Going to Baja on my XR650R

I'm going to ride Baja on Dec.4th on trailboss tours and I will be riding my own bike. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on gearing and tires. I was told to go with one tooth larger on the counter sprocket to gear it taller. I ride an 03' crf450 most of the time, and since I'm 6'5" tall and 220 lbs. I'm running heavyer springs on my 450. does anyone have any ideas what I should run on my XR650? thanks in advance for any info.

Why not the CRF?

I run a Bridgestone M78 in the rear and the stock tire in front, both with heavy duty inner tubes with at least 15psi. This helps eliminate pinch flats. I am not sure about the springs but I would say you need at the next size stiffer based on your weight. I am 205 w/ gear and mine feels a little undersprung at times. The stock gearing works fine for high speed and slow technical sections, I would leave it like that unless you guys are really planning on going fast. You probably know this- you will need a desert tank, I have the IMS 4.6 gal which was enough (barely) to get us to gas stops. The rides I have done are w/ friends so we bring tools, oil, tubes etc... incase of problems which we have had. The tour guys should take care of any problems so you probably do not have to worry about bringing a bunch of stuff.

Where are you guys going?

we start in tecate, ride to Mikes skyranch. we spend the night there, then ride to Encenada, we stay at Estaro Beach, the the next day ride back to tecate. Its 3 days of riding at about 150 miles a day. I bought my 650 used, It has a 14 tooth counter sprocket and a 48 rear, is that stock? Thanks for the info, it should be alot of fun

That's stock gearing

ya thats the stock gears, good for about 97 mph. Mine doesnt mind cruising at 80-90 mph for a while when i have the 14t front on. One of these days i really want to cart my bike down to baja and do a ride, comes down to that money thing, JR

We recommend the Dunlop 739 AT for the rear and a 742f in the front, both with heavy tubes.

But really, the terrain you'll be riding won't be super rocky and won't tear up you tires so just as long as you have decent tires with heavy tubes you'll be fine.

And a big tank!

Going one up in the front is nice but not absolutely needed.

Have fun!

Maybe we'll see you down there as we're starting from the same spot on the 3rd and both our groups will do a similar last day (Sunday).



I ran a 739 in baja and it hooked up well from San Felipe to Mike's and back. Also my Clarke 4.3 was enough to get me to Mike's (100 miles each way). We stopped at some Ranch? (for lack of better description) off to the side of a dry lake bed. they had gasoline, tecate, and freshly rotted goats heads hanging on the wall. Have fun! :)


Say HI to Chris and Nan for me. I just rode sweep for the Death Valley trip 2 weeks back. I'll most likely ride sweep for them in Jan. sometime. I have a real job so I can't do as many rides as I want. You'll have a blast :)

Thanks for all the info guys. It should be a great time. Chris and Nancy seem like really nice people on the phone. I would really like to do the ride all the way to Cabo next year. It sounds like a blast. Well now I have a list of goodies to buy at the Bike shop. Does anyone know if they make the lower foot pegs for the 650R? I bought them for my crf450 and love them, they seem to give me more room for my feet.

Tim, checked out your web site. Looks cool, I added it to my favorites. good luck with the Baja 1000 !

stock gearing is fine but most people that race baja use 15/47 gearing. I would leave it stock until you wear them out. regarding tires, rear dunlop 739 desert AT, 120x18; or Bridgestone ED78; front Pirelli MT-18 heavy duty. Choice of tires is personal. If you like to have radio communication with trailboss during the tour let me know as I set up their helmets and radios for communication. Nancy and Chris are really great people and I'm sure you will have a great time in Baja. Tell them Rudy said hi. :)


Thanks for the pictures, all I can think about is the Baja ride. I went nuts at the bike shop and bought alot of new parts for my 650R. I've been riding my CRF450 alot to get in shape for the ride, alot of track riding. I bought some stiffer springs for the 650r and a IMS tank, Tall moose seat, 15 tooth counter sprocket, new tires and heavy tubes. We were thinking of driving down a day early to San Diego and finding a place to ride there, is there any good OHV areas in that area?

We were thinking of driving down a day early to San Diego and finding a place to ride there, is there any good OHV areas in that area?

Heck yeah! Hook up with Johnny "Airtime" Jensen and he can point you to some great riding spots in the the San Diego area. If you've never been to Glamis, then it would be worth a day playing in the dunes if you've never done that before, but only if that appeals to you. The weekends are crazy, but weekdays are much nicer. Here's Johnny's web site incase you want to contact him.


Here's some Glamis web sites to check out...



Ocotillo Wells is in San Diego County and it's another place to check out and here are some web site with more info...



Here's a quick 'untouched' pick of Johnny Airtime at Glamis!


If it was me I would wait until after the tour. Just remember 3 days of Baja is a lot trust me. Your on the bike 6 hours a day so you'll get planty of riding in. Now you can always stop and ride on the way home but I would save the bike for the trip. No sence on getting hurt or damaging the bike before hand. :)

If it was me I would wait until after the tour

That's definitely the smartest as advice I can think of. I got to thinking about riding in San Diego and lost control of myself (withdrawls from not riding in a while) :D, but if I were you, I'd definitely do the tour first as Moredesert 'wisely' pointed out :) If everything goes as planned on the Tour, then check out those places if you have time, but keep your sights on Baja.

Speaking of Baja, rallytrack is reporting someone going 126 MPH on the 5 freeway in San Diego toward Mexico, but then they turned around??? Were they just late to the race or what? Maybe it's a mistake or maybe they're being chased by the fuzz??? 126 MPH...Yeow!


Johnny Campbell is due at the finish line before 9PM according to offroad.com. I hope Chris Blais is doing well in the race.

Have a great Baja trip! :D

Thanks for all the info, and links. After further thought I think I will take your advice and ride after the tour. That would be a real bummer to get hurt right before the trip. In fact one of my friends going on the ride just got hurt on Saturday at the Thunderhill track up here in northern Ca. Hope he's ok for the trip. I've heard of Glamas before, sounds like alot of fun, we go to sand mountain out side of Reno Nevada. Thanks again for all the info, I'm counting the days now!!

I am wanting to take a trip into Baja as well, I would appreciate hearing of your experience and contacts you make. I know lots of folks take trips down there but I have no info on how it is best done or where to go.

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