2010's Best Touring Bike: Ducati Multistrada 1200S

Many Roads, all right

Traditional touring bikes are fine for traditional touring. For everything else, there's Ducati's Multistrada 1200S. The Baja 1000 is probably too much, as is the Daytona 200. Otherwise, never say never. And feel free to bring a passenger.

An arsenal of electronics let the latest 1198cc Desmo V-twin and Öhlins suspension accommodate anything from downtown L.A. to racer road to the Mojave Desert with a button instead of a wrench. Add a nifty keyless ignition system, ride-by-wire throttle, Brembo ABS and Ducati Traction Control, and you're looking at a touring bike you can ride to work all week, use to embarrass conformist sportbike pilots all weekend, and revel with as you unwind on that dirty little shortcut through the forest on the way home. BMW's R1200GS is a better bet for the Road of Bones, but the Multi will roast Das Boxer on any interesting stretch of pavement, along with most anything else unlucky enough to cross its path.

Alternative Take
Kawasaki Concours14

The long-playing version of Kawasaki's ZX-14 rocket sled was a few flaws shy of perfect when it debuted in '08. After a systematic list of enhancements and additions like multi-mode K-ACT ABS, KTRC traction control and a switchable ECO fuel map when you want more mpg than mph, the Concours14 is fundamentally perfect.

Best Touring Bike: Ducati Multistrada 1200S