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Old 08-06-2013, 10:10 PM   #46
MufflerBearings OP
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Ciudad Catedral
Oddometer: 131
March 28-30, 2013

I guess its about time I wrapped this thing up.

After enjoying a leisurely American breakfast across the street from the Cowboy Hotel, we got rolling at the crack of noon. We were waved right through the immigration checkpoint just north of Guerrero Negro, causing us to feel foolish for throwing $25 away on FMM permits at the border. An uneventful ride north on MEX 1 brought us to another military checkpoint near Villa Jesus Maria. We baked in the sun for a while, waiting our turn to have our belongings fondled. When we finally reached the front of the line, we learned from one of the soldiers that there are public restrooms available at the checkpoint, but only for female travelers. Real men apparently do their business in the desert. Greg expresses his feelings about this policy :

We made the turn off MEX 1 onto the dirt towards Cocos Corner and Gonzaga Bay. Coco wasnt around, so we blasted on through to Gonzaga. Every palapa at Gonzaga Bay was overflowing with Spring Breakers, so we decided to push on to San Felipe.

At least the Spring Breakers in Gonzaga Bay had good taste in cars:

We found that San Felipe had undergone a transformation while we were south. It seems that every resident of Mexicali had made the short drive to San Felipe to celebrate Semana Santa by riding stand-up wheelies down the malecon on their quads. The town that two weeks ago was a charming albeit touristy little village was now a sensory overload of buggies, quads, pre-runner trucks, dust, police, blaring banda music and hard looks. The cacophony of noise was overwhelming; revving engines, booming stereos, screaming kids, hollering street vendors, piercing police sirens. And the nose was assaulted with smells of race gas, cooking food, rotting garbage, hot engines, beer, sea water, dirt and burning tires. In other words, it was a great time.

We spent the night in a sweet condo again graciously provided by Jim and Alice of We awoke the next morning to find a dust cloud still hanging over town from the impromptu sand drags in the dunes at the edge of town the night before. As we rode into town for coffee, we saw Semana Santa celebrants futilely attempting to dig their Sentras and Civics out of the dune sand; the local towing companies made a killing this weekend. Today was spent eating and attending to much-needed maintenance on the bikes. The KLR had picked up a nail in the rear tire, and the XR350s speedometer had rattled itself to pieces over the last 1,800 or so miles. I had the KLRs tube patched at a local tire shop, and we removed the 350s speedometer before it ended up in the spokes.

Oh yeah: there were a few air-cooled VWs around town:

The next day, we made quick work of the Compadre Trail back to the border at Tecate, where we turned in our FMM permits, and I was presented with a nice bottle of Damiana lady liquor for my birthday.

As I type this, the trip ended over four months ago, but the three of us still cant shut up about it. We blather on and on about it to anyone who will listen. We talk of vague plans to do another Baja ride sometime in the near future, knowing full well that well probably be retired before we all have the time to do this again. If it takes that long, fine. Im stoked that we did it now. Im stoked that I was able to experience Baja with my brothers. But next time, Im wearing a different jacket.

Los Tres Chaquetas Ride Baja 2013 -

A KLR RIDES (to) THE BAJA 500 (to spectate)! -
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:17 AM   #47
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Feb 2010
Location: northern New Mexico
Oddometer: 415

Thanks for finishing your trip report! I was halfway thinking that you guys had chucked it all and gone back to Baja .

Love the 'Dub pics (hubby had a '74 Super Beetle--we took it to baseball games etc in 1983 LA because *everybody* knew he was serious about cutting in and they backed off ).

Also, thanks for the tips about the timing of spring break in G. B. and Semana Santa in S. F. !

hm, I think I'll go back and re-read the whole thread from start to finish.

11 Husky TE250
08 Beta Rev3 125
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:05 AM   #48
Joined: Apr 2013
Oddometer: 10
Cool2 Final Thoughts

A couple of weeks ago, MufflerBearings and I were having lunch during a day trek around Big Bear when I noted that I cannot stop thinking about Baja. I want to go back again and again. Good thing is that the border is just a couple of hours away, and we can day trip anytime that we want to. A longer trip will take some more planning, but as it was stated earlier, it may be until we retire to do another trip like this again. As the rider with the least experience of this group of participants on this epic ride, I must say that if anybody out there with little experience is even pondering a Baja ride, then do it! I waited until my mid thirties to even start riding motorcycles, and only regret not starting any sooner. All of the trip reports, maps, GPS, etc that are available for Baja these days offer great guidance throughout the peninsula. Aside from the occasional pit bull chasing you down on the bikes, or rancher with face tattoos wanting you to stop at his ranch out in the middle of nowhere, Baja is a very magical place. Experiencing it with my brothers made it so much better and memorable. Personally, I can't wait to go back! The 1000 in 3 months!
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:30 AM   #49
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Winhall, Vermont
Oddometer: 1,138
Great RR! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:19 AM   #50
Americana Adventurer
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Joined: Sep 2004
Location: Between here and there...
Oddometer: 1,165
Great RR ! Epic trip for sure !
I Love Old Mexico and all of the air cooled VWs
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:40 PM   #51
Joined: Apr 2013
Oddometer: 3
Best buddy's

I can not express how grateful I am to have brothers like you!
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:56 PM   #52
Joined: Apr 2013
Oddometer: 10
Wicked Burntlawnchair

Burntlawnchair was riding my 1983 xr 350 the whole time. At one point it ran out of gas on highway 1 at about 55 mph. Instead of stopping and switching to reserve like a normal person would, Burntlawnchair elected to (while at speed) pull the clutch in, reach down, switch to reserve, then kick the bike over to get it started. I almost wrecked my xr650r due to hysterical laughter, but it worked out. He got the bike started, down shifted due to loss of some momentum, and continued on. I think some luck was on his side, too. Oh, and he was wearing women's moto pants for the whole trip.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:44 PM   #53
Joined: Apr 2013
Oddometer: 3

The reserve switch was pure skill!!! As far as the woman's pants are concerned....... screw you buddy!
If I were a little more technologically gifted i would post the sweet pictures of you and your brother lathering each other up with suntan lotion. that was a special moment !!
You Guys ROCK!!
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:59 PM   #54
master of disaster....
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Joined: Feb 2009
Location: nuevo mexico
Oddometer: 5,717
awesome ride report guys! Baja gets under your skin, I can't stop thinking about a return visit as well......

Hopefully next February if all works out, that is a special place for moto-folks!

I'm not a Gynecologist... But I'll have a Look...
2007 Suzuki WeeStrom/2006 KTM450EXC/2001 Honda XR650L/2001 Sherco 290

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Old 08-27-2013, 08:51 PM   #55
ktm's "the tourist"
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Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Burbank CA
Oddometer: 16,816
i have to say that this is one of the few and most entertaining rr in baja.

been to baja many times and none is as funny as this one.....

good job and thanks for sharing and making us laugh.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:56 AM   #56
gs 1200
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: guatemala
Oddometer: 65
nice ride

Nice ride and nice ride report, it looks like a great ride, I hope to make it to Baja sometime.

Thks for stoping by motocafe and share some stories. It was nice to meet you and your wife in Antigua. Always good to talk with riders over a few

We look forward to ride with you down here in Guatemala.

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Old 09-21-2013, 06:48 PM   #57
Mutha Mutha
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Dawsonville Ga.
Oddometer: 875
Great story, never really considered Baja until now but you guys made it look like a blast.
"I swear to god that I will beat you senseless with a sanka can before I die"
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:38 PM   #58
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Kamloops, BC
Oddometer: 908
Great guys did it the right way

Good choice to go north via Datil....the silt eats riders:

First aid in Bahia Asuncion 2 days after crashing in silt:

A week later back in Canada:

More places to see next time:
Ged Schwartz
Kamloops , BC

Baja '05 , Baja 06/07 , Baja 08/09 , BC Alpine Single Track

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Old 02-27-2014, 11:45 AM   #59
Baja Ken
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Running Springs, Ca and bahia de los angeles
Oddometer: 30
Great Report, Greg

Great report, Greg. Look forward to riding with you guys in April. ken

Originally Posted by MufflerBearings View Post
March 16, 2013

Two hours before sunrise, we were angrily notified of a new day dawning by an evil army of mutant roosters. Im pretty certain that the residents of Valle T lace their roosters feed with a heavy mixture of steroids and LSD. I understand that crowing roosters are a fact of rural life, but we had never heard anything quite like this. There must have been hundreds of roosters just in the few square blocks around the hotel, each trying to one-up the cock next door in an hours-long contest of volume and duration. It was surreal. We were getting an early start for San Felipe whether we liked it or not.

We had the perfect air temperature, brilliant blue skies, and blooming wildflowers to make the highway slog eastbound along Mex 3 a little more tolerable.

By the time we reached Valle Santa Clara and the trail that leads out onto Laguna Diablo dry lake, we were ready for some dirt. The road along the eastern side of the laguna was in surprisingly good shape (this is the road that broke most every piece of the suspension in Gregs Subaru when he was chasing for the San Felipe 250 a few years ago). It provided a fast ride (even on the KLR) along the dry lakebed and killer views of the Sierra San Pedro Martir range to the west. Once again, the XRs were dots off in the distance as I loped along on my piggy KLR. We encountered several miles of sand while climbing out of the lakebed towards San Felipe, but as long as I didnt get lazy with the throttle, it wasnt a problem. We also got a small taste of what its like to ride in silt beds; Ill take 100 miles of sand to avoid of 100 yards of silt!

We reached the arches that welcomed us to San Felipe before lunchtime (did I mention we got a very early start thanks to the damned roosters?), and pulled into the spacious garage of what would be our palatial digs for the next couple days. Ready for some ? Jim and Alice at (full disclosure Jim and Alice are family friends and really good people) are the people to contact if youre looking for killer beachfront lodging in SF.

It was nice to have the workspace to attend to all the bolts, nuts and other fasteners that had rattled loose on the KLR. Pro-tip: if you ever anger the moto gods and find yourself in possession of a KLR650, dip the whole bike in a vat of red Locktite before you ride it anywhere beyond the local Starbucks.

We spent the rest of the day taking in the views from our beachfront balcony, riding around San Felipe in the tourist uniform of shorts, t-shirts and sandals (NOTGSOTT - None Of The Gear Some Of The Time for you protective gear enthusiasts), eating mass quantities of just-killed-today seafood, watching the grunion beach themselves at dusk, and getting chased by dogs.

Although off-topic and not technically motorcycle-related, this trip report will be sprinkled throughout with photos of air-cooled VWs that I spotted along the way. I lose my mind when I see an ACVW in the wild, and Mexico is bursting at the seams with these brilliantly-engineered gems. Starting now, with a clean Class 11 car:

Next up: Not much! Laziness in San Felipe.
To travel is better than to arrive.......
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:42 PM   #60
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Jun 2009
Location: La Paz, Baja California Sur
Oddometer: 565
A word of advice regarding the FMM. Get it and keep it. See, I'm so smart that I told people for years that it was a waste of time and money. "No one ever asks for it and they never will." Me and my biiiiiig mouth! Brought my Mom and Dad down along with my family of five in our van and we got asked for them at the checkpoint into Guerrero Negro. Cost us over $1,000 in fines and a lost day getting everything sorted out. Imagine my frustration and embarrassment after I had gone around and around with my Mom (reading her Baja guidebook) that I knew better and we didn't need the tourist cards!

Two other things: If you pay tolls or stay in rooms or get gas, get a receipt and keep it with you. It never hurts to have proof of where you were and when. Also, the FMM (or lack thereof) could be the difference between your insurance paying or not in the event of trouble.

I learned my lesson!
2009 KLR650 (now a KLR685-Stage II)
My Ford E350 4x4 Baja Van

Originally Posted by PirateJohn
you are safer in 99% of Northern Mexico than you are in 99% of Jacksonville, FL.
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