I wish I still had the strength to muscle a RT around.
I do miss the protection and total comfort of the RT.
That said the GS made me love motorcycling again.
I am ATGATT so as far as comfort and protection from the elements I am OK there.
It is lighter without the bags and looks very nice without them. That was one of the biggest things for me.
The right tool for the job is the best tool for the job and the GS allows me to do that.
I was buying touring bikes and not touring as much as I used to. I still get 10-12K a year just more 300 and 400 mile days a couple days a week.
On thse days I run a 42L top box no bags.
We ran to the Nation last year and are going again this year. I run the two side cases, the 42L top box, and a Ortlieb bag on the back seat. When we get to the room everything comes off and goes in the room except the top case and all my tools and tire repair supplies and various other things I carry to ride are in top case so I dont have to touch it.
Also another big thing especial if you are a RDL seat lover, I got a low bike. I can not tell you how much nicer it is to touch both sides of the ground
I have no trouble with flat footing the GS and the only place it really matters is backing up. I ride so that when I stop I have my left foot down, my right foot on the rear brake, in gear and watching my six. So not flat footing a bike matters little to me EXCEPT backing up.
And yes I could have saved a bunch of money and just bought 3500 dollars worth of new lower shocks and been set.
I just sat on the GS out of the blue and it called my name. I had to have it for sure. So when a bike speaks to you that loud you listen.
I had lusted after the new flywheel, transmission upgrades, and as a bonus I got cornering ABS, and the automatic suspension and the body work of a 18 model year. That is why they call my bike a 17.5.
And do not let anyone tell you different, there is a huge difference between how my 15 RT shifted and how my 17.5 GS shifts. I really could not complain on the RT after I figured out how my bike liked to shift, but on the GS I really did not have to figure anything out or concentrate extra special to shift it. So IMHO any move to a 17 year or later bike is worth the move for the transmission alone.
If I wanted a RT the one posted in that color would be my choice there is no doubt about it. And I would find someone to work that stock seat to keep it that color as that does pop. I need to look at a new RT in daylight to see that color I bet it really is nice.
At any rate, ride what blows your skirt up and be happy