MotoUSA Baja Project

August 9, 2006
Ken Hutchison
Ken Hutchison
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The ulcers keep piling on for the warden of the MotoUSA asylum. With the inmates running rampant around the globe, Hutch has opted to get in on the madness more these days than in years past and is back in the saddle again.

Team 316x poses for the camera. From left to right: Victor Villalobos  Alberto Ruiz  Sal Fish  Darin Hecker  Carlos Mix and Ken Hutchison.
The MotoUSA/Hecker Racing/Precision Concepts/American Honda race team poses pre-Baja 1000. The 2006 race was the second 1K that our trusty XR650R carried us through.

This is the base for the ongoing saga of our desert obsession and Precision Concepts Honda XR650R project bike. What started as a request to test Johnny Campbell’s Baja-winning machine evolved into a year long look into the trials and tribulations of racing the SCORE off road series as a semi-privateer effort. We did it with help from American Honda, Precision Concepts and some of the fastest local riders in Baja. The effort led by the rider of record and team captain, Darin Hecker of Team Hecker Racing, has competed in every motorcycle event on the 2006 SCORE schedule along with select regional races in Baja.

What have we learned from this experience? We learned that the people who live to race in the desert are a different breed of human being. Fear of injury or even death is merely an afterthought because if you dwell on it, there’s no way that you can hope to compete at the level the top riders in this series.

Below are links to all of the Baja Project articles. The most current episodes are at the top of the list. Check for the videos in many of the articles too:

2006 Baja 1000 – Coup de Grace
The 39th running of the TECATE Score Baja 1000 began with the same optimism as it did in 2005, only this time our Honda XR650R-mounted team had a bit more experience and was better prepared for what we were about to get into.

2006 Baja 1000 Preview
This is the 32nd time the race has started in Ensenada and the 17th time it has finished in La Paz. And, according to SCORE, this route is going to be tougher than many might expect.

XR’s Only XR650 Quick Look
All told we had five of the Red beasts in 2005 and each of them had received at least some form of Baja prepping. Our XR’s Only bike was a step ahead of the other pre-runners but fell shy of our full-blown race bike.

Man oh man  Watson is such a glory-hound. Here he is leading J.C. through a whoop section. Poor kid was stuck eating everyone s dust throughout this whole trip.
What’s Baja without a little dust?

2006 Baja 500 Results
We tackled the Baja 1000 last year, but this season one of our test riders, Darin Hecker, has been contesting the 2006 SCORE schedule, including the 2006 SCORE Tecate Baja 500.

2006 San Felipe Results
MotorcycleUSA has taken to the desert again. Our first outing of 2006 had a different arrangement than last year’s Baja 1000, but similar results.

2005 Baja 1000: To Hell and Back
After finishing up our pre-run scouting, it was time to get down to business and get on with the racing. If we only knew what we were about to get into…

2005 Baja 1000: Pre-Run Agony and Ecstasy
Heading down to race in the famed Baja 1000, we knew we had to get a little practice under our belt. That’s why we gave ourselves a week to pre-run, which turned out to be an adventure in itself.

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