To start with, I had several bikes in my garage. Two of them were a Honda CBR11Blackbird and a Versys. I anted to consolidate the two whilst improving my offroadability.
I had a budget of $AUD15,000 after selling the V and the Blackbird. So that eliminated the new Tiger 1200XC. So, with the 1000+cc engine size decided upon to get the torque that the Blackbird had, I was left contemplatimg the Strom 1000, the Versys 1000, the R1200GS, the VFR1200X, and the Super Tenere.
After much research I learned that I wanted shaft drive, which eliminated the Versys and the Strom. The VFR isnt quite offroad enough for me, a similar bike to the Versys 1000 but with a 19" front wheel. And I didnt read much good about the R1200GS shaft drive, plus Im not really into sipping lattes while inflating other GS riders egos.
So, despite being a little concerned with the extra weight the ST carries compared to the GS, I bought one. And have not looked back.
Firstly, the extra weight is there because this bike is built tough, real tough.
Secondly, the extra weight is there on the spec sheet for all to see, but it simply cannot be felt when riding. Yamaha got this bike right. It literally feels like a 200kg DRZ400 with 100 horsepower. I ride it the same as I ride my DRZ, just with more respect as 100 horses on the firetrails can get you into trouble pretty quick if you're not careful.
The 1200 engine is super smooth when cruising the highways and back roads. Feels much more like an inline 4 than an inline twin. This really surprised me. Its also pretty decent on fuel too. Im getting around 4.6 to 5.0 litres per 100km depending on whether I'm fully loaded with luggage or not.
The main thing I wanted from upgrading from the V was a better handling bike offroad. If you look at some of my posts on here you'll see that I was very much in the "Versys makes a great adventure tourer" camp. I still am. But the suspension needed another two inches of travel and some better/softer compression damping. In a nutshell, the S10 suspension is exactly that. Much more compliant in the rough stuff and I've not bottomed it out yet, even when fully loaded.
I honestly cant recommend the S10 enough if any V owners are looking for a bit more power and/or more offroadability