5. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,490
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Forward:
    I’m doing the Mexican 1000, the biggest adventure of them all.

    Here we go; The Bike, the Prep and the Madness.

    A: The Bike:
    I fond an old XR400r on the internet a couple months ago and picked it up while coming home from Baja. The seller reported it had only 3,000 miles, and as far as I could tell the tires, sprockets and general ware and tare looked consistent with that. Of course the title was not in the sellers name or from the state he was in, and of course the owner of the title is dead… Anyway, the seller had all the paper work and it looked good to me, and the bike is supreme so I don’t care, I’m buying a bike to race Baja, no need for a flipp’en registration. ??!

    B: The prep:
    Preparing a motorcycle and me for a major ride has always been one of my all time favorite activities, and this is the biggest of them all. Once I committed to race my brain clicked into a hyper state “what bike” “race equipment” “training” “fixing problems on the course” I first thought about racing one of our vintage enduros (this is a vintage friendly race) we have two Yamaha DTs mid-70s, and I would love to race the 250 but I’ve been beating on it for 30 years so that would require for a complete restore. I need to spend my time training. It makes sense anyway to race a bike I have confidence will make it the fourteen hundred miles. I read good things about the XR400r, it’s a Baja winner and last year Jennifer Morton won Modern Lites class with an 04’ XR400 in this race. Luck for me all the other bikes online were sold by the time I crossed the border (good bikes go fast on the internet) but the XR was still for sale. (probably because of the title weirdness, my win).

    Stuff-to-Do list:
    - Dual-sport the bike and install hi-power stator, for safety and street tile reasons.

    - Title the bike.

    - Pick out and purchase all the personal race equipment and practice using it.

    - 4-gallon gas tank.

    - Desert tires with one spare rear for a half way point tire change.

    - Upgrade handlebars, vintage desert bars.

    - Chain and sprockets (two extra teeth on rear sprocket).

    - Spare master link /w chain-breaker.

    - Rear bearings (not sure I will install prior to race).

    - Breaks pads

    - Throttle and break cables.

    - Upgrade foot pegs.

    (This is fun to the highest degree!)


    C: The Madness:

    I have never raced a motorcycle, although I have been racing just about my entire life. I have over fifty little pins and medals each representing a major XC-ski marathon or ultra-marathon. Obviously it’s about time I try something new. (da! Do you think) I could feel it coming on for years, if I don’t do something big now I will be in my sixties when I do. This is my last chance to do something extreme while still a young man (I make up these things all the time). I knew it was out there, the day I saw the Mexican 1000 race go buy I knew this was it, so did Heidi, it is us…

    Picking up the XR400r: Oh yeah!
    [​IMG]

    The other bikes will have to wait.
    [​IMG]

    I have stuff to do.
    [​IMG]
    #5
    westernman, NSFW and AZ TOM like this.
  6. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,490
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Break light / tail light assembly on. Hydraulic break light switch On. I think this is beautiful: Tires, suspension, wires, motor and frame. No crap.

    [​IMG]


    The first 4 gallon IMS tank leaked at the petcock. The counter sink for the o-ring was not machined. So I sent it back and requested another brand, a Clarke 3.8 gallon tank. That tank is perfect and does not leak.

    [​IMG]

    The fish shed becomes a small paradise.
    [​IMG]

    Hi/Lo beam headlight with all the electronic stuff is wired and mounted.
    [​IMG]

    Baja Designs put the blinker box, voltage regulator, horn and the battery inside the headlight cowling. This is brilliant for ease of implementation but not for the added weight on the steering head. The battery and horn and maybe even the regulator will be moved to mid frame, we will see.

    The dual sport kit is on, new Vintage Desert handlebars are on and the handguards are installed (not easy getting them off the old bars). The first kick it fired up, unreal, it has never done that.

    One thing at a time. Next the bike needs a new hi-power stator, more power for the brighter headlights and battery.
    [​IMG]

    I like this WAY too much.
    [​IMG]

    Know I must go out and ride--->
    [​IMG]

    We had 13 inches of rain up here (unreal). The fire lanes and trails are in fantastic (bad) shape. Oh darn, I have to turn around at this one and it was really hard getting here and I went a long way (evil grin)
    [​IMG]

    My neighborhood / Baja training grounds.
    [​IMG]

    By far the sweetest bike I have ever ridden. although I need to get use to all that power without trying. On my 250 2-stoke I have to constantly hammer on the throttle when I want real power, not on this bike. I bit-it twice already after applying too much throttle in deep S.

    Keep that dream alive Richo. Baja awaits for all!
    #6
    knight, westernman, dedad71 and 3 others like this.
  7. Scribe

    Scribe £Bob£

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    12,400
    Location:
    In my natural state
    Nice. Livin' the dream. Keep it coming.
    #7
  8. TheDarkness

    TheDarkness Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2014
    Oddometer:
    56
    Location:
    Central Valley, CA
    Nice man! Good luck!

    Funny that I stumbled across this as I, too, have wanted to do the 1000 for over a decade and am now in the process of making it happen in the next few years.

    One thing I picked up from some documentary I was watching was to be sure to have your I's dotted and T's crossed in your vehicle paperwork when crossing country borders. I would imagine that they want to make sure you're not bringing stolen bikes in to sell. May not be a big deal getting INTO Mexico, but getting BACK into the US. Something worth looking into that will save you troubles at the border. :)
    #8
    RioC987 likes this.
  9. kbear

    kbear Mudbiker

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    South Central Wisconsin
    Hey Cavebiker!

    In looking at your bike prep list, I would add either heavy duty tubes front and rear OR a set of these...http://nuetech.com/tubliss/. Also extra air filters. Good luck!!!

    kbear
    #9
  10. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,490
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    For sure man, I would probably never get the bike back across the border. This was a huge concern. Luckily after I added a dual sport kit I succeeded in getting it registered as a street legal bike, title and all. Whoosh!

    Glad to hear about your Baja plans. Keep us posted on what you are doing about it. Interesting stuff.
    #10
  11. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,490
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Hey kbear,
    Yes, HD tubes and spare air filters for sure. Super! thanks a ton for chiming in. I have been asking Baja racing advice on the Racing forum. I never posted there before so i thought I would give it a try. -->Thread It has been unread with tons of good advice. There are a lot of real Baja racers and support people helping me and others out there.

    Here is my latest list of stuff:
    - Chain and sprockets.
    - Tires with bibs
    - Throttle and clutch cables
    - Break pads
    - Rear wheel bearings
    - New clutch
    - Large gas tank
    - Foot pegs
    - Stator (more power for brighter lights)
    - Dual sport kit
    - Handlebars
    - Considering stiffer springs

    Spare parts following me to the stage areas and stuff I carry onboard:
    - Chain
    - Chain lube
    - Rear tire
    - Throttle and clutch Cables (the old ones just incase)
    - Oil filters
    - Oil
    - CDI box
    - spark coil
    - Tools
    - Extra master link and chain breaker (onboard)
    - Break and clutch lever (maybe onboard)
    - Air filter and sleeves (onboard)

    And here is some other stuff i didn't think about until Baja Dad suggested them today:
    -lever perch for break and clutch lever,
    -handlebars (the original bars I already have),
    -chain master links (I have one master link, a second will not take up that much room),
    -break fluid,
    -nuts and bolts (cheap and small)
    -safety wire (I always have safety wire in my bike shed, why not take some along)

    I just received a airless tube (Bibs) for the front tire and am in the middle of trying to decide to go with a bibs on the rear or not. I planned on putting a new tire on at the half way point in Loreto but changing a tire with a bibs installed is a real bummer (I hear) And I don't want a real bummer in the middle of the race :| We will see, Baja Dad thinks one rear tire with a bibs can go the distance. I love the idea of not carrying tire changing tools, and I hate the idea of not carrying tire changing tools. Every ride I've gone on I carry tire tools, i would feel vulnerable.

    Super stuff! For me, this is the Biggest Adventure of them All.
    #11
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  12. JHpowderhound

    JHpowderhound Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    248
    Location:
    Jackson, WY
    How about a suspension rebuild?
    #12
  13. bigequip

    bigequip Ol' fart riding

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Baja, Az & Ca
    You will need a TITLE in your name for each vehicle (Car, Trailer & Motorcycle) going into Mexico! They don't care going out. I cross all the time and have had to go home to get a Title. Insurance is also required and you can get this from Baja Travel Club in San Diego. You also need a FMM Application for travel in Mexico (I buy it for a year at a time).
    You will also need a Camelback as between stops you will get mighty thristy. Good Luck......
    #13
    TheDarkness likes this.
  14. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
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    1,068
    Location:
    On the cut
    Oh yes. Oh heck, yes.
    #14
  15. JaxObsessed

    JaxObsessed Anti fascist born and raised. Supporter

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    Feb 12, 2009
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    50,063
    Location:
    Circling Sagittarius A* in Baltimore
    :lurk
    #15
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  16. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,490
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    When was the last time you drove into Baja? I think you are talking mainland Mexico. We just went in and out of Baja without any show of title. ;)
    #16
  17. kfsinc

    kfsinc Chaingolian Observer

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,763
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Check out this thread by another cheesehead with a similar dream -- all about riding the Baja 1000. Lots of good ideas from his attempt -- and he's only a couple hundred miles south of you. Sounds like a great adventure -- good luck!
    #17
    Mikenlbk likes this.
  18. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    22,570
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    in...baja here we come.
    #18
  19. ob1quixote

    ob1quixote Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,952
    I would strongly suggest a fork brace. I have a Summers Racing brace {pre-production prototype!} and it made a world of difference.
    They are out of business now, but there are probably others out there.
    #19
  20. Salsa

    Salsa Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,164
    Location:
    Arizona, Alaska
    Is this the same Sumners Brothers that went faaaast in their Bonneville race car and built stuff for baja race cars?
    I knew them in the 60's.

    Don
    #20