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Original Article:
Against the Wind: A Riders Account of the Incredible Iron Butt Rally

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article Against the Wind: A Riders Account of the Incredible Iron Butt Rally in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
 

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The Toad
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Don't be harsh.

"For most riders, the object of the Rally boils down to basic, brute survival."

Sounds like a pretty stupid reason to ride right from the get-go.
The Ironbutt served a very useful purpose last year by exposing the serious BMW drive hub problems. BMW might have gotten away without addressing the issue for years otherwise. Come to think of it Goldwings had nearly the same 40% failure rate while the V-Stroms and Buell flew through. Sort of separates fact from PR ad copy doesn't it?
 

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The Ironbutt served a very useful purpose last year by exposing the serious BMW drive hub problems. BMW might have gotten away without addressing the issue for years otherwise. Come to think of it Goldwings had nearly the same 40% failure rate while the V-Stroms and Buell flew through. Sort of separates fact from PR ad copy doesn't it?
It also served to show that "the Honor System" no-longer seems to be working. The fact that outside help was allowed, and completely unregulated - it was just a matter of time before a "cheating scandal" would raise its ugly mug.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Those Beemers were blowing up without the need for the Iron Butt. If you read the BMW web sites, they talk about faiures alot, and none of them participated in the 'race'.
 

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Those Beemers were blowing up without the need for the Iron Butt. If you read the BMW web sites, they talk about faiures alot, and none of them participated in the 'race'.
Dude! It's not a RACE! - It's merely a COMPETITION! :cool:
 

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That's right. It isn't a race.

People who do the Iron Butt (and similar events) make it very clear that success is due to planning and time management. It's not speed or sleep deprivation. Because the event is not about how far you go, but how many bonus points you get, the trick is to plan a route that you can achieve given the weather and traffic, as well as your own physical abilities. Then of course making quick stops is a huge key. The fewer times you have to stop, and the less time you spend at a stop, the better off you are. I won't ever do a multi-day rally (I know my own limitations) but I can make huge miles without speeding (well, the usual 7-10 mph over) because my gas stops are usually 4 minutes, maybe 7 if I need a pit stop. That's the sort of concentration that makes miles within the time allotted.

I have not read the book but I would be very surprised if Ayers had described the rally in the same terms used by the article.
 

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MODERATOR X
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Hey, isn't that a Bob Seager song? Bob Seager (Seger? cee-gar?) songs comprised the background music of my days as a motorized squid, '76 to '80 on everything from honda 100's to wreched 750 cee cee twin kawasakis (purple ones). I got monkey butt when I rode my '78 XL250S from Virgina Beach to DC one fine summer weekend. WFO all the way...ahh, the sea stories never end...
 

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That's right. It isn't a race.

I have not read the book but I would be very surprised if Ayers had described the rally in the same terms used by the article.
I've read it, but from what I 'member - it's not really like the article portrayed. It's been awhile since I read it though - probably a few-hundred books-ago.

I'll have to find it amongst my few-thousand books, and reread it. When I die, some Library is going to inherit a Windfall..........
 

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I've read it, but from what I 'member - it's not really like the article portrayed. It's been awhile since I read it though - probably a few-hundred books-ago.

I'll have to find it amongst my few-thousand books, and reread it. When I die, some Library is going to inherit a Windfall..........
Comic books aren't really "books."
 

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Comic books aren't really "books."
You're a funny guy, Buz. If you ever come over, don't let one of those stacks of first-editions fall on you. Hardcovers are heavy..........
 

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So, how many Butt-sters are out there with catheters and/or astronaut diapers?
Catheter's a bit too-hard on the prostate, 'specially if'n you don't have a Balzack-bilt seat..........

Use an "Eazy-Leak'r" instead.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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That's right. It isn't a race.

People who do the Iron Butt (and similar events) make it very clear that success is due to planning and time management. It's not speed or sleep deprivation. Because the event is not about how far you go, but how many bonus points you get, the trick is to plan a route that you can achieve given the weather and traffic, as well as your own physical abilities. Then of course making quick stops is a huge key. The fewer times you have to stop, and the less time you spend at a stop, the better off you are. I won't ever do a multi-day rally (I know my own limitations) but I can make huge miles without speeding (well, the usual 7-10 mph over) because my gas stops are usually 4 minutes, maybe 7 if I need a pit stop. That's the sort of concentration that makes miles within the time allotted.

I have not read the book but I would be very surprised if Ayers had described the rally in the same terms used by the article.
Well from your description it sure as hell sounds like a race to me. Don't they have winners? They sure do! Here they are:

Iron Butt Rally - 2007 IBR - 2007 IBR - Final Results

Since they have winners and losers then it is a race, pure and simple. You can bullshyt some people, but please don't tell me this isn't a race. They call it a 'rally' so the cops and the Gov don't come down on their asses and shut the thing down. They say all the right things on the website to pass this sham off, but to win you need to speed, sleep deprive, and do plenty of other tricks, because with those tactics anyone can beat anyone else that only uses 'time management' and 'route planning'.
 

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Oh, I dunno, LF. Compare football. You win those games by putting the most points on the board, not by how many yards you gain.

Some of the best Iron Butt competitors do fewer than 1000 miles per day on the 11 day rally, but do better than riders who pack in thousands more miles because they planned a better route. It's not about miles and it's not about speed. Think what you want, but it isn't a race in any definition of the term.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Oh, I dunno, LF. Compare football. You win those games by putting the most points on the board, not by how many yards you gain.

Some of the best Iron Butt competitors do fewer than 1000 miles per day on the 11 day rally, but do better than riders who pack in thousands more miles because they planned a better route. It's not about miles and it's not about speed. Think what you want, but it isn't a race in any definition of the term.
I don't want to compare it to football, because it is a pointless and futile comparison. Nothing about it is the same. I guess I could compare it to picking oranges, but that too is pointless. Lets compare it to......ummm---long distance motorcycle riding! So some of the best do less that 1000 miles a day? First, 1000 miles a day for 11 days in a row is stupid, pointless, and exhausting. But let's argue your 'points' Here are the top 3 from this year:

1 Martin Leir, BMW R1200GSA, 12,460, 344,122
2 Jim Owen, BMW R1200RT, 11,137, 333,471
3 Brett Donahue, H-D XLH1200R, 11,283, 316,707

Looks like the 'winner' did way more than 1000 miles a day. He did 1132 miles a day for 11 days straight by my calculations. Now if he rode 16 hours a day, which leaves just 8 hours for stops, eating and sleeping, he still has to average better than 70 mph an hour to make those miles. I can bet you anything that you like he was speeding, and sleep deprived while doing it. There is no other way to make that mileage. Period. That is how you win this race, which is what it is. So it isn't about miles and speed? Route planning is all that it is? Then why does the race winner have the most miles? Take a wild guess.

For the height of hypocracy, read this article by Aaron Frank and his 2000 mile Iron Butt ride. He got his certificate pulled by the Iron Butt Association because he told the truth in this article:

2200 Miles on a Motorcycle in 44 Hours - Feature Review - Motorcyclist Online
 
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