Official Iron Butt ride thru Sothern Provinces

Discussion in 'South Thailand Motorbike Trip Reports Forum' started by Goran Phuket, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    July 2014. Bored and thinking what to do, where to go....One thing for sure, it has to be long ride.

    At the end, decided to attempt "Saddle Sore": cover more than 1000 miles (1600km) in 24 hours on Southern Thailand roads and gain official recognition from

    Few friends asked me: WHY? Because it's out there for taking...why not? Not sure if I am going to make it but it's worth a try. Especially through these scenic and sometimes dangerous Southern Thailand roads. Few guys even suggested to do North-South and back Malaysia highway but that is easy, feels like cheating. Besides, number of riders did it already. It has to be one long route nobody covered before.

    In order to get your run recognized by Iron Butt Association, strict rules have to be followed. Hence, you will notice all these gas station receipts, real time coordinates screenshots etc.

    My run was "live" on Facebook. Just wanted to add bit more authenticity to my attempt. For those of you listed as my FB friends, view it here:

    LAST QUESTION: K1600GTL or R1200GS?

    K1600GTL is faster, feel more comfortable cornering at high speed and less tiring so it was obvious choice.


    Phuket - Phang Nga - Krabi - Trang (bypass) - Phatthalung - Hatyai (bypass) - Yala - Pattani - Songkhla - Nakhon - Surat - Chumphon - Ranong - Khao Lak - Phuket.

    4:30am Thai time. Iron Butt attempt starts.
    First stop: PTT Thalang gas station.




    First major intersection, leaving Route 4 just before Phang Nga town. On route 415 now.




    Re-entering Route 4 at Thap Phut


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  3. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Please excuse the photo quality: all pics taken by Blackberry in order to do live check in's at Facebook.

    There was no need for me to stop so often at gas stations but had to obtain official receipt from pump attendants. These receipts go to Iron Butt bosses and are very important in determining my location and exact time.

    Storm coming up...might as well refuel earlier. This is Khlong Thom, just after Krabi on the way towards Trang.


    Bypassing Trang city center via route 419.



    And all the way straight along Route 4 towards this intersection in Songkhla Province. Turning towards Yala.


    Up to this point I was riding really fast. Certain sections at up to 230km/h especially before Krabi and Hat Yai when there was no traffic.
    Occasional rain forced me to slow down significantly. But nothing to worry, K16 traction control and brand new pair of tires makes it real easy.

    So here I am, passing thru fringes of Pattani province before reaching Yala city.
    At Khok Pho, Pattani province. Done exactly 3rd of the ride.


    Finally at downtown Yala. 11:46am, 7 hours and 15 minutes since leaving Phuket.

  4. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    800km done. Just about to enter Nakhon Si Thammarat city. At Hua Sai PTT station.


    Needed one "live witness" too. Called my friend Nawee Weera, Nakhon Si Thammarat native and agreed to meet up at Twin Lotus Hotel.
    Would you believe, I arrived first and had to wait for him almost 40 minutes to show up. No worries, glad to see old friend, have a quick bite and blast towards Surat Thani. Clumsy waiter dropped my cake and on top of all couldn't even take proper pic.


    On the way out of Nakhon lost lots of valuable time....traffic jam, took me a while to get back on the highway. That long break in Nakhon was bad made me lethargic, my reflexes slowed down and first signs of fatigue creeping in. 1048 km done so far as seen on bike LCD screen.

    Refueling at Surat Thani

  5. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    My bad freaking luck....storm in Chumphon, fallen trees on highway. Road closed....stuck.


    It took them a while to clean up the road, valuable time lost. I don't think I am going to make it. In addition, weather conditions are awful and haven't even reached Chumphon let alone Ranong, the rainiest Thailand province.
  6. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    9:38 pm, at Kra Ishtmus, Ranong. Dark, raining, hardly any cars on this route which is quite dangerous and slippery even day time under normal weather conditions. Fuel almost out, hope there is a 24 hr gas station open otherwise I am in big trouble.


  7. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Caltex Ranong....think I'm gonna make it
    1320 km done so far, 300 to go.


    Made it! 22 and a half hours thru what is one helluva difficult route. Could have been faster if not for Nakhon delay, temporary road closure near Chumphon and lousy weather. Total of 1612 kilometers.


  8. Goran Phuket

    Goran Phuket Moderator Staff Member

    Total of 1612km in just over 22 hours non-stop ride. Should have been more but the start/end point, the gas station near my house is closed between 9pm and 6am so had to ride 25km to next available. Right there I lost 50km. Route was difficult: had to ride thru lots of towns and villages. Bad traffic, numerous police and army checkpoints in deep south, uprooted trees on Hwy 41 between Surat and Chumphon, road was closed for more than an hour. In Nakhon Si Thammarat I lost 2 hours though..... While I was happy to see my friend this detour cost me dearly because I was stuck in city traffic on the way out. Storm in Surat and Chumphon and all the way to Takua Pa didn't help much either. First 800km was a breeze but around 1200 I was about to quit....the only reason I didn't was because of live FB updates. 12 out of 14 southern Thailand provinces (missed only Satun and Narathiwat). Would I do it again? No way! They call it iron-butt ride but it is not my butt that hearts but shoulder plates. Never experienced such pain, perhaps weight of Rallye jacket and protective gear has something to do with it. Few more interesting facts: before ride I had single smoked salmon sandwich; during the ride I had 8 bottles of Gatorade, 2 cans of coke, 1 Ice latte, 1 chocolate cake (in Nakhon) and 4 bananas. That is it. Stopping for big lunch was out of the question, it would made me bloated and sleepy. I woke up 2am, officially started the ride at 4:32am. Went to sleep following day at 5am. 27 hours with no sleep whatsoever but prior to ride I slept for 10 hours. And if you want to do this ride, do it alone, partner would definitely slow you down. Thanks for following my adventure and all the best.

    Bike pic taken following morning

  9. blackb15

    blackb15 Ol'Timer

    Interesting post I did one with a friend in the UK on the 31 May this year to raise money for Alzimers society over £2500 raised so far.We had really lousy weather temp 4.5 rain and hail but used all motorway so that's how we did it in 20 hours it was harder than I thought.Were waiting for certification .Well done and good pics
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Wald0

    Wald0 Ol'Timer

    Nice one! Would love to do it here in Vietnam, but gas stations don't really dispense receipts ;)
    • Like Like x 1

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