I often had the thought of completing an Iron Butt Ride (Saddle Sore 1610KM) and I’m glad that I’ve completed it now, SOLO!
If you’re not aware, The Iron Butt Association (IBA) is an international organization dedicated to safe long-distance motorcycle riding. In order to become a member, you need to complete and have certified one of their long distance rides, the shortest of which is the Saddlesore 1610KM that you will need to complete within 24 hours or less.
Once your ride has been completed and verified by IBA, you will be in the World’s Toughest Riders list.
Route planning is the most important factor for a good iron butt ride within 24 hours and IBA emphasized that they mean 24 hours of wall clock time and not riding time. Say if you start your riding at 0800, you must complete your ride before 0800 the next day.
There are five steps for one to earn Saddle Sore 1610KM ride certificate and they are as per below;
- Choose a safe route.
- Get a start point witness.
- Collect and track receipts.
- Get an end point witness.
- Submit your documentations to Iron Butt Association for verification.
Please note that IBA is dedicated to the sport of safe, long-distance motorcycle riding. It does not condone nor will it tolerate unsafe activities such as excessive speed. If you been charged for reckless riding, your certification (if issued) can be revoked.
For my ride, I’ve mixed 50% old routes and 50% on expressway. You can do it 100% on expressway but if you feel that is going to be boring, you can always mixed it up like mine. Below are the routes that I’ve ridden.
Google Map: https://goo.gl/fzeeWw
Selayang – Ijok – KLIA – Kuala Pilah – Jempol – Muadzam Shah – Gambang – Pekan – Rompin – Mersing – Bandar Penawar – Pagoh – Rawang – Gunung Semanggol – Bukit Kayu Hitam – Jitra
For my ride logs and other supporting documents, please refer below:
Note for Stop#11: At this stop, I’ve already rode over 1610KM and decided to take a break but unfortunately, when I try to start my motorcycle again after resting, the battery went dead and I have to wait for a few hours until someone helped me to jump start my motorcycle. The initial idea was to do Bun Burner ride which is to complete 2500KM within 36 hours but unfortunately, I’ve lost few hours due to my bike battery went dead and decided to not proceed for Bun Burner. However, I am still happy that I’ve completed the SaddleSore 1610+ KM ride. When my bike was fixed, I rode back to my home which is another 450+ KM but of course this is not counted for my IBA ride as I’ve passed the 24 hours clock time.
You might be wondering, Do I need a big bike to do Iron Butt Ride? Negative! Any two-wheeled motorcycle which is comfortable and has a decent speed is capable of completing this challenge. I’ve read riders doing this on an underbone (kapchai) motorcycle. Remember, the IBA regulations requires you to adhere to their regulations and not ride in excessive speed.
Riding a Saddlesore taught me how to be more focus on a long distance ride and this ride has also boosted my self confidence that I can be one of the toughest riders out there.
I’ve now submitted my documents to IBA for verification and looking forward to be welcomed into the World’s Toughest Riders group. I’ll update this post once I get the confirmation from IBA.
UPDATE – My Iron Butt Ride has been verified and I am now officially into world’s toughest riders group. I’ve been also told that I was the first Benelli (make) rider to complete an Iron Butt Ride.
Why would someone do an Iron Butt Ride?
You might be wondering why would someone go through the hassle of planning routes, gearing up, riding through thousand of kilometers in a very short period and submitting all the paperwork just for a certification and to be in the list of World’s Toughest Riders? For me it was the endurance challenge that I wanted to tick off my list and the enjoyment of sharing my experience that I did such a ride and also possessing the ability to prove it.
I can tell you the feeling of riding the amount of kilometers where others take on an airplane within the same day is exhilarating! Think about the distance from Malacca to Bangkok within 24 hours, that is 1600KM (+/-).
Want to do an Iron Butt Ride?
Pack what your motorcycle needs, not you!
You’re not going for days/months ride. pack as little as you can or not at all! You’ll want the weight on the bike to be light as possible. You will be putting your machine on test, I meant real endurance test. You know your machine better than anyone else, so pack the essential tools/parts for your machines.
After years of riding on roads, I can tell you most of them does not care about you on the road! Don’t ride fast, follow the rules and if you’re tired, take REST. If you can’t complete the IBA ride, you can always do it at the other time. Remember, extreme fatigue attacks a rider’s mental ability and muscular coordination which can be fatal.
Below are some of the pictures captured along the way.
I would like to thank to all of you whom supported my ride especially to my witnesses who will be getting in touch with IBA to verify this awesome iron ride!
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