The Biltwell 500 / Baja, Mexico Run 2010


The Biltwell 500 wasn't for everyone. Leading up to the event, many people showed concern for the bad rep Baja banditos have given the peninsula. Those who saw through the media hype enjoyed the ride of their life. Riders from as far away as Canada, Utah, Colorado, Jersey and Texas made the trip, and there were even a couple guys from Southern California. Riding your two-wheeled freedom machine to somewhere fun is really what it's all about, and these guys proved it.

A microscopic subculture of young, hard-riding rebels is starting to grow within today's broader chopper scene, and nothing lights its fire like an invitation to Mexico. The Biltwell 500 was just such an event, and for the 35 or so hardy souls who attended this four-day fiesta, Baja did not disappoint. On paper the route seemed short and sweet: cross the US/Mexican border in San Diego and head south 156 miles on Baja Highway 1. At a dirt road south of San Telmo, take a hard right and dodge knee-deep potholes and low-flying Dodge Neons until you hit Cuatro Casas Surf Hostel on the Pacific Ocean. Mexican miles are tougher on men and machines than any 150-mile American stretch you can imagine, and that's what makes riding Baja so unique.

The Mexican highway south and north of Ensenada is glorious, with lots of curves and elevation gains, sparse traffic and mostly well-maintained tarmac. The dirt road to Cuatro Casas, on the other hand, took its toll during the adventure. With the smallest gas tank in the crew getting about 40 miles per fill-up, stops were plentiful, but no one seemed to mind, and there was no reason to hurry anyway. Several chase trucks followed with the bare essentials: gas, food, beer, surfboards, fireworks, dirt bikes and girls. On the way down only minor mechanical problems popped up, and none were dealbreakers. After roughly nine hours in the saddle, the 500 crew rolled into Cuatro Casas at 5 p.m. A friendly gringo named Richard runs the semi-famous skate and surf camp, and he greeted the gang with clean beds and hot fish tacos. Those who chose to rough it pitched their tents on the cliff overlooking the surf break 100 feet below.

For the next two days everyone on the Biltwell 500 did his own thing. Some rode dirt bikes or surfed, while others used the down time to fix bikes, skate the bowl or put in time with import chicks Haley and Audrey. On day two our friend Tim crashed his Sporty into a ditch and a rescue team had to get him out. Tim was fine, but his bike needed some work to get back on the road. The award for toughest innocent bystander definitely goes to Juno's lady Suzy, who survived a wild ride on Juno's passenger seat and the explosive attack of an errant bottle rocket. Either adventure could have killed her, but Suzy stepped out of both predicaments alive and smiling.

On the third and final night of their stay, Biltwell 500 runners were treated to a boat burning. Several liquored-up cats made Molotov cocktails to get the party started, but none of their gas-filled beer bottles shattered on impact. Richard stepped in with some gas and a match, and the 30-foot-long cabin cruiser burned to a smoldering pile of ash in a matter of hours. At the height of the fire some equally hot girl-on-girl catfight action broke out between Audrey and Chris Huber's ladyfriend Colleen. When the dust settled, both girls left with busted lips and a fistful of the other chick's hair. Wild stuff. To commemorate the good times, Rouser Rob pulled out his tattoo kit and XS Eric drew blood on a couple comrades. Chris Huber was so stoked he gave himself a “500” tattoo. That's commitment.

As far as the kind of iron that tackled Baja, at least 20 Sportsters made the ride, flanked by a half dozen tough-as-nails XS650's, a couple Hinckley Triumphs, two FXRs, a Dyna and one BMW dual-sport 650. The oldest and arguably coolest bike on the trip was AZ Nick's rigid pan, which was hard to start but ran great the whole way without a hiccup. One thing every bike had in common was crusty durability. The dirt roads exposed some weak spots on a couple bikes, but only one machine went home on a trailer, and that was due to a flat. If you want to test your fab and prep skills, 25 miles of Baja's backroads will probably do it.

You can see more pics in this thread in the Events Forum.

Photos by Bill Bryant, Harold McGruther, Matt Frick, Cindy DuLong and Haley Murray.

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Commented on 6-21-2010 At 02:55 am

I am so pissed that I missed this. Damn college finals to hell!

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 04:13 am

Great article and pictures. Makes me wish I had made the trip.


Commented on 6-21-2010 At 07:49 am

i had to pull out of this at the last minute. every day i went to work that week i was pissed as fuck. i went this weekend instead and got back last night. didn't get to ride tho sucks! next year no matter what. great write up. burning boats and catfights, so jealous.

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 08:18 am

I heard it was a good time, I won't miss the next mexican fiesta. Nope.

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 08:42 am

FSK - Baja 2010. I wish I could have stayed the whole time tho........I had a great time. Thanks to everybody- maybe there really will be some fisting next time.

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 08:47 am

I want another Rouser Rob tattoo... he stitched me up himself with something resembling a tooth. Trip sounds like a blast.

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 10:51 am


Commented on 6-21-2010 At 11:05 am

Damn, wish I could have been there! Looks like a blast, and a good, small group of guys.

"Riders from as far away as Canada, Utah, Colorado, Jersey and Texas made the trip, and there were even a couple guys from Southern California."

Come on SoCal, step up and ride that chopper!


Commented on 6-21-2010 At 12:23 pm

They just don't have these type events in NY. I think i live on the wrong coast.

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 12:32 pm

I wish I could have been there, was planning on making it until my exhaust pipes broke and my stator went out after driving from colorado to the born free show!

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 01:05 pm

"They just don't have these type events in NY. I think i live on the wrong coast."

Step 1: pick a date
Step 2: google a route
Step 3: give it a name
Step 4: make a flyer
Step 5: start a thread in the events forum on ChopCult
Step 6: Invite all your CC, MS, and FB buddies to come on your ride
Step 7: buy the first round of beers when you reach your final destination on day one

BAM! DIY East coast chopper fest

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 02:39 pm

YES. Wish i could have gone. The east coast does need thing like this

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 03:28 pm

There's still a ton of the Baja on my bike. And for those of you who missed it, you're all soft bitches. If some mouth breathing retard from Canada on a rigid Honda 450 can do it, what's your excuse?

Muchas gracias Biltwell and all of you who had the cajones to make it down.
You guys bake a cake and I'll show up.

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 06:14 pm

soon,,stay tuned east coast

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 06:17 pm

The 500 was killer, wizard sticks for days! Biltwell knows how to do it, but i must say, fuck all yalls shompers, dirtmotos rule baja!

eat the roach!

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 07:53 pm

The east coast HAS something like this, it's called the Gypsy Run.

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 10:27 pm

That's what it's all about. All.

Commented on 6-21-2010 At 11:55 pm

We left Torrance (and picking one more up in Seal Beach) with 5 riders. One blew a hole in his head by Irvine. Another cracked a gas tank by Camp Pendleton. I got my first (of two) flats just past San Deigo. Juno dirt-crashed and then later rear ended (call a lawyer!) another Sportster. Rode home on a "wobble and a prayer" (it's a new Bon Jovi song you peanut butter schmokers!). Finished it up with a rear flat tire from a Mexican nail (didn't think they could afford nails? How racist!) and was it worth it? Hell Yeah!!!!!!!!!!! ... thank God Magoo got stoned.

Commented on 6-22-2010 At 10:10 am

damn good pics. thanks for sharing!

Commented on 6-23-2010 At 09:10 am

What Shawn said! No, excuses! ;) Count me in for next year, this was a blast. ~Haley

Commented on 6-23-2010 At 02:25 pm

We need more chicks next time. I thought mcgoo was going to rape one of us.

Commented on 6-24-2010 At 07:14 am

haha - fucking epic time! perfect way to end my trip. ended up riding around 4400 miles from jersey to long beach & down into baja. richard is a goddamn legend. shompers 4 life rouser! thanks for letting me make sweet love to your orange plastic machine. still stoked on that ring dinger! everyone down there was the real fuckin deal. such good peeps & good times. gotta thank el shawn for his sweet serenade in ensenada, putting in the harsh miles with me & generally just being his fuckin awesome self. great skating the bowl with all the wood pushers too! still wearing the scabs from eating shit in the showbowl.

Commented on 6-24-2010 At 01:03 pm

You know what? Screw it, next summer from DC to Key West, the route 1 run baby! I'm gonna build a bike just for it and beer on day one is on me!

Commented on 6-25-2010 At 09:12 am

Great writing and photos, sometimes it seams like a Mad-Max movie.

Commented on 6-29-2010 At 08:23 am

Hey man, I live in the wrong Continent!!!
Here in Italy, some kind of events are exclusively for VIPS full of money!

Here, riding a bike is a trend and all events are for trendy riders...

it's a Shit!!!

I'll go on doing my personal, lonely but amazing run along the the most beautyful Mountains in the world...DOLOMITES!!!!!

Commented on 6-30-2010 At 08:26 am

OK I am in next year. Wife will be pissed but oh well if she is still there when I get home... then she will get over it.


Commented on 7-1-2010 At 03:24 pm

Bummmer, I wanted to be there. I was on the gulf side in San Felipe that weekend, the thought of going up the 5, across the 3, down the 1 to cuatro casas was just too much. Maybe next year, cool article.

Commented on 3-25-2011 At 08:28 am

Looked like a great time!

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