Why is it the issues with tech inspection get more complicated the
closer we get to the start of the rally?
1/3 of the riders went through tech on Wednesday with only one issue:
one rider didn't have the insurance coverage required for the rally but
by 6 pm had obtained a new declarations page showing the required limits.
On Thursday, it seemed like every other rider had issues. One rider had
no VIN to be found on his motorcycle. Three riders had insurance
paperwork issues, and of course, they were foreign riders, increasing
the level of complexity. (One rider had wisely obtained his insurance
through IBA insurance maven Ed Otto, a phone call was made, and the
proper paperwork was emailed to rally staff even before the inspection
of the bike was finished). One of the foreigners also had a homemade
main tank and a homemade aux tank, with claimed volumes recorded in
liters. After measuring the aux tank with a U.S. tape measure, and after
converting between cubic inches and liters and gallons several times, it
was determined that the aux tank was twice as big as the rider thought
it was. After many more measurements and calculations and conversions,
rally staff determined the capacity of the system to be 11.4 gallons,
just barely legal.
But the winner at tech inspection was the rider, a rally veteran, who
showed up 3 hours before the close of registration without any paperwork
showing the limits on his motorcycle policy, without proof of active
medical evacuation coverage, and with a fuel system holding a nominal 12
gallons of fuel. The rider explained that the 5 gallon fuel cell had
been modified to hold less than 4.5 gallons, and that the modification
had been approved by Tom Austin. As Team Strange staff often points out,
this is Butt Lite, not the Minnesota 1000, not the 10n10, and not the
Iron Butt Rally. The fuel cell was drained, the modifications were
inspected and determined to be sufficiently permanent, and the capacity
of the fuel cell was measured with assistance and input from rally
volunteer and professional measurer Greg Roberts. It came out to 4.483
gallons, giving a total capacity of 11.4483 gallons, the closest to the
limit we can recall in any Butt Lite.
Eventually all the riders who showed up were able to complete tech. When
they saw the contents of their rally packs three hours later, some
probably wished they had failed.
David E.B. Smith