Dusty Butt 1000 Tips/Tricks

I've been recently contemplating buying (and learning) to ride dirt bikes in preparation for a Dusty Butt 1000 & Baja 1000 (very future).

My current plan is as follows: Buy a 250CC dirt bike (Yamaha, Honda) and make it street legal. From there, learn to ride trails and long distance trips. In parallel, and potentially before this, start endurance training for these long distance rides. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doing these kind of endurance runs is very taxing on the body vs regular SS1000s (of which I have completed 2 - One confirmed and one submitted). Eventually, I would like to end up on a 450 and convert it like the 250. Note, I have hopes that DB1000 would be a good preparation for the Baja 1000. Maybe even do it twice (once on a 250, once a 450).

My question is as follows, besides being out of my mind for this, what can I do to prepare my body for this? I.e., What are tricks for long distance off road riding? What muscle groups should I focus on @ the gym? For most DB1000 in the states, what are common routes styles? Pure gravel (I live in Iowa, its a mainstay), dirt? Any general comments/tips/advice?


IBA Member
All of my rides have been on blacktop - never did do any dirt bike riding, so can't offer you any advice.
I can tell you that you are NOT out of your mind.
It's just a heck-of-a challenge though... Gotta be tough on the body, as you stated.

Good luck and can't wait to see the ride report. Should be very interesting reading!

Sorry to disappoint, but it'll be maybe a year or year and a half before I attempt the DB1000 (for the first time). Need to learn to ride a dirt bike, as well find a route worthy of attempting!


IBA Member
Hey Ron,
No disappointment here. That you're even thinking about this adventure is pretty remarkable!!
I know a few guys (a lot younger than me!!) who compete in moto cross events.
They don't hold back one bit. Lots of good motorcycles out there that could get the job done.
Best of luck with your training!



Premier Member
Can't speak for US conditions but more generally, you are heading for a pretty steep learning curve. Not impossible of course but there is a whole lot to get familiar with before shooting for a dustybuttt (much less the Baja!!) Just like any sort of riding to learn; ride lots, ride often, ride in all conditions, make mistakes and learn from them, Don't make the really big mistakes, learn from really good riders, do training and learn from that, ride some more. If you have absolutely no dirt experience you could probably build up to it in a year...but it would be easier if you weren't planning to do anything else in that 12 months.
As to the difference between 1000mile on road or dirt/gravel, quite a lot really. Definitely more intense off road, no"down time" or relaxing. 100% concentration 100% of the time. On the plus side that means not even the hint of a yawn or a nod at any point. On road I will often eat/drink on the run - no chance at all on the dustybutt. The consequences of things going wrong could also arguable be worse, or at very least you'll likely be waiting for help for longer so it pays to have at least thought a bit about it it first. The route plan was harder also, finding 1000 mile of dirt road here is not really that hard but finding it with accessible fuel and ways to document it is more of a challenge. But as I said I can't speak for US conditions, so it might be a different story there.
I have obviously not done the Baja, or any other offroad race but I would hazard a guess that it has less than nothing in common with a dustybutt and that it is a whole other level.

Scott Parish

Premier Member
As an avid off road enthusiast; my riding progression started on dirt and progressed to street. As stated earlier in the thread - you are facing a steep learning curve requiring committed practice to gain skill and confidence on a less predictive surface, especially given your two goals. Braking and throttle control is very different and something you will need to practice consistently to gain the necessary muscle memory. Another aspect that street riders must get comfortable with is having/letting the bike move under you. While your goals are ambitious; they are achievable with commitment. While I am a big fan of timelines; I would recommend focusing on getting off road time and having some fun rather than starting this new aspect of riding under pressure to complete/compete is a specific event. I have a Dusty Butt on my planned list of rides to complete in the next 2 years. When I get within 12 months; I will post planned time/route for feedback/advice as well as an opportunity for others to join. As of now; I'm looking at routes through Kansas and Colorado. However, if you know of a good route - please share. Good luck.

Thank you for your insight. In the US (specifically Iowa, for those who care), there are many dirt bike tracks/trails around here. As mentioned, I'll start on a 250 and plan on riding these trails for 2ish years. In Iowa, there are no real trails..I'm hoping to come up with a decent route. I'm hoping to not break too many bones along the way. Although, I do have one question. When doing ADV riding, specifically for the DB1000, are you always on your feet? Or are you on seat at times when the trail allows it?

I'm not sure where you are starting from, but mine will be based out of Iowa. I don't have any initial route planned, but here are a few ideas I was tossing around. Initially, it would be mainly gravel roads. However, for my purposes this would not be efficient. Instead, my current idea would be to take snowmobile trails in the summer. Ie, ditches that run alongside highways. Take gravel roads to get to gas stations, when possible. To overcome the validity issue (Spotwalla & any amount of maps would not be able to prove that I did not ride on paved road), I would propose that footage of the ride (timelapse of the entire event) would be taken as well.

Overall, I don't plan on rushing into any of this at dangerous levels (If you don't dive in feet first, where's the fun???). If I'm not ready in X amount of years, so be it.

Scott Parish

Premier Member
Met up with Ron a few weeks ago here in California while he was out here for work. Great guy and really knows his way around a MC. Unfortunately we are not able to sync up our schedules for the near future, so I have a plan to leave next week for staging in Kansas and attempt this ride/challenge on June 29th weather permitting. Will keep you undated.