They call it an Iron Butt: 1,000 miles on a motorcycle in 24 hours. Any rider who’s attempted it knows it is no easy feat. Being on constant alert as the road unfolds before you takes a mental and physical toll as the miles begin to blend together. 

Chris Hopper Iron Butt Bonneville Salt Flats
Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats was just one of the memorable stops during Chris Hopper’s epic journey. Photos by Chris Hopper.

Because of these challenges, completing an Iron Butt is a prestigious feat amongst motorcyclists. Then there’s that special breed of riders who do this for fun, who revel in pushing the limits of themselves and their motorcycles. 

Among that special breed, Chris Hopper is a breed apart. Hopper did what many thought impossible, riding 100,000 miles in 100 days.

“It’s one of those things that’s been talked about for quite a while,” Hopper told us. “Everyone just threw it out there – like, man, that would be a dream.” 

Chris Hopper Iron Butt Mile Monster Inc. Riot and Turbo
Mile Monster Inc. founder Riot (left) and Turbo, one of the organization’s beneficiaries. Hopper raised more than $100,000 to benefit those with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Hopper bought himself a brand-new 2021 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited and began his journey on July 27, 2021, riding through all 48 contiguous states, concluding on November 4 with an official tally of 100,454 miles in 100 consecutive days. 

Related: Harley-Davidson Enthusiast Collection Adds New “Fast Johnnie” Editions

Chris Hopper, aka Hop, had important motivation behind his ride – Jamsey, Gaven, Turbo, and Drew, four children stricken with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle degeneration, usually in young boys. Until relatively recently, boys with DMD usually did not survive much beyond their teen years, but life expectancy is increasing thanks to advances in cardiac and respiratory care. The Muscular Dystrophy Association says many young adults with DMD now attend college, have careers, get married, and have children. Survival into the early 30s is increasingly common for people afflicted with DMD.

Chris Hopper Iron Butt Beartooth Pass Summit
Beartooth Pass Summit, which can be closed at a moment’s notice due to weather, was the first destination on Chris Hopper’s monumental ride.

Hop’s heroic ride raised more than $100,000 for DMD via Mile Monsters Inc., a non-profit group of long-distance motorcycle riders committed to raising both awareness and money to fight Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. 

“The kids we help need a monster in their corner to help fight the battle,” the Mile Monsters state. When Jamsey, Gaven, Turbo, and Drew needed a monster, Hopper was Godzilla.

“Those are four kids that we’re helping out personally,” Hopper said. “All have Duchennes. We helped Turbo get a van. We also gave to the other kids, along with the families and their siblings because they’re going through it too.” 

Chris Hopper Iron Butt Madawaska Maine Four Corners Park
Madawaska, Maine, a stone’s throw from Quebec, was one of the northernmost points Hopper visited on the East Coast.

Chris Hopper actually logged 101,372 miles in 100 days, but 908 of those miles were outside the stringent guidelines of the Iron Butt Association. Luckily, he had the foresight to put down a few extra miles just in case. Hopper shot pictures of his receipts at each gas stop with the miles on his odometer except for three little podunk gas stations that were closed and where the pumps didn’t spit out a receipt. 

“When I put them all in my picture album, I think I had 485 receipts,” he said. 

His record ride was charted by two tracking devices: the US Fleet Tracking system, which shows where a rider is in real time, and Spotwalla, which tracks and displays the route taken. 

Chris Hopper Iron Butt

The Spotwalla map shows Hopper’s “100 in 100” runs from sea to shining sea, from as far north as Madawaska, Maine, to as far south as Miami on one coast. On the opposite coast, he tracked as far north as Everett, Washington, and as far south as San Diego. 

When asked how he planned his route, Hopper surprisingly said he didn’t.

Chris Hopper Iron Butt Arches National Park
Utah’s Arches National Park is ruggedly beautiful.

“Everybody who knows me knows I’m not a planner at all. I planned my first day because the main thing I wanted to do was get through Beartooth Pass because it’s a limited window to get through there. That thing could get shut down at any time. I had my route there through Yellowstone, and after that I just kind of winged it day by day.”

Though making time was always at the forefront of his mind, Chris Hopper was still able to enjoy the ride, capturing his adventure in wonderful photographs and chronicling his trips around the country on social media. 

Chris Hopper Iron Butt
One of the few riding shots from a 100,000-mile trip.

Along the way, he discovered little-known places like Kinsley, Kansas, better known as Midway, U.S.A., 1,561 miles from both New York and San Francisco. As he mentioned, riding over breathtaking Beartooth Pass is a must for any motorcyclist. He knocked off bucket-list items like visiting the Bonneville Salt Flats, and he made pit stops at eclectic locales like Salvation Mountain in the southern California desert and the Extraterrestrial Highway in remote Nevada. 

Chris Hopper Iron Butt Midway USA
Hop stopped at Midway U.S.A., equidistant from New York City and San Francisco.

One would think a ride of this magnitude would present many challenges, both physically and mentally, but Hop says this wasn’t the case.

“People ask what the biggest challenges were, and it’s kind of weird to answer because there just weren’t any more challenges than if you were taking off on a 1,000-mile ride or something,” Hop said. “It was just one of those rides that very rarely happens, where pretty much everything went as planned. I didn’t have any issues.” A breed apart, indeed. 

Chris Hopper Iron Butt World's Largest Buffalo
Who doesn’t love kitschy tourist traps like the World’s Largest Buffalo?

“It was just making sure I got up every day and got after it. That would be the biggest challenge, but once you get your head right, it was good. 

“It’s funny. If I know I’m going to do a 2,000- to 3,000-mile ride or whatever, I’m like, okay, I feel great. But if I’m just riding around town doing some bar hopping with my friends, my butt hurts, I’m ready to get off the bike,” he added with a chuckle. “But when I’m in that mindset to go on a long ride, I’m not focused on anything hurting, any pains or anything.” 

Chris Hopper Iron Butt Route 66
The trip wouldn’t have been complete without getting a few kicks on Route 66.

He did admit that mental challenges and fatigue were hard to overcome on a few days. His shortest day was about 600 miles. It was a struggle from the moment he woke up that morning, as demands of the ride began to catch up to him. 

“I was just so tired. I couldn’t go more than 100 miles without stopping, finding any excuse to stop. And I recognized it, and I’m like, there’s just no way to push it any harder, my body’s just telling me it’s done. I made the call to just stop, got a hotel, and got a really good night’s sleep. I knew it was going to put me a little behind, but being so fresh afterward, I was able to make it up over the next few days, and it worked out good.”

Chris Hopper Iron Butt Signs
Hopper could easily write his own version of Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere.”

Chris Hopper also had a couple of 800-mile days where once again his body was telling him he needed a bit more rest. “Two, three hours of sleep a night doesn’t cut it.” 

On the flip side, he made up those short days with longer ones, doing 1,500 miles in a day a couple of times to catch up. His longest day was his first where, spurred on by a combination of eagerness and the desire to put a few extra miles in the bank, he laid down about 1,650 miles. 

Hopper’s progress was hindered when he got pulled over by police 14 times in those 100 days, but he was only ticketed three times, two of those in Kansas. Otherwise, he said most officers were pretty lenient once they heard his story and about his cause. 

Chris Hopper Iron Butt
Chris Hopper’s pack mule for his historic ride was a capable 2021 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Limited equipped with an auxiliary 5-gallon fuel tank above the passenger seat.

To attempt his epic ride, Hop bought a new Road Glide Limited with a Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine. It’s a top-shelf touring machine that has a cushy seat, plenty of storage, and can run seamlessly at 85 mph all day long. He rode it pretty much stock, albeit with some up-spec Öhlins suspension, a 5-gallon auxiliary tank, extra lights, and a Wild Ass seat cushion. 

“I had no mechanical issues luckily,” Hop reported. “I picked up two nails in the rear tire, but that’s not really mechanical. I made it back to my home dealer (Republic Harley-Davidson in Stafford, Texas) every 10,000 miles to get service. Every 20,000 miles I was stopping by Suspended by Smarty out of Dallas, Texas, who swapped out stock shocks and upgraded the fork with Öhlins NIX 22 cartridges.”

Chris Hopper Iron Butt Matt Wise
Matt Wise (left), a legendary long-distance rider in his own right, joined Hopper on the day he broke Wise’s 45 in 45 record (45,000 miles in 45 days).

While people who followed him on social media occasionally joined him along the way, he had a particularly special guest on his 45th day when Matt Wise showed up to ride with him. Wise is a legend in his own right among Iron Butt riders and previously held the record of 45 in 45 (45,000 miles in 45 days). Knowing Chris Hopper’s travails all too well, Wise joined Hopper the day he broke his record in a show of support and camaraderie.  

Chris Hopper Iron Butt 100,000 miles
Hop topped 100,000 miles while rolling along at 80 mph.
Chris Hopper Iron Butt gas receipt
In all, Hopper rode a total of 101,372 miles, laying down a few extra miles just in case.

Even though it’s only been a few months since Hopper’s Herculean long-distance riding feat, he said he’d do it again in a heartbeat.

“I thought going in it was going to be so grueling and so tough and so draining, because after two Hoka Heys and an Iron Butt Rally, those are hard rides, and I was just drained after those,” Hop admitted. 

“So, I thought after 100,000, I’m not even going to want to be on a motorcycle for months. But the mental aspect, because I wasn’t focusing on much – just riding and having that dream – that just made all the difference. I had so much fun I would absolutely want to do it again.”

Chris Hopper Iron Butt
Hopper saw firsthand the boundless beauty of this great country during his 100-day adventure.

Mile Monsters Inc., which is always on the lookout for long-distance riding ambassadors, would absolutely love to see somebody to do it again to further help in the fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

“We want the kids to live their best life and know they have a Monster fighting for them.” 

Causes like this can inspire people to do great things. Mile Monster Hop is living proof.


  1. He wore out a $25,000 bike in 3 mos. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing? Fuel cost alone was $10,000. I hope he had funding.

    • An iron butt rider put around 220,000 on a Sportster before he needed major repairs on the motor. If his compression checks out and all his regular services are maintained, he may be good for another one. I’ve been a part of an iron butt and this is mythological, and I wouldn’t believe it unless I saw the evidence! Many kudos to Hop!

  2. Hard to believe when most harleys need top end repairs long before 100k but didn’t elaborate on any repairs.. Still a real feat on two wheels.. Consecutive days,,,, tough man..


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