IBR Bike Prep Example

Discussion in 'Honda ST1300' started by Garry in AZ, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Garry in AZ

    Garry in AZ Premier Member IBR Finisher

    Below is a post I wrote on the ST Owners website when I was prepping my 2005 ST1300 for the 2015 IBR. It lists all the things I did to prepare for the rally. This is not intended to be a complete list of every possible detail, but it should give someone an idea of the level of preparation I decided was necessary.

    So in preparation for the "Big Dance", I thought it would be a good idea to give my ST1300 (70,000 miles) a thorough once over, and do whatever repairs and preventative maintenance I could think of. The idea was to get it all done and then ride from my home in Arizona to the IBA's "Pizza Party" in Jacksonville in a couple of weeks. This would give me a chance to thoroughly "shakedown" the bike, and find any last details that need done, well in advance of the Rally. I don't want to be the guy with his bike torn apart in the parking lot in ABQ. So, to that end, I'm looking for suggestions or reminders of things I may have overlooked, while I still have plenty of time. Here is what I've done over the last month:

    • Removed all the bodywork, and gave the entire bike a close inspection and cleaning, noting worn parts and fluid conditions.
    • New wheel bearings and seals, front and rear. The old ones seemed fine, but why take a chance?
    • Greased and adjusted steering head.
    • New rubber dampers in drive assembly. Again, the old ones looked fine, but they are cheap, so why not.
    • Checked swingarm bearings, suspension pivots, shock preload, and damping. (I have a Progressive Suspension setup)
    • Changed the fuel pump and strainer.
    • New fuel filter.
    • New upper to lower tank hose.
    • New air filter.
    • Checked valve clearances.
    • Spark plugs replaced 15,000 miles ago.
    • Complete inspection of the factory and my auxiliary wiring harnesses, secured routing, check for chafing or any issues.
    • Replaced all incandescent bulbs.
    • Flushed front and rear brakes, replaced fluid. (Edit: Clutch too)
    • Cleaned caliper pistons.
    • New brake pads front and rear.
    • Rebuilt forks, new seals and fresh oil.
    • Cooling system flush and new coolant. (Edit: New thermostat too)
    • Swapped out keylock gas cap for screw-off type. (Speeds up fuel stops - no need to remove/replace Key from ignition)
    • Replaced battery with new AGM type.
    • Replaced all batteries in TPMS sensors and head.
    • Checked all bolt torque specs.
    • Lubricated windshield sliders.
    • Full systems check of all added accessories, USB ports, Powerlet plugs, SPOT, GPS, NEXRAD weather radar, both sets of aux lights, fuel cell vent and filter, top box computer power, etc.
    • Polished the windshield with Plexus.
    • Shortly before the IBR I will fit two new tires, and do an oil change.
    Epilogue: I rode nearly 12,000 miles to, during, and from the rally, through almost 4000 miles of rain, and had ZERO motorcycle problems. I finished and rode home on the same set of tires. (Michelin PR4's) I hope someone finds this helpful whether you're prepping for the IBR or just a SS1K.


  2. scooterboy

    scooterboy IBA Member

    Would have been upsetting had you not made it unscathed throughout rally after all that prep Garry. Well done.
    I, on the other hand, believe in more of a just in time rather than just in case attitude to maintainence although saying that am weary about what I will be asking of my bike.
    I have an Honda CBR600FAB, done just over 85000 miles in three years and bike still running strong. I too have the michelin rp4s and find they are good for 12000 plus miles.

    Be lucky, Iain.
    GarminDave likes this.
  3. Steve Bell

    Steve Bell Premier Member

    Garry, very impressive prep for the big dance. Curious, how many GPSs did you use and what type were they? With all of the rain in the 2015 IBR was there any issue with your electronics?
  4. Garry in AZ

    Garry in AZ Premier Member IBR Finisher

    Steve, I normally use two GPS units for rallying. I use a Garmin 665 for point to point routing, weather radar and Bluetooth comms into my helmet. The second unit is a Garmin Nuvi 2557, used for keeping track of overall pace, full leg route, and experimenting with alternate routes. For the IBR I also carried a Garmin Montana in the bag in case I had a unit fail and for a few of it's more unique features.

  5. rodneyw71

    rodneyw71 KLR'er Premier Member

    Does every IBR rider have that many gps's? And what about buttlite?
  6. Slasher

    Slasher Premier Member

    I think its safe to say most IBR riders use at least 2 GPS's. Some have 4 or more.
    kwthom likes this.
  7. Garry in AZ

    Garry in AZ Premier Member IBR Finisher

    When it comes to technology used for rallying, from GPS's to Aux lighting, to FLIR night vision, there is a lot of personal preference involved. In my opinion, it is not essential to use multiple GPS units for rallying, even in the IBR. If you know your GPS and mapping software really well, and you have your own successful method of routing, a single GPS could be fine. And while it is even possible to ride a rally like Buttlite or the IBR without a GPS, having one and really being familiar with all of its functions, capabilities, and idiosyncrasies makes it much easier to finish. I use two simply because one might fail, and I rely pretty heavily on my mapping software and GPS for my routing and bonus stop scheduling. Having two means I could still finish, but if I had only one and it failed, I'd be pretty screwed. That being said, I still carry paper maps, a road atlas, and a compass in every rally, just in case.
    Practice with whatever you have, learn all its capabilities and see how well it works for you. A short 24 or 36 hour rally will show you any shortcomings fairly quickly.
    The most important features to me are:

    • The ability to plan my entire route, knowing the distance between bonuses, and knowing my target arrival times at each bonus.
    • The ability to alter my route "on the fly" to accommodate being ahead or behind the "plan".
    • Keeping track of time elapsed, and average speeds, including the time the bike is shut off if it's a multi-day event.
    • Reliability. A GPS that reboots or "freezes" during operation is useless.
    • Bluetooth turn by turn directions for inside my helmet.
    • Customizable screens so I can keep track of the critical parameters of my ride at all times.
    • And while it's not essential, I really like being able to make phone calls while riding. Handy for hotel reservations, etc.

  8. kwthom

    kwthom IBA Member

    I thought I read somewhere of a finisher of IBR'15 that used Google Maps on a cell phone as a primary<?> GPS...

    Garry has explained the why's quite nicely.
  9. Alan Doak

    Alan Doak Premier Member

    Hi Garry, I've been successfully drawn for the 2017 IBR. Currently scrambling to see if I can afford it as I live in New Zealand and getting my BMW GS1200 over to the States is going to be cost prohibitive. It's been suggested to me that I rent a Goldwing from Eagle Rider and borrow a fuel cell. I don't think the fuel cell will be a goer as I won't be able to make modifications to the bike (for obvious reasons). Did you have extra fuel on the ST1300? Can I carry a can of fuel (as a spare if I get caught between gas stations?) I can't find any regulations about carrying an extra tank of fuel as a backup.
    Be keen to hear your thoughts, as all the added farkles that riders add seem a bit over the top to me.
  10. Garry in AZ

    Garry in AZ Premier Member IBR Finisher

    Hi Alan, Congrats on getting drawn for the big dance! I will try to answer your questions as clearly as possible.
    Yes, I have an aux fuel cell on the ST. My maximum fuel load is approximately 11.3 gallons, which allows a range of roughly 325 to 425 miles, depending on conditions.
    The 2017 rules do not permit carrying extra fuel in a separate container.
    See Section B Equipment, paragraph 2 Motorcycle, subsection e, (page 4) where it says:

    "Fuel capacity (measured by the methods set forth below in Appendix A) not to
    exceed 11.5 U.S. gallons. If any fuel is carried in other than an original equipment fuel
    tank, the fuel container(s) must be plumbed directly to the fuel system and meet the
    requirements set forth in Appendix A."

    You should understand that an auxiliary fuel supply isn't essential to complete the rally. You will simply have to stop for fuel a bit more often, and that takes a little time from the riding/bonus gathering/sleeping. However, a Gold Wing should have plenty of range to allow you to finish without issue. Winning will be another matter entirely. :D

    If you have other questions, I'm happy to help if I can.

  11. rodneyw71

    rodneyw71 KLR'er Premier Member

    Where can I download the rules for the IBR? I'm not riding in it, but would like to know what I would need to do to my bike if I were ever chosen.
  12. Alan Doak

    Alan Doak Premier Member

    Thanks Garry - your offer of help is much appreciated. I'm sure I'll have more questions as I get closer to the event. It's hard to contemplate the IBR ride. New Zealand is only 3,000 km long and about 4oo km at it's widest. I once drove from LA to New Orleans but over 6 weeks. I have a lot of practice to do!!
  13. Garry in AZ

    Garry in AZ Premier Member IBR Finisher

    Hi Rodney. The 2017 rules are only sent to the riders, but you can find rules for previous IBR's on the Ironbutt website. Look around in here: http://www.ironbuttrally.com/IBR/2013.cfm

    rodneyw71 likes this.
  14. Garry in AZ

    Garry in AZ Premier Member IBR Finisher

    I totally understand Alan. I have friends from Europe who initially can't fathom the distances here in North America. And while I'm sure you did a lot of flower sniffing and sightseeing on your 6 week drive from Los Angeles to New Orleans, to give you a new perspective, at IBR pace, that should be around a 36 hour ride! :D

  15. pihlo

    pihlo Premier Member IBR Finisher

    Could someone give me a hint what is the overall price for changing the two tires on a ST1300 (maybe with the Road 4 GT)?
    In Spain you pay approximately 350, in Switzerland 450US$...
  16. DrNeo

    DrNeo Premier Member

    These are all approximate depending on location (tires are from an internet supplier, but will be $20-30 more from most dealers)
    Front tire cost: $160
    Rear tire cost: $190
    Mount and balance if the tire is off the bike: $25-50 per tire
    If the tires are still on the bike, then you need to add an hour of shop rate time - $90-110

    So ~$400
    Location of the tire change can make a huge difference.
  17. pihlo

    pihlo Premier Member IBR Finisher

    Thanks for the answer. Now I got an idea - its same or more than in Swiss.... ;) (I do not order by Inet and do not mount them by my self).
  18. igneouss

    igneouss Premier Member

    Old question but I thought a comment might be in order...
    In the 2015 IBR (if memory serves) one of the big dogs withdrew largely due to GPS failures. He had 2 mounted. I think I heard that one had some sort of bug that got worse and became unusable. One "water proof" unit got wet and failed. He bought a 3rd on the road and it failed shortly after installation. Probably due to water.

    Based on my reading (equal to an opinion) I wouldn't go with less than 2 installed and one spare.

    Imagine investing the time and money for the IBR (a year of prep and $10k minimum)... why scrimp on essential tech? Also note that these days one GPS typically also runs weather and traffic as well as maps and routes. Also many riders use the bluetooth option for phone and music/radio. While possible, it would be very difficult to run any significant multi day rally without GPS.
    rodneyw71 likes this.
  19. cacomly

    cacomly Premier Member IBR Finisher

    Rodney, most of what you need to do is to make sure all maintenance items are taken care of so they don't bite you during the IBR. The rest of it is rider preference. Take a look at the bikes you see at the rallies and other LD gatherings you attend and talk to the riders. Things to consider are what do you want to run for a GPS (how many, what brand, motorcycle specific or not, or go with a smartphone or tablet and run Google Maps, Waze, or some other app), lighting, extra fuel, storage for rally related items (flag, camera) and other stuff (clothing, tools), and so on.
    rodneyw71 likes this.

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