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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. Myself and a couple of mates have been considering coming over to the U.S from Ozzie land and going via Mexico to do the Baja rally next year. I'm sure there is probably some forums around the interwebs to find this stuff out but people on this forum seem pretty trustworthy and know their stuff. If anyone has any info on entry or experience doing this rally, it would be appreciated. We are thinking of doing it on some good trail bikes that we can pick up there when we get there. Maybe not the Tdub but you never know




cheers guys.
 

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Not likely to be a "budget" option, but there a couple of outfits like this in Baja:



http://www.bajaboundmoto.com/



I'm not aware of anyplace you can merely rent a bike other than an ATV, but they may exist.
 

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There are a few Baja races/rallies. Score International and Norra



Score Races are hardcore, high budget desert races (as seen in the movie Dust to Glory). 800 horsepower trophy trucks blasting by you, gnarly terrain etc

Dust to Glory Trailer





Norra is a 3 day rally - vintage trucks and bikes, alternative fuel vehicle and a much more friendly event.





Both races have >$1,000 entry fees and you'll have to chase trucks or some type of a pit service. Bajaboundmoto can rent you fully prepared race bikes and offer support but nothing about racing baja is cheap. The Baja 1000 is this week!
 

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I think a lot of pleasure, and a bit of notoriety could still be gleaned by simply riding the course some weeks after the race has been completed. Likely the route is still pretty obvious, suspect locals will feel less 'imposed upon' having a couple of bikes pass by at 40mph VS 90mph. You can buy a rig without the issue of being competitive and likely it will still have some resale value as you have not 'trashed' it pretending to be a racer. If your going to spend lots of money flying here, why not enjoy the experience. As stated above, competition at the levels mentioned above are not meant to be a Sunday trail ride. The folks in these events likely are intent on doing their best and have invested more than a couple of dollars in the project. In my opinion, should you guys end up moving in this direction, you will be spending money and be left with the feeling that you were just getting in everybody's way. Buy a couple of 'fun' bikes, do some exploring (where ever) and have a great, and memorable experience. Good luck. Gerry
 

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My advise would be to check it out once, then go home, line up some sponsors and bikes and come back with a buttload of cash and have fun and be safe. You're going to need support trucks, crew, and a parts inventory for fuel stops and repairs, communications equipment, Probably looking at about $10 grand each and hopefully not an airlift to the hospital if you crash @ about $30,000-$40,000 or more. Also need to have protection from Banditos that will try to steal your bikes and gear, and rape and pillage your crew members..... I think Gerry had the best advise
 

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Figure $8,000-$12,000 USD per bike in non-bike expenses to run the 500. Entry fees, pits, communications, chase trucks, medical and other forms of support sevices are all available, but there aren't a lot of ways to reduce that number in a modern Baja race.



In case y'all were wondering why Team TW postponed riding this year's 500, now it can be told. The bike itself was the affordable part.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think a lot of pleasure, and a bit of notoriety could still be gleaned by simply riding the course some weeks after the race has been completed. Likely the route is still pretty obvious, suspect locals will feel less 'imposed upon' having a couple of bikes pass by at 40mph VS 90mph. You can buy a rig without the issue of being competitive and likely it will still have some resale value as you have not 'trashed' it pretending to be a racer. If your going to spend lots of money flying here, why not enjoy the experience. As stated above, competition at the levels mentioned above are not meant to be a Sunday trail ride. The folks in these events likely are intent on doing their best and have invested more than a couple of dollars in the project. In my opinion, should you guys end up moving in this direction, you will be spending money and be left with the feeling that you were just getting in everybody's way. Buy a couple of 'fun' bikes, do some exploring (where ever) and have a great, and memorable experience. Good luck. Gerry
I like this idea. I suspected it would be costly, but I guess with my minimal dirt riding and track experience I should probably go with this idea and have an enjoyable experience without the hassle and worry of sponsors and support trucks etc etc let alone getting cleaned up by a truggie or bitten by a rabid dog while overseas or something like that. I always get over ambitious with my ideas haha thanks for the info anyway folks I really appreciate it. We're looking forward to coming over to the U.S either way
 

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make sure your bikes have large tanks and be careful in mexico. buy mexican insurance if driving in mexico
 

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Looks like Southern Baja has escaped the US State Department's Travel Advisory, but Northern Baja (cerca Tijuana y Mexicali guey) is still peligroso.



My link



I live 60 miles from the border, yet I've never been to Mexico. I have a friend born and raised in Sonora who won't take his kids to his home town to visit their grandmother. Considering that abuelita's been robbed at gunpoint twice on the bus ride from there to here, I can't say I blame him.



Mexico is a big place, and the problems of Mexico city and the border towns aren't universal, but if you go there understand that you're traveling to a third world country with third world problems and real danger and violence.



Or, you might go and have a blast with no sabotage, robbery, kidnapping, or murder. YMMV.



You'll easily run out your engine before you run out of trails and backroads here in the USA, and although citizen gun ownership is legal here (unlike OZ and Mexico) you're far less likely to come face-to-muzzle with firepower up here than Sur de la frontera. There are plenty of beautiful countries not gripped with civil war and violent unrest worth seeing, so why risk it? My $0.02, but I'm just an Arizona redneck with a Japanese motorcycle and an Austrian sidearm.



I wish you the best either way!



Buena Suerte!
 

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If you're wanting a good ride without too much expense or much danger, do the TAT, or a portion of it. You'll see quite a few different landscapes and avoid the uglier parts of the country. You just need a bike, riding gear, and camping gear if you want. A little extra fuel helps. Anybody that bothers to do the trip and document it usually becomes a little famous in the DS world.



Now, if you guys could manage to do the TAT on TW's, I'll be extra jealous. Most folks use 400's I think.



But if you want Baja, I'd do what Gerry said about coming along later, but definitely be wary of Mexico. Things can get rough down there when you're at any sort of travel destination or larger city.
 

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During; not before or after the Baja races is the only time, and place that I would ever set foot into Mexico. I can't think of a single reason to go there other than the Baja races. It is an absolute and total shit country, and has been nothing but a huge boil on the ass of this country. There are a number of places here in the states where you can duplicate the terrain, and not worry about getting sick from the food and water; or killed by some greasy bandito.

Just my opinion.





Ride on
 

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During; not before or after the Baja races is the only time, and place that I would ever set foot into Mexico. I can't think of a single reason to go there other than the Baja races. It is an absolute and total shit country, and has been nothing but a huge boil on the ass of this country. There are a number of places here in the states where you can duplicate the terrain, and not worry about getting sick from the food and water; or killed by some greasy bandito.

Just my opinion.Ride on


tell us what you really think...



we used to go to baja every year, to drive, ride, camp and explore. great history, fantastic landscapes, and wonderful, friendly people, but due to the violence we've not been back in 6+yrs, and i really miss it. aren't we lucky that our US drug habits can export our violence to mexico.



funny i tend to think more of some large southern states the way you think of our southern neighbor.....
 

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I certainly understand the fear that most folks have about adventures in Baja. I am as well inclined to think that our willingness to spend significant amounts of money on drugs fuels the violence in Mexico.



Irony is, back in the mid 70's I had an opportunity to spend a month traveling the peninsula. I generally slept in a tent pitched off the side of the road a couple of hundred feet. Granted, 1976 is not 2012 and the situation certainly looks to be much more violent. The irony that I make reference to is the fact everybody that I talked to about my adventure plans warned me that I would be robbed and likely killed.



No these guys aren't bandit's, likely a hardworking family (three to the right) and their boss. It had been drizzling all afternoon and they when I rode by their encampment they motioned me over for something to eat and drink. We all spent the night in a very small camper shell, no not a cab-over. Dad slept across the back, the sons slept on each side, and I got the floor. We tried chatting, but they did not speak English and knew no Spanish. In the morning we had breakfast, I snapped this picture and off I rode. All during my trip, I met kind and concerned folks. Perhaps I did not look affluent enough to rob, but certainly I had to look vulnerable.



The greatest danger to me did not come from locals. I was most afraid of large American motor homes. Seems a few folks thought Baja would be a great place to let their kids practice driving.



Most of the Latino folks I know work hard and want the best for their Families. They certainly are very aware, and deplore the situation in Mexico. To my knowledge, no one has had a bad experience during their visits.



You can come across 'bad' anywhere. What often saddens me is that so many of us grow to assume the worse and little is based on first hand information.



Perhaps the case in point is the very insightful perspective presented by the young man that Russ had recently introduced us to in a post. This fellow was piloting his Honda 90 around the world. Seems he went through his day moment by moment and managed to remain undaunted by the Nay-Sayers.



Here are a couple of photos. Not so much to glean attention, but to add credibility to my statements. I sometimes am wary of those making grand statements but offering up little more. Just my opinions. Gerry







 

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Anita and I have been visiting Mexico since the late 70s; not at the resorts but out in the country with the people. We presently winter on the Baja. We find the same human traits here, the good and the bad, as in the US and Canada. Our time in Mexico and Canada have broadened our perspective on life and, for that matter, God. Where ever you go, go with an open mind. (The sound you now hear is me pushing my soapbox back into the corner.)
 

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