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sep 27th
Well, summer has come to an end and so has Len's Big Summer Bike Adventure. It's been a wonderful couple of months thanks to my pals at Tytlers Cycle of DePere. They've allowed me to try out such a wide variety of motorcycles, many of which in styles I would not have dreamed of riding, let alone liking so much.

Here's a rundown of the bikes I spent significant time on:

Ducati 939 Hypermotard
Indian Roadmaster
Ducati Multistrada
Ducati X-Diavel
Indian Scout
Indian Vintage
Indian Chieftan Dark Horse
BMW K1600-B

I went into this whole thing as a diehard V-Twin guy so my preferences were tilted toward the Indian models but as Michael and Red and the rest of the gang at Tytlers knew, all it would take was for me to get into the saddle of some other styles and I'd be hooked on them, too. It was  kind of like how a drug dealer works it...I got the first one free and they knew I'd be back for more!

That was certainly the case with the big BMWs. I was able to take a four-day spin around the state on the 1600GTL and I fell in love with the power, the nimble handing and the sophisticated electronics, especially the navigation system. I packed a ton of stuff for the trip but had plenty of room for more had I been traveling with a passenger. The newest BMW, the bagger model 1600-B has everything the GTL has except for the trunk. It still has plenty of storage, though, and it adds the super sleek look of a bagger. It rode so nice that it was easy to forget that there is 160 horsepower underneath that thing from the in-line six cylinder power plant. Often I had to temper myself because in a split second you're going way faster than it feels. What I'm saying is that you big V-Twin guys need to try the BMWs to experience a whole new world of comfort and performance. You're going to be surpised (I was) that the price point on these beauties is well below the cost of many big V-Twins with fewer features.

I had an absolute blast on every one of the bikes I was on and the experiences I had. That includes the opportunity to try to tame the four-mile track at Road America on a Ducati 939 Hypermotard. It was mometarily scary at times but mostly exhilerating to be able to take corners at much higher speeds than I've ever done before and to crank it up to a blur on the long straightaways. I've described myself as "old and in the way" on the track but I wouldn't trade that day for anything.

If I had to narrow the entire Big Summer Bike Adventure down to the motorcycle I enjoyed the most, the winner would be the Ducati X-Diavel. That rip-snorter with its 156 horsepower, 95 pounds of torque and the forward peg/wide handlebar look with Italian styling flair just tripped my trigger. It didn't hurt that the Tytler's bike magicians gave it a few custim touches, either. No bike I rode turned more heads or prompted more questions than the X-Diavel. It was just riding for the pure enjoyment of riding.

Well, that said, I encourage you to get into Tytlers Cycle and test ride some bikes. Get out of your comfort zone a little and I know you'll discover a  whole new something about your love of motorcycling. Tytlers has a bike for every kind of riding and every kind of rider...even the kind you didn't expect you'd end up loving.
My thanks to everyone at Tytlers involved in Len's Big Summer Bike Adventure. I had more fun on two wheels in two months than I'd had in four decades of riding.