Wanna be where the adventure bikers are? Sure you do! Here’s a list of frequent hangouts for motorcyclists. Baja 4x4s and dune buggies show up at these places, too. We don’t mind! From north to south:
Mike’s Sky Rancho
– Baja ADV (that’s me!)
– Black Dog Cycle Works
– Baja Adventure Camp & Resource Center
Doug’s Baja Nortons
Biker Week in Los Cabos
Coyote Cal’s | km 78
Coyote Cal’s has long been a destination for Baja off-road motorsports. It’s a four-hour drive from San Diego on Mex 1 where, at km 78, you turn down a side road and ride 24 miles on a paved road through rolling hills to the Pacific Coast. The last couple of miles up to Cal’s is dirt, some of it falling off the cliffside into the sea. Don’t count on road hazards being marked.
The multi-storied seaside center has some private rooms, lots and lots of bunks in shared rooms, (some with kitchens), massages, surfing, fishing, a great bar, good food, friendly service, and a laid-back, playful atmosphere.
Find out more about Coyote Cal’s in my earlier post about first-night adventure stops to Baja.
Limitations: None, really. If you’re on a Harley or a 2-wheel drive vehicle, just go slow those last couple of miles.
Mike’s Sky Rancho
Reach Mike’s Sky Rancho from Mex 5 or Mex 1 heading south to connect with Mex 3. There’s a sign to the rancho about ten miles southeast of Valle de Trinidad. Here’s a look at the road from the border to the rancho, courtesy 360 Motorcycle Adventures.
Limitations: There are two ways in; the easy way and the hard way. The easy way can even be done with high clearance 2WD vehicles.
Coco’s Corner is a middle-of-nowhere landmark for overlanders of all kinds, from unicycles to massive multi-wheeled land ships. If you’re heading east or west between Mex 5 and Mex 1 stop, say hi, buy a cold bottle of water, maybe a tee shirt, talk with Coco, and sign the log (the ninth such).
You can even stay the night—camp out or crash in one of the many dilapidated trailers scattered on the property, donations appreciated.
This article by Chrisophe Noel of Expedition Portal captures the spirit of Coco’s.
Limitations: None. Packed, graded road. Expect Mack trucks, RVs, trucks, cars, surfers, motorcyclists, lots of road construction between Mex 5 and 1 that are working on completing the over 40 (yes, 40) bridges they are building to connect the highways. Go slow to avoid punctures by small, sharp rocks.
Posada Concepción | km 112
There are lots of reasons to stop in Posada and the Mulegé beaches area. See my previous post, Where to Stop in Bahía Concepción and make a day (or two or three) of it. There are campgrounds, rooms, and a hostel with bunks, Lucy’s great restaurant for home-cooked Mexican food, and activities like hiking, kayaking, birding, and whale-shark watching.
Jonathan and I live in the bright yellow house at the very north end. Kurt & Martha of Black Dog Cycle Works are in the center, and Sharon is in the bright green house on the very south end.
IMPORTANT: Please don’t disturb the residents by touring this quiet, private neighborhood in your vehicle. Enter, turn right or left but stay next to the highway, behind the houses, and park your vehicle in the lot just left of the entrance or in front of Posada del Sol. Thanks!
Limitations: None. Highway 1 is paved all the way to Cabo, and Posada is right off the road.
Baja ADV | km 112
Baja ADV is just me doing my travel writing thing. I’m working on the Baja Adventure Guide and I could use your help to complete this project. So please stop by and tell me where you’ve been and what you loved (and didn’t) so I can put it in the guide. Any info, such as campgrounds, motels, road conditions, tours, is all very welcome. Jonathan and I live in the bright yellow house on the north end.
Black Dog Cycle Works | km 112
If you’re riding a big BMW or KTM adventure bike, you may already know that Kurt and Martha Forgét migrate from San Point, Idaho to spend winters in Posada. Black Dog Cycle Works focuses on creating rugged hard parts, accessories, and armor, especially for BMW and KTM adventure bikes but also for the Africa Twin and Triumph Tiger. They make upgrades for KTM Husqvarna dirt and dual-sport motorcycles, too, which you may appreciate before an off-road adventure here. Stop by and get a coveted Pero Negro Sur decal for your motorcycle, available only from their Baja location.
Enter Posada, park your bike (just left of the entrance). Look toward the beach and you’ll be facing their big olive-green house.
Doug’s Baja Nortons | 42 km
In a pueblo called Santiago 105 km south of La Paz and 64 km north of San Jose del Cabo, there’s a guy from Boston who lovingly rebuilds Norton Commandos. And he’s inviting you to stop by his place, Doug’s Baja Nortons.
Having conducted two tours of the Baja on my Norton, I have learned many things about this ride, one being the scarcity of quality supplies & services for motorcycles as we know them. This is what has generated my desire to offer such services to motorcycling riders, essentially a pit stop maximo.
Your visit here can be anything from help with a major issue to simply a relaxing time to clean and adjust your machine, and yourself, while checking out one of the most unique bike shops you’ll ever see. The service pad is complete with compressed air, pressure washer, parts cleaning tank, high-quality fluids, etc. With advance notice, Doug can arrange a delicious authentic Mexican lunch.
“Relax” mode amenities include an outdoor kitchen/bar for a snack or a cold cerveza, an incline board to stretch your saddle-compressed spine, and a visit to the hot springs and waterfalls in the adjacent national parks.
Access is via a well-graded dirt road only six miles off the main highway. Look for the village of Santiago about 25 km south of Los Barriles. Continue past the zoo for about four more miles to Agua Caliente and simply ask anyone for Douglas (pronounced Dewglahs in Espanol).
Limitations: Hey, if Doug can ride his classic Norton Commandos here, you can certainly manage to get your ride there, too.
Biker Week Los Cabos
Whether you want to join the fun or stay as far away as possible, here’s the 411 on Biker Week Los Cabos 2017.
Jose Garrido, President of Baja Riders Motorcycle Club, says the whole idea is to promote Cabo as the perfect destination for motorcycle tourism. Bikers get to ride through the phenomenal landscapes of BCS and appreciate the great nature on offer. And of course, pack in plenty of good food and partying as well!
But it’s not all about the bike. There’s a beach day and whale watching trip, music, and competitions.
They’re definitely cruiser heavy but I’ve seen other kinds of bikes participating in some of the images and videos. Does it look fun to you?
Limitations: Mex 1 is paved all the way to Cabo, baby. Just go.
Anytime there’s a race on, you’ll find like-minded compadres. Ride down to watch it or come early to pre-run these races, which can be fun and challenging. It can also be challenging to find accommodation, so make sure to reserve ahead or prepare to camp. Check out the SCORE and NORRA sites for race schedules and events like the Baja 1000.
Limitations: Crowds, crazy riders, drivers, and excited locals everywhere.
How do you find your tribe?
Any other suggestions on places where motorcycle folks gather? Please let me know in the comments below.
Carla King is a longtime adventure travel journalist, author, and motorcyclist who spends much of the winter in the Mulegé area halfway down the peninsula on the Sea of Cortez.