he NORRA Mexican 1000 is a five-day, off-road rally down the Baja Peninsula. It travels much of the same terrain as the treacherous Baja 1000, and it is not where you’d expect to see a 2000 Harley-Davidson XL883 Sportster in competition. Yet there it sat at the start line, Frijole 883, the Biltwell entry, a chunky bulldog amid the tall Hondas and KTMs waiting for the flag. The more you looked at it, the more wrong it got. The exhaust ends in a stubby, welded can millimeters from the rear shock, which stands at attention and is surrounded by gear and extra fuel. If the rear sprocket was a pizza, it could feed a family of five. The grafted-on Honda fork looked spindly in front of the Sportster’s hunchbacked tank, painted with “No. 420” in variegated gold leaf. It’s clear the Biltwell team doesn’t take its racing too seriously. At the start of the fourth day’s stage, suited up and in the countdown, rider Mike “Otto” Deutsch was joking around. The starter held up her hand, 5-4-3-2… “I should have stayed in school. I could be playing golf right now,” he said. Then he twisted the throttle and aimed the bike south.