He's probably comparing the $15K to the $23K of a K1200GT with all the bells and whistles. Some of which are not even available on the FJR or the ST (like Cruise Control or ESA).
Sure, the FJR has a clutchless shift. To me, that's nowhere near as important as Cruise Control and ESA. FWIW, you can add Cruise Control to the FJR for about $450 (and add on labor for about 4 hours for professional installation). And you can go to the Ohlins with the servo adjustment mechanism for about $2500 (and add about 4 more hours for professional installation). The Tail Trunk will set you back about $500. So right there, you've covered $4000 of that $8000.
I don't know anything about the ST1300, but I would expect it would be the same. The same price for adding cruise control, same price for the servo adjusted Ohlins, and I think there is a GIVI tail trunk for the ST.
I also expect that one the hype dies down and discounting starts to take place, that remaining price differential will drop as well.
So, when comparing price, make sure you do your apples to apples comparison. Comparing base prices for FJR and ST against the well-equipped price for the GT isn't a fair comparison.
This is the same issue we see when people try to compare the Gold Wing against the K1200LT.
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'06 K1200GT Crystal Grey
'04 Sprint RS Caspian Blue
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