The map (below) shows the motorcycle trips (cars don't count) that are listed in the contents. There are other trips that are not shown. Many others, actually. I have taken at least one longer trip each year since 1976, but you'll notice several missing years in the contents. Someday I may sort those out, but it's likely that most will remain unrecorded. There were a few cross-country trips when I did not bother packing a camera. These will almost certainly never be listed (for an index of the individual maps, click here).
I didn't start out keeping track of all the counties that I've ridden in, but I have always kept track of the roads. This map is mostly accurate. It's difficult matching all those tiny counties east of the Mississippi River to the correct road, so it's possible that I've marked the wrong ones here and there. Anyway, I'm sure of the western counties, and the eastern ones can't be too far off.
If nothing else, the map (below) makes it clear that all of my rides begin in Mandello del Lario, Italy.
Here is my list.
I haven't had too many:
1973 Suzuki T-500
1973 Moto Guzzi Police (Eldorado)
1984 Moto Guzzi California II
1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000
2000 KTM Adventure R
The Suzuki was a remarkable motorcycle for its time in that it had a large displacement 2-stroke, which made very good power for its size. On the other hand, it had a terribly buzzy vibration in spite of the rubber mounted handlebars. This was not a very comfortable bike for long distance. To make things worse, it got terrible gas mileage. I would only count on 30 mpg, although I could get up to 35 mpg on occasion. When wound up to near-redline, the thing was very responsive. Trouble is, the frame and suspension was typical of many Japanese motorcycles of the era: not very good.
The Guzzi Police was something entirely different. It was ideal for long distance riding. I don't know that it had even as much power as the Suzuki, but it made power in a way that was far more useful. The solo seat on this bike was exceptional. I never did quite get all the little things worked out, though. Seemed like I was always fiddling with something.
The Guzzi Cal2 has been with me for a long time, and the bulk of the trips were on it. Most everything that needed to be improved on the Eldo was taken care of on the Cal2. Very few complaints. The seat is great (I may be unique in claiming this for this model) and the riding position is ideal. I tend to ride leaned forward just a bit with my feet just below and a little aft of my knees. While these days it might be called a cruiser (only because it's not a sportbike), it really is not. It was designed and sold as a long-distance touring bike, and that is what it is best at.
The Guzzi Daytona is a unique animal. It's a sportbike that would be trounced by any number of smaller sportbikes from the major manufacturers. Still, it will be desired long after those others are forgotten. Of the motorcycles on this list it is the only one that would clearly be called exotic. The others are just very uncommon. I have never been on a long trip (the longest was Wichita Kansas-to-Italy Texas) on this motorcycle, and probably never will.
The KTM Adventure is a dual-sport motorcycle at home on dirt and pavement. There are a number of other brands that are also called dual-sport, the difference between them often defined by how dedicated they are to either end of the spectrum. The KTM clearly started as an off-road racing bike that was made to work on the street. Actually, I am surprised by how well it does work on the street. While the Guzzi Cal2 is something of a stodgy motorcycle, the KTM is at the leading edge of performance. In a short-distance drag race, bet on the KTM every time.