Honda Wins Baja 500 Again!


45 replies to this topic
  • BajaBoundMoto

Posted June 05, 2007 - 05:37 PM

#21

""I read that KTM only did about 150 miles of prerrunning on this bike?"
-- That just may be correct, "prerunning" or testing in Baja. But don't be thinking this was a 150mile old design. You know KTM has been working on this over there.
Same as when Honda rode the 450 at the B1K last year - it wasn't a new thing for them, they'd been working hard on it.

"makes you think if those (baja untested) bikes had been working honda wouldn't have won"
-- I still believe Honda couldda come from behind and won it.

"You could go even further back with HUSKY. Honda has it wired NOW. Team Green would not just step back in and dominate. KTM's bike came from the Dakar program. The bugs should have been out. Honda dominated with their 450X right out of the box- even to my surprise.
If you were in Vegas- would you bet on KTM for the 1k. I would not"

-- You're right, I agree with everything, almost. Only thing being that Honda/Precision worked hard on the 450 to be sure they could win the B1K.

"this sounds like BMW all over again"
-- Yeah, but KTM doesn't have us "washed up old slow guys" on their cool bike!

"makes me wonder what exactly the Honda boys are running in that "450""
-- It really IS a 450cc. Precision Concepts will build a 99% replica for anyone.

  • PowerCell

Posted June 05, 2007 - 06:46 PM

#22

Yeah, but KTM doesn't have us "washed up old slow guys" on their cool bike!



Man, you still bitter about that?!?! :thumbsup:

  • ballisticexchris

Posted June 05, 2007 - 08:49 PM

#23

No... Honda has moved on to the 450X and no longer supports the 650R.


Not true.

Depending on the race, Team Honda uses the 650R or 450X.

  • FactoryFairbanks

Posted June 07, 2007 - 10:10 PM

#24

In just about any team sport, it doesn't matter who has the best vehicle, shoe, bat, ball or superstar; it is the team that is best prepared, trained, along with the right equipment. I have had the opportunity to help the Honda off road team during the end of the 600 and through the transition into the 650 and saw the departure of Team Green (And many other top off road kings). Honda has it wired for sure. They have a great bike for the conditions, not the best but very capable while being extremely reliable. The team effort is what makes them champs. They prepare their riders and bikes all year and test new products all year as well. Like Johnny told me once in regards to pipes. Honda prefered not to have a pipe sponsor so that their hands would not be tide when it came down to choosing headers and pipes, they could just pick the one that worked the best for each condition and it didn't matter if they got them for free, got paid to use them, or had to pay one off custom prices: they just wanted to use the best part. Honda also has a ton of experience in their team managment, and has a great team in regards to support staff and volunteers.
So when you have two equally prepared teams with the same caliber of riders, with one team having a KX 500 and one team on a XR 650, and each bike having no technical malfunctions, who do you think will win Baja? (My answer: It depends on the course!)

Who rembers Johnny doing Dakar on an XR? I believe just KTM and Yamaha did better, since it was their enviornment.

  • yamahas rule

Posted June 07, 2007 - 10:32 PM

#25

it's a honda what more I say?

  • dezracerE

Posted June 08, 2007 - 06:38 AM

#26

So when you have two equally prepared teams with the same caliber of riders, with one team having a KX 500 and one team on a XR 650, and each bike having no technical malfunctions, who do you think will win Baja? (My answer: It depends on the course!)

Who rembers Johnny doing Dakar on an XR? I believe just KTM and Yamaha did better, since it was their enviornment.[/QUOTE]


My opinion- Honda wins. The XR was built to win Baja and it prooved it right out of the box. Baja is a different animal- far different than in the U.S.
I've ridden both bikes and when I rode the 35miles of hell in San Felipe on a stock unit- I could not believe how well it performed.
It is a totally different type of machine for varying terrains and long distances. My $.02

I do remember Johnny at Dakar- 10th I believe- privateer entry- awesome job. Ever ridden the dunes on an XR- not fun.

  • XR_RON

Posted June 08, 2007 - 06:58 AM

#27

:ride: :) :ride: Honda owns baja,from my standpoint,they have been winning it ever since Al Baker and Bill Bell took a modified XL350 bored to 420 and won it,theyre experience in such a demanding race is pretty much unmatched,they know all the tricks,With the amount of devotion that the Honda team has,coupled to a unlimited budget,they are gonna be hard to topple,in the Baja500,or the 1000,Im still pretty surprised that the 450X can hang,with all the problems that you hear about them,and the fact that the mags say all it is is a trailbike box stock,requiring 1000$ plus in mods to get it to where a stock KTM is right off the sales floor. Man, they must of modded the crap out of it.:thumbsup:

  • hill5150

Posted June 08, 2007 - 08:42 AM

#28

it's a honda what more I say?


:thumbsup: .................

  • Triumphs

Posted June 08, 2007 - 11:20 AM

#29

it makes me wonder what exactly the Honda boys are running in that "450"

Steel valves I think!:thumbsup:

  • Thumpmeister

Posted June 08, 2007 - 11:23 AM

#30

I was reading somewhere that since the 450 isn't as reliable as the 650, that team honda actually has to swap heads on the 450 mid race sometimes, depending on the length of the race.

Is that true? They never had to do that on the ol' BRP... :thumbsup:

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  • BajaBoundMoto

Posted June 08, 2007 - 02:01 PM

#31

team honda actually has to swap heads on the 450 mid race sometimes

Completely false. The 450's are very reliable.

  • texrider

Posted June 08, 2007 - 02:13 PM

#32

KTM has never gone after Baja seriously that I know of, it looks like they intend to do that now though.

The 500 was the debut of a development bike, with little time to prep, and they broke the bike while in the lead. They will have a couple of other races before the 1000 I believe and should be ready, it already looks strong.

Might be a very interesting 1000 if KTM and their riders can really give Honda a run for the money. Might actually be a real race this year.

  • BajaBoundMoto

Posted June 08, 2007 - 02:26 PM

#33

KTM has never gone after Baja seriously that I know of
The 500 was the debut of a development bike, with little time to prep, and they broke the bike while in the lead.Might be a very interesting 1000 if KTM and their riders can really give Honda a run for the money. Might actually be a real race this year.

Back when KTMs were white they hit Baja pretty darn hard. They had guys like Hamel, D.Smith, Harden, and Lewis on em as well as some earlier years.
I'm not sure if you'd say their '04 attempt was full-on, but they gave it a good shot.
Sure this 690 is in development but don't think they haven't been testing it over there. And the KTM press release was pretty lame, sugar coated like any decent press release. They said they had 2 new riders in Baja, BS, Pearson has been there and raced there before.
But yes, this years 1000 stands to be one Hell of a nail-bitter, that's for sure. Both Teams are gonna have to be on their A game.

  • rmhrc630

Posted June 08, 2007 - 04:47 PM

#34

Back when KTMs were white they hit Baja pretty darn hard. They had guys like Hamel, D.Smith, Harden, and Lewis on em as well as some earlier years.
I'm not sure if you'd say their '04 attempt was full-on, but they gave it a good shot.
Sure this 690 is in development but don't think they haven't been testing it over there. And the KTM press release was pretty lame, sugar coated like any decent press release. They said they had 2 new riders in Baja, BS, Pearson has been there and raced there before.
But yes, this years 1000 stands to be one Hell of a nail-bitter, that's for sure. Both Teams are gonna have to be on their A game.


I think some major reality check is needed here.

1. Honda ONLY started winning when Danny and Kawasaki left. The XRs were NO match for the KX whatsoever. Using your theory of rider equality, the XRs use to simpy explode due to the HP required to run WFO for hours. The 500KX meanwhile served up whupped ass for breaky lunch and dinner on the 1000baja.


2. If you are the only factory team in the race - it's one horse race is it not? So it's complete baloney to state that Honda own baja. They win races cos there have been no other facory teams down there on a size and scale since 1994/95.

I tell what you guys should be saying - is why isnt Honda winning by a bigger margin? They are the only ones down there and quite frankly what development has come from baja in the last 7 years that has changed the XR650R? Anaswer is zipp. Nothing that has changed the bike.

7-8 years is bullshit in this day and age. HOnda have had 7 years of 650R baja experience to build a better bike - they have completely squandered that opportunity to offer us, their buyers a better machine.

Meanwhile a small Austrian company turns up in 2004 with a hybrid monster and then again in 2007 with a predevelopment bike that is the base of their new hard enduro - due for release in July 2008.

You guys coughing upo mondo money for the XR650R really need to ask yourself what have we got out of the Honda Baja effort and compare that to what KTM are going to deliver in July 2008:

1. A 654cc (that's right the 690 is a 654cc motor) modern 64HP kick ass motor.
2. EFI
3. E start
4. 20 liter fuel cell built into the bike not bolted on camel hump style.
5. Ultra monda ergos.
6. The best european suspension you can but.
7. Big wattage stator.

KTM will win Baja very very soon. That will be a large challenge for Honda to overcome - espewcially trying to sell the 450X against the modern 654KTM. The 450X will have no Baja selling point as the KTM will mostly have it covered in all ways.

  • PowerCell

Posted June 08, 2007 - 05:00 PM

#35

I think some major reality check is needed here...



Yeah BajaBound! What makes you think you know everything about Baja? I bet you've never even been down there before... what a squid!!!


You're probably just some snot nosed 16 year old kid from Kansas City... :thumbsup: :) :ride:

Get a grip poser... :ride:

  • rmhrc630

Posted June 08, 2007 - 05:42 PM

#36

Yeah BajaBound! What makes you think you know everything about Baja? I bet you've never even been down there before... what a squid!!!


You're probably just some snot nosed 16 year old kid from Kansas City... :thumbsup: :) :ride:

Get a grip poser... :ride:


Powercell I'm not crticising his vast BAJA ground knowledge. Clearly it's immense.

I am stating some facts that seem to be lost occassionaly due to time and memory.

  • BajaBoundMoto

Posted June 08, 2007 - 05:46 PM

#37

I'm not really sure what to say here...... to me it looks like I was quoted by mistake. I do not see how what I said could garner such response. Is someone giving me crap here?:thumbsup:

I think some major reality check is needed here.

1. Honda ONLY started winning when Danny and Kawasaki left. The XRs were NO match for the KX whatsoever. Using your theory of rider equality, the XRs use to simpy explode due to the HP required to run WFO for hours. The 500KX meanwhile served up whupped ass for breaky lunch and dinner on the 1000baja.


2. If you are the only factory team in the race - it's one horse race is it not? So it's complete baloney to state that Honda own baja. They win races cos there have been no other facory teams down there on a size and scale since 1994/95.

I tell what you guys should be saying - is why isnt Honda winning by a bigger margin? They are the only ones down there and quite frankly what development has come from baja in the last 7 years that has changed the XR650R? Anaswer is zipp. Nothing that has changed the bike.

7-8 years is bullshit in this day and age. HOnda have had 7 years of 650R baja experience to build a better bike - they have completely squandered that opportunity to offer us, their buyers a better machine.

Meanwhile a small Austrian company turns up in 2004 with a hybrid monster and then again in 2007 with a predevelopment bike that is the base of their new hard enduro - due for release in July 2008.

You guys coughing upo mondo money for the XR650R really need to ask yourself what have we got out of the Honda Baja effort and compare that to what KTM are going to deliver in July 2008:

1. A 654cc (that's right the 690 is a 654cc motor) modern 64HP kick ass motor.
2. EFI
3. E start
4. 20 liter fuel cell built into the bike not bolted on camel hump style.
5. Ultra monda ergos.
6. The best european suspension you can but.
7. Big wattage stator.

KTM will win Baja very very soon. That will be a large challenge for Honda to overcome - espewcially trying to sell the 450X against the modern 654KTM. The 450X will have no Baja selling point as the KTM will mostly have it covered in all ways.



  • rmhrc630

Posted June 08, 2007 - 05:51 PM

#38

Correct - it was mainly a misquote BB no offence intended.

My points were directed at the threaders who think Honda "owns" the Baja.

  • PowerCell

Posted June 08, 2007 - 06:31 PM

#39

I'm not really sure what to say here...... to me it looks like I was quoted by mistake. I do not see how what I said could garner such response. Is someone giving me crap here?:thumbsup:



Like I always said, you're a magnet for trouble... :)

  • hill5150

Posted June 09, 2007 - 03:20 PM

#40

Correct - it was mainly a misquote BB no offence intended.

My points were directed at the threaders who think Honda "owns" the Baja.



rmhrc630

Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,115

Re: Oh oooooh

I was down here in Australia listening to the weatherman on the internet - truly amazing to hear the race unfold.


Good on HOnda for winning - again!!!!


I just wish KTM would do the "thing" that would enable them to win as well.

Great photos and thanks for sharying here.


[COLOR="Red"]BTW - can you guys describe what baja racing is like? Is it hilly? Wet? Dry? Open? Tight?[/COLOR]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------


Honda does own Baja...... Maybe you should go check it out sometime, better yet, just go buy, not rent, Dust to Glory......That's a start......:thumbsup:





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