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List of Baja 1000 Winners

Historical List of Baja 1000 Winners (Motorcycle)

Jennifer Rails (November 2022)

The Baja 1000 had its humble beginnings back in 1962 when Hollywood motorcycle stunt double and desert racer Bud Ekins came up with an idea to take a long trail ride down the Baja Peninsula with his younger brother Dave. This also happened to be the year that Honda was coming out with their first dirt bike, the CL72 Scrambler. Bud approached the Honda Western States and AHM Sales Managers and pitched the idea as a way to help promote the new dirt bikes, and they liked it. They just had to convince the executives back in Japan to take a gamble - nothing like this had been done before, and if it worked would be an excellent way to drive sales.

Long story short, the Honda executives approved the idea, but Bud wasn't able to ride the Honda dirt bike due to various contract reasons. Dave could ride but had to find a replacement, so he teamed up with Honda of Hollywood father/son owners Bill Robertson and Bill Robertson Jr. (Bill Jr. would be riding while his dad would be flying the helicopter).

After a maiden voyage full crashes, nearly running out of gas, getting lost and eventually blowing a cylinder, Dave and Bill Jr. completed the long distance ride with no radios, navigational equipment or sleep. The journey kicked off at midnight, and both riders rode almost 40 hours straight (this was after working a full day prior to driving three hours to ride that same night!)

This proved to be a major win for Honda, who would go on and sell over 89,000 CL motorcycles from 1962-1968, allowing them to leap into the offroad market and become a household name. This also put the Baja Peninsula on the map, and since 1967, The Baja 1000 has been held every year since and is the final round of the SCORE Desert Challenge. The event attracts hundreds of racers around the world, and now takes around 20-25 hours to finish. The course is more or less the same since the 60’s but the length changes depending if its a point-to-point (about 1,000 miles) or a loop race (roughly 600-850 miles).

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