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Iron Butt Riding

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By Wom Battle

It's no secret that I enjoy longer rides, anything over 500k's is good, 600-700k's great.  In the last two years I've done two or three 1100-1200k days which, when talking to other riders who I meet seems to be a reasonably common occurrence for those of us who like to get around.

I've been on a couple of "Iron Butt" rides with the local HOG chapter, the last of which was a great day, 740k's or so in all but I've been wondering about something a little more challenging. Enter a site in the US called the Iron Butt Association who, on the site, refer to the "World's Toughest Motorcycle Riders" and frankly some of the k's these guys clock up are astonishing. 

Any motorcycle rider can become a member of the Iron Butt Association as long as you've done a properly documented 1000 mile (1610 kilometre) mile ride in 24 hours. It's their shortest ride called the "Saddlesore 1600k".  You can then move on to "Bun Burners" and a range of other achievements, some they call extreme and they even have a biennial Iron Butt Rally that's 11 x 1000 mile days in a row.

There's information on the site about mods and farkles you can do to your motorcycle, like lightling, extra/larger fuel tanks etc etc etc to make long distance riding more achievable.  We'll I'm not up for severely modding my Road King quite for endurance riding yet but I am up for a challenge and it's my intention in October to knock over the 1610k Saddlesore and join the IBA.

I raised the idea with my mate Heffy, who road across Australia with me in November 09 and he's up for it. So too is my ever present pillion, Zanderhar, who for some strange reason doesn't have a problem sitting on the back of the Road King for what I reckon will be 17 hours straight.  The bonus for him though is that by just sitting there he'll qualify for IBA membership.

I've also run it by some of the members of the local HOG Chapter and a small group of them are thinking on it too.  So it's on. The date's set but not public quite yet.  We've chosen the route to give us the best chance of success with the highest level of safety.  Rain hail or shine (well maybe not hail) this sucker's on and we're going to see if we can knock over 1610 kilometres in a day.

So what else do you get for finishing it?  You can buy a patch!

 

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March 2024
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