There, I said it.
Now, I’m going to have to do it, right?
Back in the 60s or so there was this very popular desert race called Barstow to Vegas or simply B2V. In the mid 80’s Ernie and I were looking for something a little different to do other than road racing – we took up dirt bikes and started competing in Hare Scrambles. I remember seeing in one of the moto magazines an aerial picture of a thousand riders at the start – all heading into the desert to the first turn which was 10 miles away and actual a pile of burning tires! Yes, my generation ruined the environment!
Ernie and I decided that we wanted to be a part of that mob scene too. With a little prep we submitted our entry fees and on Thanksgiving Day – off we went to Barstow, CA! We had a few family and friends help us by setting up pit stops. I don’t remember doing much of anything to bike other than adding larger gas tanks. We already had BarkBusters from our Hare Scrambling adventures.
We competed in the race for a few years until it was cancelled in 1989. Here’s a picture of me on a Yamaha YZ250. I had destroyed the frame on my Honda XR500 the year before and had just switched to 2 strokes! As far as I can tell, the only mods are the BarkBusters and the 1 gallon gas tank that also worked as a number plate.
The picture was taken by a local photographer in Vegas, He had a sign just a few yards up the trail so you knew there was a camera on the other side of the hill. This was close to the end and I know I was exhausted so no jump, no wheelie, just determination.
NOTE: I finished dead last. I cooked my piston and had to push the bike across the finish line from a few miles out. At least it was the lighter of the two bikes I had. Megan was waiting for me at the finish and the officials were ready to close up and call it a day but knew that some idiot was still out there pushing a bike through deep sand.
Look at the pic again. No skid plate, no protection what so ever.
While the race was cancelled, a dual sport ride somehow rose from the ashes and has been flourishing for quite a few years now. https://labarstowvegas.com/
After watching countless hours of YouTube Videos I decided I should do the ride (it’s not a race).
Looking at my bike then, and my bike now I started thinking about what I need to do to the 690. Here’s a brainstorm of items…
HOLY CRAP, right?
Well, if I’m going to do this, and I’m going to do it right!
And yeah I need / want all of that.
It’s about time for a new chain, sprockets and that kind of thing. So that covers most everything down to the case saver from Vanasche.
There’s a possibility of finishing at night (on either day). I can fix all the lighting woes in one swoop with the Motominded Headlight that incorporates not one but two of the Baja Design units! Best of all it’s plug and play!
The Samco Hoses are the way to go and the Thermo switch just turns the fan on a bit earlier than the stock one. That should be all I need to keep cool.
I need new brake pads front and rear. I also am due for a new clutch. The Rekluse is still a manual style but a much more heavy duty with many more plates and discs in it.
I have a Vanasche rear brake lever, so I need to upgrade the other side (shift lever) with a Hammerhead.
I think that’s pretty much it for the bike. There’s gas stops along the way so no need to carry extra fuel. It’s also a hotel event so you stay each night in a hotel and they shuttle a gear bag of stuff for you from one to the next.
Of course I’ll have a new set of tires on before I leave. They also say you’ll need a roll chart holder but that’s a small thing to add.
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