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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not an Iron Butt rider. I think 800 miles in a Buick is a long ride. But I am Iron Butt curious. (Oops, that didn't sound right.) Anyway, why so few Iron Butt winners on Wings? I've heard 5 of the last 6 winners have been on FJRs--wonderful bike, but not a big seller by any means. So, what gives?

  • Am I looking at the wrong stats?
  • Does the Wing get heavier after 700 or 800 miles?
  • Is it about the gas mileage?
  • Is it because the Wing is a 2up bike?
  • Are Wing riders unable to plan a route that avoids Dairy Queens?
It just seems like the world's premier touring bike SHOULD walk away from the IBA prize table with plenty of awards.
 

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IBA Winners

Good Question, the sport touring bikes maybe an advantage in 11,000 mile plus ride, but I test rode the FJR 1300 and it is a fine bike. I still prefer the wing, but the FJR is must less expensive and has a great deal of technology at a much lower price.

ED
IBA
GWRRA
Highlanders M/C
PolarBear Grandtour
 

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I didn't register for the one that I did because I couldn't justify in my feeble mind paying them so I would be able to say what I can say anyway. Of course years later, i regret not registering, but that was my logic then.
 

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I ride IBA rides

I am seventy and still ride the three flags America ride every year and other IBA rides. I have meet may IBA riders older than me. Red the iron but site bout eating and long distance riding. Also keeping in good condition helps. I hade back surgery with 3 discs removed and with PT I m back in the saddle. See you at this years Three Flags America
 

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Well there is confusion here the Iron Butt rally is a different animal than an Iron butt ride. there are a lot of s that do Iron butt rides I have 2 under my belt. there are a number of Iron butt rally riders that do ride wings but they are not as competitive. there are several reasons the Rally is grueling a younger mans sport. None of the top finishers ride stock bikes. you need more gas for starters to be a top finisher.
 

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I have a GL1800, and also a ST1300. If I decide to try a IBA ride, it will be on the ST1300 for a couple of reasons. Fuel range on the ST is 300+ miles on the stock 7.7 gal. tank, so that means about 30% fewer fuel stops. Also the ST seems to ride better at the higher speeds for extended periods than the Wing, probably due to less air to push. I've done 800 miles, high speed, on the ST stopping only for fuel with no problems. I don't feel that I could have covered the same miles on the Wing as easily in the same time period. Now, 2 up, at mostly legal speeds, loaded with gear, the GL1800 definitely is the choice.

Nashcat
 

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Did a sioux falls to tampa in less than 46 hours. Had trouble one night when trailer lights failed. Had a wire shorted out.

This was on the 97 1500 pulling a cargo trailer.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G730A using Tapatalk
 

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I rode into the Northeast and Canada from KY last spring and used the ST-1300 rather than the Wing. Actually I'm as comfortable on the ST as the Wing, because of slight forward reach needed on the ST. Also, though the Wing performs well, I prefer the ST for the long haul when riding alone because it seems more exciting.
 

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We are just too busy riding to get the peoples names and numbers where we stop at. Let alone keeping the receipts etc.;)
And then sending everything in on a timely manner. lol.
 

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There are a lot of Iron Butt Wings out there as far as general membership. As of this past fall, its my understanding that over half of the memberships are now held by Harley riders. Whether you like them or not, they do get out there and ride. That and the shear numbers of them out there. Every event I go to, the Wing is always well represented.

Many of the Iron Butt "cert" rides are performed on "big" roads that the rider plans them and not much more, if any, rougher on the bike than normal riding. The "flag" rallies that are geared to get new riders introduced to IB and existing IB cert riders accustom to rallies, the RallyMaster will make the ride fun but not too demanding on the bike. However, some IB related events are geared for more seasoned IB rally riders and will have them (or lure them) on to back-roads, dirt roads, sub-standard roads and knowing you're "on the clock", the bike is going to get pushed through these conditions at a faster than relaxed or bike-conservative pace. The bike typically gets less consideration than the clock does. Its rough on the bikes and its rough on the riders...but it may be a half an hour quicker than routing the smooth roads the other fellows took.

As far as the big rally or just a lot serious LD riding, that type of riding is going to take its toll on any bike (wear & tear, mods for farkling, run hard on less than desirable surfaces, mostly worn out from the outside in). The bike is on the verge of being expendable over the course of several years (and not much left to trade in on a new bike later). I enjoy walking around the parking lots at IB events to look at the bikes that are getting "used up". Many will keep rebuilding dedicated LD bikes as long as they can as they aren't really good for anything else. They develop character and personality over time. And when the bikes get to this level, the rider has no reluctance to do whatever to his bike to better suit his IB needs. Its not like it has to be pretty...just functional.

As Edward mentioned, the FJR is a fine bike including:

ABS linked brakes
Traction Control (can be turned off for wheelies)
Sport and Touring Throttle Mapping (switchable on the fly)
Cruise Control
Shaft Driven
6.6 gallon fuel tank (I average 48-53 mpg at a brisk pace)
Electric Windscreen
Adjustable Seat
Adjustable Bars
Heated Grips (programmable)
Center Stand
Glove Box w/ 12v outlet (Automatically locks with ignition off)
Removable Saddlebags
(Exceptional instrumentation- Multiple trip meters (two on surface & two in the background to keep up with oil changes, etc.), fuel gauge with count-down reserve, instant and average MPGs, fuel gauge, fuel range, time, ambient temp and digital coolant temperature.

All options come as standard....its a 4-valve per cylinder, dead-reliable in-line four engine, its geared tall in top gear (5 speed), its smooth, its fast, it's relatively light (637 lbs.), it's nimble, it runs under 50% of redline at 80 mph, it gets good gas mileage, its sleek aerodynamically, its sexy. It feels bigger on the slab and smaller in the twisties. It's prepped for the addition of a top box (size of your choice) and many after-market accessories are available for it.

You can get two of these "almost IB-ready" bikes for what one Wing cost. Then, when you ride to Prudhoe Bay, AK on a timed-pace, you don't beat to pieces an expensive Wing or have to deal with excessive weight for those off-road like conditions. The FJR is a lot of bang for the buck and a great platform for LD riding. Its not perfect but it's close.

Z
 

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I have ridden lot of long rides just don't see the need to prove it to anyone. I don't ride to show people I do I do it cause I like it and have some place to go:thumbup::thumbup:
 

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I rode from Georgia to Jersey last May. It was an 860 mile day. Before I left I looked at making the route longer so I could do a 1000 iron butt. I decided not to do it because to me it seemed to be taking the fun out of my vacation. Maybe doing it is just not for me.

I did the 860 in 15 hours, during the ride I stopped only 4 times for gas, water, pop tarts and restroom. It was a personal thing and as long as I know I could have done it I am very satisfied.



Mike
 

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I'm not an Iron Butt rider. I think 800 miles in a Buick is a long ride. But I am Iron Butt curious. (Oops, that didn't sound right.) Anyway, why so few Iron Butt winners on Wings? I've heard 5 of the last 6 winners have been on FJRs--wonderful bike, but not a big seller by any means. So, what gives?

  • Am I looking at the wrong stats?
  • Does the Wing get heavier after 700 or 800 miles?
  • Is it about the gas mileage?
  • Is it because the Wing is a 2up bike?
  • Are Wing riders unable to plan a route that avoids Dairy Queens?
It just seems like the world's premier touring bike SHOULD walk away from the IBA prize table with plenty of awards.
The 5 out of 6 stats is for the Iron Butt Rally 12,000 miles in 11 days, that is not touring by any stretch. FJR's can cruise at 125 to 140 mph no problem when need be and still get respectable milage. You can buy 2 used FJr's for the price of one used Wing
FJR riders don't stop at Dairy Queens.
 

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Maybe because more than a few of the Goldwing riders that log that kind of mies do so because we enjoy the ride and just don't care about the Iron Butt certificates.
I have done quite a few rides that would qualify, but have never bothered to submit any documentation to them.
 

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"We" spend a lot of time on this board extolling the virtues of our Wings - and rightly so.
It's a great bike, comfortable, relatively easy to maintain, durable, versatile (as a solo platform or fully loaded for touring), and has an alternator with enough spare power to light/heat/energize a ton of farkles.

Sometimes "our" conversations follow a predictable path: our Wing is King and other bikes are [email protected] (for one reason or several).

In the Real World there are people who like their 'other' bikes as much as we love our Wings. I know, it's hard to believe - maybe their mothers dropped them on their heads and they 'just ain't right'. (Pretty sure mine did - thanks, mom.)

So if I may, allow me to offer a couple suggestions - with or without eliciting a defensive reaction from The Faithful :lol:

In no particular order:

First, age. The riders who qualify for and compete in the Iron Butt Rally** are not a bunch of teenagers, but most of them are not yet as ancient as some of us. Yes, there are many Wing owners who haven't yet hit the half-century mark. And there are more than a few Medicare-eligible FJR riders. But many of the competitors in the IBR have not yet arrived at that milestone of life that involves riding a bike as comfortable as a casket.

Second, size. Admit it, boys. The Wing is not small. It weighs about 50% more than the FJR. Moving at highway speeds it doesn't seem that big, but it is. Some folks enjoy traveling a bit lighter. Or a LOT lighter.
when you have to turn around on a dirt road, in the dark, on day 9, you might notice the difference.

Third, price. Seriously. For the price of a new ABS-equipped Wing, you can buy a new ABS-equipped FJR - and have $10k left over. Let me spell that out: Ten. Thousand. Dollars. Less.
In the age of Bluetooth-everything, I wouldn't mind trading an AM/FM radio for an electric windscreen if I'm going to be riding 1,000 miles a day for 11 days.

Fourth, fun. Oh, wait. Did I say that out loud? Different strokes for different folks!

Don't get me wrong I'm not 'dissing' the Wing. Just comparing tools for a specific job.
I believe that every rider chooses what he or she thinks is the best tool for the job. In the end, the best competitors seemed to choose the FJR.

Both bikes have a reputation for reliability, the same size fuel tank (6.6 gal.)***, and an extensive dealer network - just in case. Both bike have boatloads of available functional farkles.

I've done IBA rides on my Wing and had a comfortable, fun time. Wouldn't trade those experiences for anything! So far, I've done 400-500 mile days and 1200 mile weekends on the FJR and had a comfortable FUN time. Guess which bike I'll do my next IBA ride on?

Here's a good overview of what's needed in a long distance bike:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vYqsUy-hXw8

**For those not familiar, the IBR is a biannual 11-day, 11,000 mile rally with a limited number of entrants. Not to be confused with the many Iron Butt Association "Saddle Sore", "Bun Burner", and other long distance rides accomplished by individual riders.
***I'm not aware of any IBR competitors who don't have an aux. fuel cell. And even though the FJR gets 10-15% better fuel economy, that's not an issue in the IBR since there is a mandatory limit on miles ridden between breaks.
 

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Gold Wings are still a very popular motorcycle in the Iron Butt Rally, just the top rally riders now are mostly FJR1300 riders. Lots of Goldwings ride the rally every time and some do very well, and the best thing is that virtually all run the rally without major problems. Most if not all of the FJR1300 run no problem too unfortunately, so competition is high.
The other IBA rides, there are every motorcycle imaginable, but there are a lot of FJRs and Goldwings both as well as the Harley crowd. I did the IBA BBG3000, 3000 miles in two days on the Goldwing and had no complaints on the bike, and also one of the longer BBG rides at 1664 miles in one day. I'll sill keep the goldwing for long rides. There is a lot of thinking and stategy in the iron butt rally, the younger riders on FJRs probably have an advantage there.
 

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I have ridden lot of long rides just don't see the need to prove it to anyone. I don't ride to show people I do I do it cause I like it and have some place to go:thumbup::thumbup:
Wimpy,

I can appreciate your position. I'm sure there are some but I don't know anyone personally that uses an IBA cert for bragging rights. If I were a gambling man, I'd guess the braggart only has one cert to his name with no intension of ever having a second. There are folks on this very forum that have done 1800 miles in 24 hours so I don't see where there is any room to brag too much about 1000 in 24 anyway. In reality, to be the "world's toughest riders", the LD community is a pretty low-keyed, sedate bunch. The vast majority of IB riders I see at event have at least some gray hair if not all gray hair although IBA is working on that. At IB events, there is a click of the higher-ups (they've earned it) but largely the group is made up of individual loners.

I don't play golf but I am confident that shooting a round is more interesting when you keep track of your progress. Kind of along the same lines with an IB ride...its a game with rules to satisfy, too. Many riders are interested in going somewhere for entertainment or adventure...some are just interested in going and the riding is the entertainment and adventure. Some people hunt for the meat while other hunt for the fun of the hunt. The time management portion of the ride adds a different element to the game and is just as important as the riding. Along the same lines as camping...who in there right mind would go camping when they have a comfortable bed at home or hotels with fine restaurants but camping is a booming business and has been forever so others must get something out of it in their own way, too. Its what I call enjoying a "self-inflicted hardship". Same with riding in the cold or the rain....many just won't do it where others welcome the "hardship" or challenge. The certs are just a means of tracking progress and a visual reminder of a good time you had alone or with friends.

There is another parallel. As with runners/joggers, once they get to a certain point, they experience a "runner's high" where they feel like they could go on forever. I've heard people describe this as it pertains to LD riding as "zen". Call it what you will but I get to a point to where I am more comfortable on the bike than off and kind of feel as one with the bike (as sappy as that may sound). At those times, I feel like I was born to be riding...and may have been. For the lack of a better term and one I don't use often, something just feels righteous about it. It comes on strong for me on the third day of hard riding. The first day, I'm running on excitement, adrenaline and anticipation and usually over-do it to some degree, the second day I'm recovering from the first day and struggling to match the established pace from the previous day. But the third day and thereafter are my personal favorites. Its like I've settled into my groove. By this time, I'm not thinking about work, when I'll mow the grass or life's little issues and am only focused on what's right in front of me. Although difficult to describe, it's a peaceful place to be and a peacefulness I don't experience anywhere else.

I, also, "use" long distance riding to satisfy my other riding desires or to quickly catapult me into an area where I do want to slow down and see the sights. If I have 5 days off work and want to go out West, I can't spend 2.5 days getting there and 2.5 days back if I plan to do or see anything while I'm out there. Therefore, I prefer to ride at a timed-pace to get there so I have the ability to enjoy my limited time at my destination area. Being "on the clock" gives me a sense of urgency to get the bulk of the miles behind me and I like the opportunity to hone my "game" skills. Likewise, on the way back I do the same thing as to maximize my visit.

The most exciting IB rides I've done are the ones that I did not successfully complete. When you are already pressed for time, in the 23rd hour while getting close to the end only to find an 18-wheeler burning blocking off the interstate, find yourself surrounded by tornados or in a hail storm. I've failed miserably on some and had more adrenaline pumping/heart racing than on any of the successful rides. Its usually some sort of unforeseen obstacle outside of my control but yet its part of the game. You know it isn't any big deal and you still have your health but at the same time, nobody likes to fail at anything no matter the reason. Not every ride has an happy ending time-wise but you are riding so it can't be all bad. Beyond the entry-level SaddleSore1000, the rides get little tougher and have much less margin for doodling, upsets or delays. I'm not saying that not just anyone can do it but of those that do try it, its not always a slam-dunk or a guarantee that just because you are determined that you will be successful. Like the round of golf without keeping score, it wouldn't be much of a game if everyone were winners or you couldn't lose.

I like the Iron Butt game as it allows you to be a part of something bigger while still being independent at the same time. It's all up to the individual, as usual. You can be an IB rider in good standings and never know or meet another IB rider. My certs are not to prove anything to anyone other than me. Unfortunately, the ones that have used a cert as a bragging tool have encouraged many other riders not to like the IB rides without ever experiencing them.

I'm not trying to convince you to do an IB ride as we all do our own thing or what satisfies us as individuals. I know you enjoy you Wing as much or more than anyone here...in your own way.

Hope to see you on the road. I'll be smiling doing my thing and I'm sure you'll be smiling doing yours.

Z
 
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