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Iron Butt Association
October 17, 2014
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IBA Technical House

A great Long Distance rider can do very well on a mediocre motorcycle. "It's the rider, not the bike" is a romantic notion within the Long Distance Riding Community, but reality suggests it is really both. A well-prepared, well maintained motorcycle can make a huge difference in the outcome of competitive riding events. That's why most top Long Distance riders use motorcycles that are designed specifically for long distance riding, and then perform modifications (i.e. "farkles") to their machines to better handle 1,000+ mile days. Auxiliary lighting, increased fuel capacity, more comfortable saddles, heated clothing, GPS navigation systems, modified windscreens, hydration systems and many other modifications can increase the comfort and efficiency with which long distances can be covered on a motorcycle.

The technical information provided in these pages serves two purposes. First, it is to explain the standards that will be used to determine the acceptability of certain modifications for motorcycles entered in the Iron Butt Rally. Second, it is to describe modifications that have been successfully used by other riders. Before attempting similar modifications, be advised that some modifications may void manufacturer warranties or introduce additional safety risks.

The testing required to determine that a particular modification will not adversely affect the safe and reliable performance of a particular motorcycle is usually beyond the resources available to individuals that have developed modifications for their own motorcycles. Motorcycle modifications are best left to experienced professionals who use reliable parts manufactured by established companies. Use any of the modifications developed by others at your own risk.

If you have questions regarding any of the information provided, please contact IBA Tech Advisor Tom Austin (austin@ironbutt.com) or IBA Chief Technical Inspector Dale Wilson (wilson@ironbutt.com)

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