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Hilde44
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   Posted 11/8/2006 1:57 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
As Ken heads out the door to make his way south once again, here's a quick piece of nastalgia from our 2005 Baja project. Ken's preview of the 2006 event will be up soon so get geared up now for the coming dust storm.
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Tros
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   Posted 11/8/2006 4:03 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Don't other racing teams use larger gas tanks, and aftermarket lighting? You guys would know more than me, but I'd think a small tank and stock lighting would suuuuuuuuck (more so the lighting than anything). Of course, I'd probably go for the lights from Baja Designs (pictured below) or something equally badass.
 


"People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost."

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Hilde44
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   Posted 11/8/2006 4:22 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Our tank was right in the ballpark for racing applications. Teams typically pit around every 50-70 miles so 3.2 gallons was just right for wide-open use. However, when the bike was used for pre-running, and the awesome Honda pits weren't available, the range was a little low, thus the makeshift saddlebag totes.

As for the lights, the stock units did suck, but we didn't really do any pre-running during the night except for one occasion when we wound up staying out later than planned due to fuel issues. We only put a badass set of Baja Designs lights on our PC factory replica because it was our primary racer. The XR's Only machine was only used to race in the Vegas-to-Reno event. The plan was to get some race experience for as many people as possible in Nevada but the bike wouldn't see any competitive action in Mexico. The XR's Only team relied heavily on helmet lights to supplement the relatively weak stocker.

So to answer your question, yes, most race teams run stronger lights, and no, the fuel tank was very adequate for racing. Our bike was multi-purpose, which meant it fell somewhere between full racer and ultimate workhorse.

Post Edited (Hilde44) : 11/8/2006 11:25:57 PM GMT

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Hilde44
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   Posted 11/10/2006 1:55 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
All right, Ken has collected his thoughts about what he's getting himself into again this year with his 2006 Baja 1000 Preview.
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Tros
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   Posted 11/10/2006 6:35 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hilde44 said...

So to answer your question, yes, most race teams run stronger lights, and no, the fuel tank was very adequate for racing. Our bike was multi-purpose, which meant it fell somewhere between full racer and ultimate workhorse.
First off --- are those helmet lights a worthwhile edition? I see people use them, so they must work, but just how good is what I am wondering?
 
Second off --- Makes sense to use the size of tank and lighting for your situation then. No matter what, I bet that XR650R is night and day better than the stock setup was.
 
And finally --- This baja looks to be just as good as all the rest of them! jumpin


"People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost."

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louemc
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   Posted 11/11/2006 12:26 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Hey Ken, good luck out there,I Hope for the best to you.
The info might be in what was prepaired here, but I didn't see it. Question is, how is the suspension prepped? Like, components or valve packs differ from stock.
At this close to the race, if you can't reply, I'll sure understand that as well.


 Focus the forces, Be The Force

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Tros
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   Posted 11/11/2006 3:01 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Good question. I hear people take a few different routes to improve the suspension (lord knows the stock stuff will bottom out :p)

I can't wait to hear what you've done with it.


"People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost."

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Kenny
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   Posted 11/12/2006 5:19 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Lou. Thanks, my plan is to survive if at all possible. The XR650R we are racing is almost the same bike that Johnny Campbell won the race on in 2005. Precision Concepts built the bike for us last year, you can check that story out by clicking on the link. One of the most critical changes is in fact the suspension. The difference is ridiculous when you ride a stock XR versus this bike (We actually had PC do the suspension on a second XR as well and its just as sweet.

The motor changes are a hot cam from Precision Concepts, full exhaust system and taller gearing. They have a top speed in excess of 110mph and behave similarly to a 450 MXer in terms of outright arm-straightening torque. Another key component is a Scotts steering damper which makes a huge difference in this type of terrain. It allows free movement until the impact effects the bars/fork. That is different than the GPR which exhibits damping qualities all the time.

Guys, keep your eyes peeled for the Baja results/coverage through November - it will be entertaining. I will try to get some good video and other juicy bits for your viewing pleasure.


Damn it, where'd Duke go now?

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Hilde44
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   Posted 11/13/2006 10:03 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Kansas,

Yeah, those lights are definitely worthwhile. Just ask Ken about his experience with them He ran almost the entire night section during the '05 Baja with nothing but a set of Trail Tech lamps. They are amazingly good and perfect for supplemental light. I wouldn't recommend trying to ride race-pace with them but they are a great backup. They're also perfect for casual riders who sometimes stay out past dark.
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louemc
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   Posted 11/13/2006 11:23 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Kenny said...
Lou. Thanks, my plan is to survive if at all possible. The XR650R we are racing is almost the same bike that Johnny Campbell won the race on in 2005. Precision Concepts built the bike for us last year, you can check that story out by clicking on the link. One of the most critical changes is in fact the suspension. The difference is ridiculous when you ride a stock XR versus this bike (We actually had PC do the suspension on a second XR as well and its just as sweet.

The motor changes are a hot cam from Precision Concepts, full exhaust system and taller gearing. They have a top speed in excess of 110mph and behave similarly to a 450 MXer in terms of outright arm-straightening torque. Another key component is a Scotts steering damper which makes a huge difference in this type of terrain. It allows free movement until the impact effects the bars/fork. That is different than the GPR which exhibits damping qualities all the time.

Guys, keep your eyes peeled for the Baja results/coverage through November - it will be entertaining. I will try to get some good video and other juicy bits for your viewing pleasure.


Sounds perfect Kenny, Glad you noted the difference between GPR and Scotts. I'm a huge Scotts fan, I've said every chance I get, that I wouldn't ride any bike, that I would be on because I want to ride that bike, without a Scotts/Ohlins rotary damper/stabilizer, because Scotts is the only one that has the behaviour to do the job when the job is needed, and doesn't bother you with a restriction when it isn't wanted/needed.
I was wondering on the suspension (couldn't find the info in the link) if Race-Tech or Lindemann Engineering or AfterShocks or someone else, was involved with the suspension. Or does Precision Concepts do the parts themseves?
Again, May the Force be with you, on the race, best of luck :-)


 Focus the forces, Be The Force

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Hilde44
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   Posted 11/13/2006 11:48 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Bob Bell at PC does all the work on Factory Honda's race bikes, and he did ours as well. We don't have his secret valving specs, but he did re-work all the innards of our fork and shock. Click here for a list of what was done.
 
After sampling the major improvements, Darin Hecker, who has stepped up and acted as an important front man to MotoUSA's desert racing project, went ahead and had Mr. Bell recreate the magic on the XR's Only bike. What was already a respectable desert machine is now even better. Ken will be able to tell you just how much because he rode the updated XR's Only bike during this year's pre-run. Since he rode it a ton in 2005 with the original mods, he'll be able to give a direct comparison once he's back from in the States.
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louemc
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   Posted 11/13/2006 12:03 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks Hilde44, I'm eager to hear the report when Ken returns, hope there is a helicopter filming some Ken flight time. :-)


 Focus the forces, Be The Force

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Hilde44
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   Posted 11/15/2006 1:20 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Don't count on that chopper footage, Lou. The last I heard, Ken had volunteered to ride the night section again so it might be a rare sight to witness him in race form at all. Hopefully that isn't the case. All that pain, suffering and mental anguish from 2005 and you would think ol' Hutch would have been cutting throats to ride daylight hours only. In my short time here I've learned not to attempt predicting Kenny's actions. Esta Loco!
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louemc
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   Posted 11/15/2006 12:49 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Humm, Bummer, I was hoping to see daylight Loco :-) well, with any luck we will see some other Loco in the daylight :-)


 Focus the forces, Be The Force

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bmadson
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   Posted 11/18/2006 6:59 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Ken made it to the end in one piece and Steve Hengeveld broke Campbell's winning streak. Baja 1000 results are in. Ken will have the full story for us once me finds a way back across the border.
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bmadson
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   Posted 12/22/2006 6:01 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
We have one more final installment of our Baja 1000 coverage. Check out Ken's epic 2006 Baja 1000 -Coup de Grace article and let us now what you think. I Hutch brave, just plain loco, or a little of both.
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x2468
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   Posted 12/24/2006 11:49 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
just wondering. how many people did it take to run the race. and how much money? id like to do it one day.


Kawasaki Kx250
Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4

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Kenny
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   Posted 12/26/2006 8:42 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.

In a nutshell you are looking at an easy $10,000. Not including the bike you start with. Entrey fees, parts ($2K for lights, spare wheels, tires, etc), pit support - Honda Pit Service ($500-$1000, Mag 7 pits (We used them in the 1000) - $300-750), upgraded suspension (Dont bother to try it stock unless you plan to trail ride the whole race), food, lodging, fuel, donations to Federale empenada-fund, party cash. Plus you need all that same stuff, minus the entry fee, to pre-run as well.

I am not rying to scare you off, but our boy Hecker footed the bill and it was an easy $15k For the Baja 1000 alone and close to the same for the Baja 500. The 250 was a lot less because you didnt need pit support of you have friends willing to help you out.

The travel expenses are what add up quicker than anything else. Once the cost of bulding a good bike is taken care of the rest is nickle and dime time - everything seems to cost a couple hundred bucks. Ask me anything else and I will try to help.

 

We befriended our fellow racers from the Pacific N.W. on the 314x KTM. I'll find out what they spent to pull it off and that will give you a nice avaerage to work off of here. Stay tuned for a video update in the next few days.


Damn it, where'd Duke go now?

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Tros
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   Posted 12/27/2006 7:32 AM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Wow. I somehow missed these articles as they were getting pumped out. Just like the year before, I enjoyed reading every word, and checking out all the pictures. Very good job!


"People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost."

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Kenny
MCUSA - Editorial Director



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   Posted 1/2/2007 3:44 PM (GMT -7)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Thanks Kansas - we did work our asses off on this one.


Damn it, where'd Duke go now?

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