I have to confess a liking for these machines, amongst many others bikes I have owned, I am about to buy my fourth Transalp! You need to take the machine in perspective though, it isn't going to challenge a big GS, or a Pan European, or an R1, but then it isn't meant to. What it is is a reliable, economical, comfortable, gentle all rounder. I have never had mechanical problems with one of these, and I've done a lot of miles on them. I'm tall, so find them comfortable. The handling is ok, the suspension isn't budget rubbish and seems to last well. Equipment and weather protection is good, compared to the beemer parallel twins and the 800 tiger. It doesn't have the performance of those machines, but then is cheaper to buy and run. My only criticism is finish quality. My first two Transalps were Jap built 600s, had a hard life and stood up well. The 650 is Euro built, and the difference shows if you don't look after them. I've seen far, far worse finishes on budget four cylinder bikes though. Oh, and it has a really annoying restrictor in the tank that makes it a pain in the fundament to fill up, really slow. Economy and range is pretty good though. Doesn't have the grunt for long motorway hauls, but then motorways and bikes = boredom. Shouldn't you be on a more interesting route? The smaller the road gets, the more sense it makes. Great through traffic too, that 21" front wheel keeps it nimble and stable. And there is proper road rubber available for it, which I prefer to fit than the semi triallie stuff. So, you want practicality, these are pretty hard to beat.