Height: 6 ft.
Weight: 225 lb.
Inseam: 32 in.
Fave sport-touring trek: Zurich to Interlaken, via Monaco
Call it what you will--old age, softening brain matter, early signs of Alzheimer's, whatever--but I'm really digging today's sport-tourers, especially those with the emphasis on sport. I used to thumb my nose at the things (larger, taller and heavier STs such as the Kawasaki Concours and Honda ST1100), preferring instead to grab a true sportbike when long-distance trekking was called for and simply add the obligatory tank or tail bag--and maybe, if the trip was longer, a set of soft bags. No more. The latest wave of sport-tourers offers reasonable comfort and loads of sportiness. And in the case of Ducati's new ST4s, you're talking racebike-quality suspension, actual sportbike handling and that legendary Italian booom--always a good thing. Heck, the ST even sounds good with the stock cans. OK, so it's expensive. But with this one you definitely get what you pay for. If we do this Italy staff tour thing next year, I've got dibs on the ST4s.--Mitch Boehm