I had a great ride up through Algonquin Park with my girlfriend and a pair of Kawasaki Z900RSs, which would normally have topped the charts. But since my brother and I managed to sweet-talk the Jordanian government into letting us be among the first westerners to ride there in recent history, I’ve got to say that experience rates as my best.
We met great people, ate sensational food, and rode astonishing roads. The lessons I learned riding in a completely foreign setting have made me a better rider, and the thrill of racing across the open desert will stay with me forever.
(We also got to experience riding through a sandstorm, a kid hurling a rock at me, and the smell of camel roadkill in the desert; all part of a great adventure, right?)
Topping that, the KTM 1190 Adventure I piloted was comfortable, nimble and powerful – enough so that I’m now scouring ads for used KTMs.
As for my worst, well I’ve prided myself in never returning a loaned bike in anything other than the pristine condition it was provided, but that ended the night I was shooting photos of the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled. With the paved road ahead in clear view, the front tire caught a rut and down we went in a lame, slow-motion off. The Ducati was almost unscathed, but in the attempt to save the bike, I strained my back bad enough that it ended my riding season in mid-September.