My original motorcycle love was for sportbikes. I learned to ride on a CBR (no idea how I survived that) and I still get all googly-eyed around crotch rockets. The taut feeling of control, the unbelievable rush of acceleration, the thrill of deep lean angles- these are the things that once kept me up at night. Past rides have included a CBR 6s and 9s, a Ducati Monster and 916, a VTR1000 and an R1, and others I can't remember just now. I've been lucky to get saddle time on many more, both on the road and at the track (I'm the first to admit I'm not a great track rider, though, but I do enjoy it!), and I honestly thought from those rides that I'd seen what was available, and despite my love for them, I decided to swear them off a few years ago for a number of reasons. First, they don't seem appropriate, especially here in Colorado. If you let the motor climb onto the cam for a couple gears, you're going to jail. If you go around the sweepers that we call twisties at 7-8/10ths, you're gonna get a big ticket eventually. If you ride the bike how it feels like it was meant to be ridden, not on the edge or being stupid, just exploiting a little bit of the astounding mechanical competence, you are always breaking the law. I find that frustrating instead of rewarding. Second, my garage is generally a war zone of dirtbikes, mountain bikes, fabrication projects, and so on. Having a few acres of paint to be careful around feels like punishment, not reward. I hated having a bike that always felt like it needed special treatment when I wasn't riding it. Third, I broke my wrist pretty badly, and have had trouble getting comfortable on a set of clip ons ever since. I used to routinely log 6-900 mile days, the last ride I took on my R1 had me crying in pain at 150. 150 miles doesn't even get you to the twisties in CO. Finally, I'm not what you'd call a model of self control, and I find it almost impossible not to pop the occasional (frequent) wheelie, back into a corner, etc, you get the idea. You do these things on sportbikes and it is always with the knowledge that it's going to hurt if you screw up, and even if you get it right it might result in a performance award. Dirtbikes and Dualsports are much more forgiving this way. So when I was at the KTM Adventure Rider Rally in Idaho last week, and got the chance to take a spin on a Superduke, I thought I was immune to its charms. I thought I could head up the river to where we'd left a truck on a dirtbike ride, retrieve the van, and move on with my life. I thought wrong. Very wrong. Here I am at the end of that ride, apparently discussing wheelies with the KTM Rep... And here's what's in my garage now. Next post: why.