I picked up my "new" (to me) 2001 1150GS today. I hadn't ever riden one before today and was very pleasantly surprised. (Even riding home the last 25 miles or so in pouring rain!)
Compared to my 650GS:
>>Feels a little big. But not too big.
>>Handles really well on twisties. (There were a few handy for my test ride.) I expected it to be more sluggish. I felt very comfortable tossing it around the curves. Whatever it lost in flickability (not much) it gained in solid "on the rails" feel.
>>Much better wind protection on the freeway
>>6th gear is really smooth at 70MPH+
>>Love the bells and whistles (the guy did it up with: PIAA lights, flashing braking LEDs next to brake lights, Corbin seat, all the hard luggage (and soft luggage to fit in the hard luggage), tank bag, auto turn signal cancelling, heated grips, ABS, extra running lights on the forks...yep that makes 6 forward facing lights )
Only negative: The pegs are closer than I'd like (knees bent a bit more than the 650GS...because of the seat that was on the GS that used about 1/2 of the passenger space for the rider). I'm probably going to either want to lower the pegs or raise the seat. (First thing I need to do is figure out if it's on it's highest setting...as I understand it may be adjustable.)
This bike's going to be a great upgrade for me on the 4000 mile trip Doni and I have planned to the top of B.C. this summer. The reduced vibrations, more comfortable seat and better wind protection will make a big difference.
As far as off-roading is concerned, I'll probably give this bike a shot on some fire road rides (a la Lassen). But I'm also considering a 450 dual sport of some variety that's got more dirt capability than my 650GS. Any suggestions? (Gotta sell the 650 first!)
New toys are a good thing!