Iron Butt 2003: On an EX250?

Motorcycle.com Staff
by Motorcycle.com Staff
Well, the Iron Butt Rally finished yesterday. The usual suspects were your typical portly BMW's, Hondas and Yamahas. Lurking back in the so-called "Hopeless" class was a guy named Leon, astride a "lowly" Kawasaki EX250 Ninja... Boy, were the vets in for a big surprise from the little bike...

When it comes to long distance riding, most riders insist on mounting classic large displacement sport tourers. The R1150GS from BMW, the GL1800 or VFR800 from Honda, and even the venerable FJ1300 from Yamaha are all considered good choices.

So why, you might ask would someone pick a beat to hell looking Kawi Ninja 250 as a mount to ride for 11 days and 11,000+ miles straight? From Montana to points west, out to Florida and up to Maine, Nova Scotia, down to New York and winding the rest of the way to end up back at Missoula, Montana for the finish.

Well, that's just what Leon Begeman did. He not only finished, but he shocked the IBR class by beating 105 other riders, every one on a larger bike and earning 12th place and a standing ovation at last nights banquet. "Hopeless" indeed.

Truly an amazing accomplishment.

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Motorcycle.com Staff
Motorcycle.com Staff

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