When about 10 months ago I reported on the launch by California Scooter Co. of a new line of retro-modern style Scooters with a traditional motorcycle layout inspired by the Mustang, you all agreed with me that they looked pretty cool and that they offered a fun and affordable alternative and/or complementary mean of transportation. No one had any doubt about the functionality of these single cylinder 150 cc custom machines for city or short rides, but what about very long grueling miles. A group of 5 friends, 4 men and 1 woman, decided to ride these California Scooters along the Baja Peninsula, a 2000 mile round trip from South California to Mexico Cabo San Lucas and back, and see how they would perform under demanding conditions, distance, rough pavement, dirt and intense heat. .
Story by Joe Berk. “The ride was tougher than usual, as September is Baja’s hottest month. The group crossed the Tropic of Cancer on their way to Cabo San Lucas, and they experienced daily temperature swings in excess of 100 Fon most days. The northern part of the ride from Tijuana to El Rosario skirted the Pacific Ocean on the western side of the peninsula through Mexico’s wine country and agricultural region. Once below Ensenada, the group was well away from the tourist areas and deep into the heart of the true Baja and authentic Mexico.
At El Rosario the route turned inland through Baja’s Vizcaino Desert, with a mix of twisting mountain roads and long straights. Cirios, Cardon cactus, and other plants are unique to this area (they grow nowhere else). The scenery is stunning, and it stays that way all the way down to Cabo San Lucas. The riders crossed Catavina’s boulder fields, a stark and surreal collection of enormous boulders punctuated by 70-foot-tall Cardon cactus plants (think of a Saguaro on steroids). The terrain in this region is other-worldly; many consider it one of the most unique landscapes on the planet.
At Guerrero Negro (about 500 miles south of the border), the California Scooter riders turned inland, crossing the peninsula in a southeasterly direction. After stopping in the San Ignacio oasis and riding through the Los Tres Virgenes volcano’s lava fields, the 150cc-mounted riders descended through La Cuesta del Infierno, dropping 2,000 feet in just a few miles to arrive in Santa Rosalia on the Sea of Cortez. We arrived in Santa Rosalia on Mexico’s Independence Day just in time to observe military parades and other festivities celebrating Mexico’s Bicentennial.
The single-cylinder adventure Scooter riders skirted the Sea of Cortez past Bahia de Concepcion (a magnificent ride along a stunning aquamarine bay), the resort towns of Loreto and La Paz, and points south to arrive in Cabo San Lucas after being on the road for 5 days. After staying the night in Cabo, the group immediately pointed the bikes north again, retracing their route at a much brisker pace. On the last two days, the group rode the bikes wide open, keeping the California Scooters near their top speed (just above 60 miles per hour on flat roads, depending on rider weight). It was a magnificent ride with none of us having any mechanical issue despite the number of miles and very high temperatures. It was all good…the scenery, the riding, the food, and the camaraderie. Everyone in the group said they’re ready to do it again tomorrow!”
California Scooter co. LLC is a California-based business under its parent company, Pro-One Performance Manufacturing, Inc. President and CEO Steve Seidner has been a leader in design and innovation of motorcycles and motorcycle accessories since 1989. His concept is to bring to the 21st century Scooters with the same spirit and quality as big cruiser motorcycles. The company currently offers 3 standard models, the Classic, the Greaser and the Babydoll and many options for paint jobs and custom parts. More information available at California Scooters.