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So, my drive and passion for motorcycles has become insatiable the last few years. I LOVE to ride, anytime and anything. I started out on dual sports though, and my heart remains in the adventure touring world.

On that note, I checked out a series called "Race to Dakar", in which Charlie Boorman (the guy that rode around the world with Ewan McGregor) attempts to race the Lisboa-Dakar rally. I say attempts, because 5 days into he crashed and broke both hands, then rode 400+ kilometers to finish the stage. His team mate Simon Pavey has run 6 Dakar rallies, and done pretty well.

That got the gears turning. I LOVE riding on mixed terrain at high speed. The challenge is amazing, and the thrill unmatched. While I was home on leave, I took my dad's KLR 650 blasting through the mountains, and had a great time. I ran faster and harder over worse terrain than anything I have ever done before. My skills on the bike seem to have improved over the years.

I began to study the Dakar, now held in South America, and really have found something deep inside telling me I need to try it. I am almost 30, and probably running out of years to do it. Having 3 kids and a military commitment do not help. I am not sure as a soon-to-be E-6 I could ever afford even the bike.

But I found a dim light off at the end of a dark tunnel......The USAF. They pay for stupid things for recruiting. They sponsor a NASCAR team, paid a bunch of officers to do the "Seven Summits", and even bought an OCC custom chopper.

So, now I need to convince them to sponsor a Dakar team. All enlisted guys. Build out own bikes, have our own mechanic crew, train on our own time. Just pay the fees, give us 3 weeks off to race, and brag that the USAF has guys tough enough to enter and finish the hardest/most dangerous race in the world. Who knows how that will go.

Either way, I am now looking at which bike to build. KTM owns the race. No one can touch them. The BMW F650 used to be a great bike for it. Rules have changed now though. All bikes will soon be restricted to 450cc. Honda is an obvious choice, with years of racing and off road performance. BMW has thrown their hat in with the new G450X. KTM's are way outta my league.

Soon. Soon. Promotion comes, then the frame, and eventually a tough-as-nails rally bike.

Who knows if it will ever happen. I might wake up and realize it is a foolish dream. I may never get further than building the bike in my head and running the race in my sleep. Maybe, just maybe, a Steve Saunders' Goldwing Forum patch might make it's way through the Dakar rally.

Who knows. I am just a motorcycle fool with too much time on his hands to dream about foolish adventures........
 

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Never hurts to dream. I used to have a VW powered sand rail and used to dream of running the Baja 1000. Never did it, but always dreamed about it.

Take a look at the movie "Dust to Glory" sometime.

Good luck!
 

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Reach for your dreams, I'm sure you have heard those words before, it can be done. Do it.
 

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Don't give up on your dream. Fulfilling your ambitions define who you are.
 

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I am not giving up, just trying to figure out where to start. So many things in my head.......

I close my eyes anymore, and I can feel the desert burning away underneath my tires, fingers light on the bars........just riding.
 

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Baja Baja Baja.



I can give you a poc and hook up to set up a baja run w/ bike and all. Do the Baja 500 with a couple of buds.....you can have a full "factory" set upfor a couple grand each with the best in the business.



Dakar ain't squat. Ask the top Dakar drivers and riders who also run SCORE events, they'll tell you. Dakar isvery very controlled. Nobody takes a chance. Everybody goes to bed at night. The horror stories come from logistic issues in the remote sections.......major injuries and no close by med support and are usually the result of something silly. The guys who do both will tell you............Dakar for bikes is the boyscout event. It's what people with money who are afraid to go to MX do.



Baja is Dakar all wrapped up into one day......without the control and a thousand more risks. Baja is insane, there is no way to describe it. It is hands down the ultimate motorcycle event. Nothing compares to it...........whether you ironman it, or do it as a team.



As Rick Johnson says......anybody can trail ride the Baja...........few race it. You can put together your own bike, pay a grand or so for a pit service, and hit it......but unless you have a baja savvy member on your crew.......you'll probably fail. You can race the 500 for as little at a couple grand if you bear bones it.........or spend about 10 grand and have no worries.



Doing the Baja 1000 will cost a bit more.



Here's our bike at the end of the 2007 Baja 500:







Next time you're bored.........rent "Dust to Glory". No way can you watch that flick and not want to run the Baja 1000 on a bike.
 

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It is downloading right now! I would love the info on the bikes you could give me. I am not even sure where to start for a SCORE setup. I know there is a huge difference in the races. something about the mystique of the Dakar really appeals to me. Running for 6000 miles, and only 80 out of 230 bikes completing....

Like I said though, I do not know much about Baja, but there is an appeal there. I will take any info you can provide me, and thanks!
 

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Watch Dust to Glory..........then come back and tell me you don't want to do it!



Best place to get started is the desert racing forums.........like thumpertalk.com



We ran a Honda 450X........honda pretty much owns the desert.



Here's a quick youtube vid from the '07 race. It doesn't show the bikes.......just the trophy trucks.......but it shows some good footage of the course. Keep in mind.......these guys are behind you and catching up fast..........Robby Gordon bearing down on your @zz is a heck of a motivator to keep up the pace!





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ls0hMy3RAk





All I can tell you is........just freakin' do it. Don't spend years talking about it........suck it up and do it. Every year you don't.....you get a little older.....then one day your sitting in your rocker wishin' you did it......instead of telling your grand kids about how you did it.
 

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do not get me wrong, I never said I do not wan to try it. I just know I want to do Dakar, as well. How much fuel can you load on the honda 450 anyway? Can I get the specs on the bike and maybe some more pictures?
 

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You run a 3.7 gallon IMS. Honda sets up it's pits about every 70 miles..............and yes..........you suck down nearly that whole tank in 70 miles. Geared up and running WFO on offroad terrain really sucks the gas. You don't carry anything............it's a real race.



Dakar is more like a big enduro or qualifier..............Baja is a real desert race.





Closest thing we have in the states is the vegas to reno.



Bike is nearly stock........and that is normal. Highly modded bikes tend to break.



Basically, it's a stock CRF450X with a pipe, jetted correctly, smog pump removed, airbox snorkle removed, smaller rear sprocket and larger counter shaft sprocket, steel rear sprocket, a GPR steering stabilizer, and custom valved forks and shock.



Easiest and best way IMHO to do this is to call Tim Morton.......the god of Baja. Dude has more baja championships than any other rider.........and at 40 came in 2nd overall in the Baja 1000 (1400 miles from Ensenanda to Cabo), not 2nd in class.......2nd overall behind the factory honda A team, and beating the factory KTM team. Check them out at http://www.bajaboundmoto.com



Tell them Bish sent you.



Tim and his wife put together a race package for you.....handle all the logistics, and will even help you recruit A riders if you want some ringers on your team;-) All you have to do is a) know how to ride a motocycle and b) get your butt to Sand Diego California.........everything else....food, accomodations, bike prep, wrenching, prerunning, guiding, coaching........they handle.



His teams always clean house.........hard to beat the coaching and knowledge you'll get from him. Plus it'll be the most awesome time you ever spent on a bike!
 

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SB in SC wrote:
Never hurts to dream. I used to have a VW powered sand rail and used to dream of running the Baja 1000. Never did it, but always dreamed about it.

Take a look at the movie "Dust to Glory" sometime.

Good luck!
Class 11... that's what I'd try.

Anyway, a 2wd GL hack'd Bolivian Death Road trip is my dream.
Until it happens, the dreams keep the plans alive and in motion.
Nothing wrong with that, eh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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Wow, the Baja looks impressive. I am not sure it is what I am looking for, but I am going to pursue it. It is FAST. It scares the crap out of me.

I have been looking at the R2V, and I think that is going to be my first goal. With the new restrictions, I think the Honda 450 is going to have the best parts options, and be cheaper than the BMW.

Who knows, but the journey starts now. After a long talk with the wife, she thinks I can do it.....

More to come....
 
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