Kevin Busch said the Mexican 1000 is always an adventure. He and his wife, Michelle, once again riding tandem on their Honda XR 650 motorcycle, won their class at this year’s competition.
Their tandem riding, which has led some Mexicans to call them “dos locos,” which translates to “two crazies,” got off to a strong start. They placed fourth overall on the first stage and improved their standing over the next 10 stages, April 28-May 2.
Despite having to replace their clutch, having trouble with their brakes, tires and rims and then crashing into a truck near the finish, the Buschs had their best finish overall at the event and escaped without any injuries.
They won the 50+ Vintage Dudes class and finished third overall of the 35 bikes that started. Only 30 finished.
“It was our dream run,” Michelle said. “It was quite fun doing this race again; it was exciting.”
The Swissville duo completed the 1,048 racing miles in 21 hours, 13 minutes, 38 seconds, finishing 1:12:49 behind the overall winner, Greg Willlitts, and more than 37 minutes ahead of the next person in their class, England’s Ben Shuckburgh.
Salidan Earl Walker, competing in his first Mexican 1000, placed third in the 50+ Vintage Dudes class and eighth overall. Walker, riding his KTM 450 CXRW, completed the race in 23:41:17.
The Buschs placed in the top 10 on every stage and were in the top four in seven of them. They were also the first bike to reach Loreto. “That was a first for Michelle and I,’ Kevin said. “It was quite exciting.”
Getting to Loreto was one of the more rugged stages, Kevin said. He said there was a 15-mile stretch of really technical terrain. Instead of taking it easy on the technical terrain, Kevin used it as an opportunity to try to get by some other bikes.
“We had some close calls and had to jump some big holes in the road,” he said.
On the last day, they had to hold off Shuckburgh, who was just over 30 minutes behind them with two stages to go.
“The last day was a super fun day,” Kevin said. “The race was still on, and we had a great race that day.”
Less than 300 yards to the finish, however, disaster almost struck. Coming down the road, a truck stopped right in front of them. Kevin tried to avoid hitting it, but there wasn’t much that could be done. They ended up hitting the truck while going between 20 and 30 mph, Kevin said.
He said they had a little cactus here and there, but no injuries, and they were able to finish the stage and hold on to third overall.
Walker finished between 10th and 23rd on every stage, placing 12th three times, and that consistency helped him place eighth overall.
“It was an epic run,” Kevin said about this year’s race. “That was the best overall we’ve done, for sure.”