Back in 2000 the Honda XR650R was a hot new bike, and the Honda Racing Department built this one to race the Baja 2000.
What’s the longest single-stage race in history? It’s not Vegas to Reno, that’s just the longest race in the U.S.
The 24 Hours of Glen Helen is long, at least in time but not
distance. Dakar is more like a series of long races run back
to back, and so are a number of other rallies. Usually, the
Baja Mil is a 1000-kilometer race, and every three years
it becomes something special and turns into a 1000-mile
But back in 2000, SCORE race officials figured Baja
should be something really special and made it 2000 kilometers long, meandering from one coast to another all the
way down to Cabo San Lucas. As far as we know, that still
holds the record for the longest single-stage motorcycle
race ever run, with no transfer sections or rest breaks.
Honda’s Bruce Ogilvie was all over it, because the format
was perfect for the then-new 650R. In fact, he went so far
as to come out of retirement and ride it himself. He put
together two teams—Young Guns versus Legends. Johnny
Campbell, Tim Staab, Steve Hengeveld and Craig Smith
were to ride the bike with the 1x on the number plate. The
Legends team consisted of Ogilvie, Chuck Miller, Gary
Jones, Paul Ostbo, Bob Rutten and Bob Johnson.
It took over 30 hours to complete the race and, as
expected, the Young Guns won, but the Legends were
second, less than an hour behind. For a four-man team,
it was an incredible accomplishment to survive without
incident. And for Bruce Ogilvie, it was a fitting cap to an
BACK IN THE DAY The race of the millennium