The 2021 Iron Butt Rally is over and done, with Mike Brooke taking the win.
Brooke rode his 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa to a score of 177,345, covering 13,906.1 miles over the 11-day rally. That’s a significant margin over second-place Ben Ernst, who took a 2020 BMW R1250 GSA to 16,3091 points, covering 13,184 miles. Mike Heitkamp was in third place, with 163,079 points on a 2015 BMW R1200 GSA, over 12,395 miles. Steve Giffin had 157,678 points for fourth, traveling 13,113.7 miles on his 2005 Yamaha FJR1300. Fifth went to James Owen, with 156,292 points and 13,616.5 miles traveled on his 2018 BMW R1200RT.
That’s a setback for Owen, who led the first leg of the rally and was second overall after the second leg. Brooke had been in second after the first leg, and moved to the lead on the second leg. He takes over the champion’s title from Wendy Crockett, who rode to the win 2019 (the first female winner at the IBR).
As for Crockett, she finished sixth on her 2005 Yamaha FR1300, with 148,963 points over 13,510.2 miles. Crockett faced some serious mechanical trouble (a blown tire) in the earliest stage, only six hours from the start, and performed an admirable comeback from that potential disaster.
Other notable finishers (and DNF)
- Michael Boge ended up a DNF on his 2019 KTM 300 XCW-TPI. A disappointment, maybe, but he earned 72,513 points over 7,371.4 miles, which is far more than any sane person would do on a two-stroke trailbike.
- Bill Norris managed 43rd on his 1997 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD, with 97,764 points over 9,339.3 miles. Decent, indeed, for a bike that Kawi pitched as a beginner machine!
- Kurt Worden finished in 35th on a 2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300. Again, not a machine you’d normally expect in a long-distance rally, but he earned 102,193 points over 9,579.4 miles.
You can see the final standings here. This year, there seems to be a pretty even distribution of the usual front-running machines, with Honda Gold Wings, BMW 1200 and 1250 tourers and ADVs, and Yamaha FJR1300s seeing the most success. There’s a Spotwalla animation of all the rally participants’ routes here, showing the different strategies in play. Click here to see the daily write-ups of the rally’s adventures. Visit this Facebook page for more insider deets and photos from this year’s rally!