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ADV NewsMosko’s ‘Dusty Lizard’ Adventure Rally Takes On Joshua Tree

Mosko’s ‘Dusty Lizard’ Adventure Rally Takes On Joshua Tree

Ride hard and chill out: The Dusty Lizard way.

Published on 04.27.2023

Nearly a year ago, the folks over at Mosko Moto started an all-new adventure rally format called the Dusty Lizard. The small gatherings of adventure riders are held in premier adventure riding destinations out west like Park City, Utah, Joshua Tree, California, White Salmon, Oregon, and Ridgway, Colorado. The whole idea behind the event is to ride hard in the daytime and chill out in the lounge swapping stories with fellow ADV riders in the evening. Even better, the event is friendly to all types of dual sport and ADV Bikes.

The Dusty Lizard Lounge is a great place to meet other riders and swap stories over a few cold ones.

After having missed the first few Dusty Lizard events held by the Mosko crew, we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to check it out when the new rally arrived in our own backyard — just outside Joshua Tree on a 20-acre property called Starfire Ranch. We’ve ridden this area many times before but with such vast trail options on tap, there was bound to be new territory to explore. Mosko’s in-house trailboss Ryan Turner who grew up in the area provided the tracks, with help from his pops who has old-school knowledge on the best trails. The routes did not disappoint.

Just outside the 20-acre property called Starfire Ranch attendees enjoyed plenty of fantastic trail options with tracks provided by Mosko’s in-house trailboss Ryan Turner. Photo: Drew Martin
Motorcycle.com’s Ryan Adams giving the new KTM 890 Adventure R a proper test on the hard trails.
The aptly named Giant Rock covers 5,800 square feet on the ground, weighs 30,000 tons and stands seven stories high. It’s thought to be the largest freestanding boulder in North America and some say it was the largest in the world until a large chunk cracked off.

Trail options on the provided GPX tracks let you ride in almost any direction heading towards Joshua Tree National Park, Big Bear Lake, or Johnson Valley, with difficulty ranging from mild to spicy and most trails including some amount of sand. But the higher you go into the mountains here, the less sand you encounter. Riding out of camp you quickly get to the open desert, yet gas and supplies always seemed nearby when you needed them.

The Dusty Lizard was the perfect opportunity to take a little rip in the desert on our 1986 Honda XR600R revival project bike.

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There’s plenty of Baja-style terrain here, which gave me the perfect excuse to break out our 1986 Honda XR600R project bike for a little rip in the desert. And while I wasn’t racing, I was definitely channeling my inner Johnny Campbell going through the whoops. The XR is a blast to ride in this terrain, soaking up the bumps with its somewhat bouncy mid-80s suspension, and with massive torque lofting the front wheel effortlessly. You’re not the fastest guy on the trail but you’re having way too much fun just blipping the throttle cruising around. 

Photo: Drew Martin
Tasty tacos and cold beverages after a full day of riding? Hell yeah! Photo: Drew Martin

Timing couldn’t have been better for the event with temps in the 70s and 80s, clear skies and mild early evening temps for enjoying the amazing stargazing. Plus, the spring wildflowers were in full super bloom after a once in a 100 years wet winter. Back at camp, the tacos were tasty and the coolers of cold beverages were always full. The Mosko shop was also packed to the brim with their new gear, all discounted 15% for attendees.

The Mosko shop was loaded with new gear offered at a discount for attendees. Photo: Drew Martin
Abandoned boats in the middle of the desert seem to be a thing.

As the sun dropped, the evening’s live entertainment was provided by the Chris and O Show who played Led Zeppelin covers well into the evening. I’ll admit, it was pretty cool hanging out in the Dusty Lizard lounge with covered sofa couches, propane fire pits, talking shop with fellow adventure riders. Quite a cool vibe and we got to meet lots of friendly folks.

Photo: Drew Martin

Starfire Ranch is a pretty cool venue too for a rally with plenty of room to pop up a tent, park a vehicle or your camper, despite attendance being well over 100 people. If you like great riding, exploring new trails and hanging out with cool folks who also ride, look for an upcoming Dusty Lizard Campout near you.

Photos by Drew Martin, Rob Dabney and Ryan Adams

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney
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Matt Korinek
Matt Korinek
May 1, 2023 1:29 pm

Any chance you can share the GPX tracks? Appreciate it!

ADV Pulse
ADV Pulse
May 1, 2023 2:24 pm
Reply to  Matt Korinek

Hey Matt,
The tracks were put together by Mosko for their event so it is not our place to share them. But feel free to reach out to them.

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