My Road to the Mexican 1000

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

  1. Ratman

    Ratman Lucky Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
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    1,355
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    Baja is good
    I love seeing your pictures, cavebiker. Especial of the buggies with the big tires on all 4 wheels. back in the beginning races right from the start all the buggies had small tires in front. They were subscribing to the unsprung weight theory. It was obvious to me that big tires were good for hitting bumps, duh. Here's a photo of my first race car back in 70. People laughed and laughed at my big tire. :) Perelman (SP) was running things
    back then [​IMG]
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  2. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,918
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Super! I love hearing history of the race from people who were there!!!
    More pics and stories ---> :bmwrider

    Kevin and Michele Busch, the famous 2-up motorcycle racing couple (interview)


    Wade Underwood Racer #404 (interview)


    Contingency Day-2 continued!


    A few more photos of the action around contingency-->
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    Impromptu racer meetings happening everywhere
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    There dudes are stoked. I know the look.

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    This is Ruben Hale he is the Grandson of Mama Espinosa. That is his grandson Santiago. I was the last person to race that bike it blew the head gasket leaving bay of LA in 2016. How cool is that!

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    Old Blue owned/driven by Craig Smith (mult-time SCORE Baja OA Champ in the ‘90’s-early ‘00’s) and navigated by current SCORE OA Champ Justin Morgan
    Eye candy!

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    Mauricio Ruelas next to me is a main photographer for NORRA. He has been so kind to me the last three years sense my first NORRA. Super dude and the other guys are super nice also! Thanks you guys for making me feel so welcome:wave
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  3. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Lets keep the action going--> Mexican 1000 Motos

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    Race morning, motorcycle staging starts at 5:30 AM

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    The final starting order is posted by 3:00 AM. The main thing the officials have to do is align all the bikes in order before the start. Their are special rally rules about starting order, you can try to start ahead of your time but you receive a penalty, all about strategy.
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    Racers are intense, focused, hydrated and ready to go.
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    The Moto racers

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    Just before transitioning from a transit section to a special.

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    I wish I would have got them all.
    NSFW likes this.
  4. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Location:
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    Out on the course.

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  5. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Location:
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    Day-1 finish line in San Feilpe
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    These guys are super stoked. Jackson #80, the guy riding the XR400 for the Missing Link Racing team told me in Ensenada that I got him fired up to race an XR in NORRA. There is nothing better than to hear that.

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    Bikes coming in, Kevin Johnson the main NORRA media guy is interviewing the bikers coming in.

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    The Super Vintage 2-stroke IT-460 is in. This is my favorite bike in the race. Love vintage 2-strokes.

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    FirePig and I settle in to a beach side room.

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    We walk back into town and end up having dinner with Kevin and Michele Busch, the 2-up racing couple. What an experience, listening to both of them describe their day out on the course, what they need to do tonight to the bike and to themselves and what the strategy is for tomorrow. Kevin changes his rear tire every night, himself. They are running tubeless so they can get higher air pressure compared to Mousse tubes. Kevin can repair a flat tubeless tire in no time. They had one flat on today.
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  6. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    The next day we are up before 5 AM to catch the start at 6.


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    The intensity is high. This is go-time!

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    NORRA is handing out a sheet of paper to all the racers warning them about all the destroyed bridges along today’s route, like 20 of them. I guess they all got taken out from the last two years of hurricanes.

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    Ready to give chase---

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    I take off before the before everyone is gone so I can hopefully get some shots along the course. What a blast!

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    I’m having a hard time navigating. Back in 2005’ what CaveGirl and I rode this way in our Jeep there was only one road South, there was no chance of getting lost.

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    I hit a couple dead ends but did get back on track.

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    XR!

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    The quad is kicking!
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  7. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    More NORRA bike pics :thumb we like pics
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    CaveGirl and I stopped her back in 05’ the owner is a real hoot.

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    Every bridge out involves Baja off-roading. I miss my 400R on these sections

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    Stuff is starting to fall off the Sportster. I lost two of the four bolts holding onto my left pannier and the left side electric is intermittent. I’m glad I lightened the load by giving FirePig the tent and sleeping bag to carry in his chase truck. I tighten the two remaining nuts, jiggle the wires and continue on.

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    Cocos Corner. Something feels strange, I thought I passed Cocos a long time ago on a bypass road, weird!

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    Before I know it there are race buggies and trucks coming at me in the wrong direction!!

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    I Wait!

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    I CANNOT BELIEVE IT! I got turned around somewhere around Cocos and landed back on the sea of Cortez. WTF! This would be fine but now I’m mixed in with all the lead race trucks, not where a slow non-maneuverable Sportster wants to be!!! This is crazy, I feel like such an idiot. I’m not carrying a GPS and only have a small hand compass. And yes, the compass confirms I totally screwed up and am back where I started several hours ago. I stop and take inventory of the situation: 1. I could just wait for hours until all the 4-wheelers pass then follow behind them hoping to make Guerro Negro before dark (not good) 2. Wait then spend the night at Cocos and start again tomorrow riding all the way to day-3 finish line at Loreto (Ouch) 3. Wait, than keep going the direction I’m pointed back to San Felipe, than back through Ensenada to highway-1 to Loreto (Triple Ouch!) I pick option #3. The Sportster and I are not happy on this dirt section and #3 will get us back onto the tarmac and smooth sailing south.
    -----------------------> :yikes
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  8. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Back in San Felipe after doing inventory on myself, my bike and what I’m about to attempt, I bail out. I’m way behind now and I know I will be hauling ass for the next 600 miles trying to make up time all the time not being with the race and not doing much than sucking rocks, not what I want. Not racing, not running support and nobody is waiting at the finish line, except FirePig of course, but he will understand, he knows Baja like few others. Anyway, no big deal, I just ask FirePig to give my tent and sleeping bag to a local kid who looks like they would enjoy it and I'm good. I can still chalk it up as a great trip, Baja off road racing, high adventure, getting lost getting tangled up in going the wrong way. Now that’s tough to beat. Now I just have to ride back to Colorado than trailer to Wisconsin, Can Do.

    Back from the attempt to chase the 2019’ NORRA Mexican 1000:

    I’ve been searching for a potential vintage race bike for a year now. I love the XR400 but I want something different for the next NORRA. No way I can top what I did in 2018 on the XR400R, I’m not fast enough or crazy enough to try. But I’ve always liked vintage dirt bikes and vintage is the soul of NORRA today. After multiple high level discussions with my crew chief the idea is born-> find and restore a vintage motorcycle capable of completing a thousand miles off-road racing in Baja. This is just for the fun factor of course. I look hard at 2-strokes thinking about how great racing a super lightweight bike in Baja would be, YZ250s, IT250s, CR250s or almost anything vintage 2-stoke dirt. But they all have Baja readiness issues that can take a long time to remedy or figure out. I have a full time job now and I got to be realistic. The availability of an oversize gas tank is important; I have no support truck carrying gas. An aftermarket stator is a concern, but I believe Baja Designs rewinds just about any stator. Then the expensive steering damper setup that always requires some custom work. Anyway, after talking with some of the 2-stroke racers at this year’s NORRA my crew chief and I decided that we are not prepared for the bad gas mileage 2-strokes get when hammer on them. Next I searched vintage XR350’s, always way too far away, too beat up or they just sold. I also looked at several nice vintage XT350s in the area, low miles and well cared for but being an engineer I look hard at specs, and compared to even the XR350 I could see the XT350 is not the bike I want to be racing Baja on. I mean that just in the sense that I have high confidence this brand and model bike is Baja race capable, not that’s it’s not a good bike.

    Starting to feel a little tense now, I need to stop looking at bikes and get ready for NORRA 2020’ now. I have a sweet 2002’ XR400R in the shed, just have to build it up just like I did the last XR (Boring…) I’m back to modern lite class I guess.

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    The weather finally breaks, the Honda comes out for a full inspection to inventory what needs to be done and ordered for NORRA 2020’

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    A redesign of another navigation platform is in order. I can do better than the first one, less weight and better areas to bolt stuff to. This is great fun. I can feel my insides excite with the importance that I do everything right and with enough time to spare. I love that ‘gut’ feeling (evil grin). I address this inside feeling by ordering the big ticket item right away, a new Scott’s damper kit for the XR that includes a triple clamp for big bars that also raises the bars so the damper is below the bars, sweet.

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    A week or so goes by, I can’t stop this addiction of searching for vintage Baja race bikes on the internet. BOOM! A nice looking 1990’ Vintage Lite class DR350S pops up that’s just an hour from where I work. I say to Heidi (crew chief) “I don’t have to buy it, but I have to look!” She agrees, she thinks vintage class would be cool also. The bike is the street version of the beloved DR350, I think all that means is that I will have to take more stuff off.

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    I like it A LOT. A total barn find gem! The new mistress ‘Wild Heidi III’ is born. Everything works, she fires right up and it goes like the devil. Only 5K on the clock and as far as I can tell it was stored in a climate controlled barn or something. Just Unreal and Wow!

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    At first glance it looks completely stock and as far as I can tell the tires and everything is original.

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    I like the way it rides. I guess I mean I feel comfortable riding it. It has a lot of top end but not a lot of pop. The suspension is much softer then the XR400 but that is what I expected based on what I read. It feels great on the trails, just a little more pop and spring and she will be a fine Baja Vintage race bike. Only one way to tell.

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    Just like all our high level race team meetings concluded “We need the XR as a training bike so we don’t wear out the race bike training” (I like this stuff way too much!!!)

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    The boathouse shed gets a big clean before the new mistress comes in. I have to show some class…

    Stay tuned. This is gonna be fun. Lots of work to do on this bike. :evil
  9. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,918
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
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    The parts for the vintage restore project are starting to arrive. I almost feel guilty for all the joy I’m getting from ordering and receiving everything. But hey, I got no choice I have to do it (evil grin)

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    As the new mistress raises on her platform for the first time I can feel the rise in me. I am going to enjoy this…

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    This clean after just a few wipes with paper towel, and the air box is completely un-modified! On my last two XRs the air-box performance mod was already done, along with jet mods, which gave both XRs horrible cold starting issues (big eyes)

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    Unreal how clean she is even with all her clothes off (I have to stop this fantasy stuff 00)

    The big battery must go, I’ll replace it with a small NiMi brick I have similar to the one Baja Designs offers. I just have to rewire it so the headlight can be switched off when the ignition switch is on. I may get one of those regulators that senses the motor is off, no charging, and if there is a large current draw in that condition it will disconnect power. I have that on the XR and it saves the little battery, and is a nice reminder to turn off the headlight when I stop.

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    All this lighting crap is going to go, yeehaa! I like the tool kit box behind the battery though. It has a complete tool set that looks like they have never been touched.

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    When the crew chief was down inspecting the race bike I pointed out the nice passenger foot pegs. I say to her “We can be like Kevin and Michael and race NORRA 2-up!” She politely declined stating that maybe twenty years ago she would have thought about it. What a girl :) We love talking about those two and how strong Michael is and how super of a couple they are. Anyway, the pegs are going. But the darn things do not want to come off. My wrench and sockets just round the bolts. A little WD40 and impact driver, suckers still will still not come off.

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    This bike is so similar to the Honda XR. I see I have the same issue going to a T15 front sprocket starting from the stock T14, there is the same case protector I need to grind to make room for the extra tooth.

    All research I have seen show stock gearing for the 90' DR350S is 14/47, but this bike has 14/43. This explains the huge top end, and also the lack of pop down low. This makes me believe I should try gearing down a little. I thought I would need to gear it up like I do with the XR400 for NORRA. I can’t believe someone changed out the rear sprocket. Maybe this is a special ‘Limited Renegade’ edition sprocket size or something, only for street. I will have to take time to get that all figured out. I believe right now it runs five grand at sixty MPH. But first I need some new rubber (it’s a dirty job but I have to do it ;)

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    Oh Yeah! Here we go.

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    I like…

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    Weird, the chain doesn’t have a master link, I’ve never seen that. Well it has one now.

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    Heidi stops by to check how it’s going. All Is Good. :rilla
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  10. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Hayward, WI
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    I am feeling large with this new rubber so a little trail ride to my hotrod buddies place in Trego sounds nice. I want to ask him if he can help get these rear foot pegs off, Clyde's Customs can do anything.

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    I don't know what i was thinking but the last mile and a half I'm on the great Wild River trail and cross a bridge into Trego. Bad move, the only vehicle on the other side of the bridge in the big ATV parking lot is one unmarked black Suburban. Of course he is on me right away with his lights on. I am on the Wild River Trail and that trail is for ATV, UTV and snowmobiles only. Dual Sport motorcycles are prohibited and I know that. DA!

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    After getting yelled at very polite and nice I continued the ride always staying within the law. A real surprise how many firelane trails i know about but haven't been on for a long time. Some I discovered are fantastic (bad) trails. Today is like a rebirth.

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    Time to get Wild Heidi back on the lift for the long term build. Major electrical and steering damper work is considered first, because those will take a while.

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    The big IMS foot pegs are nice but a bear to put on.

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    Some brilliant engineer decided to put this raised ID stamp right where the precision slide bearing surface is on the part. It takes a ton of filling to fix it, the steel is hard.

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    I cut some wires I didn't intend while drilling holes, I soldered them then back on with shrink tube, so all should be.

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    I see why the rear light would not turn out :| A one-and-done design approach. A Vice Grip fixes this - Fun Fun!

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    For Baja racing I want minimum weight to start with. Check this! Tail light, brake light, license plate light and turn signals all in one, plus the tiny holder for the plate. This may not be strictly street legal but I'm betting I will never be called on it, especially if I use the lights. The weight is a fraction of the original stuff. The stock license place light alone weighs over a pound, as much as this whole thing.

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    Installed some inexpensive knobbies to wear out while I'm dialing the bike in before the race.

    Shoot, the sprocket that I ordered is the wrong hole size. I think I specified DR350 when I ordered it, maybe the DR350S has a different wheel hub or something???

    The stock DR350S gearing is 14/43 . After I rode it the gearing seemed too high for Baja racing in my opinion. For Baja racing I want to run high but first I'll try something lower. I'm trying 15/48. This brings me right between what the ratio of the DR350 and the DR350S gearing. Sounds like a good start, we will see.

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    Stuff is hard to get off.

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    The jigsaw comes out again :)

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    Wow! that was a lot of stuff but it all came off 100% clean and intact, almost.

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    Pile of glorie! I'm going to bring this to work and weigh it. I'm shooting for twenty pounds.

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    Another 2 lbs gone from those front blinkers.

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    A $12 LED flasher relay, I thought it was worth a try, they both have only two wires.

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    Yeah! Don't really need blinkers to race, the Biltwell team last year teased me for having blinkers but gave me credit for duct taping them to the fenders before start. Anyway we are flashing with LEDs front and rear now. I still have lots of wiring and race electronics ect to add but right now the bike runs and everything is still working :bmwrider
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  11. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,918
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Getting Ready for Baja Continued: :bubba

    Keeping with the 'vintage class' theme I'm considering staying stock and just go with stiffer springs in front and maybe rear if it needs it. That will be easy. I'll ride that and compare it to the XR400R on my Cheeseville Baja training course. The rear shock has spring preload and rebound damping adjustment, it will be fun to play with that. This will be a good summer :bubba
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    Vintage Baja Race Bike ----- Modern Baja Race Bike for Training
    (Dream ----- Reality)

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    I install the new Acerbis 4.25gal tank next week. Preparing for a Baja race always requires a big tank, unless you're lucky enough to have a big chase crew with a truck and gas. That's another thing that helps seal the deal for me picking the DR350, there are several providers for bigger tanks.

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    New sprocket is in and this time it fits. I paid a little extra and got aluminum with a stronger teeth section for better ware.

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    Loctite everything for Baja

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    I increased the front sprocket one tooth to a T15 so I needed to put the rock guard to the grinder to make room. I almost have it but it's still too tight at the start and tail. One more should do it. I wonder if I can get a stock guard made for the T15, I know some models in 1990 offered the 15. ??

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    New sprockets and new chain are on. I went with the beautiful Gold mega chain just 'because' ...
    The stock street sprockets 14/43 have a ratio of .326
    The stock dirt sprockets 14/47 have a ratio of .291
    I know I want lower then what i got now, 14/43 but not as low as the dirt model, because I'm racing. I picked 15/48 to start, ratio .313

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    Time for the taller bars and steering damper on. Taller because I'll be standing a lot in Baja, steering damper because I'll be racing in Baja :wink:

    I can't get the stupid nut off the steering head, I need to do that for the damper bracket. I don't have the right wrench, bla bla bla. Time to pull out the manual :*sip* Awesomeness and fun to the Nth degree :happay
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  12. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,918
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    Alright! Picked up the 30mm socket, perfect.
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    Now I can get the big nut off the steering head so I can start installing the steering damper kit.

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    Comes off smooth as butter with the right tools.

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    Looks like it should work.

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    Everything fits. I'm always concerned about cable length when I go with taller bars, this time it is painless.

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    Now I just need to cut this to size, shine up the steel on the frame, jeg it up and have her welded on. When looking for bikes for this project the availability of aftermarket parts like tanks and damper kits was a big deal. This Damper installation is going smooth so far. :rayof


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    Yesterday was a test ride day to see how I like the new handlebars and the new gearing, and since I've been out hammering on the XR400r now will be a good time to compare bikes and look for anything lacking in the 350 for Baja racing.

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    The bike felt really good on my twisty and hilly firelane trails. I just have to prepare myself for the late onset throttle response from the diaphragm carburetor. It's all about throttle control. I did notice on the big rocky bumps the front end felt stiff, like it was punishing me. I do believe the XR400 is a lot softer feeling on the handlebars. Maybe that's just the lack of modern valving, or a sign the springs are about to bottom out. I'm not sure but this a concern. I will be trying things later for sure.

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    I love love the higher handlebars. Standing for long distances is a world of difference compared to the original bars. I wish they were an inch taller but at least this feels good.

    Opening her up I see almost 10 mph less top end. I'm running T15/T48 which is between the stock 350S and the dirt 350 stock gearing. I can still hit 75 which is good enough for the majority of Baja racing but there are times when you run across a dry lakebed and such where you want to open it for everything it's got. I'm thinking when I start the performance tuning and open up the breathing I'm hoping to be able to hit 85 again with this gearing, we will see. A good 80 mile loop on firelanes and connecting ATV trails, fantastic. I practice standing as much as I can to train the legs. They feel toast, so that's a win day.

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    I know what I need to know, so back in the shop to continue the build. Here's a pic of the Damper bracket without the damper mounted. You can see it mounted just under the main steering head nut and it rises over the handlebars. I start grinding off the paint where the damper post will be welded on. Next I'll need to do some custom filing and grinding on the post to make it match my setup.

    I did have one problem yesterday that would not go away, the fuel would not shut off inside the carburetor. Every time I stopped or slowed down gas poured out. This happened once before but stopped. I have to fix that now.

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    I have a feeling I ordered the wrong carburetor rebuild kit, at the time I ordered a lot of stuff I didn't realize about the two different carbs on the S model.

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    Yup, the wrong kit, but at least the needle-value and o-rings are the same and some of the jets. I upped to the next bigger main jet because now that I have the carb off I may as well open up the air box. And next will be exhaust mods but one thing at a time, I need to make sure the bike still starts good and runs good with this jet and airbox mod.

    This is fun stuff to the highest degree. Nothing better in my book then working on and modifying a bike that you plan to do a Mega Adventure on, and then carrying out that adventure. I found what I like to do in life now all I have to do is to pursue it to an art. Anyway I feel like that's what I'm trying to do, and I think it's working :wink:

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    Inspecting the carb I notice this! Looks like JB-weld epoxy to me. WTF!
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  13. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,918
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    [​IMG]
    In the process of taking off the carb I proceeded to do the air box 'increased air flow' mod. It's free and I love this stuff. I take out the screen and the rubber snorkel going into the box, standard stuff. I gotta measure the width of the screen wire and the width between strands, with that we can know the % increase in air flow, for the fun factor of course. I dig reading the service manual, it reminds me of when I was a kid, I always loved this stuff. The Suzuki manual had one thing mentioned I hadn't thought of is applying grease around the inside of the air box and around any connection with the carb, as a secondary dust trap, that's great. Out comes the grease.

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    Every time I get on this bike it feels short. I studied the specs before I made an offer on it so I was surprised every time I mounted it. Now I see, the spring is set to almost the lowest spot 'da'.

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    We'll see what this feels like:evil two thirds down.
    I noticed the rebound damper was almost at it's strongest setting. I backed that out a half turn lighter, that could have accounted for the 'getting beat up' feeling I was getting yesterday. Don't know, I have to test (play with) different settings. The thing about Baja there is no one perfect setup, the race goes over and through everything. It's a marathon race for a solo dude so I've been told by Baja veteran's to not set too stiff because it will wear me out too quickly, and then bad things happen. Those are the same dudes who told me 'Dude, you have to run a steering damper, for safety if nothing else" When my crew chief read that ah ha, I got the damper and was glad I did.

    [​IMG]
    When I reinstalled the tank I installed the new heat resistant fuel line I just purchased. NORRA makes a big deal about clamps at every fuel line connection, that along with the manufacturer's instructions stating 'you better do this right because of the fire hazard'. It's a big deal because of the dual petcocks with the long fuel lines.

    [​IMG]
    Every connection is clamped and away from any heat or pinchie source. I like it. My only concern is a picker bush or other in the middle of the desert catching a fuel line and ripping it apart. I will shorten the line connecting the other side so it doesn't stick out. besides that I think I'll order another triple fuel line splice and carry that along, and extra line, just in case.

    [​IMG]
    I will never forget when I took this photo just miles from the 2018 NORRA finish line. The rider was OK and taken care of but MAN, what a bummer. The Biltwell team came across him first and tried to help put the fire out by burying it in sand, but the effort was futile.

    [​IMG]
    OK here we go, stage-one modified air box, one up on the main jet size, 132.5 to 136, and a new spark plug just because. Boom! fires right up on the first kick. Ha, all those naysayers on the 'DR350 thread' with their horror stories of never getting the jetting right and the horrible starting problems. Well I'm sure that can happen, i just hope it doesn't happen to me. So thanks to those who have had issues in the past I will do things in an orderly and incremental fashion, like a real motor head turner does and hope for the best :)!

    Anyway, the bike runs great. There is a noticeable throaty sound now that was never there before and a serge in the throttle that feels good. There is still no 'BRAAP" but that will come after the exhaust mod :bmwrider
    This is great stuff. ADV Rocks!
    crashkorolyk and ywr969 like this.
  14. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,918
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    The build parts have been coming in and the stuff is going on and off. Mega rides on other bikes to keep the bod tuned. Freaking great.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Starting to build up the electronics power board. This will have two USB power ports and a terminal strip capable of accepting three 12v power cables. Fun stuff to the highest degree, and this is serious business. Baja is the real deal, what I build must be able to withstand. I was certified to repair Military A10 jets flight computers, every soldier I did was inspected by two people with eye-loops, this is no different to me.

    [​IMG]
    Taking shape.

    [​IMG]
    The finished product, prototype -I. This will power my GPS, race electronic tracker box and an iPhone that will give me compass heading and an odometer that I can increment or decrement in tents of a mile which is needed for race book rally navigation.

    The metal standoffs, big fuse holder and the big clunky switch adds a lot of weight. I will build another lighter version and this will be my backup in case a unit goes down during the 5-day NORRA race.
    crashkorolyk and ywr969 like this.
  15. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,918
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    I read Suzuki makes it almost impossible to remove the old grip from the throttle tube. That person was right so I bought a new throttle tube. But of course the new tube doesn't fit so I'm back trying to remove the grip from the stock tube. After a lot of hacking with a razor I finally got most of it off.

    [​IMG]
    The left grip comes off easy. I see a use for the old grip.

    [​IMG]
    The universal navigation clamps from RMS only comes in 1 1/8" so since I don't need the clamp to be tight on the bar I used the old grip rubber to use as a shim to make the clamps work on my 7/8" bars. Way cool!

    [​IMG]
    The handlebar cross bar will be the main support that cannot move. Once I clamp the navigation platform in place the entire platform will be solid.

    [​IMG]
    The navigation platform design is looking good.

    [​IMG]
    I didn't save the drawing of the platform I built three years ago so I have to start over. At least I have the scrap pieces of aluminum from the last platform so I can see the basic dimensions of the base. That platform worked well in the 17' and 18' NORRA so I'll start with that.

    [​IMG]
    I'm making the head section bigger so I have more room to mount other stuff besides the iPhone odometer / compass app, like the race rally box. During the 2018 NORRA I had the race box mounted low, below the scroll scroll chart reader, and that was a pain in the butt every time I needed to look at it. It doesn't sound like much but every time you need to lower your eyes that far down while racing at speed adds a lot of danger and risk. In 17' I had the box mounted up high which made it tons better. But that year I needed to move the iPhone over to the left to make room for the race box, which put the iPhone at more risk in the event of a crash. This design will allow the iPhone to be better protected.

    [​IMG]
    I like it!

    [​IMG]
    Aluminum cut.

    [​IMG]
    First I drill the holes for the universal navigation clamps. I move the platform to the desired angle then mark the holes for the handlebar cross bar.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Beautiful :bmwrider

    [​IMG]
    Still removing some unwanted metal from the old instrument cluster. The pile of glory is getting larger. :thumb

    [​IMG]
    Time to get out training. I have a 280 mile loop that's 80% off-road starting from my yard running to Bayfield and back. The route connects to ATV trails in the Chequamegon national forest that are absolutely fantastic, very similar to conditions I experience in Baja, long sections of deep sand whoops and steep rocky climbs. It takes over 8 hours to do the course which absolutely fries me, perfect :pynd

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    4 miles from home, broken chain :( It was making a lot of noise so no surprise. Pushing a bike in deep sand is no fun. About a mile later I make it up to the county road where my neighbor drives buy in his ATV. Sweet! he runs home and returns with a tow strap. Of course I wasn't carrying the new tow strap I just bought. I won't make that mistake again :deal

    [​IMG]
    Back to the shed I finish filing the case guard that will allow me to install the T16 front sprocket on the XR. With two new sprockets and a lightly used O-ring chain thr XT400 is back in action. :happay

    [​IMG]
    Back to the DR350. I find by just shortening the fuel line that connects the right side petcock brings the lines in much closer. All good, I didn't like how much it sticks out the way it is. I'll do the final adjustment when I done with everything else.

    [​IMG]
    The right handguard is compromised so on goes a new one. The stock handguards a kinda cheesy but that add to the vintage stock look. I still don't know if I'll run with these or get guards that attach to the end of the bars :*sip*

    [​IMG]
    Back in 2016' my first nav platform I cut 4 large ovals but found out later that limited the locations where I could drill new holes to mount new unexpected stuff.

    [​IMG]
    For NORRA 18' the race box people said there will be an antenna with a 90 deg bend available. I had the position all set to mount the box but during contingency when I received the box I was informed the 90 deg antennas never came in. So I had to borrow tools, drill new holes and mount the box to accept the straight antenna.

    [​IMG]
    It was tense but fun once I got it attached although the only place where I had enough metal to mount the box was in the lower position below the scroll chart box, Not Ideal!

    [​IMG]
    On this platform I'm cutting 14 smaller ovals so I have tons of room to mount other things. You never know until the day before the race what and where you need to mount things.

    Thanks for following along everyone. I hope you are enjoying this vintage Baja race bike build project half as much as I'm enjoying doing it. Racing Baja on a motorcycle has been a dream of mine since age 11 when I saw the first airing of the NORRA Mexican 1000 on Wild World of Sports, 1968. From that day on whenever I went off-road the word "BAJA' came out of my mouth, as it still does today :super
  16. Socal996

    Socal996 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    244
    Location:
    Victor, MT
    Being from LB this pic brings back memories
    cavebiker likes this.
  17. crashkorolyk

    crashkorolyk just happy to ride

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    246
    Location:
    vancouver island
    Another awesome project. Good luck,looking damn good so far!
    cavebiker likes this.
  18. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,918
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    On with the Vintage Baja bike build project --->
    [​IMG]
    The second and much lighter power hub for the race electronics is finished. I'll have the first as a backup.

    [​IMG]
    Everything tests out. This will get wired into the bike after the navigation platform is completed and installed. I'll have to add a kill switch for the headlight before replacing the battery with the little nicad pack. Not sure if I'll eliminate the ignition switch or not, I'll see when I get there. :jkam

    [​IMG]
    A jigsaw is a rough way to cut 1/8" aluminum but thats all I got. Don't need perfection, just need to eliminate weight.

    [​IMG]
    Final sweeting before some guys at work bend it. There is a policy where I work for doing home projects. As soon as I say this is for a Baja race bike project I get nothing but help.

    [​IMG]
    Yes :bubba

    [​IMG]
    Next I need to fit the steering damper peg before bringing it in for welding. It's a generic peg that needs custom fitting.

    [​IMG]
    I saw this done when I searched images of motorcycle steering damper setups. Not sure if it will be needed but by the looks of how close everything needs to be, I can see it.

    [​IMG]
    Hours in the shed filing and fitting. :dj

    [​IMG]
    Once happy with the fit for the weld I mount the damper and mark the height of the post for cutting. This takes into account the thickness of the swivel piece plus an 1/8" or so for clearance.

    [​IMG]
    Looks good to me. Now all I have to do is arrange a time my buddy at Clyde's Customs in Trego can do the weld. :super
    crashkorolyk, roadcapDen and ywr969 like this.
  19. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,918
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    NORRA 2020' - Vintage Baja Race Bike Continued -->
    [​IMG]
    It's just a short ride to my buddies shop in Trego but this time I stayed off the ATV trail.

    [​IMG]
    Let the fun begin :pynd

    [​IMG]
    I bolt on the stabilizer to jig up the post, than a quick tack weld holds it in perfect position.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Clyde goes to work :strum

    [​IMG]
    Nice :evil

    [​IMG]
    Back to the boat house for installation of the navigation bracket, GPS mount, power hub, Nicad battery and a switch to kill the headlight.

    [​IMG]
    The guys at Rice Lake Weighing Systems did a fantastic job bending the bracket. The aluminum I purchased was a little brittle so they wielded a few beads along both bends. :super

    [​IMG]
    iPhone bracket for running the RallyBlitz app, for direction and incrementable odometer.

    [​IMG]
    Trying to figure out how to attach the GPS Ram Mount ball.

    [​IMG]
    :happayI like it...

    [​IMG]
    Finding a place to mount the power hub.

    [​IMG]
    Now looking for where to wire this stuff. I've always said that the more wires I have to work with the happier I am. I am one happy dude right now :bubba

    [​IMG]
    The Headlight switch goes there :*sip*

    [​IMG]
    Done

    [​IMG]
    Now that I have the headlight kill switch I can change out the heavy lead acid battery to the small lightweight NMH battery. The idea here is I want to keep power to the navigation electronics during the race even when the bike is not running. With the headlight kill switch I can do this without draining the battery. And of course this is especially important when running a tiny battery like this :wink:

    [​IMG]
    I make up two coupler wires so I don't need to cut the stock battery connectors off. :thumbup

    [​IMG]
    Crew chief comes down for inspection carrying two cocktails :beer After showing her all the wiring I did she says "No wonder you like this so much" She knows me well :thumb

    All right! Next thing I need to finish is the scroll chart reader box. I have all the parts I believe so I just need to get'er done. :johntm Then the shakeout test ride to make sure everything is secure. Oh Yeah! :rilla
    crashkorolyk and ywr969 like this.
  20. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,918
    Location:
    Hayward, WI
    [​IMG]
    Now there's a bunch of room where the old battery was. This year I'm determined to get a bunch of weight off my back and onto the back rack and this secret spot. A spark plug and some engine oil fits nice.

    [​IMG]
    Now there's still a bunch of room for Filter Skins, big bandages, rope, duct tape and a space blanket. I'll carry a smaller more immediate first aid kit in the backpack.

    [​IMG]
    On my To-Do list has been to get the gas lines tucked in tight so there's no change of them getting snagged by some spooky Baja busch or worse. This is much better then it was. Good to go.

    [​IMG]
    I found out this kickstand switch is a kill switch. :eek2

    [​IMG]
    Added to the pile of glory :thumbup

    Hang on! There will be more :evil Ultimate joy building a vintage motorcycle for racing a thousand miles through the Baja desert :kumbaya
    crashkorolyk and ywr969 like this.