I had a late start (46 years old) with BMW motorcycles and longer distance touring. I bought a new K1200RS in 1998 and put about 65K miles on that bike. The balance of 35K came on my replacement for the K12, my 2012 K1600GTL. I truly enjoyed both bikes, but in the final analysis the nod of the hat goes to the K16 as my favorite. Perhaps that’s because the K16 is a more comfortable touring bike, something that I appreciate much more in my 60s than I did in my 40s!
Starting from my base in Carmel near Indianapolis, IN, I’ve experienced a number of great rides during my first 100K miles: Northwest Arkansas, the Cabot Trail of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota, Bear Tooth Pass in Montana and the back roads of West Virginia, Western North Carolina, and Tennessee (Tail of the Dragon). Far and away, however, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado is the destination that keeps drawing me back as the “Most Memorable Trip.” If the mountain scenery and shear drop-offs don’t take your breath away and leave you slack-jawed on the “Million Dollar Highway” (Colorado Route 550 from Silverton to Ouray), then you’re simply not alive and breathing my friend! And the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a great example (among many) that the Rockies are not the only star attraction in the State. If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend you put this state full of “eye candy” on your bucket list!
I like to do a combination of riding to a destination combined with loops from a base camp to experience the location more thoroughly. For example, Gunnison, Colorado makes a great base camp for day trips to a number of scenic sites in Colorado.
For long distance touring, I prefer to ride with a small group of 2-4 friends. I’ve certainly ridden with larger groups successfully, but the smaller size is my preference. It also helps to ride with good friends who have similar ideas about how to enjoy a 3-4000 mile motorcycle trip together.