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Bun Burner GOLD Rules

© 2003, Iron Butt Association, Chicago, Illinois

Bun Burner GOLD Rules may be reproduced and distributed as needed for personal or club use.

BBG Certificate SaddleSore and Bun Burner History

Prior to 1993, the Iron Butt Association did not certify 1000-in-1 rides. To that point we referred riders to other organizations. Unfortunately, that occasionally turned out to be a mistake. In some cases, organizations that claimed to have rides didn't, while others took riders' money and never delivered promised awards.

Although it was never the Iron Butt Association's intention to certify 1,000-in-1 rides, the number of letters we received asking to do so had become staggering. With some serious pushing from our members, we agreed to certify a variety of long distance rides. At this same time, the IBA had been working closely with Les Martin at the California Motocycle Touring Association (CMTA) for ride certifications taking place in California, Nevada and Oregon. As it turns out our decision to gear up for ride certifications came about the same time Les Martin had announced he was retiring (1993). With Les moving on to a (hopefully!) more relaxed lifestyle, we were sad to see the rich history of the SaddleSore and BunBurner rides he had been working so hard on for so many years to be lost. It only took a few minutes of discussion of our plans with Les before he decided to donate both the SaddleSore and BunBurner names to the Iron Butt Association. During the CMTA days, the SaddleSore was 1,000 miles in 24 hours day certification and the BunBurner was 1,500 miles in 36 hours. The IBA renamed the rides slightly, the SaddleSore became the SaddleSore 1000 (1,000 miles in 24 hours) and the BunBurner became the BunBurner 1500 (1,500 miles in 36 hours). At the same time, we created the BunBurner GOLD (1,500 miles in 24 hours) as so many riders had "unofficially" been documented since the early 1980s.

We hope that we can continue the quality and tradition of the ride to which Les Martin devoted so many years of his life. If you meet Les, please remember to give him your thanks!

Iron Butt Plate Back Riders that succesfully have a BunBurner GOLD ride certified receive a certificate, a BunBuner 1500 GOLD pin and a plastic license plate back "IBA BUN BURNER GOLD 1500+ MILES IN 24 HOURS."

Every time I read these rules, they seem overly complex. However, they were developed by one of our members involved in record keeping for various sporting events. There is no doubt that the documentation requirements for these rides are tough, but when you hang your certificate on the wall, you can rest easy knowing that we just don't hand these out to anyone. When the ride is over, you have survived not only a very tough ride, but you'll have the documentation to back up your claims. How many riders can say that?

When you read the following rules, keep in mind that our goal is to see a well documented ride. If you cannot follow the rules exactly, feel free to drop us a line with a proposal. We will be happy to review your plans and possibly accept changes to this format.

Michael Kneebone
Iron Butt Association

Iron Butt Association Guidelines for the Bun-Burner Gold

Last Revision: July 15, 2002 - always check that these are the current rules before starting your ride! Note:The Iron Butt Association web page will always have the most current rules for this ride.

Following are the Guidelines for earning an Iron Butt Association Bun Burner GOLD pin and License Plate Back and a Certificate of Completion for a 1,500 miles in 24 hours Bun-Burner GOLD.

WARNING: Before you can apply for Bun Burner Gold certification (1,500+ miles in 24 hours), you must have at least completed one of the following; a SaddleSore 1000, a Bun Burner 1500 (1,500 miles in 36 hours), a SaddleSore 2000 (or other similiar IBA ride), the Alberta 2000, Minnesota 1000, TimberButt, Tarbutt Rally, Utah 1088, any Cognoscente Group event, any MERA event, or the Iron Butt Rally. IMPORTANT NOTE: Other 24 and 36 hour rallies qualify. Their omission here is not intentional, it is just not possible to list all qualifying rallies. If you are unsure if a rally you finished is acceptable, please contact

It is possible to complete the ride two-up. In these cases, the Iron Butt Association issues three certificates; one for the rider, one for the passenger and one combined rider and passenger certificate. There is no additional charge for a passenger, however, if they would like a pin or plate frame, you will need to add that in on the fee schedule.

There are five steps to earning a Bun Burner GOLD award; 1. Choose a route, 2. get start witnesses, 3. collect and track receipts, 4. get end witnesses and 5. copy and submit your documentation. Since safety is our primary concern, no pre-registration of your ride is needed. Our goal is to give you added flexibility to decide on any given day whether the combination of weather, your motorcycle and most importantly, your attitude, are ready for a big ride.

STEP ONE, Choose a route

Your ride needs to be completely documented (steps outlined below) and cover a minimum distance of 1,500 miles in 24 hours or less. In order to keep these rides from becoming a race, mileages in excess of 1,800 miles in less than 24 hours will be published as 1,800+ on the Iron Butt Association web site.

WARNING: Unless your speedometer has been calibrated, do NOT depend on your own odometer readings for official mileage! Most Japanese motorcycles register five to ten percent more miles than actually traveled. Over the course of a 24 hour period, this error can be quite severe - as much as 100 miles. IN ALL CASES, mileage will be verified with either Automap (a computer atlas), DeLorm's "Map'N'Go", Mapquest (an Internet mapping program), MapsOnUs (also an internet mapping program), Rand McNally's Tripmaker or an American Automobile Association atlas.

From a documentation standpoint, the best route is one where you take a straight line ride from point to point (for example, start in Chicago, Illinois and finish in Salt Lake City, Utah). However, we realize that many riders cannot afford to devote this kind of time to this ride. With that in mind, you may choose any route you wish using the following guidelines:

If you choose a circular route, you will need to obtain a dated stamped receipt at each "corner" to show that you did not take a short- cut. For example, if you choose to ride the circular route of Chicago, Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri to Kansas City, Kansas to Des Moines, Iowa and back to Chicago, we would expect to receive receipts from each of those cities (in addition to the rules that follow).

If you choose a route where you ride 750 miles and then turn around and come back, you must get a dated receipt at the turn around point. For example, if you were to start in Denver, Colorado and ride to Des Moines, Iowa and back to Denver, we would expect a receipt from Des Moines (in addition to the rules that follow).

We strongly discourage, and in some cases may reject, routes that are repetitive in nature. For example, we would not accept a claim that you rode eight round-trips between Daytona Beach, Florida and Jacksonville, a distance of only 95 miles...

If this is your first attempt at a 1,500 mile day, we highly recommend that you study the Iron Butt Association's 25 long distance riding tips located at: 25 Tips. Additionally, US riders will find that the Interstate Highway system offer the safest and quickest way to cover the miles.

Also note that it is possible to ride over 1,000 miles in less than 24 hours and submit this ride as a SaddleSore 1000 (in other words, these rules can also be used for the SaddleSore 1000 or if you find your motorcycle or the weather is not cooperating and you miss the 24 hour 1,500 mile window, you may use this documentation to earn a SaddleSore 1000 award).

Finally, before the start, you will want to try gas stations to find one that has a receipt with a good time and date on it for the start time.

STEP TWO: Get start witnesses

In order to document your ride, the Iron Butt Association requires that obtain TWO eyewitnesses to document the start of your ride. Witnesses for the Bun Burner GOLD may be a friend (but not one on the ride with you), spouse or even gas station attendant willing to answer a letter from the IBA about your start or end time. If a passenger is on the ride with you, please ask your witnesses to sign the form for them also.

Make sure that you inform potential witnesses that the Iron Butt Association may be auditing certain aspects of your ride and may be sending them a letter with a copy of the page they signed asking them to verify the information provided. Receipts are your primary concern, however, a good witness has "saved" many rides, so try to pick the best witness possible to see you start or end your ride. Keep in mind that a witness who doesn't bother to respond to an audit letter or phone call is as good as having no witness at all!

If a witness someone you know, a short thank you note after you complete your ride is always appreciated. Besides, many of them will be waiting to hear how you did. If you can read .pdf files (Adobe Acrobat) and want to see a deluxe "Thank You" letter, click here. Most thank you letters are not that deluxe!

Try to remember that you are a salesperson each time you approach someone to sign your witness form. If someone doesn't want to provide their home address - suggest they give a business address. According to experienced riders, taking a few minutes to explain your ride to potential witnesses will get them involved. Most people will actually feel honored to sign your witness form. However, attitude plays a key role, if someone refuses to sign your book, don't argue, move on to the next person.

Many IBA members also volunteer to be witness, you might want to check to see if there are any close to your start or end points.

STEP THREE: Collect and track receipts

Fill up your gas tank and obtain a computer printed gas receipt with a legible date and time stamp (bank ATM receipts with time/date are also acceptable).


The following log entries and completed witness forms are mandatory:

Log entries must be made at each gas stop (sample attached). A log entry includes the following information; DATE, TIME, TIME ZONE, LOCATION (i.e. Moline, IL) and ODOMETER reading. A receipt must accompany each log book entry (please note, that the receipts from these gas stops, where possible should include a date stamp).

In order for the verification team to account for your time (important for the verification work they do), log entries must be made at each stop longer than 20 minutes (for example you decide to stop at a roadside rest stop for a nap or get a motel room during the ride). Each entry for extended stops must include the approximate length of the stop or the start time and ending time. Meals that take longer than 20 minutes are considered rest stops - where possible please try and obtain a restaurant receipt. Obviously, many types of stops, for example a stop in a rest area, will not generate any kind of receipt - this is acceptable, but please account for the time in your trip log.

If your route includes any toll roads or bridges, where possible try and obtain a receipt. Please NOTE: We realize many tollways have you riding a few miles and then stopping at a toll gate so please do not waste time trying to pick up these kind of receipts or making log entries. Just grab either the first or last receipt and log it along with your other gas or misc. receipts.

WARNING: If your motorcycle is equipped with a large fuel-tank, please note that you must stop at least once every 300 miles for gas (this is purely for documentation for your ride). Although we know it is possible to ride greater distances non-stop, we will not accept a claim of this type.

At the end of your ride, before the 24 hour time period is up, obtain a computer printed gas receipt with a legible date and time stamp.


STEP FOUR: Get TWO end witnesses:

After you get the gas receipt, find at least two eyewitnesses to document your ending time. Like the start, Bun Burner GOLD witnesses may be a friend (but not one on the ride with you), spouse or even gas station attendants willing to answer a letter from the IBA about your start or end time. However, you may want to use the same rules that apply to more extreme Iron Butt Association rides as outlined above.

STEP FIVE: Prepare, Copy and Submit your documentation.

Find a map (an old, or photocopied one is acceptable) and circle the cities you stopped in (don't forget the start and ending points) for gas/food/etc (a Xerox of a map is acceptable). This map to assist the person verifying the routes. The best map is one that shows your route on one or two pages. Please do not send in multi-page route sheets from mapping programs or an Auto club.

COPY your receipts and number the copies to correspond to your trip log.

COPY your witness forms and log.

* * * Retain your original documentation - only send copies! * * *

If needed, write a short note about any problems with your ride, for example, "The receipt from Valentine, Nebraska does not have the correct date. I had the attendant write the correct date. The stations number is 555 555-1234.

COMPLETE the attached form. Basically, this is information where to send the awards, what name and motorcycle you want on the certificate and the basic route you would like the award to note.

CALCULATE the fee. We offer several options. You can just get the paper certificate for the ride, or in combination with Iron Butt Association pins and "World's Toughest Riders" plate backs.

FINALLY, send it to:

BUN BURNER GOLD, Iron Butt Association, P.O. Box 9450, Naperville, IL 60567-9450. Please make your check payable in US funds to the "Iron Butt Association". Please note that we do not make any money on this ride, this is our approximate cost of administrating the Bun-Burner program.

Please try and avoid Federal Express, UPS or Certified mail - although it may seem faster to use these services, we are at our full-time jobs during the day and sometimes it can take weeks to take time off from work to pick up your "speedy" package.

When we get your ride documentation, one of several people will start the verification process. Due to the extensive work involved (keying data into mileage spreadsheets, map verifications, witness contacts where needed and certificate preparations) and the fact that approximately 60% of the labor involved with producing these awards are performed by volunteers, it will usually take a minimum of five to six weeks before your certificates will be ready for signature and mailed to you.

Before we can issue your award, you may be asked to clarify certain aspects of your ride and/or documentation by either e-mail, phone or letter. Additionally, certain aspects of your ride are subject to audit by yet another set of IBA volunteers charged with insuring only people that rode the miles get the award. Should your package get tagged for that audit, it too may delay the final determination of your claim for the award.

We strongly caution that all the rules you have just read are guidelines. Out on the road it may not be possible to follow these rules to the letter. If that happens, please explain any problem you encountered and we will do our best to work out a solution. For example, 23 hours and 35 minutes into this ride, one person could not find a gas station with a computer generated receipt (obviously, our favorite type), so he got a few locals to witness the time he arrived. His other documents clearly supported his claim of riding the distance in the time-frame he claimed so we did not hesitate to process his award.

If you have any questions about this ride, you may write to the Iron Butt Association at

The following forms are available in easy to print Witness and Logs in Adobe PDF format

                    EYEWITNESS FORM for START of RIDE

                      Bun Burner GOLD Witness Form 

Date: ______________________            Local Time:______________ AM/PM

License Number: ____________            Odometer Reading: _______ Miles
License State:  ____________            Make & Model: ___________

This witness form is for:    _____________________________            


                             (Riders Name and address)    

The location of this stop is: ________________________________________            




              First Witness (Please Print)  Second Witness (Please Print)

Witness Name: ___________________________   ___________________________

Address:      ___________________________   ___________________________

              ___________________________   ___________________________

              ___________________________   ___________________________

Phone:        ___________________________   ___________________________
(Note: Obtaining a phone number where we can contact your eyewitnesses
       will speed up the issuing of your award)

Signature:    ___________________________   ___________________________

EYEWITNESS FORM for END of RIDE Bun Burner GOLD Witness Form Date: ______________________ Local Time:______________ AM/PM License Number: ____________ Odometer Reading: _______ Miles (Kilometers) License State: ____________ Make & Model: ___________ ___________ This witness form is for: _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ (Riders Name and address) The location of this stop is: ________________________________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________ First Witness (Please Print) Second Witness (Please Print) Witness Name: ___________________________ ___________________________ Address: ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ Phone: ___________________________ ___________________________ (Note: Obtaining a phone number where we can contact your eyewitnesses will speed up the issuing of your award) Signature: ___________________________ ___________________________
LOG Bun-Burner GOLD: __________________________________________________ (Fill in Name and Address above) DATE TIME LOCATION ODOMETER READING (include zone) _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________

Checklist of documents needed for Iron Butt Association Bun Burner GOLD ride:

___ Copies of Witness forms (starting and ending, others)

___ Copies of Receipts (do not send originals!)

___ Map (may be photocopy) showing route with towns stopped in circled

___ Explanation of any problems encountered, for example, "In central
    Illinois, at my third gas stop, I was unable to get a dated 
    receipt.  I asked the attendant to sign his name on the back
    but he refused to do so. The phone number of the station is
    (555) 555-1212 - he will verify that I was there at 10 a.m. 
    on August 4, 2001."

Also, please complete the following information for your certificate
(it goes to the person that does the certificate and not the verification 

APPLICATION FOR Bun Burner GOLD (1,500+ miles in 24 hours)

Please note that we will only issue a certification for the highest
ride level achieved.  For example, everyone that has completed a 
Bun Burner Gold, by definition has completed the SaddleSore 1000
and we will not issue a SaddleSore 1000 certificate for this same ride.

FEE SCHEDULE Please use the following fee schedule to calculate the cost of awards: Bun-Burner GOLD (complete package, verification, pin, plate back and certificate) (savings of $2.50) over individual pricing: $50.00 Additional COPY of this certificate $5.00 Additional Bun Burner GOLD pin (if desired): $7.00 Bun Burner GOLD patch if desired: $ 7.75 Additional IBA Bun Burner GOLD 1500+ Miles in 24 Hours plate back if desired: $ 5.50 Total Enclosed: ____________


If you already have or do not want pins or plate backs, or want additional items, please use this list Bun-Burner GOLD (certificate only): $40.00 Additional COPY of this certificate $5.00 Bun Burner GOLD pin (if desired): $ 7.00 Bun Burner GOLD patch if desired: $ 7.75 Additional IBA Bun Burner GOLD 1500+ Miles in 24 Hours plate back if desired: $ 5.50 Total Enclosed: ____________ Address to mail certificates to: ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ Contact phone number(s), best time to reach you: _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ If you have one, your e-mail address: ___________________________ Have you ever completed an Iron Butt Association ride before? ___ Name you want on certificate: ___________________________________ (for example, Jonathan J. Smith, SR or John Smith) Your age (only used for statistics): _________ Circle One (only used for statistics): Male Female Did you do this ride with anyone else? Y/N If so, who: ______________________________________________________________ Date of start: ___________________ (for example, January 5, 2001) Motorcycle make/model ridden: _______________________________ Note: this is used on your certificate. For example, do you want us to list your Honda Gold Wing as a Honda GL1500 or do you want us to list it as a Honda Gold Wing. You may also include a model year if you want, for example; 1993 Honda Gold Wing. Method (and name of propgram if you used a computer) used to calculate your milage (mapping program, paper map, hoped your odometer was ok?): Method: _____________________ Miles/Kilometers Calculated: ___________ Miles Ridden according to your odometer: _______________________ Note: These will probably be changed by the verification team. If you used a GPS (Global Positioning Device) and noted your mileage, please enter that reading here: _______________________ Cities/towns your route included: NOTE: The following is used only for the people that do the certificates to make them more undestandable. Try and answer the following questions to make your certificate reflect your ride. Sample wording of a Bun Burner GOLD Certificate (please keep this format in mind as you answer the following questions): This  is to Certify that on May 15, 2001, John J. Daley rode a BMW K1200LT a total of 1,510 grueling miles in less than twenty-four hours starting in Chicago, Illinois continuing onto St Louis, Missouri and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma before ending in Omaha, Nebraska while participating in the SaddleSore 1000. Name of start city: ______________________________________ Note: for the **certificate** you may substitute a large city nearby if you want); for example, if you start in DesPlaines, Illinois, (a suburb of Chicago), it is acceptable to put Chicago as the starting point for the certificate. Name of end city ________________________ Note: Same rules apply to these cities as noted above. Your certificate will highlight up to three cities as midpoints. Please list up to three cities that helps highlight your route for your certificate: ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Note: Some of these cities may be listed on your certificate and the same rules apply to these cities as noted above. For example, we might want to say, Jerry Jones started in New York, New York continued onto Daytona Beach, Florida before ending her ride in Little Rock, Arkansas. Please note that this is only an attempt to make your certificate more readable - do not stop 60 miles short of Los Angeles and expect us to create a certificate that reads Los Angeles. This is to make the certificates more readable so that when you display them, your riding friends will better grasp the immense ride you took. Finally, you must certify that what you are telling us is accurate: I (print name): _____________________________, hereby certify that the statements in this application for certification are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. Signed: _________________________ Date: ___________ Send the package, along with a check for US funds to (PLEASE DO NOT USE A STAPLE ON YOUR CHECK) to: Bun Burner GOLD Iron Butt Association P.O. Box 9450 Naperville, IL 60567-9450 DO NOT send CASH! Please contact if you are from outside of North America and need alternate means of payment! Finally, should you decide to tackle the Bun-Burner GOLD, we wish you the best of luck and look forward to hearing about your ride!

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