I must be doing something right. After several years of dreaming about it, 2012 has been a stellar year of motorcycle trips for me. First to Arizona to visit my dad then second to California to visit my friend Kevin Duke and test 5 Grande Adventure Touring Bikes: The BMW R 1200 GS, KTM 990 Adventure, Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX, Triumph Tiger Explorer, and the Yamaha Super Tenere.
This Adventure began one day with a phone call. It was short notice, I almost declined Kevinís invitation to come out and test the bikes on a ride from southern California to Monterey. Icing on the cake was attending the Moto GP at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Iíd only been to a few Superbike races years ago and although Iím not a huge race fan, this type of experience was one that sounded unique. And so it was.
Our ride to Monterey dished up every kind of moto-cuisine that California has to offer. From cool coastal breezes to scorched rolling desert, high alpine excursions to lane splitting the 405. The word ďexcitingĒ doesnít quite do justice. It was a friggen rush! This trip will go down in the record books as one of my best ever. Thank you so much Kevin.
My personal evaluation system for motorcycles might be a little different from most, might not. First thing that attracts me is how a bike looks. Iím a designer, an architect, an artist, this is the number one criteria for me when shopping motorcycles. Iím also a motorcycling enthusiast. I want and need bikes that look great, go fast, stop fast, handle the twisties really well and because of my dwindling amount of free time, and advanced age, must be all day comfortable. No small requirements. I expect a lot for my hard earned money. The motorcycles in this bunch are Adventure Touring bikes. To me, that implies epic rides with long seat time across multiple surfaces. Motorcycles need to be able to accommodate me, thrill me, and look great while doing so. Which one is my favorite? Read on...