The World Tour's Grandma got 4th place In the '86 Baja 1000

Our friend Don at Vagabond Chopper recently put a new clutch on one of the World Tour. As I stopped by to pick it up, Don told me that he was going through a pile of old magazines he had in his shop and stumbled on the World Tour's grandma in a Cycle World from 1986.  The article was entitled "Harley's Comet: How a Sportster Finished 4th in the Baja 1000".  I texted the photo of the article to Christian who immediately commented  "Damn the guys had the peanut tank! Well-Made bike and ballsy riders!" One of the two main ballsy riders in question were Hollywood producer David Marcus Farrow and his good friend Jim Jackson a Hollywood stuntman.

Cycle World April 1987

Cycle World April 1987

Farrow the driving force behind the Harley is a man of manic intensity who lights up a room like a floodlamp...The Harley-Davidson was a natural outgrowth of Farrow two loves: racing in the desert in Baja and all things American.
— Cycle World 1987

I immediately went to work. I wanted to hear the story first hand; I already imagined myself picking up the phone asking a few questions and listening to the incredible stories this guy must have experienced back in the pre-GPS era roaming the Baja Peninsula at full speed on a Sporty!

Jackson is also thinking about a bike he calls the Baja Sport a dual purpose Harley-Davidson a la BMW R80 G/S, it would be a stock 883 or 1100 Sportster with subtle changes like a little more suspension travel at each end. I bet it could be made to sell for $6000!
— Cycle World 1987

Unfortunately, the scavenging web hunt came to a halt too soon. Right after I found this vintage American Motorcyclist article on Google archives, I landed on the Skagit Valley Herald obituary page. I paused to make sure this was the correct David Farrow, and although I had never met him I felt sad, we had a connection. I had missed the adventurer by a month. He had just passed away at his house in the Skagit Valley in Washington. 

When I said, adventurer, it might be an understatement, going through his bio I discovered that the Baja 1000 on a Sporty was just one of his many feats. He did it all from Airforce Mechanic to prospecting for gold and Uranium in Arizona and New Mexico ( we also had the land of enchantment in common!), he was an actor, a producer, and a motorcycle racer. He eventually became an avid pilot. 

Had I just decided to have the work done on the World Tour a couple of months earlier I might have had a taped interview of Farrow's incredible adventures. It is what it is, but I feel fortunate to have stumbled on this incredible story. 

Godspeed David Farrow and thanks for tackling the Baja 1000 with a Harley-Davidson Sportster. The World Tour is a proud descendant of the Comet!


Nicolas Danan