Smallest Motorcycle for SS1000


IBA Member
I did my SS1000 on my Road Glide Ultra. It almost felt like cheating. The thing is, as the name suggests, "Ultra" comfortable. Nice seat, backrest, cruise control, full upper/lower fairing, windshield, etc. I am proud of doing the SS1000, but to be totally honest about it, it was too easy. I have an 07 Sportster 883 with full size bags and a trunk over the pillion (giving me a great backrest), as well as a full windshield. No cruise control, but otherwise it's very comfortable. Especially with the Progressive 913s padding the ride, and a Mustang Vintage Touring saddle. Lots of luggage space, 50MPG efficiency, and all that. Still too easy?

Enter my 2012 Honda Rebel 250. Flyscreen windshield, fiberglass saddlebags, ProTac driver backrest, and 85MPG at 60-65MPH. Max speed (non-sustainable) is 75MPH. Max sustainable on flat-ish ground? 65MPH - so stay off the freeways as much as possible. Hmm, we may have a challenge! In order to maintain the 41.7MPH average needed to complete it, it can be done on 55-65MPH state highways. By the list of Finishers, there have been 4 people that did an IronButt ride on a Honda Rebel. Maybe I can be #5?

So here is my question:
Has anyone done an IronButt ride on a smaller motorcycle that wants to stay off the interstate? Do you have any advice specific to doing this on a small bike? I've done rides on it for a few hundred miles, but no more than that. So far. I was able to take almost everything I wanted on the Road Glide, but the Rebel is much more limited. I have a tank bag, tail bag, and the hard saddlebags for storage. Navigation and communication is via iPhone 8 with TomTomGo offline GPS navigation, SWConnect for GPS route tracking, and a Scala Rider headset. Any advice welcome. Thanks in advance!


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
Yes, many have done one on scooters and then there is Ed Otto who rode a Honda Helix in the Iron Butt Rally


IBA Member
I was mainly seeking any advice one of those people may have. I know my ramblings at times aren't what you'd call cohesive, but that's my aim. Just wondering if there is anything specific to long distance on a small bike that I don't know.


Premier Member
Get a seat cushion and a windscreen you can kinda tuck behind on occasion when behind vehicles that buffet.

I recently did the SS1000 on a CB650F. They call it a naked sport bike, or something like that, but it's the old standard bike, like the Rebels. Comfortable upright seating position, no fairings or windscreen, but still kinda sporty. I added a Puig windscreen and a seat cushion for my ride and they both seemed to help a lot. Granted, the 650 can sustain much faster speeds than the Rebel 250, but I was at 75 for most of the ride and had plenty of time to spare. I don't see why you couldn't do it on a Rebel 250 staying around 60.

If each of your stops is 15 minutes (from offramp to onramp), and you drive 60 mph, you'll average 55mph including the stops over a 1,000 mile trip according to my calculations. Heck, you'll probably do better since you get better mileage on the 250 than I do on the 650. That's well over the 41ish MPH you need to average.


Premier Member
I did two on my bone stock 2007 Ninja 250. I did mine in March from NY to Jax and back. It was freezing cold, temps never topped 30 and most of the time were well in the low 20s and the bike couldn't run heated gear.

My advice, highway is okay, but temps are a big factor, bring extra oil, small engines tend to use oil when run at high rpm for a long time.

Otherwise the same rules apply as big bikes, comfort comfort and comfort.

Nothing special about small bikes vs big bikes other than the obvious really.


Premier Member
I know several guys who did a SS1K on scooter type bikes. Like a 238 c.c. Honda Forza , Burgman 200 ( Yohinori Ishii ) , and Ishii also did the IBR on his Burgman 400. After the Burgman 400 died ( over 225K miles ) , he got the Burgman 200.

Unfortunately, he hit a deer towards the end of doing the All Yooperland SS1K earlier this year in June, but he finished anyway.
See: Page 4, Post 79 That's the Superior Dome ( football stadium at NMU in Marquette, MI ) in the left hand pic, otherwise known as the Yooper Dome. It's the largest wood-domed structure in the world.

But Bob Munden from Windsor, Canada is the expert on doing an IBA ride on small bikes, IMHO. He has a Honda CB125R.

Here is the link to his blog : Bob Munden Send me a pm and I can give you his email if you have any questions of him.
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Premier Member
Post up your plans, maybe I'll ride out and be your start witness as part of a BBG on my Ninja....interesting idea I have there.


Premier Member
IBR Finisher
....... a BBG on my Ninja.....
There are a few of us Aussies that have mucked around on little bikes for IBA rides. Heres a few more of mine:

Ninja BBG? Tick

Scooter SS1000M/SS1600K?
Honda SH300i - stock 9 litre tank

Piaggio Xevo 250 for a 2200km day - stock

TMax scooter BBG. Cheating here, that thing rocked.

CBR125R 1800km - stock

Yamaha YZF R15 2000km day

Kwaka ZZR-250

Its a lot of fun riding the little bikes...

Dr. Tiki

Premier Member
Just FYI - the smallest motorcycle to finish a Saddlesore 1000 was a Yamaha YSR50 (49.3cc).

Ira Agins
Iron Butt Association
YSR50 was one of my first bikes.... loved it! right up until the motor blew up! It was a lot of two stroke fun. I miss that bike.


Premier Member
Great thread! I'm a big fan of touring on smaller bikes. Of course, "smaller" is relative. In the USA we consider anything under 1000cc "small."

I reject the idea that touring on a smaller bike is fatiguing. It certainly can be tiring if you lack wind protection and good ergonomics, but that is true regardless of engine size or overall weight. What some people ignore is that high motorcycle weight can also contribute to fatigue on a long ride. This is especially true if the roads are interesting; muscling a 700+ pound motorcycle on curvy roads for several hours definitely wears you down. Riding those same roads on a flickable 400-500 pound motorcycle is a lot easier.

People were surprised to see me show up for LD rallies on a Triumph TT600, and downright shocked to see that I did quite well on it in the Cal24 Rally. Granted, I was younger and more flexible when I was riding that bike; I don't think I could fold my knees up like that anymore. But I'm still a big fan of lighter-weight motorcycles for touring.


Premier Member
Size of engine does not equal chances of success or finishing places for sure. I'd suck at routing riding a 50cc as much as I would a 1200cc.
Post up your plans, maybe I'll ride out and be your start witness as part of a BBG on my Ninja....interesting idea I have there.
I'm working on it now. I have a few different destinations in mind and am trying to figure out what would be best and make sure the times work with the traffic. Needing to stay off the expressway as much as possible has a few challenges. I'm enjoying the planning, so may not have anything set for a while. I'll be sure to reach out to you when I do.
At 500cc my bike is not the smallest by a large margin. But I have modified it over the years to be a quite comfortable LD mount. This pic is during a SS2000 I did last month on my way to Pink's Hot Dogs.

Regarding things to be aware of: low charging system output!
I'm definitely aware that a Rebel 250 has little in the way of spare power electrically. All I plug into it on a trip is my phone and a GoPro. I have no extra lighting at all, and even changed the rear turn signals to LED due to the hard saddlebag placement. I do appreciate the reminder, tho.