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Old 03-11-2012, 02:25 PM   #1
tbowdre OP
Joined: Mar 2012
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Baja California Norte

HI everyone-

I am planning a trip from San Diego to somewhere in northern Baja, probably gulf side, for a couple of nights. Im on a DRZ400SM fitted with dirt tires and saddle bags and my friend is on a CRF450X. We are both pretty inexperienced with adventure type riding and speak pretty minimal spanish.... but we're going anyway!

I am looking for suggestions on places to stay, trail riding, places to avoid and maybe good things to consider that I am forgetting.

Questions: Do you think I can get by with only a range of 70 miles between fill ups? how much cash should we bring or are credit cards accepted? Any cell phone coverage at san felipe and south? is Gonzaga bay worth the trip?
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Old 03-11-2012, 03:39 PM   #2
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You can get by with a 70 mile range if you plan your route very, very carefully and resort to knocking on doors to by gas from the locals.

I would carry a couple extra gallons in a rotopax, or just put on a bigger tank. IMS makes a nice 3.2 and 4 gallon, Clarke makes a rather ungainly top heavy 4 gal.

Dont depend on credit cards. Some places you can use them, some not, its hit and miss. Bring cash. San Felipe has ATM's.

Cell phone service south of San Felipe will be spotty at best. At Rancho Grande in Gonzaga, they have a Sat phone you can use for 2 bucks a minute.

There is so much good trail riding that its hard to explore in half a lifetime.

The only thing I would avoid doing in Baja is camping on the pacific side between Erendira and Camalu. Mex 1 runs very close the beach in this section and it is kind of the Meth capital of Baja, so theft or robbery is a real possibility camping by yourself near the beach in this area. Other than that, explore, camp, ride, have fun.

Pick up a Baja Almanac to plan your route and you should be good to go.

A couple of places I would recommend in Baja norte:

Hot Springs in Guadalupe Canyon, San Felipe, Gonzaga Bay, Coco's Corner, Bay of L.A., San Francisquito, the Pacific coast from El Rosario to Santa Rosalillita.
Riding the Americas: No Fumar Español

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Old 03-11-2012, 07:32 PM   #3
Colorado Uli
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Yup, staying on the gulf side is a good bet. Bay of LA to San Fansicquito is great (I loved that place; great for relaxed camping for a couple of days).
IMHO, 70 mile range is not enough. You would be pushing it big time because the smaller villages (settlements) don't always have a reliable fuel supply. 150 miles is safer; spoken from experience.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:36 PM   #4
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You really should invest in a 4 gallon tank, I've used the Clarke and the IMS tanks on my DRZ and both are good. A bank card is the best thing and get cash when you can every few days. You won't need much. There are some nice places to ride between Tecate and Valle De Trinidad, and from there to San Felipe via Laguna Diablo is pretty fun, but sandy. Most hotels have WIFI so if you use a smart phone you can communicate with that. I didn't use my cellphone a whole lot. Have a blast!
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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You can also tie a one gallon bleach bottle to your belt ( or two). Empty them as soon as possible into the main tank.

Cash is good, don't count on using a cc.
"You can follow me, but it's gonna hurt"
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:06 PM   #6
Colorado Uli
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Oh, and I found that US dollars are accepted anywhere.

Edit: I should have said that dollars are accepted at hotels - can't promise anything at roadside gas sellers.
Something, something, something ... in latin.

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2004 KTM 625 SXC - Sick. Getting better

Colorado Uli screwed with this post 03-12-2012 at 05:16 AM
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:58 PM   #7
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Couple things:

-70 miles is definitely not enough. If this was your 4th or 5th time to Baja, then maybe. Since this is your first time, you WILL get lost and you will waste gas back tracking. Plus, some of the magic in Baja is exploring. At 70 miles your going point to point and babying the throttle.

- Bring a lot of tubes. (like 3 or 4) You can pretty easily bum a 18 and 21 inch tube off Mexicans in baja but your going to be hard pressed to find something for the SM.

- Bring quick metal

- Go to Gonzaga Bay, Mikes Sky Ranch, San Felipe for sure. Most of this you can route from the Baja 250, 500 and 1000 tracks.

- If you're trailering the bikes into Baja, park your vehicle at Santa Veronica.

- Don't ride at night. Seriously, don't ride at night

- Check the dumb stuff on the bike before you go. How old are your sprockets, chain, spark plug etc. Don't fore go the silly maintenance stuff. Baja has a way of finding weakness in your machine. I have a DRZ S that I religiously take care of. After 1500 miles in Baja it looks like I picked it up at a yard sale in Compton.
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