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Old 09-07-2014, 10:26 AM   #1
guymanbro OP
da Vermonster
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Team Motohawk takes on the Baja Rally

This is the story of 4 strangers trying to become a team with no real rhyme or reason to the decision other than everyone is from the Northeast, everyone is eager to be involved, and everyone is an ADVrider.

Team riders:
guymanbro (me)

Support Crew:

I met MargaritaMotoress and Tinman207 on the WHACO ride at the beginning of this riding season and we started chatting about Baja. Lo and behold, they were planning a trip to Baja around the time of the Rally. Originally we chatted about linking up after the Rally for some additional riding. Then, they offered to become my support crew. I thought it was another one of those "We'd love to help" when what they really mean is, "I'd love for you to pay for my vacation," but, in fact, they really wanted to help out. After a short phone conversation in late July (I think) I hired them as my support crew. I told them the pay was shit(ie. if I have enough money at the end, I'll buy the first round), the hours were long, but the expectations were low.

Shortly thereafter I contacted drc42 who I knew was competing in the Rally and lived in the state next to mine to see what his travel plans were. We have met at a few different ADV gatherings, but had no real contact outside of those affairs. After another short phone conversation, I agreed to take his bike and spares in my trailer and pick him up at the airport the Sunday before the race. He also instantly hired the support crew for essentially the same deal I offered them: mucho trabajo, poco dinero.

And hence, Team Motohawk was formed.

On Sunday 9/1, drc42 dropped his bike off at my house and we had some time for a get-to-know-ya session.

Stay tuned for more (including some backstory on preparation) . . .
da Vermonster

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Old 09-07-2014, 01:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by guymanbro View Post

That's me on the left with my JVO Yamaha WR450f. Some of you may know me as that guy with the crazy plan to do the Dakar. While I don't know if that will ever happen I am having some fun and adventure trying to get some rally experience. In 2012 a crash destroyed my knee then I changed jobs to go work at a tech startup. The two of those events sidelined my riding for quite a while. The Baja Rally is my way of getting back on track with my rally dreams.

Up until the crash in 2012 I was having an amazing year. Most importantly racing the Mexican 1000 Rally. That was my first ever experience riding in the desert and it was amazing. The wide open spaces and just the desolation of being out in the middle of baja was a whole new experience. Here in New Hampshire it is mostly tight muddy single track which can be fun but as someone who grew up in Kansas I much prefer wide open spaces.

I have been wanting to get back to Baja ever since. The Mexican 1000 was fun but I think the extra challenge of being a true roadbook rally (Mexican 1000 does a roadbook but also a GPS track). Also it will be really interesting racing against some pro riders. I know I am slow, just will be interesting to see how much faster those guys can go.

My goal is to ride within my limits, don't break the bike or myself, and navigate cleanly with no penalties. Most importantly I just want to finish. If I can do all that I won't be last, which is as good as a win for me.

I shot some video as I was building the bike. Need to edit that down and will post it here later on.
follow my journey: Dreaming of Dakar
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Old 09-07-2014, 03:59 PM   #3
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This is gonna be so good!

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Old 09-08-2014, 02:28 PM   #4
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:49 PM   #5
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:12 PM   #6
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Excellent start, Tumu!

Sure you will but tell us about that sweet ride of yours.

These are our Golden Years. ~ EC

The future is no place to place your better days. ~ DMB

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

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Old 09-08-2014, 04:24 PM   #7
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Subscribed....have a blast.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:26 PM   #8
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Good luck you two. I'll be following your every mile.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:29 PM   #9
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Oh yeah! Giv 'er, I says giv 'er! Them young bastards they can't handle their liquor!
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:38 PM   #10
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by skibum69 View Post
Oh yeah! Giv 'er, I says giv 'er! Them young bastards they can't handle their liquor!
Hmmm.... now there's a strategy... get Hengveld drunk each night and see if Mr. Baja can still ride (and navigate) with a hangover
follow my journey: Dreaming of Dakar
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:08 AM   #12
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:38 AM   #13
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I thought I would kick off my side

That's me on the right with MargaritaMotoress (aka Tigger, aka Bobblehead1) on the left, on our 3 week cross country ride last fall. We have been friends for over 35 years! Some 30 years ago I invited her to join me on an trip to Knoxville, TN to see the World’s Fair. Her parents would not allow her to ride "That far on the back of a motorcycle."

Over the years I continued to ride, and she learned to ride her own bike - as it turns out she hates to ride pillion! I have no memory of how it came up or whose idea it was, but at some point we decided that we were going to ride across the country with no real destination other than to ride in the desert southwest. She had 3 weeks of vacation left. We used them all! On the way back home we stopped in Knoxville and she finally got to see the World's Fair site. A couple days later, as we are heading north again, I hear her voice in my helmet-Comm, "Bobblehead2.... (that's me sometimes), where are we going next year?” It took me only a moment to respond. "Baja." I am a Ocean Kayak guide by profession. Several years ago I had the opportunity to paddle in the Sea of Cortez and the whole time I was there I was thinking that I want to come back one day and explore this land by motorcycle. Until now, I had not had the opportunity do so. Her next question was a little harder, "How much time do we need?" "At least 4 weeks," was my reply. Before we got back Maine she had arranged the time off. Trust me when I tell you that she is one heck of a negotiator!

Fast forward several months. We are joining the boys and girls at WHACO, a spring ride and campout that brings together people from all over New England and beyond. Day 1, Tigger meets me at my house and we ride over to N. Conway, NH to meet the rest of gang at the campground. Did I mention the rain? Oh yeah, it rained! Like cats and dogs. Like if this keeps up we might have to find Noah and have him build us an Ark kind of rain! We set up the tent and we joined the rest of the gang for some Mexican food - the American-ized kind - and return to the tent for some protection from the weather and some sleep. Some time later, the familiar sound of a KLR650 reverberates through the rain and darkness. GuyManBro had made it over from VT - riding in the dark, rain and fog up and over the Kanc! I did not get up.

The morning came. The rain left. We "broke the fast" at a local eatery and went over Whitehorse gear open house for their annual gathering and cook-out before the big Samoan led the pack on a fabulous ride through the back roads of VT for our Second night's campout. A nice meal and some caveman TV (with an appropriate amount of Knob Creek, as I remember it) and conversations wander to fall ride plans. As was mentioned earlier, we settle on a plan to keep in touch and perhaps connect for a ride segment after the Rally. I don't know how it happened exactly, probably some off hand comment that took root and grew into a full fledged crazy-ass-idea with a life of it's own, but before anyone knew it we (MargaritaMotoress and I) we going to “crew” with GuyManBro, and soon after DRC42 takes us on as well and Team MotoHawk is formed with GuyManBro and DRC42 as riders/Racers, MargaritaMotoress (MM as she will now be referred to in this post) will carry the title of logistics coordinator and assistant photographer and I will wear the bike tech and transportation hats as well as team photographer.

Now, to be clear. MM is Brilliant! She has proven to me many times over that she will be able to fill the logistical role for us. She has already organized a place to park the truck for the duration of the trip - since time is short, we are trucking the little bikes to CA and riding just the bikes into Mexico - and is already figuring out where we will be sleeping during the rally. Tumu and Doug are paying the freight for this adventure and I know them to be excellent riders in their own rights so we are all good on that score too. MY role in all this is what makes me laugh out loud sometimes!

There ARE guys (and gals to be sure) that can take a bike, strip it down, and rebuild it without a bolt or screw left over. There are people that naturally gifted mechanically and can look at a machine and know exactly what it should do, how it works, and how to fix it if it breaks. I am NOT in either of these groups. I’m a guy that loves to ride motorcycles, and due in large part to career choice that permits me large segments of free time but very low income by normal standards, has had to learn to fix what I break on his bikes - usually with a lot of help from my friends! Sure, I can change the oil on my bikes, I can change tires and patch tubes and tighten spokes and honestly I can do a lot more, but the idea of me being tapped as bike-tech for a race crew in Baja Mexico is hilarious to me! The good news (for me), as GuyManBro has offered, expectations are low. I can work with that! Did I mention that I have never even BEEN to a motorcycle race let alone touch a race bike????

We have just a couple of weeks before MM and I load up my truck with bikes and gear and travel the 3,000 or so miles to CA where she has arranged a parking spot on the lot of the big rally sponsor - BMW Motorcycles of Escondido. Because of the many demands of our individual calendars we will have just over 4 days to get there before the start of the Rally. It’ll be tight, but I think we can do it.

There is a lot to be done for sure. But I think we can pull it off.

THIS is gonna be an adventure!

Anyone wishing to Sponsor any part of this is adventure is welcome to contribute in any way that they can. :)

When I was young I hoped to be Rich and good looking. At this point, I think that having great stories of many adventures is a much better plan

06 Suzuki DL650 (2 at the moment!) - 00 DR650
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Old 09-09-2014, 03:06 AM   #14
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These are our Golden Years. ~ EC

The future is no place to place your better days. ~ DMB

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

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Old 09-09-2014, 03:19 AM   #15
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I'm in.
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