Ride training

Of course, getting ready for the Baja next year is going to require a LOT of time in the saddle. I've been riding motorcycles since I was 9 years old, but I haven't owned a bike in 22 years. I'm a decently fit guy, but need to get seriously bike fit.

My family took a trip to Kings Canyon National Park recently, and we trailered the bike with us. I got a chance to get out on some trails for the first time, and had an absolute blast!

 Big Meadows Trail on the way to Buck Rock

Big Meadows Trail on the way to Buck Rock

 Made it to the top!

Made it to the top!

Progress

The DR650 is an absolutely amazing bike! Virtually unchanged since 1996, it has proven to be a low-maintenance, go-anywhere machine. There are countless modifications and upgrades to be made, and I've been working on them for the past few months. To name a few...

  • Acerbis 6.6 gal. tank for extended range
  • Cogent Mojave rear shock and Cogent DDC + spring upgrade for the front – an absolute necessity for being able to do any serious off-roading
  • Scaggs Billet Aluminum rear cargo rack for carrying tools and such
  • 12v and 5v USB power outlets + battery tender – gotta power the GPS!
 A few of the farkles

A few of the farkles

Modding the bike for extended trips has been a lot of fun. Getting it Baja ready is going to take even more work, but I'm looking forward to it.

Getting started

The first step on the path to the Baja 1000 was to get a bike. I've ridden for many years, but I also haven't ridden in many years. The last time I owned a motorcycle was in 1994. Yes, I'm that old. But I did my research, and knew I was after a dual-sport motorcycle. After all, I've got a lot of riding practice I need to get under my belt before the race next year, and what better way to get there than to ride, ride, ride!

I headed down to the shop, Monterey Peninsula Powersports, and met Mike. We talked pros and cons of different dual-sports and finally settled on one.

So here's the bike I opted for – a 2016 Suzuki DR650. This is a big bike. It's not huge, but it's definitely heavier than most of the dirt bikes you'll see racing in the B1K. But if I was going to make the investment, I wanted a bike I could get lots of use out of. The DR650 is a fantastic adventure bike, and in fact there are some who claim it's the best motorcycle on the planet.