OCD guide to Iron Butt Motel & Rally kit

FJRPilot

Brit Butt Rallymaster RBLR1000 routemaster
Premier Member
IBA Member
#1
I seem to have developed a reputation for being obsessive about organisation so I thought I'd share my packing list for the 36 hour Brit Butt Rally :rolleyes:. Back in 2010 when I rode my first one I wasn't sure what to expect and took far too much stuff with me. There's a fine line though between taking enough kit to get you through the rally, and taking loads of stuff you'll never really need.

After years of roughing it with a Military Youth Organisation I've become accustomed to sleeping outside. As rest breaks during the rally are often quite short I begrudge paying upwards of £50 for a couple of hours in a hotel when I can kip in the Iron Butt Motel for free (next to my bike). There's really only three essentials I consider when checking in and that is I must be warm, dry, and comfortable.

I know there's a lot to be said for a couple of hours in a nice warm bed, especially if it's been raining all day but if you've got good gear and it's dry then you're going to sleep fine after a long day in the saddle, and also less likely to oversleep when you're outside. Four of the five rallies I've ridden have always been dry overnight. Long may it continue too :)

For sleeping out I now use a Snugpak Stratosphere hooped bivi bag which I got cheap from fleabay.
http://www.snugpak.com/outdoor/tents-shelters/stratosphere
This has two alloy poles that keep the head end off your face and makes it less claustrophobic. I take a cut down bit of groundsheet to protect the base if the ground is particularly bad.
Into this I put a 3/4 length (short) Thermarest Neoair sleeping mat, a slightly older version of this one:
http://www.cascadedesigns.com/ie/therm-a-rest/mattresses/fast-and-light/neoair-xlite/product
This folds down to the size of a drinks bottle and is surprisingly comfy. I also take a couple of small inflatable camping pillows as I must have something decent to rest my noggin on and I no longer use a tank bag, which is what I used to use. I also pack a small rubble sack and pop this over my boots so I don't trash the bivi bag when I get in. So that's the dry and comfort taken care of.

In 2013 the overnight temperature was the lowest I've seen for the end of May at around 9 degrees. I used to just put my warm layers on and get into the bivi bag. That year my legs were cold so didn't sleep particularly well. I've now bought a pair of ex-army insulated over trousers. They're large enough so I can put them on over my boots and bike trousers, and this is just like being in a sleeping bag. I have a nice insulated top too (Snugpak Snumper) and this goes on under my bike jacket. A woolly hat finishes it off. These compress down inside a vacumn bag so take up very little space; warmth sorted :D

Over the years I've assessed what I used and tweaked my kit accordingly. Now I've got a GS Adventure I didn't want to use the massive alloy boxes I use for camping trips so have modified a set of watertight plastic Peli cases. Not only are these extremely tough and dry but they're about half the width of the alloy cases. This makes filtering a lot easier and helps to keep the weight down. My right case holds all the Iron Butt Motel gear and the left slimmer one holds all my hotel gear.



Everything I need for the actual ride then fits into a third larger Peli case on the top. Under this is a custom made lockable alloy box. In here goes my laptop, again in another waterproof case, plus some other bits and bobs. On my top lid is a waterproof Kriega US10 bag with a bike cover inside. This is handy for keeping prying eyes away overnight and also doubles as an emergency shelter if I'm ever unlucky enough to be stuck on the side of the road in Scotland waiting a long time for a recovery vehicle.



Other than that everything else I take is shown on the packing list below. Yes I know it's all very anal :rolleyes: but as I pack everything I can check everything off and don't end up leaving anything behind. Been there done that :D













 
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Megabuck

IBAUK Verifier
IBA Member
#2
Mark,

I think the last thing in your post is one of the most important. It doesn't matter whether you favour minimalist, or 'everything bar the kitchen sink'; have a checklist, and use it. For beginners, it helps with thinking about what the rally's demands are, and what you should take to cope. For more experienced riders, it avoids forgetting something through being blasé - or just plain forgetting!

As proof, in the current Iron Butt magazine (thanks, Phil) there's an article by someone who did the 48-10 - all 48 lower states in 10 days. He's done a lot of long distance riding, including the IBR, so the 48-10 wasn't too daunting - an average of under 750 miles a day. But when it turned cold, he realised he hadn't packed his heated jacket; he hadn't used a packing list, and it got forgotten.

Regards,
Martin
 

JON12A

IBAUK's new Shop Keeper
IBA Member
#3
Mark
Can you tell me the Peli case sizes and how you fit them to the rails.
Are they quick release or do you have to keep them on ?
 

FJRPilot

Brit Butt Rallymaster RBLR1000 routemaster
Premier Member
IBA Member
#4
Mark, I think the last thing in your post is one of the most important. It doesn't matter whether you favour minimalist, or 'everything bar the kitchen sink'; have a checklist, and use it. For beginners, it helps with thinking about what the rally's demands are, and what you should take to cope. For more experienced riders, it avoids forgetting something through being blasé - or just plain forgetting!
Regards,
Martin
Exactly. Over the years I've found by preparing a list enables me to sit down and really think about what I take, and where I can pack it. It's now getting to the point that it changes very little each year, if at all. I did cock up big style for last year's Lincolnshire Rally though. I have two pairs of identical gore-tex hein gericke gloves. One older and a new pair I got in a sale before they closed down. When I was packing I had both pairs on a table and packed one pair away. Other than this all I took was a pair of mesh summer gloves.

First thing on the Saturday morning on my way to the rally start it was a bit chilly so went to put my gore-tex gloves on only to find I'd somehow packed two left gloves :rolleyes:
 

Robert

IBR Finisher
Premier Member
#5
I also keep a detailed list - when I go on a long trip to an exotic country (including the Ironbutt Rally :D). For the rallies in Europe, I am more and more relaxed. The laptop and Sat Navs have to work and I need to carry them. Anything else can be purchased in a case of emergency. Apparently, it's what works best for me - stay in a relaxed mood and be ready to improvise.
 

FJRPilot

Brit Butt Rallymaster RBLR1000 routemaster
Premier Member
IBA Member
#6
Mark Can you tell me the Peli case sizes and how you fit them to the rails. Are they quick release or do you have to keep them on ?
I only wanted to use the Peli cases for rallies etc so needed a way they could be removed, leaving the pannier frames bare or so I could still use the BMW alloy boxes.

The exhaust side slimmer case is a Peli 1450
The right side case is a Peli 1470
The main top case is a Peli Storm iM2600 (different catches to a normal Peli case)


They were all sourced nearly new from ebay for considerably less than the RRP :)

I drilled four holes through each frame and welded in an M6 threaded plug from the back of the frame. During daily use I simply screw in a st.st cap head screw in the upper holes to keep the crap out and made up some small nylon crash bungs for the lower holes.





If the bike tips over these stop the frames getting all scratched and dinted.




The left Peli case is spaced away from the top of the frame using some st.st threaded spacing rods which have a male stud on one end to screw them to the frame, and a female thread the other end to attach the case to.





I put some adhesive backed aluminium foil tape on the exhaust side case to help with any heat. I've checked it after long runs and this works fine, the case isn't even warm.




So the cases attach via four button head cap screws with large penny washers and they take about 5 minutes to fit or remove. :)
 
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JON12A

IBAUK's new Shop Keeper
IBA Member
#7
Thanks very much Mark.
I appreciate the advice and the effort you've gone too to get me the information.
It appeals to me especially for the filtering on the GSA that can be a bit tricky sometimes with the full metal BMW cases, and now with the auxiliary tank i've no room on the seat behind me for luggage .
I will probably just use the metal cases for longer jaunts and the pelis for euro rte's and such like.
 

FJRPilot

Brit Butt Rallymaster RBLR1000 routemaster
Premier Member
IBA Member
#8
No worries John.

From the side of the bike both cases are virtually identical in both length and height. From the back of the bike there is about a 1/2" difference from the centre line of the bike to the outer edges of each pannier. Overall the dimensions across both panniers is about 8" narrower than the handlebars :)
 
#9
Other than a good supply of tobacco, papers and lighters my checklist is as follows:
SPECTACLES
TESTICLES
WALLET
& WATCH!

Time to hit the road,

Be lucky, Iain.