Tom Roderick, Content Editor
Why choose just one?

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Every year is a good year when you ride motorcycles for a living, and 2015 was no different. Right out of the gate, in January, I jetted off to Gran Canaria to test KTM’s newest big Twin, the 1290 Super Adventure. The event lacked an off-road component, but even without one I knew the bike was going to be a serious contender in the liter-plus ADV category. And no matter what my fellow MOrons say, it should have won our 2015 Ultimate Sport-Adventure Touring Shootout.

In March I traveled to Texas to sample Suzuki’s new GSX-S750, but in this case it wasn’t the bike that was the highlight, but rather the dinner at Kevin Schwantz’s house on the last night of the event. I swear, Mr. Schwantz, your mechanic gave me permission to sit on your bike.

In March I traveled to Texas to sample Suzuki’s new GSX-S750, but in this case it wasn’t the bike that was the highlight, but rather the dinner at Kevin Schwantz’s house on the last night of the event. I swear, Mr. Schwantz, your mechanic gave me permission to sit on your bike.

For the month of June I was slated to attend the static launch of Honda’s RC213V-S. This wasn’t a riding event, but it was held in conjunction with the Catalunya GP, and it’s always a treat attending a Euro round of the Grand Prix series. A personal complication kept me from this event, so John Burns attended in my stead. Apparently, it worked to my advantage because three months later I was in Spain riding the expensive, exotic, MotoGP-for-the-street motorcycle around the twisty confines of the Valencia circuit.

Regardless your biases about performance, cost or any other facet of the Honda RC213V-S, no one’s going to pass up the opportunity to ride one (except for MO’s gracious Ed-in-Chief who could have gone himself). The RC213V-S press launch was once-in-a-lifetime experience akin to riding a Britten. There’s no RC213V-Ss in American Honda’s media pool, no loaner bikes for future shootouts pitting the RCV-S against other sportbikes. The press launch was a one-and-done event, and not just a highlight of 2015 but of my moto journalism career.

During our Ultimate Sports-Adventure-Touring Shootout we found the only dam in California with water remaining behind it. Evans caught me in action trying to correct this inconsistency.

During our Ultimate Sports-Adventure-Touring Shootout we found the only dam in California with water remaining behind it. Evans caught me in action trying to correct this inconsistency.

Our Ultimate Sports-Adventure-Touring Shootout in September was a six-day, all-hands-on-deck ride of epicness up the California coastline and back again. Spending six consecutive days out of office riding motorcycles, bonding with my co-workers and drinking whiskey should be an annual highlight.

The year ended with a very, very long trip to South Africa to ride Honda’s Africa Twin. The much-anticipated ADV bike didn’t fail to impress and the safari to see lions, rhinos, wildebeests and zebras was exceptionally cool, but nothing beats swimming with great white sharks.

  • JMDonald

    It’s been a great year. Here’s to the highlights of 2016. I think I went 120 mph once, 200 is beyond the pale.

  • Old MOron

    Well, I can’t say that I’m most jealous about any one story, but I think Evans’ pick resonates the most. That’s because for the last two years I’ve raced in the M1GP24 Hour, having been inspired by Trizzle’s original story from 2013. http://www.motorcycle.com/events/electric-boogie-record-books

    Keep on living the dream, MOrons. We’ll keep living vicariously. And in some rare instances, we may even emulate you!

  • ‘Mike Smith

    Too badabout the Aprilia. Was it totaled?

    • Not totalled, but it was the only 2016 RF in the country at the time. Aprilia USA techs had to use old non-RF parts to fix the cosmetics for our street test the following week. (It wasn’t Troy’s fault at all, he was T-boned by an overzealous civilian in turn-11, but it was way more fun to blame him for it in my little story.)

      • john burns

        too bad we didn’t total it though, since the publication that got it after us DID destroy it at a track day. Only the good die young.

      • ‘Mike Smith

        Blame away my friend. Never pass on an opportunity to bust some chops. 😉

      • TroySiahaan

        Thanks for throwing me under the bus! 😉

  • Old MOron

    Well, I know it’s a marketing tool, and I know it’s a Xmas tune, but it’s still cool.
    Happy New Year, you MOrons! http://seasonsgreetings.bmw-motorrad.com/?c=YUz2Nc8

    • Kevin Duke

      Thanks for your consistent support, OlMO!

  • John B.

    I most envy Tom Roderick’s highlight montage, but for “Most Persuasive Bike Pitch,” I would choose Sean Alexander’s love at first sight experience with the Aprilia. There’s nothing like having one’s soul stirred. Make that almost nothing.

    Congratulations on a great 2015. The MO crew produces consistently great work product, and that’s an exceptional feat.

  • Max Wellian

    Ya gotta like a job that provides so many great highlights!

  • David

    Ahh, I had wondered what happened to Cernickey. Sad to hear about his legs though.

  • ken mcguire

    Oh come on, Tom. You blokes get to ride the latest and greatest… and get to swim with White sharks. Bloody hell I need a new job.

  • kenneth_moore

    I agree with Old Moron: the “24 Hueres de Grom” is the one I’d pick. The similar events in my life, where a close group of pals are pushing themselves and the equipment to the limit are my best memories, even though they were actually miserable at the time. Like a 36 hour sail to the Bahamas in a Northeaster that left every other boat, and even some ships, sitting in port. We broke the boat, I broke my arm, we hated each other halfway through, but none of us would trade the experience for the world.