Moto Guzzi National Owners Club
Moto Guzzi National Owners Club
Moto Guzzi National Owners Club
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January Iron Butt 1000 Ride

Riding a motorcycle for 1000 miles in 24 hours is easy. I've done it many times; Frank Wedge has ridden 1000 miles in a day a few times. Don Littlefield rode l500 miles in 24 hours on the stock EV seat. No way!

I got to reading about the Iron Butt Association and decided to do an official SaddleSore 1000. Start and end times, rest stops and fuel stops need to be documented. It would be easy for me to ride four miles on Jim Hogg Road, get on I-20 at mile marker 557, head west for 500 miles to Pecos, Texas, return home with another 1000 on the odometer, a piece of cake. How about making it more exciting? So, I decided to ride it all on secondary roads and do it in January.

Grab your road map and join the trip. January 6, 2001, 2:35 A.M. - Peggy verified the time and mileage of 46,607 on the one year old EV, and I was off to downtown Lindale, Texas, for gas with a dated receipt. The credit card receipt read 2:38 A.M., and the bank thermometer was a pleasant 36 degrees. I was wearing long-johns, electric vest, Motodress jacket, Nolan helmet with face shield and super warm Hipora gloves with Thinsulate that I purchased from the Griffiths (MGNOC Reps in Louisiana).

I was ready to roll north on Highway 69 for 64 miles to Greenville where I needed to get a date/time receipt, as I'd be heading west on Highway 380. The rules state you need a date/time/location receipt when you are changing directions. I was heading west on 380 and there was a new section of 4-lane divided highway with a speed limit of 60. On a good share of two lane roads in the state of Texas, the speed limit is 70 mph. Not wanting to donate to the Highway Patrol, I kept the speed at 65. Good thing, as it wasn't very far on the new stretch of road, flashing lights came on and the Texas HP got one on the other side.

From the beginning of this ride, I knew if I paced myself it wouldn't be as tiring, and a ticket would ruin the ride. I got gas in Jacksboro at 6:03 A.M., temperature was 33 degrees (F). I was tempted to get coffee, but knew that wasn't a smart idea as I'd be getting rid of five times what I drank. And I usually drink at least a pot of coffee a day. I arrived in Throckmorton at 7:00 A.M., got gas and one cup of coffee. I headed south on Highway 283. The sun was rising - making the frost shine on the grass like a shiny diamond ring on an ugly gal. No traffic, so I ran it up to 100 for the heck of it and then returned to 75. When you have a CDL (commercial driver's license) your license is yanked for going 20 over the speed limit. Rats, the fuel light was on at 100 miles, and I was sitting at the side of the road empty at 127 miles! I put in my spare gallon and drove like I was in a funeral procession for the next 35 miles to Brady. I put in 4.7 gallons for a disgusting average of 27.2 mpg and there wasn't even a headwind.

Why did I buy another EV when I was never happy with the gas mileage on the other EV and I put 37,000 miles on it before totaling it - all the time hoping the mileage would get better? I was ready to trade on the spot for a California 11 as I know after putting 200,000 on them they'll consistently get 40-50 mpg.

No sense in getting mad and ruining the ride - the sun was shining now and warming things up. I was off on 190 to Menard and south on 83 to Leakey for gas. I went inside for the receipt, none of this modern pay at the pump stuff, and the man behind the desk said, "How much u-git?" Nothing like being in the country where a person's word is worth more than a 10 page notarized document.

The time was 12:10 P.M. and I was over half way with 543 miles on the odometer. South on 83 and I got gas again in Carrizo Springs, as it was another 104 miles to Freer. I stopped for a picture of the bike by the sign saying Highay 44 to verify I had come this way. Crossing I-35 at Encinol, I didn't see a gas station, only a sign saying No Services for 48 miles; glad I fueled in Carrizo Springs.

I got to Freer at 3:35 P.M. - 739 miles for the day. I knew I had goofed on my mileage as it was still about 450 to the house. I called Peggy, explained what happened and said I might or might not be in, depending on how much my abused 58-year-old bod held up.

Luckily the wind was out of the south and I was heading north on 59 to Victoria. I gassed up and headed north on 77 to Rockdale, gas and north on highway 79. Tom Bender wasn't going to believe this, but I had gone the whole day without coffee. I got a cup at Buffalo and continued to Palestine. I was warm and I was getting 4l mpg. I only got gas in Palestine for verification and north on 155 to Tyler and Highway 169 to Lindale where I stopped and bought gas. The time is 11:43 P.M., mileage 47,791. I was gassing up and a guy came over and said he had a Honda, but was in his pickup because it was cold. He wanted to know if I'd come far. I was in a hurry so I said, "No, I just live down the road on FM 16."

Final totals 1,184 miles for an average of 56.4 mph. Not bad for January and secondary roads. I pulled in the driveway and Peggy turned on the garage light and opened the door. I went in the house for coffee and my favorite pie-sweet tater-perfect ending to a nice ride. My apologies to my snowbound friends in the north.

[Ed Note: Ken and I go back a ways - just a little over 30 years. But I'm a lot younger than he is! J Think I was about nine years old when I met Ken face to face for the first time! J (My wife and daughter were with me.) I remember back in the early 70s, all the women thought he looked like Elvis. He can still ride farther in a day than anyone I know.
I wanted to report that Guzzi fuel injected bikes don't normally do as well for gas mileage as the carburetor ones. But fuel injected Guzzis do even worst when it's cold. I've discussed this with a factory official and was told, "This is true." Starting out early in the morning when it's very cold, your fuel injected Guzzi will probably be at its worst for gas mileage. -FW]