Bike-urious does the Baja 1000 – Part 1

In Travel by Abhi23 Comments

A year from now I will probably be coming back to this post, so I’d like to start off by letting it be known that this idea was not generated under auspicious circumstances.

The ‘aha’ moment instead came during a beer-soaked conversation with my buddy Nathan May (you may remember him from the Indian Scout video) as we discussed what his next motorcycle purchase should be. We soon found ourselves on a slippery slope – in hindsight, the conclusion was probably inevitable.

Nathan’s already got a beautiful and well-modded Triumph Thruxton, so I suggested what I almost always suggest to people for a second bike – a medium displacement dual-sport for urban hooliganism. This is due to the fondness I developed for my old Honda NX650, which was beat to shit and thus was perfect for bombing off sidewalks, parking wherever I pleased, and generally being a deviant:

exploring a pedestrians-only path somewhere in Culver City

exploring a pedestrians-only path somewhere in Culver City

This led to the common thoughts of equipping two sets of wheels – one adorned with street tires for a supermoto setup, and one mounted with knobbies for playing in the dirt – which led to thoughts on the best places to get bikes dirty in the Southern California area.

Then Nathan hit me with it: “How cool would it be if we did the Baja 1000?”

Initially, I laughed it off – of course it would be cool, but two amateurs with minimal dirt experience wouldn’t have a shot, right?

Pictured: the results of one the one time I’ve ever gone dirt biking – and this is from trying to go UP this not-very-steep hill:

The conversation meandered from there but we kept coming back to Baja. Nathan’s the kind of guy who prefers goals that seem too difficult and should be in action sports commercials cause he likes to ‘push it to the edge’. I, on the other hand, prefer coming home in one piece and think it’s inevitable that we’ll get injured in a crash caused by a booby trap.

But after a few more helpings of liquid courage, I realized that whether or not we succeeded, it would be a ton of fun, and it’d be a great story to share on Bike-urious – especially if you could tag along from the fruition of the idea, not just one day before the race starts.

I think this provides an fun opportunity to follow us as we select bikes, get training, realize what a horrible decision we’ve made, go to the hospital, cry manly tears, and then hopefully finish the race without incident. So, can two lovable morons with barely any dirt experience finish the Baja 1000? Let’s find out – and let me make it clear that we’re shooting for 2016, not the running that happens in 2 months. Hope you enjoy!

Step 1 – buying bikes to practice and learn on. Here’s where I think it’d be fun to change the equation up a bit. Instead of me finding interesting motorcycles for you to drool over and sometimes buy, now I’m asking for your help to find interesting motorcycles for us to crash on and destroy for your amusement…

Here’s our criteria:
– about $3,000
– within ~75 miles of Los Angeles
– street legal (this will probably raise some eyebrows but I can’t justify garage space for a bike that I can’t hop on and ride whenever I want)
– that’s pretty much it. This is just for practice, we’ll figure out what we want to use for the actual race in the future. Anyone willing to take a huge loss on a BMW XChallenge? Always wanted one of those. =)

So, loyal readers: what do you think we should get? Give me all the feedback you can handle – bonus points for those of you that give us specific craigslist/ebay/wherever links to follow-up on! Or, just tell me why this is the greatest/worst idea ever. Either way, I hope the upcoming chronicles will entertain you.

Within a couple of weeks, we had bought a couple of bikes. Check out Part 2 as we join Team Orange!