The best part of all is that you don’t have to trailer a machine, lug your gear, arrange for places to stay, eat, or get fuel either. All this is taken care of for you. All you have to do is get to San Diego, California and Chris and his associates will take care of all the details involved in your dream ride adventure.
WHO IS CHRIS HAINES?
As a ten-time Baja 1000 winner in the competitive Class-40 motorcycle division, Chris knows the ins and outs of traversing this rugged and beautiful part of Mexico. The Baja Peninsula stretches from the border town of Tijuana in the north, all the way to Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip, some 800 miles down the coast.
“In the old factory mechanic days, the only time we got off was for three months, starting in November. I would take that time and ride down in Baja with friends of mine. Finally, I started the tour service because so many people wanted me to show them around down there.
“We started in 1988 with four XR600 dirt bikes and a used pickup truck. Today we have around 50 bikes, ranging from 70cc mini’s to XR650s, and some 20 quads, a combination of Rancher 450s and Rincon 650s.”
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
What sets Chris’s tours apart from most of his competition is his experience and attention to detail. He has a well deserved reputation for putting on some of the best rides in Baja and always uses first class hotels, restaurants and has some of the best and most highly experienced guides and crewmen working for him.
The four-day tour rides generally start out in Ensenada, Mexico, (70 miles south of San Diego) then head over to San Felipe, and on to legendary Mikes Sky Ranch. There is also a new ATV ride that takes riders to the Cantamar dunes for a beach sand ride and then onto the coastal town of San Quintin.
There is even a deluxe seven-day ride that spans the entire coast of Baja from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas. All the ATV rides include the use of helmet, gloves, and goggles.
Chris has taken his fair share of celebrities on his Baja tours, including singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett, Indy racers Danny Sullivan, PJ Jones and Adrian Fernandez, as well as a host of other famous actors, businessmen, and professionals.
They will also cater their rides to accommodate the needs and skill levels of the participants, from first timer to experienced pro. You can get the ride you want most.
WHAT EACH TRIP INCLUDES
Chris now makes his living full time conducting motorcycle and ATV tours of the Baja peninsula. He offers four-day, seven-day, or custom tours on both Honda XR motorcycles and Honda Rancher and Rubicon 4x4s.
Your trip includes the machine (either a Honda Rubicon 650 or Honda 450 4x4), hotel accommodations, food, soft drinks, fuel, guides, fully staffed support vehicles and airport transfers at the beginning and end of your trip. Prices range from $1850 for the four-day tours to a whopping $4500 for the seven-day trip.
DIRT WHEELS EXCURSION
To see for ourselves how Chris’s ATV tours operate, we participated in one of his most recent additions to the tour schedule. We met up with Chris and his crew near the Mexican border, but anyone taking the tour can simply fly into San Diego International and Chris will pick you up and deliver you back at the airport after your ride adventure.
Our fellow participants in this ride were David and Becca Livingston, Ron and Tina Gardener, myself and my wife Deidra, as well as Chris and his fellow crew members Rich Greenwood, Tom White, and Brain Albert.
What a relief it was to just show up and ride, versus worrying about all the details of getting your quad, gear, gas, reservations and what-have-you together to go on a trip.
Our first stop was the Cantamar dunes, which are located just south of the border a few miles before Ensenada, Mexico. Chris’s hard working crew unloaded the machines and our party proceeded to get acquainted with the Rincon and Ranchers in the sun-splashed dunes along the Pacific coast.
This was highly enjoyable and gave everyone a good chance to get used to the units before taking on the longer distances involved in the next day’s ride.
After a long evening of dune and beach riding we loaded up and headed for our hotel in Ensenada. Once there we checked into the San Nicholas Resort Hotel for the night and went out on the town for a hearty fish dinner and some quick sightseeing.
HIT THE TRAIL
The next day we headed off on a 125-mile journey to the nearby seaside community of San Quintin. The ride was mostly on old dirt roads and trails with lots of coastal bluffs, mountain roads, and very interesting scenery.
We opted to go straight to San Quintin instead of taking the usual tour’s journey to San Felipe and Mikes Sky Ranch. Chris will custom tailor your tour to suit your group’s interests but since they have to provision and make reservations way in advance you have to check with them beforehand about any special trip requirements you might like to make.
We made the journey down the coast in quick order and checked into a quaint hotel called the Old Mill near San Quintin. It sits on a scenic bay, with a grand bar and restaurant built using old mining odds and ends in its construction. Neat place.
We got up the next morning and headed back towards Ensenda to complete our trip. This would be a short three-day trip instead of a full four days as a winter storm cut short our return with a deluge that forced us to pack up the machines mid-way back up the coast.
Regardless, we had enjoyed ourselves immensely. The accommodations, food, service and company were all first rate. The trip accommodates all skill levels, as most of the wives were first time or relatively inexperienced riders.
YOU CAN QUOTE ME ON THAT
“Since this was my first time aboard an ATV, I wasn’t sure how well it would go,“ said Becca Livingston. “But once I got on the quad and rode, it was great. Chris and his crew make the whole thing so easy and enjoyable. I highly recommend it,”
“This is a great opportunity to show anyone you know what it’s like to ride Baja. Since I’ve raced here quite often, and even won the 1000 in a Class nine buggy a few years back, I wanted to show my wife what it’s all about. This is the best way to do it, without all the hassles of racing,” said Ron Gardener.
WARNING: Much of the action depicted in this magazine is potentially dangerous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced experts or professionals. Do not attempt to duplicate any stunts that are beyond your own capabilities. Always wear the appropriate safety gear. Copyright 2008 Hi-Torque Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Console Login