The BajaMex 300-My expierence...

This year I've decided to race the entire "Best in the Desert" series held mostly in Nevada, near and around the Las Vegas area, however the newest race of the series happends to be in Baja, Mexico. Their are a couple of race promoters that promote races in the Baja area: Score and Best in the Desert. In the states it is very difficult to put on a race, period! The amount of paperwork and permits is staggering. Casey Folks is the director of Best in the Desert, not only does he deal with the state BLM and the local government but also plays a big part in marking and cutting a course. In Nevada he is forced to deal with local Indian tribes if he wants a race through their land, last year an Indian tribe re-negged on a deal the night before a race (Vegas 200). Casey made the race happen without a hitch. You might ask why mention all of this, well in Mexico it's a different story,we arn't looked at as criminals or "bad people". In Mexico they love off-racing, it is welcomed by all. This was the biggest thing I noticed. There were parts of the race course that were just covered with locals cheering on the racers (I felt like Roger DeCoster back in the 70's racing around a crouded track). The course started from Estero Beach, Ensenada. We then raced southeast for about 100 miles and made our way back to the coast where we road along the beautiful coast back to Ensenada for a total of 300 miles. The finish line was in a huge stadium of screaming fans urging the finishers to jump the finish line jump. Since I couldn't see what was on the otherside I just rolled over the big jump, the crowd wasn't very pleased but I wasn't about to risk getting hurt for a little jump that I've never been over. I felt I rode very well making very little mistakes. About a 100 miles into the race I noticed my bike wouldn't idle at all. I think I stalled my bike a hundred times. Finally it quit in a bad secion before pit #6 (the last pit) and I just couldn't get it started and this was very unusual because my bike has always started perfectly all the time. Since I couldn't get the bike lit up I was figuring something was in my pilot circuit since it wouldn't idle. I found nothing and decided to put the carb back together. Just for the heck of it I decided to kick my bike to death with the throttle wide open and she fired up and I took off with no goggles and no chin strap on my helmet, branches from trees cut me in the face that left my eye bleeding to blur my vision. The most important thing to me was the fact that my bike was running again and I wasn't stuck. I finally made it to pit #6 and my father (pit crew) was with the team Honda guys. They instantly grabbed my bike from me and put it on their stand and began to evaluate the problem. The problem was that I had a cracked carb boot that got cut from my cheap Home Depot hose clamp that I was using instead of the OEM part :). I felt so stupid!!! My fathers bike had one so the Honda guys ripped it off of Pops WR and slammed it on to my bike within a matter of minutes. After that I rode 23 miles to the finish thanks to Honda!!!

Baja was way different that I had imagined. I thought it would be a 300 mile long sand wash with cactus on both sides. I couldn't have been more wrong. Baja has everything you could imagine: Mostly rolling hills and hard packed brown dirt, some sand washes and some street and everything in between.

Only two Expert Ironmen showed up for the event, usually it's alot more. I got beat by my friend from Japan, Hide. He finised 6th overall!! Wow, he was cookin. So I got last place :D but I had a great time and I now have a new respect for riding in Mexico. I just got the news that their will be a 2004 BajaMex 300, The ole WR450 should love it down there...

Hey, Dan! Im taking my hat off for you, If I were 20 years younger It would be an absolute BALL :) To ride the stuff you do, And see such beatiful country! Anyway enjoy reading your posts. Best wishes and the best of luck. :D :D Distict37 0115

Good story.

I think it is unbelievably cool that the Honda pit guys were working on your Yamaha.

I'd like to race Baja someday, maybe even ironman it like some luna, I mean tough guy like you, but because of the pit support I'd probably try it on a Honda. Maybe even a CR.

I'll be waiting to hear a good first hand report on the next BID event, if there are any left...



Sounds like a pretty killer race. what was the total time from start to finish? Do you go before or after the trucks?

Hey Dan,

Good job! Sounds like you had a great ride. It's been many years, but I raced in Mexico both on the scooter and in cars. I much prefer cars down there, but you are right, they really get excited about off-road races.

Off-roaders have been very good to the locals, and they have returned the favor. Most people outside of the big towns would give you the shirt off their back if they thought it would help you. I'd love to prerun next year's race course if you plan to go. Let me know if you want some company.


Hi, Dan

You got a great time! Yeah, I did, too.

I didn’t know your position or your trouble in the race.

I kept pushing hard from start to finish, so I had many crush in the dust.

But it was good there were no big accident including you and me!

Anyway, the difference between you and me was PRERUN in this race.

I did PRERUN for two days. So I knew the course. This was important.

Do PRERUN in next year, Dan!

Preruning in the Baja Desert has a lot of fun. You can see many awesome sights and then you can set your bike up.

I wish your victory at Las Vegas 200. GANBARE-!!!


P.S: Now I’m planning to go PAKER250

Man, I love reading these stories. Hopefully, I'll get to ride down there sometime. Thanks Dan.

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