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Old 08-01-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
Sapper33 OP
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The Baja: Paved vs Dirt, or both?

So I've decided I want to ride down to Baja in spring, thinking April. I'm going to be heading from Calgary to Phoenix over Christmas and bringing my bike down. So I was thinking of leaving the bike down there, then come April, fly to Phoenix, jump on the bike, ride to San Jose del Cabo, and meet the girlfriend at a resort down there.

This plan did not make the girlfriend happy. She wants to come too...

This is where the problem arises: we went down last year and got to go for a ride on part of the Baja 1000 race course. I've got an F800GS, and would love to ride the entire way down on the back roads/race course. She on the other hand is on an F800ST, not so dirt friendly. And we aren't 2-upping. We have 2 bikes for a reason.

Whether we did it dirt or paved it would be a hoot, but is there a way we could both be really happy? Looks the like routing changes all the time, for those that have been down, would it be feasible to time dirt and road portions? We both leave from Town A, going to Town B, but she takes the highway, I take the dirt. Aim to meet up every 100miles or so?

Based on some preliminary digging, it seems like it could be do-able, any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:40 PM   #2
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Count your blessings that your girlfriend likes to ride. Although I understand your desire to ride dirt, I would stick with her and ride on roads in her comfort zone. Maybe a few easy offroad rides mixed in. Flat tires and mechanical breakdowns happen. Better to stick together and keep her happy. Unless you want to split up and ride through life solo on a permanent basis.

It sounds like you are young. You will have decades of riding Baja solo in your future and tearing it up when you get old like me and your significant other is glad to have the house to herself while you are out riding in your later years.

Good women who like to ride are rare.

Have fun.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:53 PM   #3
stickman1432
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Not a good idea to split up unless you don't valve your relationship. What do you do if you have an issue and the same for her, ie break down or a simple crash. There are some dirt sections that you could both do together but dirt tires are a must unless either or both of you can ride sand on street tires. Like Bay of LA to Visciano is a great section for some dirt riding and no deep sand sections.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:55 AM   #4
David13
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I had an F800ST so I would definitely say have her keep it on the road, not on the dirt.
And I would also say, stay with her. Like the others say.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:21 AM   #5
MTDuke
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This. If it were me I would plan a ride with GF on tarmac and enjoy the trip together. Lots to see and do anyway and lots of fun. Long way down to cabo and back anyway.

My brother and I rode San Diego to Cabo this spring and back on two DL650s. Bombed down on tarmac and some dirt on way home. The DL was all I wanted as soon as we left the main routes and would have been way too intense for my wife. I was also happy to have a riding partner in dirt sections, too much can go wrong.

I did fly my wife and kids to Cabo and met them there for a week. Worked out well. But if your GF wants to ride it would be a great trip just doing tarmac.

Ride report here:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickman1432 View Post
Not a good idea to split up unless you don't valve your relationship. What do you do if you have an issue and the same for her, ie break down or a simple crash. There are some dirt sections that you could both do together but dirt tires are a must unless either or both of you can ride sand on street tires. Like Bay of LA to Visciano is a great section for some dirt riding and no deep sand sections.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:58 PM   #6
Sapper33 OP
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I'm picking up on a distinct "stick to pavement" vibe... Always give in to peer pressure.

She prefers the idea of sticking together and riding the pavement, this time anyways. So I guess it's onto the trip planning parts. And I suppose if I really want to ride dirt, we can rent a quad/dune buggy down there and we can go for a rip.

I was rather dismayed that neither of my insurance companies will cover my bike in Mexico, so I'll need to sort that out. Any suggestions on this one?
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:55 PM   #7
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Mexican authorities only recognize Mexican ins. companies for coverage in Mexico. +1 on staying together. With the right tires I bet you could ride the ST off-road but as soon as you try it you'll run into washes, moon dust, and baby heads. Cool that she rides. Just a thought: mainland Mexico has some really nice pavement rides while in baja hwy 1 and 5 are about all you have. I would do a pavement tour of the mainland. Buen Camino. Jim
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:29 PM   #8
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Mexican insurance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapper33 View Post
I was rather dismayed that neither of my insurance companies will cover my bike in Mexico, so I'll need to sort that out. Any suggestions on this one?
I've used this company for years. http://www.bajabound.com/ Never had a claim so can't vouch for claim settlement, however others have reported great claim settlement results.
Beauty of this company is you can pay online and print your policy off on your printer. Any questions, give them a call. They're great to deal with.

Man, you're so lucky your female companion wants to do this trip with you.........
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:48 AM   #9
David13
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Bajabound or some of the other online agents. Your insurance is usually with one of two big companies. I had a claim this year and it was paid promptly.
It's not much extra for full coverage, and you never know what might go wrong.
For Baja you don't need the tvip. But you do need, I believe the tourist visa. Get that at the border.
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Old 08-03-2012, 08:02 AM   #10
adventurebound9517
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapper33 View Post
So I've decided I want to ride down to Baja in spring, thinking April. I'm going to be heading from Calgary to Phoenix over Christmas and bringing my bike down. So I was thinking of leaving the bike down there, then come April, fly to Phoenix, jump on the bike, ride to San Jose del Cabo, and meet the girlfriend at a resort down there.

This plan did not make the girlfriend happy. She wants to come too...

This is where the problem arises: we went down last year and got to go for a ride on part of the Baja 1000 race course. I've got an F800GS, and would love to ride the entire way down on the back roads/race course. She on the other hand is on an F800ST, not so dirt friendly. And we aren't 2-upping. We have 2 bikes for a reason.

Whether we did it dirt or paved it would be a hoot, but is there a way we could both be really happy? Looks the like routing changes all the time, for those that have been down, would it be feasible to time dirt and road portions? We both leave from Town A, going to Town B, but she takes the highway, I take the dirt. Aim to meet up every 100miles or so?

Based on some preliminary digging, it seems like it could be do-able, any thoughts or suggestions?
I have done the Baja 1,000 course a couple of times [ 4x4 ] and they are roads the locals use all the time but it is not your nice graded roads you will find in the states. It can be very chalangeing for a good rider on a good bike but to do it on a street bike, no way. Some of the course does follow short sections of slab and I would be concerned to ride the course without it being marked. It's all beautiful down there no matter where you ride and you will find yourself on dirt in some city's. You will have just as much fun regardless of route.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:24 PM   #11
exegete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapper33 View Post
I was rather dismayed that neither of my insurance companies will cover my bike in Mexico, so I'll need to sort that out. Any suggestions on this one?
One thing to keep in mind with your Mexico insurance is the coverage for off-road. I know that several of the insurance companies (GNP and ACE come to mind) will not cover the bike once you hit dirt. Might want to check with your agent for your particular policy.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:24 PM   #12
oldxr
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Dont split up-2 is better than 1 alone especially if you are a not a hard core dirt rider ,Try going south through Mexicali to San Felipe and down to Coco's Corner then to hwy1.If you come in from Arizona you can connect with Mex5 south of Mexicali-Avoid Mexicali unless you ride through at 6am.The mexican government has been extending mex5 south But its not to gonzaga bay yet.You will end up riding about 50 miles of sand/grevel road that way but it is very flat.Do not skip gas stops-if you see gas fill up.There will be places where you buy gas from locals out of 55 gallon drums.It will take longer than you think to get around down there-go with the flow.I have never been south of Bay of LA but I am going to do a whole baja ride soon.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldxr View Post
Dont split up-2 is better than 1 alone especially if you are a not a hard core dirt rider ,Try going south through Mexicali to San Felipe and down to Coco's Corner then to hwy1.If you come in from Arizona you can connect with Mex5 south of Mexicali-Avoid Mexicali unless you ride through at 6am.The mexican government has been extending mex5 south But its not to gonzaga bay yet.You will end up riding about 50 miles of sand/grevel road that way but it is very flat.Do not skip gas stops-if you see gas fill up.There will be places where you buy gas from locals out of 55 gallon drums.It will take longer than you think to get around down there-go with the flow.I have never been south of Bay of LA but I am going to do a whole baja ride soon.
Totally agree. To bypass Mexicali, you can cross at San Louis (South of Yuma), jump on the toll road, head west and you can join Highway 5 south of Mexicali. (To join highway 5, you have to exit north on highway 2 then do a u-turn and head south) My newest fav way to avoid Mexicali
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