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Anthony Hardie
tel; 81-90-4426-8291
e-mail; hard@mud.biglobe.ne.jp
Saitama Japan
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 warned

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 Florida.
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.

Later the 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.

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Everybody 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.

The clock 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 riding time!
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.
By the 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 over..
Eveybody ready to start...
The coast roads in kuysho are just awsome..thousands of miles of coast roads and small
fishing ports...
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 Bike)