Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'desert x'.
Found 1 result
5 day Baja with the Ducati Desert X
padu posted a topic in 4 Days & Longer Trip Write-Ups and PhotosIt took me a while to edit all the footage, but finally, it's done. It was a 5-day trip with a group organized by a friend of a friend. This was no commercial expedition, and the organizer (a great guy from central California) did it because he loves to travel to Baja and has been doing this for the past 20 years. We would only have to pay for our hotel and food. Great deal if you ask me. Just look around, and you'll quickly find out that a Baja expedition can easily cost $3K or more. During the 5 days, we run about 700 miles of asphalt and dirt. Here's the video with the highlights from all 5 days. The longer videos for each day are at the end of the post. Here's the quick write-up of each day: DAY 1 - Tecate to Mike's Sky Rancho, 186 miles All 14 riders met at the gas station just before crossing the border in Tecate. Some people came from as far as Utah. Some rode their bikes, and some hauled them to the border and left the trailer in one of the parking lots, right at the border. Crossing the border is a non-event event. Just wait for a green light and go... no drama. The first stretch of dirt was the El Compadre trail. A broad, easy-to-ride dirt road that goes south, starting near Tecate to Ojos Negros for about 50 miles. There were a few sandy spots on that trail, but nothing too complicated. From there we hit the Mexico 3 highway towards Lazaro Cardenas, where we stopped for some tacos and gasoline. That's where the fun starts. After another stretch of asphalt, we jumped on the dirt again, still going south, now towards Mike's Sky Rancho. It was less than 20 miles of dirt, but some areas were very sandy, and many people were dropping their bikes. One of the riders had a twisted ankle, which was the end of the trip for him. As you approach Mike's Sky Rancho you need to overcome some hills with tricky climbs and descends. Hard for beginners but very passable for intermediate riders. Mike Sky Rancho is legendary, with thousands of photos on the walls and signed t-shirts hanging from the ceiling. It's a must-visit in Baja. We had an excellent dinner and drinks there and went to sleep before the generators shut down. DAY 2 - Mike's Sky Rancho to Coyote Cal's, 86 miles After an awesome breakfast at Mike's, it was time to hit the dirt again. The morning dew made the sand a bit more easy to ride, plus the fact it was still rutted from the day before. We stopped at Lazaro Cadenas again for more gas and started the most challenging part of the trip. As we rode west towards the Pacific, the beginning of the dirt road should be a really easy one, as it goes on relatively flat terrain between farms. It had rained the days before, so parts of the road were flooded, with deep puddles (ponds, really). In some parts, we crossed the ponds; in others, we ventured inside the farmland to avoid the flooded road. Some of these detours had clay-like mud, veeery slippery. That was one of my 4 drops in the entire trip. Drop #2 happened a few hundred yards ahead. Crossing a long pond, the front wheel dropped into a hole that was invisible underwater. I dove into the water and got completely submerged. We had a couple more casualties on the "mud field." One of the riders had mechanical problems with the kickstand sensor on his KTM, and he and his crew had to retire from the trip. That was 4 fewer riders for the group. After we passed the ponds on the flat terrain, it started raining hard. Some of our riders decided to take the long asphalt road and avoid the mountain range ahead of us. What came next was a first for me. Riding on dirt roads under a storm. It was a really nice experience. The road was slippery on some hills, but there were no casualties or drops in our group. After a quick stop in Erendira for some fish tacos, we got to Cal's as the sun set. Coyote Cal's is another landmark in the Baja racing culture, with magnificent ocean views and its famous "chupacabra". We had Thai Lobsters for dinner and went to sleep on bunkers after a long day of riding. DAY 3 - Coyote Cal's to El Rosario, 129 miles On our third day, we decided to ride south to our southernmost point of the trip to El Rosario, about 250 miles south of the border. The day was mostly asphalt on Mexico 1 highway, with a tiny amount of dirt (less than 5 miles of easy terrain) to visit La Lobera (see pictures below). Some riders decided to end the trip short, so from then on, we had 8 riders in our group. Nothing too exciting. We stopped for some street fish tacos (the best!) in San Quintin and then a quick stop at La Lobera, where you end up in this coastal place with a massive hole in the ground, connected to the ocean by caves, and during some times during the year Seals (aka Lobo Marino in Spanish, hence "La Lobera") will populate the bottom of this pit. We ended the day in El Rosario with dinner at the famous Mama Espinoza. Huge fresh lobster and margaritas were the highlights of the evening. DAY 4 - El Rosario to Horsepower Ranch in Ensenada, 188 miles Day 4 of our trip was mostly asphalt, but the approximate 25 miles of dirt were probably the most fun of the trip. As we got close to Coyote Cal's again, we jumped on the dirt road accompanying the coast. Stunning scenery road that is easy to ride. At some point, were able to go down to the beach, as the tide was low. Really soft sand, and that was my drop #3. That was quickly forgotten as we played like little kids on the beach sand. We even had time to do a quick race between my desert X and a Kawasaki dual sport. The Kawi took the first bout, desert x the second, although I think the first round's loss had everything to do with the pilot and nothing with the bike 🙂. After playing on the beach, we rode northeast, back towards Mexico 1 highway. There are some hill climbs over loose rocks that makes it non-beginner-friendly, but nothing super hard. The last half of the dirt is like a freeway. Wide dirt road with a really good surface. If you dare, you can easily hit 60+ mph (don't ask me how I know), but be careful with bumps on the road; otherwise, you will catch some serious air . After an infinite amount of time in Ensenada traffic, we arrived at Horsepower Ranch in Ensenada. Another must-visit race-related place in Baja. Great food, a great bar, and excellent accommodation. DAY 5 - Horsepower Ranch in Ensenada back to home, 99 miles Last day was just going back home really. No dirt. Just waking up, having breakfast, packing up, and go. We drove back towards the Tecate border through the famous "Ruta del Vino", in Valle de Guadalupe. The Valle is a wine region in Baja California peppered with vineyards, high-end restaurants, and resorts, well worth a visit just for that. It's a gorgeous region. We stopped in Tecate for final tacos and border crossing. A tip for fellow travelers, it is totally acceptable to cut the line and go to the top of the line at the border crossing. In fact, don't follow the "US Border" signs you see in the city; go straight for the front of the line (see map below). There are concrete barricades, but they leave a small gap just for motorcycles. Longer videos for each day of the trip: Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5