The other day I let my mind wander and came to the question of what type of motorcycle I'd choose if I could ride only one for the rest of my life. The answer was immediate: adventure. But the explanation took some time to map out.

To start, I've had some phenomenal times on just about every type of motorcycle. Cruising through southern Oregon wine country on a Harley Softail Slim was downright magical; riding the twisting roads of eastern Oregon on a Ninja is a time I'll never forget. Even retro standards like Yamaha's XSR700 were a lot of fun and offer tons of customization options. But none was enough to make me a sportbike guy or a cruiser guy.

BMW R1200GS
This is pinnacle for me, a bike that can truly do it all and take me anywhere.BMW Motorrad

For one, being comfortable on a motorcycle is huge for me. I can fit on a sportbike still, but being cramped up in a cockpit like that isn’t my idea of a good time. The forward mount controls of most big cruisers let my legs stretch but leave my hips aching like crazy after half an hour. And the mess of standards on the market today have hardly anything in terms of wind protection. I want to be upright with my feet underneath me, have a comfortable, natural reach to the bars, and sit behind a windscreen.

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
There’s appeal in a Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra, but not the kind that would convince me to part with my hard-earned cash.Harley-Davidson

I also enjoy a moderately paced ride when I’m tooling around unfamiliar roads, so I don’t need the lean angles or heavy punch of a sportbike. On the other hand, cruisers are a little too lugubrious in this regard. Standards do just fine, but again, the freeway stint I often need to take is irritating.

I didn’t grow up with motorcycles either, coming to them later in life once I could make my own decisions and afford to make some bigger purchases. So there’s no emotional attachment to any machine of old, or type of bike. I’m only bound by my interests right now, rather than some persistent influence from the past.

Honda Africa Twin
Could there be anything better than this?Honda

And my interests are completely in accord with what an adventure bike has to offer. I love being outdoors, exploring nature. I love to spend days on the road, taking in new places. I also really enjoy more technical riding, navigating through the trees or dealing with a severely potholed road or trail. I could get a lot of joy with a lighter dual-sport, but it lacks a bit on the road. Adventure provides great performance on the road and on the trail. It’s a win-win in my book. Plus, there’s something sublime about getting a bigger, heavier bike into and out of a tricky situation. A man and machine united, overcoming obstacles as one.

I'm also not opposed to the latest, greatest gadgetry and technology bikes offer these days. Adventure bikes like the BMW R1200GS or KTM 1290 Super Adventure are sophisticated beasts. And even smaller machines like the BMW F850GS or Honda Africa Twin have a lot to offer in this arena.

Kawasaki adventure bike
Trackdays are great fun, and sportbike power and performance are really appealing in small doses. But not as a bike for the rest of my life.Kawasaki

Then there’s the travel and accessory factor. Adventure bikes are made to carry a haul, and there are loads of luggage out there to fit whatever need I may have. I can outfit the bike head to toe with aftermarket parts, since the segment is immensely popular at the moment, and really make it my own.

Working in the motorcycle industry has afforded me numerous opportunities to get to know all sorts of bikes, so for a long time a decision felt impossible. Every new bike I tried was my new favorite because, at the bottom of it all, motorcycles are fun, whatever type they are.

Yamaha Ténéré 700
I am eagerly awaiting the chance to ride the Yamaha Ténéré 700. It’s a strong contender on paper of the bike I’d most like to have as my own.Yamaha

Maybe it's my age or a growing desire to slow down to try and take it all in, but that decision is no longer a question in my mind. An adventure bike is the bike for me; I just have to wait to ride the new Yamaha Ténéré 700 before I make up my mind on which particular bike is going to make its home in my garage.

But at the end of the day, that’s just me. Is this a question you’ve ever considered answering? Have you already made the choice for yourself? We’d love to hear your story in the comments below.