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.