Differences between a "Desert" bike and a "Baja" bike


10 replies to this topic
  • Supplicate

Posted September 09, 2005 - 12:59 PM

#1

now... before people start flaming me, this is a serious subject IMO.


I can't even recall how many threads have been on here since Dust to Glory came out about Baja and what needs to be done to the piggy to race in Baja.

Now, there are the Score style races, and then there are the local style desert races. For the Score races its understandable to mod up the 650R to wring out every last bit of speed to try and remain competitive, but the question is, is it really worth doing all those go fast mods for a simple desert racer when Baja is still years in the future?

And what exactly would be the perfect desert race setup for a course when the maximum distance would be ~ 60 miles?

  • Baja Rudy

Posted September 09, 2005 - 01:18 PM

#2

if you are only riding 60 miles then you should be riding a 450cc. 60 miles for a 650 in baja is a good warmup... :banghead:

  • Supplicate

Posted September 09, 2005 - 01:21 PM

#3

if you are only riding 60 miles then you should be riding a 450cc. 60 miles for a 650 in baja is a good warmup... :applause:

or maybe its just a warmup for the rider so I can learn the basics of desert racing before trying to run with the big dogs :banghead:

and the way I see it, you might as well be riding what you want to learn with and continue to ride, because a 450 and a 650 are two completely different animals. :lol:


edit: here's another one, how long is the average D37 course anyway?

  • XR250rdr

Posted September 09, 2005 - 01:26 PM

#4

IIRC the longest one loop can be in D37 is 50 miles. So a maximum of 100 miles total.

  • J_Daniels

Posted September 09, 2005 - 02:35 PM

#5

So what you're saying is; What are the mods most important (first mods to be done) for the Pig to be desert raced? That's easy, suspension! And tires, of course.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • BWB63

Posted September 09, 2005 - 02:44 PM

#6

now... before people start flaming me, this is a serious subject IMO.


I can't even recall how many threads have been on here since Dust to Glory came out about Baja and what needs to be done to the piggy to race in Baja.

Now, there are the Score style races, and then there are the local style desert races. For the Score races its understandable to mod up the 650R to wring out every last bit of speed to try and remain competitive, but the question is, is it really worth doing all those go fast mods for a simple desert racer when Baja is still years in the future?

And what exactly would be the perfect desert race setup for a course when the maximum distance would be ~ 60 miles?



Finally a good question!

If you are going to do anything serious on a XR650R get the Suspension done for your weight for what you are going to do. Not just because I do suspensions but, just like I rag on the XR650"L" for not being a serious off road bike HONDA has taken this approach on the XR650R in some manner also. The suspension suffering the worst. Along with the right foot peg, no grease in the linkage or steering head, the handle bars and where they are placed. Like I said, the suspension really suffers from there trying to squeeze as much proffit out of this bike, with the thought that most buyers are just weekend warriors that won't need it or know better. If your bike of choice is going to be a BRP for 60 mile races in California you need the suspension to work way better and is even more needed. As in the Baja races shorter races are harder then the longer ones. The Baja 250 is a much rougher course then the 500 and the 500 is worse then the 1000. A 60 mile race at Soggy Dry Lake bed has whoops for miles, not as long as of a run or as big as the ones in the Baja 250 but, they are still killer whoops that are uneven different sizes and spaced different from one to the other. Red mountain has some killer rocks in that race. In other words get the suspension done and get a steering dampener! I am 5' 10" and need the Ricky Carmichael bend Renthal fatty bars for the room to move. After you race a couple of these desert races you'll know what all you will need. For me I "need" the Suspension perfect, Scott's dampener, Bars, IMS foot pegs. The things I like to "help" make the race better for me is: the header/muffler/holes in the air cover, to help to bike pull better in the higher RPM's. This is wanted to help straighten the bike out in the whoops when I get out of time, or hit something unexpected. The pumper carburetor to lift the front end when needed for like dropping into a wash and you need to pop out the other side, ditches, lifting the front when coming up on something you really shouldn't be going over :banghead: The rest isn't need just makes the bike more fun to ride, protection or easier on me: Grips, auto clutch, bark busters, fork brace, S/S braided brake lines, skid plate, gripper seat, large gas tank..........

  • Supplicate

Posted September 09, 2005 - 03:32 PM

#7

So what you're saying is; What are the mods most important (first mods to be done) for the Pig to be desert raced? That's easy, suspension! And tires, of course.

not really.

It was more a question to generate discussion on something other then "R vs L" and "OMG I"M GOING TO BAJA WHAT DO I NEED!"

I already have the suspension 50% done (resprung and clickers dialed) but am in need of a revalve. The damper is on, so are new top triple clamps that reposition the bars and KX high bend Protaper fatty's. Here is a comparison between stock top triple clamp w/ renthal Jimmy Button High bend bars and the new top triple clamp with the KX Highs in it

off the bike
on the bike

As for tires, I'm on god only knows how many rear tires now and my 2nd front.

I've also been pondering engine components. Head work in my opinion is a must, and it will be done if I can ever actually talk to anything other then an answering machine at Precision Concepts, and most likely a cam.

But then, there comes other questions again. When it comes to shorter races, when things are tight and you need the power now you don't want some huge cam that shifts the power band too far out of the range that you really need.


(for anyone thats been reading this as I edit, sorry for all the eidts, its been one of those days :banghead: )

  • Husky_Forever

Posted September 09, 2005 - 04:02 PM

#8

Can't add much more than what was told to you. KISS is the watchword here. Tires,tubes, suspension, gearing, power Up kit, right foot peg mod, bars, pegs, chain, skid plate ( I know, JC runs plastic but then he's sponsored by Honda and can change frames this quick!) should do it. I'd leave exhaust stock after you do the Power up kit, unless you just have to have an after market exhaust. :applause: Suspension to your weight and riding style is really important, gearing for desert (15/48 is a good place to start on open bikes), bars after you bend the stock ones, IMS pegs for better grip, O ring chain just because, metal skid plate(not glide plate, this isn't mx). If you have the money, throw a Moose foam in front, but run HD tubes in rear with slime and 18lbs air. You can lighten the bike by removing headlight lens, odo, kick stand and end pipe (if you have to have an after market remember). A few pounds are a few pounds with a heavy bike.

Most items never really change for desert over the decades. 2 stroke or 4 stroke. Its always about suspension, durability and top end. I'd save your money and skip engine work. The XR 650 is a good power bike as is, especially 4th and 5th gear. Put on the 1.8 Kawi radiotor cap to help with cooling. Some guys take out the thermostate altogether. No advice there. Wait until you need to freshen up your top end first before opening her up. Shouldn't be before the end of the first or second season. Then you could go to a 680 kit or something if the bike is too slow for you. Just remember your drag chute when slowing down. LOL! :banghead: Steny

  • J_Daniels

Posted September 09, 2005 - 11:16 PM

#9

Aha, you have quite a lot done already, it's now a matter for the real experts.

  • Moredesert

Posted September 10, 2005 - 09:28 PM

#10

I desert race the MRANN series in Northern Nevada and I see some 650's out there. For me I race the DRZ and save the XR for Baja. My bikes are geared down for the Nevada desert with all the skid plates and armor I can find. The Nevada desert is kind of like Baja buy everything is closer. Not nearly as wide open but lots of sand and rocks. When I ride in Baja we cover a good 150-175 miles a day. :applause: In the desert a 100 miles is a darn good day of riding. :banghead: IMO I would say the suspension is more critical in the desert than Baja as well as the lower gearing.

  • irondude

Posted September 10, 2005 - 10:50 PM

#11

Theres no difference real between the baja mods for a 650R and the mods you would make on a 650 for BITD or D37 or GP or whatever.

Team Honda have some very small little changes--.44 springs for baja and .45springs for Nevada--but its all very small differences.

No one is now really putting money into building 650R's for racing north of the border. KTM's have taken over, and the 450X and the 510 Husky are much better choices than the 650R....much cheaper also. CR500's and KX500's are also still in use. But KTM's are by far the most common bike now at the races.

Even in Baja the 650R's days are numbered.

If i where you i would sell the 650 and buy a KTM, or 450X (actually i would buy the Husky) and start racing D37, BITD, the Tecate H.S., and then SF250, Baja 500 and then the 1000. In that order. By the time you get to the 1000--maybe in 2 years? Then the 650R will just be a fond memory...





Related Content

 
x

Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.