Motorcycle Road Trip to Baja California
As an experienced road tripper, I have traveled on a variety of vehicles, from old Harley Davidsons to beat-up RVs, regular sedans, and convertible sports cars. I’ve taken both meticulously planned and spontaneous trips, been a passenger and a driver, and have even been stuck on the road for days. But nothing beats traveling on my trusty Electra Glide motorcycle, which offers a unique sensory experience that engages all my senses and allows me to connect with the world in a deeper way. Traveling on a motorcycle clears the mind, relaxes the spirit, and enriches the soul, making it the ultimate form of meditation. Whether it’s a short weekend trip or a cross-country adventure, I am always ready to hit the tarmac on my trusty motorcycle, eager to see what new experiences and adventures await me on the open road.
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience:
I believed I had experienced every kind of motorcycle journey until a friend proposed that I accompany them on a “road trip” along the Baja coastline in Mexico. Taking on a road trip down the Baja coast on an Adventure Touring bike like the BMW R 1200 GS would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that promises to be both challenging and rewarding. The Baja coast is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in Mexico, from rugged deserts to pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. However, it’s also a region that poses its own unique set of challenges for even the most experienced riders. Unlike the smooth highways that most cruisers are built for, the Baja coast is infamous for its rough and uneven terrain. From steep inclines to loose gravel, it’s essential to have a bike that can handle it all. The BMW R 1200 GS is a beast of a machine, built for adventure and designed to take on any obstacle with ease. With its advanced suspension system and powerful engine, it’s the perfect bike for conquering the unpredictable terrain of the Baja coast. But it’s not just the bike that makes this journey so special; it’s the adventure itself. Traveling off the beaten path, exploring hidden beaches, and discovering remote towns and villages are all part of the experience. It’s a chance to immerse oneself in the local culture, meet new people, and create memories that will last a lifetime. While it may be daunting to trade in the comfort of a cruiser for the thrill of an Adventure Touring bike, the rewards of taking on the Baja coast will undoubtedly be worth it. With its stunning natural beauty and unique challenges, this road trip promises to be a journey like no other. The last time I rode something like this was when I was a teenager, and it was just a small 50cc vehicle. This bike, on the other hand, is a beast in comparison.
Embracing a New Challenge:
After 40 years of riding, I had become accustomed to my 700-pound motorcycle, with a large saddle and backrest to support me on long rides. But my latest acquisition was a completely different beast, taller, lighter, thinner, and much quicker off the mark. I began to wonder if I was too old and set in my ways to take on this new challenge. Despite my doubts, my friend convinced me to take a seven-day trip with other novice riders, assuring me that there would be ample time to learn the ins and outs of the new bike. He neglected to mention that most of the other newbies were young, and some were even girls. Despite this, I was confident that I wouldn’t be left behind or injured, so I committed to the trip. Though it was daunting at first, I quickly got the hang of my new ride and found myself enjoying the experience more and more each day. This thrilling challenge pushed me out of my comfort zone and proved to me that age truly is just a number.
As I prepared for this off-road adventure, I realised that I had underestimated just how different it would be from a typical road trip. The gear required for this type of excursion was entirely different, with helmets, shoulder pads, kidney belts, and gloves tailored specifically for the demands of off-roading. I felt like I was gearing up for a scene straight out of the Mad Max movie! Our group would consist of ten riders, and we would start our journey in Ensenada before making our way down the Baja Peninsula to Cabo San Lucas. Once we arrived in Cabo, we would fly back to San Diego and have our motorcycles shipped back to the USA by a reliable motorcycle shipping company. The route we had planned was not for the faint of heart. We would be traversing a wide range of terrains, from crossing dry riverbeds at full speed to riding some of the trails of the famed Baja 500. We would be zigzagging through cactus fields, crossing rivers, conquering mountains, and cruising along the beaches at low tide. Between all of this, we would be setting up camps in various locations along the route, savoring local cuisine, and taking in the breathtaking desert scenery that this unique part of the world has to offer. As I set off on this adventure, I knew that it would be an experience unlike any other. I was ready to embrace the challenges and the thrills that lay ahead, and I was eager to immerse myself in the stunning beauty of the Baja Peninsula.
Exploring Tourist Spots and Adapting to a New Bike:
On the first day of the adventure, my friend’s suggestion to stick to the road proved to be a good idea as we explored the various tourist spots around the port town. We witnessed the natural wonder of a blow hole and even stumbled upon a beach situated on the San Andreas fault, which allowed us to dig a hole and enjoy a natural hot spring. The day ended on a high note as we savoured fresh seafood at a charming eatery perched on the cliffs, accompanied by rattlesnake tequila. As I rode my new bike, I realised that this journey would be unforgettable. I had to adjust to the bike’s differences, from sitting higher and experiencing a buzz instead of a roar during gear shifts, to its unique handling. However, I adapted quickly, feeling like a nimble gymnast on this machine compared to a lumbering sumo wrestler on my previous bike. With each passing moment, any unease I had initially felt dissipated, though perhaps the tequila helped with that!
The rest of the trip far surpassed any expectations I had. Mexico’s vastness, dryness, ruggedness, and heat make it the perfect destination for adventure. The bikes we were riding were specifically built to handle any terrain, and Baja had a slice of everything to offer. The most thrilling moment of the trip was speeding across the dry riverbed, with ten of us in a cloud of dust, our machines zipping across the bed at a speed that I would never dare attempt on the road. We rode through a maze of cacti that towered over us at eight feet high, but the bikes’ amazing handling made it easy to navigate through the spiked obstacles. We also encountered beaches full of sand dunes that became our playground. On our journey, we came across rattlesnakes and scorpions, cowboys and cattle, one-horse towns, fishing villages, and Day of the Dead parades, all while encountering friendly locals who were always happy to point us in the direction of the best lobster or the most picturesque views.
As we arrived in Cabo San Lucas, I couldn’t help but reflect on the journey that had led us here. It had been an exhilarating experience, to say the least. We had travelled for hours on end, navigating through winding roads and treacherous terrain, our bodies constantly being jolted by the rugged landscape.At first, my body had rebelled against this new mode of transportation, protesting the strenuous workout it was being subjected to. But as the hours passed, I found myself adapting to the rhythm of the journey, my muscles growing stronger and more resilient with each passing mile.
Despite the physical exhaustion, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment as we pulled into Cabo San Lucas. It was a feeling of triumph, knowing that we had conquered the challenges that the journey had presented us with. And yet, even as I basked in the glow of this achievement, I found myself eager to do it all over again.As a young man, I would have relished the opportunity to embark on such a journey every weekend. As I’ve gotten older and more set in my ways, I’ve started to value the comfort and convenience of my reliable motorcycle, which has a worn-out seat that fits me perfectly.
So, while I may not be able to take on such adventures as frequently as I once could, I know that the memories of this unique road trip will stay with me for years to come. And who knows, maybe I’ll find myself back on the road sooner than I think, eager to take on whatever challenges lie ahead.
If you’re planning a motorcycle road trip to Cabo San Lucas but don’t want to ride all the way from your starting point, consider using a motorcycle shipping company to transport your bike to San Diego. From there, you can easily cross the border to Tijuana, Mexico and begin your journey south. This way, you can skip the long, tiring ride to get to the start of your trip and instead conserve your energy for the adventures ahead. Just be sure to choose a reliable motorcycle shipping company that will take good care of your bike and deliver it safely to your destination.