Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Titusville, FL, USA
Our two up "sport touring" machine has been a 1990 Honda CBR 1000F (with Krauser bags). While a great bike, we have spent a very long time looking for a better long-distance tourer, that still had a sporting nature when you get to those good roads you have been riding all that distance to get to.
Over the last few years (I did say a very long time), we have been renting and test riding the various contenders (for us). ST1300 (long term rental), FJR1300 (test ride), ST1100 (test ride), K1200S (test ride), K1200GT (long term rental).
The Concours (1400) didn't make it to the test ride stage because the passenger accommodations didn't work for us. Too bad, as I liked the bike, but we were getting it for mostly two-up riding.
The FJR1300 was the closest to being the winner, the K1200S was the best bike to ride on, but was essentially a new version of our Honda, and suffered from some of the same touring issues. The GT was a surprise. We rented one on a trip, because it was available and was similar to the S we liked so much.
We fell in love with it. It's all about the riding experience. But, it was just out of our price range, so that was that. Then the economy tanked, and dealers had left over 2008 GTs to get rid of.
Buy what makes you happy, but make sure the experience of riding it comes into play as much as more practical concerns such as dealer networks, or worse yet, peer pressure.
I have a few friends who have bought Harleys (and Busa's these days) with what their friends would think as one of their concerns.
I have grown up with almost exclusively Japanese bikes, and this is the first non "big 4" streetbike I have ever owned.