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Thread: The Iron Butt Rally (11,000 miles/11 days)

  1. #1
    MT State of mind
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    The Iron Butt Rally (11,000 miles/11 days)

    This was the opening day of registration for The Iron Butt Rally - 11,000 miles in 11 days. Limited entry (by lottery), it's about 125 or so this year. 67 are newbies. It runs every other year - takes that long to put this together.

    These bikes were ridden to the starting/ending point in Missoula MT except I did see two bike trailers (hauling bikes not being hauled by bikes). So, some of these folks already rode from FL, OH, etc to get here. The start is Mon 10am. There is a documentary film crew along this year practicing for their official shoot which will be the 2005 rally.

    The registration process was interesting - The paperwork, the witness signatures, the video taping of the list of questions where you acknowledge that you know what you are about to do and are doing so as a responsible, nonwhining adult. Well, that's my take. You know how it is these days with liability. The staff is really wonderful, though.

    Every bike gets a thorough tech check, including the fuel cell setup and safety, and a sound check at the muffler. A K12RS (the rider is from Singapore via Phoenix) failed at 107 db, 2 over the limit. He just bought the bike and obviously didn't realize this might occur. We sent him to a local performance shop to repack the Two Brothers muffler, but it turned out to be full and good, so they sent him to the local BMW dealer where they were going to sell him the stock muffler off a used KRS on the floor. He has until 2pm tomorrow to get rechecked and pass. That's when registration closes.
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  2. #2
    Rally Rat colt03's Avatar
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    Thanks for the picture and heads up.

    Keep Posting , we won't see those guys until the 18th in Maine. So please keep posting any info you have. Pics as well !

    Thanks

    Craig Cleasby
    South Windsor, CT

  3. #3
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    One rider told me it's all about lights:
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  4. #4
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    Actually, more than one rider mentioned lights:
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  5. #5
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    This bike has even more lights (6 plus the original headlight):
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  6. #6
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    Same bike, from the rear; this bike shows it can communicate, too:
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  7. #7
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    The granddaddy of the group (1964 R69S)?
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  8. #8
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    This is either a fox among the chickens, a wanna be, or the result of a bunch of drunken friends, one night and too much paint (take your pick):
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  9. #9
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    I asked a supposedly experienced friend to come look at this bike and tell me what was "wrong" with it, and he responded, "Oh, the Guzzi?"

    Notice the essentials: Fuel, water, doodads including Fozzy Bear and Kermit characters glued to the windshield mounts, lovely custom paint job courtesy of a bunch of drunken friends one night (did you guess correctly?), homemade seat and backrest, and you probably can't read the check list near the gas cap: "receipt" and "no diesel." He bought this bike last year for $800 with 3,000 miles on it, and has already put 26,000 on it. It's a 1982 Honda Silver Wing GL500.

    Besides light, it's also about fuel and staying hydrated:
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  10. #10
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    It's been an interesting two days. You walk around and help out with directions, leaking gas cleanup, get a KRS rider a muffler (watch for him: go, Chya!), whatever. You look at the unusual bikes and you know there are stories there. You get to talking to the riders of the "regular" bikes, the K1200LT or R1150 RS or GS, the Honda Gold Wing, the Yamaha Venture, and find out they have stories, too.

    There are two no-shows, and one K1200LT is still in Cody, WY. The rear end went out (starting to sound familiar?). The rider was at registration taking care of as much as possible. He has a new rear end in the trunk of the rental car. He is driving back to Cody tonight, the dealer will install it first thing tomorrow morning, then the rider will come back to Missoula to officially start from here. He'll lose half a day, but hey, it's an 11-day event.

    One rider from San Jose said that coming to Missoula on Friday he hit the Hot August Nights (in Reno) traffic, once he left the Bay area. He rode about 300 miles in nearly 10 hours, never going faster then 43 mph (per his gps unit).

    There is a Yamaha SR500 thumper (chrome fenders!) that is one of only two that are doing this long distance stuff. The owner was telling us he has a support crew all over the country - this has become a virtual neighborhood team effort. He is the original owner and "they" are going to turn 100,000 miles on the first leg, tomorrow. Last week, 10 miles from home, the transmission blew up - first and neutral only. He managed to get parts sent from friends and got the bike running, loaded it to get to the start area in time to register. He's only got 60 miles on the rebuild and is nervous about any overlooked item since there was no shakedown cruise time.

    From the "...and you thought your local shop was bad..." department: So, I'm standing at the 500 cc Yamaha thumper, talking to the rider, and I see the bike behind me is a brand-spankin' new Venture (watch for it: gold and red). The rider is from San Diego. Last week his 1999 Venture was in the shop for its major service and prep for this rally. It was well broken in and the mechanic and the owner were pretty confident the bike would make the whole rally requiring no additional service stops.

    He picks it up and takes it home but it doesn't seem to handle quite right. What the heck? He notices the tank and windshield are new, and the handlebars seem bent. Turns out, (take a deep breath) the bike fell off the shop lift, three feet to the ground. When it hit, it was topside down. The shop didn't even mention it. They hoped he wouldn't notice.

    So now he has a 2003 and it was all he could do to get the first 600 miles on it last week and get the first service done before leaving to come to Missoula. For the first 400 miles here, he had to keep it below half throttle. It does ride nice, though. He's hoping all the bad stuff is behind him, now.

    An anatomically-correct mascot:
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  11. #11
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    This one belongs to our own Rob Nye. He's also got a mil spec, fully waterproof table PC that mounts on the tank. I've actually ridden that bike.



    I think he's going to need new graphite rods in the reactor that powers all that stuff by the time he gets done.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  12. #12
    Rally Rat colt03's Avatar
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    K Bikes have been the bike of choice for the last 5 or so rally's it is interesting to see your pics's and a few still in the line up.

    I know Rob Nye is riding his , I think Paul Glaves is riding his K75 which has to be pushing almost 400K.

    Thanks for the update.

    Craig

  13. #13
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    So the bike sprouting all the stuff is "Rob Nye the 'MOA Science Guy?" I was wondering how many things you need to tell you where you are, until you finally believe it. That bike is the dictionary reference of "multitasking."

    I was very surprised at how many various Hondas there are (oh, is it okay to use the "other" brand names on this forum?) in the crowd. Many GWs and the ST1100 is well-represented. The Yamaha FJRs look popular. I've never seen so much heat-blocking tape being used outside of a furnace room. Of course the BMW R-RT is here but there probably are more K variants. Just a couple of HD, and I keep seeing a side car rig but haven't been able to determine if it's part of the rally or part of the support staff. One V-Strom, and I only remember Chye's K12RS.

    I don't know if anyone on this forum is from AZ and knows him, but now that Chye has the OEM muffler from the local dealer, he did the odometer test and is good to go tomorrow. He mentioned that he hasn't stashed stuff ahead, hasn't called ahead for support from anyone, and didn't really know anyone. He said everything he read about this rally indicated that there is incredible camaradrie and a willingness to help each other, even at the last minute, and he's already found this to be true.

    There was one bike with a fuel cell that started dripping in the midday heat. Don't know if there was a venting problem or what caused this, since it passed Tech inspection. It was near 100 degrees F today.

    Some lightning strikes Fri night seem to have started fires outside of town on all four sides, so ash was falling late yesterday and by this afternoon you couldn't see across town. Must be time to get out of Dodge!

  14. #14
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Just got off the phone with Rob. He told me they're headed south tomorrow. Rob seems to be heading to Death Valley, Las Vegas and finally to the checkpoint.

    I'm jealous.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  15. #15
    Just want to ride
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    All I can say is AWESOME!

    thanks for the pics, we are going to be at the check point in florida to see a friend of ours, So if ya see a gal on a silver R1150RT tell her we are rooting for her and will see her soon!

    Tom
    '02 K1200LTC (Mauve of Course)'58 FLH,'89 KLR 650
    '02 R1150RT - The wife's
    '89 K100RS The Son's
    '02 Ninja 250 (The daughters newtoherride)
    www.bikershut.com

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