|2008 /4/27 Golden Butt Ride Tokyo-Kagoshima 2000 Km 24 hrs
4 days of touring total 5,000 Km
Goldenbutt ride report By Cmac
A little long winded so be
Not even half way through the touring of last yearfs
Goldenweek/Ironbutt adventure the plan for this year was in the concept stage.
Somehow we had to plan a way of doing 2000+km in 24hrs. Having done the 1600k
just a few days before, without any major dramas, we were full of ignorant
optimism that it was just 400km more. And so the planning or should I say
dreaming began to sprout. A few days after returning, James had relocated to the
opposite side of the world. Less than a month later, I was out with a crash and
knee reconstruction. A few months later and Mic was out with a crash/shoulder
surgery. Shortly after that Ide was taken down by a reluctant organ. That only
left Tony healthy and able to ride. So the Obon plan, Tokyo to north-Hokkaido
was shelved and things delayed till the next year. Come February, I got fired up
and set out the basic plan. A long route to Kagoshima first heading north out of
the east end of Tokyo then west from Fukushima to Nigatta, down the coast a
little Up into the mountains and back down again before running west then south
for Osaka. After Osaka we were to follow the same route as last year only with a
change in the end destination after exiting the expressway.
To be honest
there wasnft much interest. For one reason or another all the previous yearfs
ironbutts were out. Ide couldnft get doctors clearance, Mic had family in town,
Tony was concentrating on the track and James was still entombed in
On the plus side a couple of hard nuts were itching to ride.
Anthony, aka Fastbike, a newby to IBA but an oldy to long distance craziness.
Try Saitama to Nagano on a monkeybike. He could fix almost any bike or people
related problem, talk his way into amd out of even bigger problems and all with
a wry smile. Then there was one of the Shuto 1000 lunatics Colin, aka the Dude.
After his 1600k on the Shuto hefd been very quiet, the asylum may not have had
an internet connectionc He dusted off the FJR and showed that consistency and
prep is key.
As the weeks passed a few piped up and drifted by as is
expected and it seemed that there were only to be 3 of us. I was cool with that
and so were the others but Anthony had me worried. He was planning to ride his
tooth rattling KTM640 motard the distance. I knew he was tough as nails and
loved the bike but I didnft know if his joints or the vulnerable single was up
to sustained highway speeds for such a period. To his credit, he stood by his
guns until 4 days before the ride(Wednesday) when he wisely bought a CB1300
Boldor from Auction. Now that is an Ironbutt tourer and a great match for him.
Unfortunately, being so close to departure he didnft have much prep time with
the CB and decided to do a test ride around the Shuto a few times the morning of
the Goldenbutt ride. Nut! As if 2100km+ in a day wasnft enough.
same night as the CB buy, Another rider chimed in. Late arrival? Yes, but this
happened last year with Tony, aka Midnightrun, and JamesK. Oyvind, aka Oyly. An
out of nowhere entrant, on an R1 no less, with Norwegian distance riding
experience. His name is now quite fitting. That automatic chain oiler
contraption sure kept his chain lubed as well as his swing arm and possibly
anyone following him. Gotta say I was getting the same feeling as Fastbike with
the KTM but put faith in him for his conviction. He was going and thatfs all
there was to it!
Then at the last minute a route change was decided for
start point convenience and economic reasons. We decided on the course below. A
snaky route that was showing 2250km. All, except the last run to the goal,
expressway. All the calculations were made, fuel stops noted and printed out and
clear directions given. Unfortunately the numbers on the sheets were for true
kilometres, not our bikes varying odometers. This would become a nuisance and
motivation drainer later on.
All seemed set for a smooth start from the
Kanpachi/ Tomei intersection Starbucks on April 27th at 12 noon.
had different ideas on long and short term prep. 9hrs sleep the night before
with a 9am wakeup and 11am departure was in the cards for me. So I ended up
working late Saturday night and nodding off at midnight. Good start. Then waking
up at Seven and drifting in and out of slumber with the need for sleep and
anticipation competing for consciousness. Finally climbed out of bed at 9, on
schedule, and feasted on a good fruit and pancake breakfast. Good riding fuel ?
tasty too. Loaded up all the gear and set off down route 1 at 10:50am. Got to
the Daisan Keihin entrance and had a dark revelation-witness forms are where?
Turn around, burn rubber, pick-up forms and schedules for everyone then high
tail it off to start point. Turned out to be only 5 minutes late anyway.
All were present and rearing to go. A few observers came to see us off,
thanks folks! We filled in forms, checked each others bikes over, met Oyly,
discussed a little fuel schedule strategy and felt pretty prepared. Well I did
anyway. Seemed Colin had figured out his own fuel stop schedule for the oil
tanker FJR, 2 fuel stops for everyone elsefs 3. Oyvind stuck with me as we
thought our bikes should have about the same range, turned out the standard R1
was more frugal than the modded FZ1! That left Fastbike whofd already clocked up
100 and sumthin kilometres on the Shuto trying to figure out his new ride. He
decided to stick with Oyvind and I in case his tank couldnft match Collins.
Turned out it probably wouldfve gone even further than the FJR.
struck twelve the helmets were donned, engines started and the contenders
motored around to the gas stand next door for the official fill up and 1st
receipt. Photos taken, spectators farewelled and the four headed for the Tomei
entrance. Hittng the entrance ramp the revs rose and butterflies faded. It was
We pretty much rode as a unit to Makinohara, my 1st assigned
fuel stop at 205km. Colin kept on rolling with a gloating wave. gDamn old fart
tourersh I thought. He wouldnft stop for another 100kms or so. Anthony and
Oyvind pulled in also and we had a short pow wow, ballast drain and then a
chunky little guy with more rings than Mr T began crouching and festering around
the rear of the Yamahas. Bit dodgy, whatfs his caper? Gave him the polite good
day and asked what was up before he had a chance to punch one of his
shiny/pointy rings in any tyres. Turns out he was a Yamaha worker responsible
for swing arm line production work. Ah, no problem. But wait a minute, why was
he looking so closely? Did he know something we shouldc but hefd scuttled away
before we could interrogate him.
Fuelled up and hit the road again. Next
stop Enakyou on the Chuo, 186kms away. Getting there we took a slight short cut
across the Isewangan extension between the Tomei and Chuo. Very little traffic,
smooth open road with lots of long tunnels. Oyvind and I motored on and Anthony
dropped back a little only to catch up and scoot out of Enakyou before us. He
was showing promise.
176kms later had us rolling into Obasute. Mountain
country and the sun was fading. With the cold starting to settle and our first
scheduled meal, we mossied on inside for a feed. A hot noodle set and some sort
of hot seafood pocket thing were shovelled in to feed the furnace. Again Anthony
was out and away early. Oyvind and I decided to switch to cold weather gear.
That took an extra 15minutes we didnft have but kept us warmer. Actually I was
in toasty heaven thanks to the heated powerlet jacket liner and gloves. Had fun
playing around with the temperature controls to match the elevation and
associated temperatures. Also good for matching windchill to varying speeds. I
rode for a long time without this luxury but nowc.
Back on the road with
fading light, around 6pm and @570km in, we were headed for the sea of Japan
coast and the next fuel stop, Arisoumi. I remembered this road as an early
morning slab run infested with plague proportion bugs from last year. Well, Ifd
forgotten about the tunnels and was relieved to see the bugs were not nocturnal.
Less than 2 hours and 200km later we rolled in to feed the steeds. A splash and
go had us clutching up to highway pace again in no time and Anthony was still
out there ahead of us somewhere.
Well we found him confounded by the signage
that had caught me out last year. The turn off for the ### Hokuriku expressway.
We knew we should be barrelling down the Hokuriku Expressway, but which one? It
caught Anthony out this year as it did me last year. A toot of the horn, flash
of the hazard lights and highbeams and I could see him drifting out of the
emergency lane into our wake on the road west. Lucky he didnft head south. Wefd
gone about 50metres up that exit before shuffling back last year.
time we pulled into Nanjyou Ifd contracted the highway fever that the Hokuriko
seems to inflict with itfs monotonous lazy snake of a road. I think I could ride
that highway only leaning and never having to turn the bars. On the plus side it
seems the bugs were in short supply at night around there too. Relief. Anthony
pulled in as Oyvind and I were rolling out and we agreed to catch up for dinner
at Nishinomiya, west of Osaka.
Now things hit the 1st snag for us,
Oyvind and I that is. The local spaghetti junction through Osaka is a relatively
easy thing but it only takes one wrong turn and disaster. Oyvind was leading and
the traffic was thick down the Meishin. I mean steady 80km/h canft shuffle
traffic. Sitting several cars back from Oyvind I saw the sign for the Chugoku
Expressway(our next route line) but he wasnft moving over. I knew this was all
new to him and the traffic may have been disorientating, so I tried to catch up
to him. No chance! Sunday night Meishin drivers are a painful bunch. Not a hair
space was given. I managed to pull over toward the exit lane hoping Oyvind was
looking in his mirrors and would follow my cue. I saw him craning his neck about
looking for me but I was lost in the masses to him. I pulled up on the divide
and thought, leave him or chase him down? Only one thing came from leaving him
and that was losing him off the end of the Hanshin. So? Go get him tiger. Had to
get a little creative a few times, the traffic thinned as exits passed and
eventually I caught up to him. He seemed glad I was back and oblivious to the
fact we had missed our exit. Fair enough he wasnft the route planner of the 2 of
us. Then my reserve started flashing and toll gate signs came up. This is gonna
cost us some time, yennies and kilometres. Exited made a loop, re-entered and
headed back looking for a Chugoku link or gas station. Gas station came up 1st.
Friendly guys there with bad news. Had to exit the expressway to get across to
the Chugoku. Seems there is only a direct link running east west Meishin to
Chugoku and not west east Hanshin to Chugoku or something like that. Well, no
help for it. Fueled up and headed out to traverse this confusing foreign
wasteland of white lines, symbolic signs and herded sheep drivers.
Sometime later and almost 1200kilometres in, we rolled into Nishinomiya
as Anthony was kitting up to roll out. I got off my bike, Anthony asked what had
happened and I dummy punched Oyvind in the guts a few times to relieve some
stress. I think Anthony got the message and said something like: Gotta love the
size of the sign for the Chugoku exit! I almost missed it. Well we had wasted
our evening meal time with the detour and change to warmer gear but sustenance
is essential in this kind of enduro challenge. So we ate short, fast and warm
food and topped off the tank before hitting the black top for my most
anticipated leg of the route. The Chugoku expressway.
|Yaguchi PA 18hrs and almost at the bottom of Japans main ireland..
|After 24Hrs on the bike the short ferry ride was nice..
|Sakurajima was having a good blow when i was on the ferry
|This was the Cabin for the first night plenty of empty beer bottles about
in the morning..
|Paul and Karl packing there bikes ready for a hard days ride with a hang
|Eveybody ready to start...
|The coast roads in kuysho are just awsome..thousands of miles of coast
roads and small
|Nagata Gorge very nice place to stop and have a walk around..
|Lunch in Aso
|Colin on his way down from Aso...
|One of our last stops on the trip komamoto Castle
|My Bike for this years Golden week trip 2006 Honda CB1300 Boldor..(Great