Explore Baja On Your Bike

Tip #210 from the pages of The Total Motorcycling Manual

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A thousand miles (1,600 km) long, stretching from the California border down to Cabo San Lucas, Baja is an incredible place to ride.

You can ride pavement down the entire length of the peninsula. But to really get the most out of the experience, you’ll want to take a machine you can ride on dirt roads. And don't even worry about bringing a bike with a license plate—a pure dirtbike will do. So will big single-cylinder dual-sport or a twin-cylinder adventure bike.

What to bring? First off, plenty of tire-repair materials. If you’re riding on a dirtbike, consider upgrading to a bigger “desert” tank, at least four gallons (15–16 liters). Never pass up gas when you get the chance to fill it. Gas stations are easy to find, but you may have to travel a ways between them. And take a spare air cleaner too—you’ll need to service it every night due to Baja’s dust, especially in the summer off-road. As for navigation, you won’t need more than an AAA map, although a GPS is always worth packing.

Mexico will require you to have proof of ownership for your bike. And don’t even think about bringing in guns or illegal drugs.

When to go? Well, it’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The winter and spring are best for the east coast where it gets humid, the summer for the higher central spine, and the summer and fall for the Pacific coast.