Harley Touring suitable for IBR?

What has been your experience in the IBR riding an HD?
I am between bikes and am lucky in that I can go German, Japanese or USA. I am older and thinking maybe, just maybe, about walking on the HD Touring side of the tracks.
I am especially interested in hearing from folks who rode in an IBR but DNF or did not do well. Please share. Did you feel the HD held you back or was it a disadvantage?

PS: There have been discussions that turned into arguments about why HD's don't finish well, most centered on the statistics. To keep the peace, I would like to hear from those who actually road an HD in the big dance and hear from them about their experiences. Equipment and spares you wished you had carried, etc.

Thank you for your help.
I have recently rode my 2020 Indian Springfield dark horse taking on 1000 mile challenge. HD baggers have the same weight as mine. I don’t it’s a big deal riding big bikes. It’s all discipline mentally and physically. By the way it was my first challenge.


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
I rode a 2018 FLHTK and 2020 FLHTK in IBR19 and IBR21, respectively; with Gold and Silver finishes, again, respectively.

In '19 I had a few random mechanical issues which I had never experienced. I attributed them to having ridden the bike on the Dalton in the rain the year before, and shortly after the rally, I traded it off.

In '21, I didn't finish as well, but that is more a reflection on my routing strategy mistakes. I did have some drama with the rear tire because of the tire shortage at the time. It cost me a few points, but not nearly as many as my rider misjudgment. Other than that, the '20 ran great.

I am going to try to rally on a GSA going forward, but that is more about being a more versatile bike with better suspension and different tire choice. If I had to go back and use the HD, I wouldn't hesitate.


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
I did not ride an HD in the rally, but did apply for it for several years campaigning an Ultra. I am GLAD that I did not get accepted during that time. That bike really wore me out between vibration and noise. I was eventually accepted and rode a Gold Wing, which for me, a much more comfortable platform in my case.
Reliability wise, I don't believe I would have had any mechanical issues since I did put close to 100K on it over 11 years.
Just rode my 17 Ultra Limited on the 48 states challenge. Over 7000 miles in 6.5 days. Longest stretch was 34 straight hours. Total trip was 11,500 miles in 18 days. Bike was incredible, even the rear tire is ready for another 7000 miles.