I gave away my motorcycle last night. Not just a motorcycle but my favorite, most dependable road going vehicle I've ever owned. Without peeking at the odometer you would have no idea that it has gone nearly four times around the planet. It needed nothing. In fact I had just changed the oil, and a couple of weeks prior I replaced the water pump and the clutch switch. PR4 tires in excellent shape, a decent chain in mid life. I've kept the bike in excellent condition because that is the way I got it and I intended to keep it forever right up until I found myself handing the key over. $2500 worth of suspension upgrades, virtually the entire section of the Touratech catalog thrown at it by the PO and I've since added a Rich's Custom seat, SW Motech skid plate and crash bars. Just standing next to it memories flood through from the amazing places it has taken me. I can still hear the bark of the triple banging through the gears in a twisty canyon in eastern Oregon. I can smell the camp fires in Idaho and Montana and, way more importantly, I carry the memories of some of those trips with my oldest son. You'd have to be dying to give away something that means that much, right? Well we're all dying if you get down to it, but I haven't received a diagnosis that would lead me to accelerate getting my affairs in order. Like many who will read these words it seems I'm always on the hunt for my next motorcycle. In domestic terms it's like being married and looking for your next ex missus [insert name here], except no one keys your paint job, cuts your tires or files a lawsuit. My search for that ultimate bike honestly began prior to buying my Tiger 1050. I'd been on ADV sponging up as much as I could learn and became aware of the Tiger 955i, and went looking for one. Besides the Steamer/Girlie being uglier than the ass end of a corn fed cow they are hard to find in good condition and for a good price. They're also not that fantastic of a dirt bike (a trait shared by every other big ADV ride available). What I could find at the time were Tiger 800 and 1200s that were out of my price range, and a 1050 with almost no miles on it for much less. Then by chance I found the bike I've slogged through rain drenched 80 mile daily commutes and taken many, many road trips on for $4000 green cash. As they say, "shut up and take my money". Blah, blah, enough of that. This is a Guzzi thread. And it's going to go on for years. A lady on the street but a freak in the bed All those miles on the 1050 were spent dreaming of longer trips in less accessible locations. They also taught me that the things I loved about the 1050 (fantastic handling, an intoxicating engine and all day comfort) were not negotiable traits I would be willing to give up. The trips I've been going on include the western half of the US, with plans to see Alaska and NWT. My mind gravitates towards Montana every damn day I sit in my cube producing for my employer, and there are a myriad of lesser traveled roads there just waiting to see me rounding the corner. Look, what any ADV rider wants is an R1 in the twisty sections, an FJR on the slab and a trials bike once the pavement disappears. The elusive goal that ADV threads pine for is all those things, wrapped up with a 750cc fully tractable monster motor, 300 pounds fully loaded and a 10 gallon tank. Oh, and $6900 out the door. With a five year warranty. You can't have it. Some day I would love to have a trailer with 2-3 well matched small displacement street legal dirt bikes, which I can tow behind my SUV to where the fun begins. Aircraft crash sites, BDRs, ghost towns and places that will never have wireless signal. Bucket list stuff for me. What I don't want to do is ride a 125cc bike to Utah from Tacoma just to begin a ride. Ever. The bike I own, and will make these trips on must be all day comfortable, must have a truly great engine, and the entire distance ridden has to be fun. As the Tiger continued to age I used it as an excuse to look at other bikes. I waited eagerly for the Honda Africa Twin to come out. I waited for Yamaha to produce a mid weight ADV bike. I continued to drool over Triumph Tigers. Gradually my short list got shorter. Tiger in any size (depending on my whim) KTM 1190A Yamaha Super Tenere Other bikes I considered were the Moto Guzzi Stelvio and the Aprilia Caponord, but most buyers shy away from quirky european bikes with spotty dealer network. The Stelvio also got some "meh" reviews in ADV bike shoot outs. A few years ago I tried to swing a deal for a low mile Super Tenere. The place was a Yamaha and Triumph dealership, and when they saw my trade in they were stoked. They said "yeah, wheel that thing in here, lets have a look at it" until they found out it had 69k miles on it. Then he said "don't bother", and that he couldn't take the bike because anything over 50k miles is impossible to sell. The kicker was when he told me he would have to put about $1500 into it just to sell it. That was nearly 30k miles ago I haven't spent $200 on 'other than gas, tires, oil, chains' since then. The Super Tenere got some upgrades to make it more desirable, which caused a glut of low mile bikes being traded in for newer ones. There were some good deals and it was tempting. But. The Tenere just didn't do it for me. It would go the distance. It would be comfortable. It would go places my 1050 would suck at. I would generate all those fantastic memories of places I've been and would eventually bond with the bike. But at some point I would fall asleep and hit a bridge abutment out of sheer boredom. Pressure of the last bike I met the woman of my dreams a few years ago. Super adorable, bluntly honest, mentally stable and lady/freak. She has never been a fan of the bike and occasionally applies pressure out of concern for my safety. She knows riding is right up there with oxygen for me though, so she's not a bitch about it. She has asked how long I intend to keep riding. She knows that the one thing more important to me than oxygen is flying airplanes. I plan to own a backcountry capable aircraft in the next 6-7 years, and it will take me on even more epic trips to places that don't even have a goat path for a trials bike. So I came up with a non-committal age of 62 to "do less riding". I refuse to put a date on hanging the helmet up, but hopefully I have the grace to recognize that day myself when the time comes. What happened though was that it put additional pressure on me to pick that one bike that would carry me for that 10 year span, and that changed the outcome of my decision. The KTM About a year ago I stood up from my cube were I was pretending to work and stated (to no one in particular), with no reservation that the KTM 1190A would be my last bike. To make it 10 years with only one bike would require 150hp of pants shitting third gear wheelies, no ifs ands or buts. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? After declaring victory over that agonizing decision I left it to simmer. KTM put out some fantastic deals about this time last year, with 1190A bikes going for as low as $12,999 and included KTM branded Klim gear. Financially it wasn't the right time for me to get one and they eventually sold the back log and the prices went back up. I'd still love an 1190A, but it would have to be because money and storage space were no object. A reader of this thread won't have to be clairvoyant to pick up on my final decision to buy the Stelvio, but for my first "would ya just get to the friggin' point??!" of this thread I'll point out why I have zero regrets and I'm 100% comfortable that I made the right decision. I'll explain why in my next post.