Sport Touring and Long Distance Riding

Category: LD Riding

On a Wing and a prayer

After working fairly hard trying to make my ’05 FJR more ‘Wing-like for the long-distance riding I’ve been trying for the past 2 years, and losing a few months of prep time for this year’s running of the Butt-Lite, the wife agreed that moving up to a ‘Wing was just the thing (groan).

Anyway, after a few weeks of research this listing for a 2012 Airbag model shows up and I call down to make a deposit, then start debating between a fly-and-ride from (remember, the bike’s in Florida, and I live an hour north of New York City) or taking the shipping route. Wanting to see this second-hand bike first-hand instead of blindly mailing a big check, I finally find a reasonable one-way airfare out of Hartford, CT (2 hours east.) God bless my wife, who agreed to leave the house at 5:00am last Saturday and drive home from there.

Arrived in Orlando, Fl just after 11:00am, then a shuttle van trip that only Gilligan himself could have plotted, had keys in hand the this beautiful 2012 with, get this, only 3,259 miles on her! Wanting to quickly do something about this dearth of road time, I finally headed north by 4pm. Stopped for dinner at a Chinese food place in Ocala, and stayed in a hotel just north of Augusta, GA before completing the 1,350 mile long trip home.

FWIW – this story made it’s way around the office and and I felt like Ferris Bueller with all the rooting, back slaps and offers of help finding my way down to FLA on such short notice. Then the Monday morning showing up with the new (to me) ride, I felt like Barney Stinson retelling the legend – wait for it – darystory of the fly and ride. (Most of my co-workers just don’t get the lure of long-distance riding)

So, I now have this great ride, and will be doing a lot more research, and almost certainly asking a lot of questions of this community. Get ready, there’s only 9 weeks until the ride out to Denver for BL-VIII!11216719_10209654951279377_4554199529441515500_n

Welcome to the Iron Butt Association!

  • When you ride >2,000 miles in <43 hours
  • And keep your receipts
  • Get a couple of stand-up IBA members to sign off at the start and finish…

Then, just like that…

Dear Peter DuDeck:

You are receiving this e-mail because of your application for a ride certification. This note is to let you know that your ride has been approved and although your ride documents may take a few more weeks to arrive, your membership has also been approved and entered into the Iron Butt Association’s member database.

Membership number: 62736

Welcome to the Iron Butt Association!

Michael Kneebone
President, Iron Butt Association




Inspired by Doug Shonley’s FarkleBar with a version that has threaded through-holes top to bottom and front to back.

Farkle Beam

A work in progress, to be sure, probably overkill; 3/4 x 1″ 6061 aluminum stock with 3/8″-16 threaded RAM ball mounts.   Continue reading

Light Cannons


Additional lighting was one of the first things I added to the FJR, a pair ofLR4’s from  Their compact and extremely bright floods that live on the forks down around the fender.  They do a very good job of throwing a lot of light in front of me.  I do need to put some more focused light further down the road though.  Thanks to Justin for a good deal on a pair of LR64’s which require a custom bracket to put them up high (in front of the mirrors.)



As Justin said in his post on

Are you brave enough? If you’re the kind of guy that would stick a 2.5 Lb HID on your bike, then this is the light for you. These lights are 4 inches square, and weigh in at 2 Lbs each. 4 huge reflectors focus the 3400 Lumens into a far reaching spot beam.

Model: LR64 Spot
4x Cree XML T6 LEDs
Large Reflectors for Long Range 15 Degree Spot Beam
3400+ lumens each
2.4 Amps, 10-30 Volts DC Input
IP67 Waterproof, 100% Aluminum Housing
Thermal Protection, Shatter proof, Scratch Resistant Ultra Clear PMMA lens, CE Certified


I’m treating this as version 1, especially since the only stock I had access to was some .040″ aluminum from my buddy’s garage.  I expect the vibration from 2 pound blocks of aluminum will need substantially more thickness in the end.  Using a template cut from thin cardboard, we made a couple of blanks, cut out the three mounting holes and the fit looks pretty good.  I need to get these on and working for the rally this weekend, so they’re not as tight to the mirror stalks as planned.  In a few weeks I’ll work on version 2 stiffer and more “up and forward than out and to the sides.”

I threaded a couple of 4mm power jacks into the upper dash panels to make adding or removing these (or any other aux lights) a snap.



Update: (April 27, 2015) I was right about the .040 thick aluminum being too thin.  The vibration was obvious.  Also, in my rush to get this ready for the Cape Fear rally, I missed an electrical problem on the right side and seem to have leaked potting epoxy into the dimmer for these.  More soon.

Electronic Toll Interoperability

October 2016 is supposed to be a deadline for national electronic toll interoperability according to MAP-21, but when doesn’t the government extend its own deadlines.

Meanwhile, the best info I can find on toll interoperability (the reciprocity agreements):



And why October 2016 might be a pipe dream (the technology/protocols used):XponderCommProtocolsMap_Lg.jpg

Starting to think about LD Riding

Long Distance riders participate in aptly named events like SaddleSore, BunBurner and Iron Butt Rally. Usually these accomplishments are hard-core, like 1,000 miles in 24 hours, or some multiple thereof. These really don’t appeal to me, but the idea of traversing, even circumnavigating the country, or North America… that kind of a goal seems to suit me just right.

There’s a guy from Oregon that’s planning a 50/60/70 trip; 50 states/provinces in 60 days for his 70th birthday.  Let’s not wait that long to try something like that. There’s the Ultimate Coast to Coast – Key West, Florida to… Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. I’ve been north of the Arctic Circle, but we never made it to the Arctic Sea due to fuel constraints; something that needs to be rectified.

But the really appealing option ride is the Ultimate Circumnavigation of North America: Home to Key West, Florida to Brownsville, Texas to San Diego, California to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Inuvik, NWT to Goose Bay, Labrador to Madawaska, ME and back home. 17,000 miles in one month! (

Over the next few years, with progressively longer rides throughout, I will prepare myself, and my ride, for the rigors of riding that kind of distance, perhaps before I turn 50.

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