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Old 02-09-2012, 01:14 PM   #1
rnrdozer OP
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Riding big pigs in baja

I just returned from a three week ride in Baja and figured I should put together a ride report. I kept fairly good notes each day and took about 1,000 pictures! Our group would consist of 6 of us from Chico, Ca. and two ADV inmates I had been talking to here on ADV rider. Desmond was from San Francisco and we would meet him at the Tecate border crossing, and Eric was from Moab Utah and we planned to meet down in Bay of La. The Chico guys were myself and Quin who were both on KTM 990ís Dave, Johnny, and Steve who were on KLR 650ís and last but to least the elusive Ron Peck on his 1200 GS.
First I would need to add some farkles to the 990. I had James at Super plush suspension upgrade to the R spec suspension which gave me 2Ē more travel and stiffer springs. This upgrade transformed the bike offroad! Next I added a 21/2 gallon fuel tank to the bike by removing a muffler with a cross over pipe then adding a tank to the left rear. I feel this is a must due for range. The cheapest but probably the best upgrade was installing an override switch for the ABS so it is off all the time. About a $5 upgrade. Just connect a loop where your rear abs wires come into the ABS unit, run the wires to the dash to a switch, no more near death experiences in the dirt!! Some smaller upgrades were a Renazco seat, weld 86 skid plate, fast way foot pegs, Rox bar risers, heated grips, and a heated vest plug. Also a new front rim is a must for the KTM 990. I went with a 1.85 excel from Woodyís wheel works.
Back to the trip, I got the usual (are you crazy! They are chopping off heads down there!) and (arenít you worried about getting kidnapped?) but all we found were very nice people that were happy to see us. In fact many times if we were stopped looking at maps locals would stop to see if we were ok. I also had people say, why are you camping when hotel rooms are so cheap? Well when you wake up on the beach to a beautiful sunrise or sunset you realize you would miss this sitting in a room somewhere!
Another enjoyable part of the trip was meeting Dez and Eric. Dez rode with us the whole time and proved to be great company. He was fairly new to riding and still took all the routes we did. He fell a lot but just kept going, very impressive! We didnít ride as much with Eric but he was a great guy to get to know and a hell of a rider! I think ADV rider is a great resource to meet like minded people.
I promise to try to keep this report short on words and heavy on pictures as I think it makes a better report.

Blake stayed out in the shop until late in the night helping me get ready the day before I left, I'm going to miss that kid!!


This is part of my crotch management system along with a Renazco seat. I know baby powder will do the same thing but you've got to love buying something called anti monkey butt powder
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:26 PM   #2
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January 4th 2012

Chico, Ca. to Monterey, Ca.

Its Wednesday January 4th and we are leaving today for our ride down to Cabo and back. I met Quin for breakfast at a local breakfast joint (morning thunder) and left town around 8:30am. The plan was to ride to Monterey,Ca. and camp for the night. Then head south down hwy 1 to Anahiem,Ca. and meet our families down there for some time at Disney Land! Then watch the supercross opener in Anaheim! The ride was great, weather was perfect, and we made it to Monterey around 2:30pm. We got some directions from a gas station attendant to a campground right in town called Veterans memorial park. itís a city owned park and campground that is 1.6 miles from fishermanís Warf . We ended up walking to the Warf for dinner at Isabellaís. We both had the Chapino for dinner, it was just o.k. a little bland. All the restaurants are trying to lure you in by giving out chowder samples, somehow they all won the 2010 best chowder award! Then a cab ride back to the park for a campfire and wine drinking session.

Quin poses for the camera in his sexy riding gear! this was our first gas stop


This was our campsite at Vetrans memorial park. its in Monterey,ca. within walking distance to the warf.


Fishermans warf, Monterey,Ca.


Lots of good seafood, clam chowder was flying out of every restaurant


One last Sierra Nevada pale ale before its mexican beer only!
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:38 PM   #3
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January 5th

Monterey, Ca. to Anaheim, Ca.

Woke up to a sore back even though I think I bought about the best air mattress money can buy I hope my back settles into this camping thing! We made some coffee packed up and headed out by 9am. The ride down hwy 1 was absolutely stunning. It was hard to keep your eyes on the road. I had noticed that my fuel economy was way off of Quins. I was only getting about 115 miles out of 4 gallons thatís only 28 miles per gallon!! I ended up googling KTM shops and found one in Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara motor sports) since I bought my bike it had been reprogrammed to the fmf pipes I had installed. Keith was the mechanic at SBM and was one hell of a mechanic. He remapped my bike tightened my steering head and chain and tried to fine tune my brakes. He ended up giving me his cell phone to call if I had any problems in Mexico with the bike. All this for 1-hour labor, great deal! Now im getting 35 mpg at the worst. We ended up getting into Anaheim around 9pm, long day.


Quin overlooking the Pacific on hwy 1, and what a view it was.


My turn


Lunch spot south of Big Sur on hwy 1



This is Kieth at Santa Barbara motorsports. He went above and beyond the call of duty to get my bike dialed in.


We ended up catching the rush hour traffic in the dark on hwy 101. Not very fun at all!!! splitting lanes with the panniers is scary business.
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:46 PM   #4
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January 6th,7th

We ended up staying at the Hyatt Regency on Harbor blvd, met up with our families there and spent two days at Disneyland. Itís always great spending time with the kids but you can only do Disneyland so many times before it gets a little old. Schools in the LA area were still on Christmas break so the lines we terrible! We had put a new set of Metzler Karooís on our bikes before we left and by the time we got to LA they were worn really bad so we found a shop in Orange county called Z=racing and talked to Mark the owner about some tires. He happened to have two rear tires made by Mefo. We had him put those on the rear and went with the TKC 80 continentals on the front. So far they are working great. We ended up going to Angel stadium to watch the super cross opener with our sonís. It ended up being a great race for 2nd and 3rd but Ryan Villipoto was in a class of his own for first place.

Me and my son Blake at the Anahiem supercross


Quin and his son, this is some good father son bonding time!


This guy kept waving at us to cheer for the camera. we ended up watching the race later and seeing ourselves on TV!! I guess I'm a movie star now! Not


This is Ryan Dungy riding the new KTM, Go Orange!!!
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:09 PM   #5
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I've been waiting for this.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:14 PM   #6
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January 8th


Anaheim, Ca. to Mike's skyranch, baja

We got up early to get on the road by 7am, lots of questions from the hotel staff about the bikes and our ride. I donít think they see too many dual sport bikes packed with camping gear come rolling into the Hyatt. The ride to Tecate from Anaheim was about 140 miles and took us right at about 2 hrs. You pretty much have to roll along at 80 mph just to keep up with traffic. The plan was to meet up with our group in Tecate. The group consists of 7 total riders. Myself and Quin each on KTM 990ís. Ron who is riding a 1200 GS. Johnny, Dave, and Steve each riding KLR 650ís and Desmond riding a BMW 650. All of us are from Chico,Ca. except for Desmond who is from San Francisco. We got through the border and finished our paperwork by about 10am. We headed east on 53 to find the compadre trail. We ended up getting on the toll road unable to get off and had to back track about 10 miles to the Compadre. It was a fun blast down the Compadre to hwy 5 then east to Mikeís sky ranch. We rolled in around 4pm to find we were the only ones there. We were met by Blanco, a very nice lady that runs the place. She asked us when we wanted to eat and if we all eat meat.( and it was a big YES!) from everyone. We ended up eating a great steak dinner and went to bed early. By the way they make their own tequila and it is amazingly smooth.

We met up with the guys at the border of Tecate. by the way you dont have to go to the bank anymore for your tourist permit, there's a window in the same building now.


No, this isn't a scene out of a scary clown movie, they were crossing the border into mexico for some reason


What the Hell!!!


and yet more scary clowns, I hope they don't haunt my dreams!


We stopped to regroup on the compadre


Johnny posing by his KLR 650


First fuel stop in Mexico in Independecia



the bikes at Mike's skyranch


Ron with his cigar and wine, oh and crazy hat!


Johnny and Quin at the bar


I had these stickers made for the trip. the kids loved them, I also stuck them on everything!!


Food porn!, ohhh yahhh


Here's the gang, a motley crew I must say



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Old 02-09-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
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Nice pics!

I met you while on my way back from Mt. Shasta last year at Chevron in Willows. Great to see you got to do the trip you were planning.


-Terry
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:32 PM   #8
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Ya, I remember you! I looked up your website, looks like you guys have made some great trips. bringing the wife and kid is really cool as well. good to hear from you.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:39 PM   #9
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THis is good stuff Mr. D......
great bikes, good friends and nice planned trip......

Keep it coming
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:22 PM   #10
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January 9th


Mikeís skyranch to Gonzaga bay

Woke up around 6am to find itís about 30 degrees at Mikeís! Blanco had breakfast ready at 7:30am so we eat and blasted off my 8:30. The road to mikes is 20 miles of dirt and hard pack sand. Many sections you can fly along at 60mph without much trouble. The plan was to head east on hwy 5 and head south through El Diablo dry lake then into San Felipe for lunch. We followed some gps tracks that sent us through some deep sand whoops that convinced Ron to take the hwy to San Felipe along with Steve. We ended up going further down hwy 5 and found a graded road out to the lake bed. We had an absolute blast flying across the dry lake. Itís really fun to get out in the fresh sand and pin it!! We rolled into San Felipe around lunch time, eat at Rice and beans then headed south to Gonzaga bay. The road is paved 22 miles past Puertocitos and even the dirt sections are much smoother than 2 years ago. I ended up with a flat tire right when I got to Gonzaga so it was, get some beer, fix tire, set up camp, drink said beer!!. We walked over to Alfonzinaís for fish tacoís which were very good! By the way thatís a long damn walk, it looks closer than it is.
There is no gas at Puertecitos or Gonzaga bay so plan accordingly.

Blanco cooking breakfast. check out the coffee pots.




This is the road the GPS tracks lead us on to get to the Laguna diablo dry lake.


The big GS wasn't a fan of the sand!


Desmond poses for the dry lake photo shoot




Horsepower is your friend on the dry lake, Johnny's KLR was short on it.


Theres my bike, looking all sexy!! I moved my gear bag back as far as possible and boy did it make a world of difference. Riding in the sand is all about keeping the front end light.


We met up with Ron and Steve in San Felipe at Rice and beans.


Fish taco's


these guys were selling their catch of the day


brand new tire and a 4 mil tube and still a flat!! I picked up a nail on the road.


Ron taking in some vitamin D


Beer and stories, it doesn't get much better than this.


Gonzaga bay standard issue photo




Wake up Johnny boy!!




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Old 02-09-2012, 04:07 PM   #11
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January 10th.

Gonzaga Bay to Bay of LA


The plan today was to ride to Cocoís corner, hang with Coco for a bit then some of us would ride through the Calamajue wash while Ron and Steve would meet us in bay of LA. We were all somewhat concerned about fuel since there was no gas in Gonzaga or puertocitos. We all had about 105 miles already on our bikes. On the way to Cocoís Ron got a flat on the big GS, at first he tried to plug it but it was bad enough he had to put a tube in it. Coco was kind enough to sell us 10 gallons of his gas which gave us some breathing room. Ron and Steve headed for the hwy while we headed for the wash. I had many warnings about taking the 990 through the wash because of the deep sand and water but Iím glad I chose to ride it. It is absolutely beautiful scenery through there. It was a bit of a chore with the big bike but not too bad at all. Quin and I got out front a ways and were having so much fun we decided to take the dirt road south that connects to the bay of LA road. We were having a great time flying through the desert only to find the last 5 miles is deep sand that works the hell out of you! Boy was I glad to see the road. We both hit reserve on our fuel tanks shortly after hitting the paved road and pretty much rolled into the gas station on fumes! The meeting point for everyone was the Costa Del Sol hotel then we were going to ride south to San Francisquito. We rode to the hotel to find out by some people sitting outside that Ron had decided to keep riding south. We werenít sure what had happened to the rest of the guys. We figured they would have been ahead of us. We went back to the gas station and asked if anyone had seen 3 bikes anywhere. A guy buying gas told us he saw 3 bikes along the road fixing a flat. this made us feel better so we waited at a taco stand along the road so they would see us. Soon they came rolling in, turns out that Johnny was riding down the road to bay of LA when out of nowhere his front tire blows out sending him to the ground at 70 mph. He wasnít hurt too bad considering what he went through. By this time itís getting dark and Johnny is sore as hell, so we opt for a room in town. We stayed at the Costa Del Sol hotel and found two other adventure riders Don and Debbie. They had been posting their ride on ADV so I recognized them right away.

Ron gets a flat headed to Coco's





Desmond samples some of Coco's Taco's, I also ate one. I wont lie, I was worried for a few hours.


We did the sit on the toilet picture thing. isn't it a hoot!!! it looks like were pooping but were not.






Guest book signing!


This is the Calamajue wash. I had some good gopro footage of it but couldn't get it to load






After we got out of the wash we headed down the dirt road headed to the Bay of La road. we waited for about 30 min for the guys but they never showed up. we figured they must have headed out to hwy 1 so we planned on meeting them in Bay of La


this was a very fun road!




This is the view just before you get to Bay of La




We made it to Bay of La and watched some local baseball


This is where we waited for the guy's. Ron was long gone ahead of us on his way to San Francisquito. these were probably the best fish taco's we had on the trip. Deep fried in a frying pan


We stayed at the Costa Del Sol. the rooms were not cheap so we haggled and beat her down to an acceptable price


Scoobydoo wasnt really in need of affection like most dogs


This is Don and debby of the ride report "Don and Deddy do Baja" they would be the savior of Johnny


We found out later that Johnny had broken some ribs and inlarged his heart from the impact of the crash. I'm glad he had Don and Debby to ride home with. Thanks guys for getting him home safe.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:47 PM   #12
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NaNaNaNIIIIIICE

Looks like I missed a good one - perfect riding conditions it appears. But, the Impala was sold at the auction and I have one less cage to be replaced by one cycle

Monte
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:07 PM   #13
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January 11th

Bay of La to San Ignacio via San Francisquito

Johnny woke up pretty sore and pretty shook up from the crash so he decided to ride north with Don and Debbie. I tried to convince him to hang for a few days and heal up but I think hitting the pavement at 70 mph took to fun right out of the trip. We assumed that Ron and Steve probably stayed at San Franciquito and would wait for us there, we were wrong. When we got there they said that Ron and Steve had blasted out of there at 9am and were headed for San Ignacio. We hung out for about an hour then decided to head for San Ignacio. All the roads today were in great shape. Most of the time you can ride between 60-70 mph without feeling like youíre riding on the edge. We rolled into San Ignacio at dark and found camping along the lagoon. Dave rode around looking for Ron and Steve but no luck. We grabbed dinner at the little restaurant on the right hand side just as you head into town past rice and beans, I think it was called fongís. The food was excellent! We asked host at the campground if we could buy some wood from him, he said yes he would bring it while we went to dinner. When we returned he had a fire going for us!

this is the view south of Bay of La






This is the old jailhouse south of town









We made our way to the San Rafael fish camp


By the way i'm perfectly aware that are bikes look identical, people thought we rented them


We were riding way too fast in the rocks causing Quin's front rim to get destroyed! Dont buy a sun rim!! I put an excel on and had no troubles. here we are beating the dog piss out of Quin's rim


We helped Ponco pull his boat out of the water, Nice Desmond!!


Poncho has lived here 26 years. he's a great guy, its worth the trip out to see him


Poncho's kitchen


We made it to San Francisquito and found this little guy running around






Dave was looking for Ron, Where's Ron!! and Steve!!


We found gas out in the middle of nowhere, we also got to see this german shepard pull out a can of whoop ass on the little poodle




This was our campsite in San Ignacio




This little guy was lucky enough to get one of my special stickers!


Mexican can crushing


The most photgraphed church in all of Baja


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Old 02-09-2012, 05:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montek View Post
Looks like I missed a good one - perfect riding conditions it appears. But, the Impala was sold at the auction and I have one less cage to be replaced by one cycle

Monte
Ya, sorry you couldn't make it Monte! but at least you can add a new bike to your fleet now. I'm thinking that a 690 KTM with the adventure conversion would be the ultimate weapon for Baja. It would take the barely make it through sections and turn them into fun sections!
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:37 PM   #15
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January 12th


San Ignacio to Bahia Concepcion (Playa Santispac)

We woke up early to find Desmond sitting in front of the camp fire freezing his ass off. He brought a light weight sleeping bag thinking it would be warmer down here but he was wrong! Itís been cold every night so far. We headed south down hwy 1 and stopped at Santa Rosalia to check out the town. The town along hwy 1 is filthy and basically a mess but when you turn right up into town it becomes a really neat town with shops and restaurants everywhere. I wouldnít mind trying to stay here when we head back north. We stopped in Mulege for lunch and made a plan to call it an early day and camp on the bay of conception. We found a great little beach (playa Santispac) with a bar restaurant at one end. We had to share it with about 20 motor homes full of snow birds headed south though, Good thing about the snowbird crowd is that they are in bed by 7pm!! at least they werenít running their generators all night. We talked to a guy that had seen Ron and Steve last night and said they camped here. He said they packed up and rode out this morning around 9am. Now Iím no brain surgeon but it seems to me that if you know someoneís following you and you want to catch them thereís really only one thing you need to do, wait! Its become apparent to us now that Ron isnít going to wait for us so we plan an ambitious ride up in the mountains to San Jose Comondu then loop back around to Loreto.

Santa Rosalia




Dave pays for our camp site in Santispac




This is one of my favorite pictures, who says you should stay in hotels? and miss this??




The Blue hairs moved in pretty close wouldn't you say! we need to get further south!




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