So earlier this year my buddy and I pre rode the 1000 on our 990s and as it turns out ended up racing a local off road race in Cabo. This is a bit of a story that made me realize that I should probably try the 1000 on my 990.
I loaded up my bike in Vancouver, drove to the bay area where I picked up my buddy andrew and we drove to San Felipe
We dropped the truck off in Kiki's in San Felipe and just ran with Giant Loop bags to be light enough to have some fun on the bikes.
The bikes were great on the hardpack and even in the softer stuff we got used to riding all loose. Stopped in at cocos as usual for some beers and then proceeded to do Calamuje wash to Bay of LA. The wash was no walk in the park to do it with super explorer rear tires and at night, but we had a good buzz on from cocos so it was a good time.
We partied with some dudes that night in Bay of LA and next morning realized it was Larry Rossler, Tim Herbst, and the go baja riding tour guides taking these rockstars on a trip. We ended up tagging along and riding with them for 2 days. They knew all the cool spots one of which was a 20 miles beach run out of Scorpion Bay that was a highlight.
Hanging with Larry Rossler
On the way from Scorpion Bay to Loreto we hit some mud and shortly after I hear something dragging. I stop and look and I see this.
Andrew pulls up and starts to give me shit for being a loser for hitting something and ripping my fender off. I look at his bike and say - dude, you dont even HAVE yours anymore! ( his got ripped off and he didnt even know it )
So within a mile of this mud we both lost our fenders.
When we got to Cabo a local informed us that there was an off road race the next day and that we should come and "watch". We went to the staging area the night before and convinced the guys to let us race in the open moto class on our 990s. They were really hesitant to let us race on the big bikes but just told us to get out of the way of the little bikes when they pass us. They didn't expect us to finish or do very well. We were a little worried too because we were only running a tkc80 front and super explorer rear and had no idea what the course would have in store. The party before the race was great and we felt like rock stars when we got called up for inspection. ( check out the inspectors! )
The race was the Tornel 300 a 300km race. We had no pits but figured that if we filled all our tanks including the advtank we would have enough range to rock the race non stop. The other issue was that we didnt have camel backs so I ended up racing with just a little water bottle strapped to my rack.
We shedded the giant loop bags with the race organizers at the start line and started the race in the morning.
( Notice the lack of low or high fender! We started in San Felipe with low fenders but both of ours got ripped off in a muddy section near Loreto )
The course went up north to todos santos, then across the pass to san jose del cabo and then through the washes back to cabo. It was pretty cool as it had bikes, quads, trucks, etc.... like a mini baja race.
I ended up missing a turn and got lost and as I finally got some directions I ripped back to the missed turn and around a corner I almost had a head on with my buddy who also missed the turn. We got on track and never got passed by bikes but I did get passed by a couple of quads though...I just could not keep up to them on the descending turns down the pass to del cabo.
I was on fuel reserve for a while and I dialed it back a bit and kept thinking that I should stop by some spectators to get some gas. As I passed some spectators on the side of the course, I second guessed myself on corner to stop, and I had a bit of a crash that made the locals cheer. I picked my self up quickly and kept going.
Crossed the finish line and was surprised to know that I won our class and only one other bike came ahead of us by 10 minutes ( passed us when we go lost ). Andrew came in second and he did stop to poach some gas.
We beat like 20 other bike so I think the talent pool was not that good, but it made us realize that the 990 is not bad for open racing like that. I finished in under 4 hours ( which made the average above 50 mph) and riders were still finishing an hour or 2 after us. The most important thing i noticed was that these guys on the 450s and 650s were coming across really bagged and I can tell you that I felt like I just did a leisurely ride and could have done another loops easily.
So yeah, that was my first taste of racing the 990, and although it was a very short race, it made me think that the 990 just might be able to run the 1000. It's a testament to the bike though - run 1200 miles down, do a race, run 1200 miles back up...no oil changes, issues or problems.