I rode my ST1300 about 110 miles on Sunday. That bike rules. I rode up to Bear Mountain, where on a weekend it's like a motorcycle show. There were choppers, hot sportbikes, those CanAM three wheelers, a couple of other sport touring bikes, etc. Later, out of sheer curiosity I picked up some motorcycling magazine 2009 Buyer's Guide yesterday, my bike is five years old now. They have the Kawasaki Concours 14 as the Best Sport Touring Bike, and they kind of downplay my ST as 'not keeping up' with 'advances' in the Sport Touring category. That means it's not quite as fast as the Yamaha FJR, the Kawi and the new BMW. WhatEVER. How much faster than 0-100 in 8.4 seconds do you care about?
Here's what I care about: after two hours on any motorcycle your ass is sore, you're hot or cold, and the vibration noise and harshness is getting to you. So how COMFORTABLE you can stay is the only thing that really matters. And the ST is good at that. It's tossable and fast enough to be a blast to ride and it's comfortable enough and offers enough wind protection and smoothness (the motor's probably the smoothest m/c powerplant on the market) so you can ride it all day long. It's as safe as an m/c gets (ABS/linked disc brakes).
The universal comments I read on line about some of these other sport tourers is that they're fast, they're fun, and they're not quite as comfy as an ST. I sat on the Kawi and the FJR in the showroom last week when I brought my bike in for service (needs an OLF and tires). You can feel it just sitting on the bikes.
Very happy with the bike. It's paid for. When will the m/c industry sell me a new one? That's a good question. Maybe when Honda revamps the ST between 2011-2014. Maybe not.