Words: Matt Hampton | Photos: Matt Hampton

A group of all round great guys from the regular Transmoto events team, ‘Whiskey Riders’ came to us with this classic yarn about their recent moto adventure around Mexico.

Check it out…

Every year or two I am lucky enough to set off on an overseas enduro adventure with a group of legends called the Whiskey Riders. We ride dirt bikes and drink whiskey. This year we went to Mexico to ride the infamous Baja 1000 trails. Lead by Baja legends Bruce Anderson and Oscar Hale we ended up riding over 1,700kms in 5.5 days, starting in Ensenada and ending up in Cabo San Lucas.

The bikes were perfectly set up to handle high speed, rocks, sand, whoops and the occasional stray cactus. Some sections of the ride were so remote that if anyone had been seriously injured it would take a US military chopper, especially called in from San Diago, to get them out. Luckily most of us stayed on top of our steeds so we didn’t need to ask Trump for any favours.

The riding was totally different to what we were used to. Our go-to trails in Australia are mainly tight single tracks like around the Watagans on the NSW Central Coast. At times riding in Baja was like sticking your head out of the car window doing 180km/h. The bikes were all geared up so they kept pulling even on the longest straights.

A few of the faster sections were made up of dry untracked sandy trophy truck whoops which, for me, was the highlight of the ride. I’ve been watching Baja videos for years and those flat out whoops are what it’s all about.

Day 4 started at 4.30am in the dark from the Oasis town of San Ignacio. We rode for 5 hours over some fast open terrain and arrived at Scorpion Bay on the west coast of Baja. Most of us surf so we rented/borrowed boards and had a fun little session on the long right-hand point break, followed by another satisfying taco lunch. Then it was time to jump back in the saddles for 4 more hours, crossing over to the east side of Baja. We rode into the classic Mexican town of Loreto on the sea of Cortez and finished the day with margaritas and some tender steaks for dinner. After that we were out like lights. It’s days like that which make these Whiskey trips so special, nothing beats being tapped out physically and mentally after a long day exploring a new country on a dirt bike.

In the rocky zones we were regularly fixing flat tyres, which provided the perfect opportunity to gather under the shade of a cactus and exchange stories of close calls and the crazy things we’d seen during the previous section of trail. Dodging cacti, roadrunners, cows, washouts, rattlesnakes and rancheros driving busted arse trucks on the wrong side of the road became routine. All in all, it was a trip of a lifetime spent with good mates lead by an amazing tour company called GoBaja Ridin’. The accommodation was always clean and comfortable and the food was next level delicious. Shout out to Bruce, Ernesto, Antonio and Oscar for showing us Baja in true style! Next time, South Africa, Mongolia, India?