2009 Iron Butt Rally: Farkled to the Max, the Catfish FJR – Which Would you Choose?

Over the weekend we stopped in to see Catfish at work. His farkled-out, rally-ready FJR was parked out in front when we pulled up.

Farkle City

Holy smoke! Coming from riding a bike that doesn’t even sport a windshield I was on sensory overload. His custom tankbag by Linda T. alone is enough to give me fits, but all of the buttons… the buttons! Arghhhh! I momentarily imagined myself riding off the road in the grips of a maddening itch while trying to find the back scratching switch.

He fired up the Tesla coil, hit the Bunsen burner and threw some levers to show me one of his neat little doo-dads, Nexrad radar. Given my past track record with riding in awful weather, I think I’d rather not know what’s coming for me.

GPS Nexrad radar on the IBR09 Catfish Iron Butt Rally FJR

What do you think?

Is it better to know that you’re heading in to a wall of thunderstorms when your Iron Butt Bonus depends on it? Or, would you rather not know in advance and just deal with it as it comes?

Less the 5 days until Rally Time.

Stay tuned for updates. Catfish heads off to Spartanburg this weekend!

For More Information on the IBR – Iron Butt Rally:


Rachael is the whimsical writer behind the 20+ year old Girlie Motorcycle Blog. As a freelance blogger, she is on a mission to inspire laughter, self-examination, curiosity, and human connection. Girlie Motorcycle Blog can be found on several Best Motorcycle Blog lists.

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8 Responses

  1. The Milkman says:

    It always seems I wait too long to pull over and throw on the rains

  2. Fuzz! says:

    Oh, I am all about the paper map!

    But don’t tell anyone, i had the GPS on my bike a few weekends ago to see what it was like. The verdict: I still like paper maps! 🙂

  3. OG says:

    For the Iron Butt, sure, give me the weather radar. Other than that, I think not. I can check the weather with my damnable PDA phone if I feel the need but I am experiencing a “back to basics” mood these days. The Garmin is good for knowing where I am and maps help me figure out where to go. Weather, traffic, etc…that’s just data overload while on the move.

    Besides, even if I had weather radar, it would still manage to rain on me so bring it on! 😀

  4. goldenchild says:

    I have 2 answers (I’m a libra)

    On day rides I wouldn’t want/need nexrad, there’d be no need.

    On multi day road trips or IBA style rides, I’d want it. Weather systems tend to be HUGE but if there’s a chance that I can route around it, then I’ll take it. Riding short distances in a thunderstorm can be fun for about an hour, at least to me. Anything more than that would be the suck.

  5. DUC748 says:

    My cell phone STINKS for checking the weather (no animations to gauge speed or track) so I would enjoy having something like this when taking trips. On those weekend jaunts, I make sure to check things on the computer before leaving the house so I know whether to add the rain suit to the tankbag or just be home within a certain amount of hours.

    I’m looking forward to the day when we get a GPS unit that is packing a Google Maps equivalent (mapping, satellite and topographical views) in addition to live weather (tying in with the live traffic of course) and the usual GPS navigation bits. Oh, a calculator would be nice too.

    And maybe Tetris or Solitaire. )

  6. Crusty says:

    All those gadgets are for the mighty morphan power ranger riders. If you cant stand to be disconnected from your life long enough to take a day trip on a bike, you don’t have any business being on a bike. If i want to know what the weather is i look up. If somebody is trying to get intouch with me while i’m out riding they don’t know me very well and i’m not interesting in talking to them. If i dont know where i am…i’m in heaven! -Crusty the Biker

  7. goldenchild says:

    Wow. So what you’re saying is that Catfish, about to leave for the Ironbutt rally (11,000+ miles in 11 days), has no business being on a bike? Really? Wow.

  8. Crusty says:

    Didnt say i was not impressed with long distance riding…i said i was not impressed by his toys.

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