Dirt bikes

Discussion in 'General' started by Wheel Bearing, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. SWest122

    SWest122 Well-Known Member

    Just saw this. It is mostly UTVs/ATVs but there were some fun trails. You will see them on the main trails but once we got into the more difficult areas they were not around.
    XFBO likes this.
  2. SuddenBraking

    SuddenBraking Well-Known Member

    Have you guys already reviewed the 300 XC in this thread? Looking at a 2015 supermoto setup with all the fixin's and wondering what the consensus is on them. I tried a search but the search terms were "too short".
  3. Knotcher

    Knotcher Well-Known Member

    First part of Mexican 1000 report.

    Day 1 – Seattle to Reno. Easiest 720 miles of driving one could ask for. Minimal traffic in Portland, backroads in OR and CA combined with the fresh energy of adventure yet found to distort time. It was still a 14 hour day.

    Day 2 – Reno to Lake Elsinore, CA. Our plan to put the long day first works to perfection. The highlight was driving past Mono Lake which was the location for Lago in High Plains Drifter. Dad and I meet up with our Phoenix crew, Micah and Jeff. Gear is loaded from the truck into a trailer and the trailer transferred from the Tacoma to the Super Duty.

    Day 3 – Lake Elsinore, CA to Ensenada, Baja California. We leave the Taco in long-term parking at San Diego International and head to the border crossing at San Ysidro. Mexican customs know that the racers are coming. After a short wait they examine our bill of lading and a few registration docs and we are on our way. The crossing was much easier and more streamlined than I expected. Some dude gets the open door to his new Silverado nearly ripped off by an overeager chase truck driver. Looked totally jacked up, but it was time to go. Ensenada is an easy drive south for an hour or so. Registration and Tech inspection give us our first taste of how cool this event will be. There is loud music, beer, food, trophy trucks, buggies, dirt bikes, merchandise mixed with sound and smell of race motors. I am home. Registration and Tech inspection go without a hitch. So far, so good.



    Day 4 – Bikes are adjusted and tested in the hills near the house. We are in a gated community and are able to just go out the gate and ride around in the hills above the Pacific on trails that connect to the neighborhood. Viva La Mexico.

    Day 5, 6am – It’s race time. Today is Ensenada to San Felipe

    I start the bike 4 minutes before I start the transit stage out of Ensenada. Transit stages are not part of your race time. They have a minimum and maximum time to complete the stage outside of which you incur penalties, but it is very easy to stay in the window. Unless . . . you forget that your dedicated GPS odo is set for kilometers while the roll chart (detailed navigation instructions) is in miles. So it’s 6:03am and I’m already trying to convert KMs to miles while navigating. To no one’s surprise I cock it up immediately. After I detect this, I turn around. At least there are 4 other riders lost in Ensenada with me.

    I notice for the first time that the Stella III Evo GPS tracker has an odo on it. Great, now I just need to convert the KMs I did off course to miles and subtract it from the distance on the stella unit once I get back on course.

    Shit, I’m on the wrong road again. WTF? I now realize that the stella unit automatically rolls back the extra mileage once you are back on course. The training did not cover this. Whatever, I turn around again and notice it’s also pointing at the waypoint. I’m a moron, but at least I recognize this and begin to just use the stella unit for everything, because it is brilliant.

    First special. I’m trying to manage my stoke. I’m about to race an XR650R (her name is Mex-Caliber) in Baja. This is the stuff of my dreams from when I was a little kid to the big kid that watched Dust to Glory in 2008, but I know it’s a 1350 mile race. I still get a good launch and rage straight into the mist. Fuck, I can hardly see. The road is twisty, narrow and dark in places in the trees. I still manage to catch someone but now I’m in their dust. I can’t see a thing anymore.

    It clears up and I start to deal with the level of detail in the roll chart. It’s far more than coarse course navigation. It notifies of ditches, washes, dips, whoops, trees, rocks, etc. To go truly fast, one must read ahead, make a plan and then execute that plan nearly to perfection. This is going to take a while to get used to.

    I lose track of something I read. An alarm goes off in my head “Caution Whoops”. This seems more serious than an earlier note, “Whoops”. Oh hey, here they are. They are most certainly more whoopy than the earlier plain Jane whoops. The Mex-Caliber is a big girl. She will treat you right if you treat her right. She wasn’t happy and we hit a tree. Fortunately the trees in Baja don’t get that big. Small tweak to the bracket that holds the stella unit. No big deal.

    I run across Micah who is waiting for me in the middle of a special stage. Nice but not good for race time. We exit the stage together and begin the transit to Lake Diablo. There were many highlights in this day, but the top of the heap was ripping across the dry lake bed for 12 miles at max speed with Micah. The heat of the desert was in full effect, the tallest mountains in Baja loomed to our right and the bikes were wiggling at 95mph. It was hard to see what was ahead in the dust, but the roll chart didn’t have anything for 12 miles. Keep ‘er pinned. Slalom a bit to try and get out of the sandblast from the bike ahead but stay out of the softer stuff or you lose drive. A bit tricky, but insanely fun. This is criminal level fun.

    Lefts, rights, fences, fishing gear stacked in the middle of nowhere, more high speed dirt and finally, stage finish in San Felipe. The Yokohama girl hands me a beer and water. A man asks if he and his family can get photos with me and Mex-Caliber. Race fans are everywhere. This is different than racing in the states. The people of Baja love this stuff. In the coming days, I'll come to understand this even more.

    Dad and Jeff are already there with the truck and trailer. Time to change and hit the restaurants and bars. Day 1 is in the books.

    rcmike917, scottn, Sabre699 and 10 others like this.
  4. 83BSA

    83BSA Well-Known Member

    Right on! Welcome to racing in Baja. To quote you: It is criminaly fun. It is addicting. Looking forward to more reports. Thanks for posting.


  5. Wheel Bearing

    Wheel Bearing Professional low sider

  6. eggfooyoung

    eggfooyoung You no eat more!

    You guys going? If not, we're headed to Redbird on Sunday if you guys want yo go.

    Anyone else too!
  7. Knotcher

    Knotcher Well-Known Member

    Part 2

    Day 6 (Race Day 2) San Felipe to Guerrero Negro – 368 miles (273 Race Miles).


    Today is a bit unique in the race, at least in terms of format. Instead of the usual 2 transit sections and 2 special stages (race sections) we have 3 special stages. Why? Because we have to get from San Felipe to Bahia de Los Angeles, just like the trucks, but then we have a final 149 mile special stage from the Sea of Cortez all the way over to the Pacific side of the island! This has been a day I’ve looked forward to, if a bit apprehensively, since the full route sheet was released.

    6 am – We’re ready to go except I’m finally mounting my brand new Hero 7 camera to my chest protector but I need to add a zip tie in case it falls off. As I am preparing to do that I am interrupted by uninterruptable biological needs at 0-hour. I check my fitbit. I have time.

    I’m back on the start line with plenty of time. It’s finally my turn to leave the little ORV sand dune area in the middle of San Felipe and head out to the power line road. Yeah, in the middle of town they have an ORV park. Viva La Mexico. I blast through the whoops for a few hundred yards right into a hotel parking lot. I missed a right turn under a bridge. This cocking up the start is becoming a thing. In any case I make my way back to the race course and hit the road straight south. It’s about 10 miles of big rolling sand whoops. I settle in with the big XR and being to pass riders ahead, who presumably navigated correctly. I make the left turn to head the 7 miles or so straight at the Sea of Cortez to stage finish. The road is super-wide and smooth with wide, low, rolling whoops. I’m lofting the front wheel off of some, jumping off of others, all the time picking up a little speed until I’m yelling in my helmet. I notice that the sun is just above the ocean. There is a golden glow on the water and a pink band of clouds above the sun. There’s also a lighting storm out there. I need to get the camera on! I reach for the button. The camera’s long gone.

    I don’t care. Not now, at least. Back on the gas.

    The stage finishes, and the next transit is a leisurely (maybe) 65 miles so I wait for Micah. He arrives and we set off. The transit was mostly uneventful save for the wind. It was intense at times. Even the highways here require your full attention at all times.

    We arrive at the start of the second special stage. I’m starting to get used to the roll chart at this point. No more nav problems I tell myself. Time to take the speed up a notch. The green flag waves and I get a good launch. The rear tire digs and digs, the front tire climbs about 4 inches and the clutch is out with the throttle all the way to the stop. I’m headed right down the straight road towards the sea. Then that road ends. I check the roadbook for my instruction. The first instruction was “Hard Right next to Fence” at 0.00 miles. This shit is getting old. Back on course about ten minutes in, I settle in behind Micah, who started behind me but . . . presumably navigated correctly.

    Up until this point, Micah and I have played it cool. There was some fun on the dry lake bed, but that was a wide open environment. We know ourselves, and ego is a dangerous thing out here. Through a section of hill and small jumps I sense that it’s time to make my move around him and be on my way. I’m typically a touch faster than him so I’m sure this will all be fine.

    He passed me back! This isn’t the script, Micah. I decide to just let him gap me for a bit and I’ll follow him for this special. One point three seconds later I decide to shit can that plan and pass him back. The thing we wanted to avoid, the primal contest straight out of the 80s in on. Bro Race. For the next 100 miles. Micah and I cut each other up through some of the sketchiest sections of the entire event. I think at one point I went around a small dam for a shortcut. We were even racing at the Mag7 fuel splash. I didn’t know I could eat a banana that fast, nor that Micah would eat one even faster. It was kinda gross.

    Photo from Bro Race (used for Day 4 Promo)


    Eventually, towards the end of the special, Bro Race ended the way they ALWAYS end. Micah saw caution ditch on right in the roll chart and avoided a ditch on the right, but that wasn’t the caution ditch, that was just a small pre-ditch ditch. He was entirely upside down above his bike heading into the cacti, but was basically standing by the time I got there. How, I don’t know. In true big-bro-style, I immediately start asking him why he can’t read his roll chart. “Dude, didn’t you read CAUTION DITCH ON RIGHT?” I mention some form of an apology about my impertinence and wait another 10 seconds before asking again. “Man! I didn’t know they travelled in packs!” He’s fine. I decide to give him the win, with no punches pulled. He was faster that stage. Besides, I still managed to crash just riding some S turns 5 minutes later.

    Bro Race resulted in a fat hip for Micah, and a lost fitbit for me (tough equipment day for the 58), but Bro Race did something else. I had been a little wide-eyed and cautious up until now. That was the plan. Well, plans change. I’d been finishing special stages near the back of the motos. I finished that one in the top half, even with the jacked up start and hanging around for two crashes. Time to race motorcycles, and the timing couldn’t have been better.

    Special Stage 3. 149 miles to the opposite side of Baja. We’ve split up now on purpose. We got what we needed from Bro Race. I don’t mess up the nav at the start for a change. As the stage gets out of Bahia de Los Angeles, I realize that this one is going to be really fast in large sections. By fast I mean 70 miles an hour down a gravel road. The roads just keep coming. Over a mountain, around the backside of it and I’d be able to see a 4 mile stretch into the distance. Again, I’m giggling in my helmet. I think to myself numerous times, “there’s no way this could happen in the US.” Viva La Mexico.

    Eventually, the stage finishes on a 22mile long straight, undulating sand/dirt strip that parallels a gravel road. The roll chart says to stay off of the main road, so I do. It would have been a shame because I would have missed some of the most rewarding riding. You’d never see it from the satellite photos. It’s just a straight road, but it’s a roller coaster down here.

    I finish in Guerrero Negro with a stage 3 time 9th overall. Thanks, juvenile sibling rivalry. The finish event is much smaller than day 1 in San Felipe. It’s just us motorcycle racers. That’s fine by me. I like it that way. The beer tastes the same anyhow.
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    rcmike917, scottn, dantheman and 6 others like this.
  8. SuddenBraking

    SuddenBraking Well-Known Member

    Awesome write-up!
  9. SuddenBraking

    SuddenBraking Well-Known Member

    Grabbed this Husky TE511 (2013) over the weekend.

    Seems like there's an issue with the stator bolts working their way out - anything else to look out for?

    Attached Files:

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