Motorcycles are bought for fun. Part of that fun for a lot of people is building an alternate image of themselves by the bike they ride and the clothes they wear.
Harley riders, for the most part, are an excellent example of this. They get dressed up to match a folk image of the bad biker, dress their bikes the same way, and many evan adopt an attitude/persona they they don't use in their daily life.
Biking is an alternate self image that they put on to make build their ego, makes them happy. There are a lot of Harley riders!!
The GS craze, in my opinion, is a similar circumstance for many GS riders....not all, but many. While many are anti harley/bikers they are pro BMW/ riders ethos....and adopt the gnarly adventure rider profile as their self image. Just look at the self labeling tags they put on their post on this blog. In this alternate GS world the look of the bike is most important. The old cliche of bigger is better is alive and well. 60hp-R100GS...85hp F800GS, 100hp R1100GS, 115hp R1200GS and now 125hp R1200GS wet head. Note the bikes have also gotten bigger, heavier, poorer off road, faster on road during all of this. Now most BMW GS run on Hight Test gas....sort of an oxymoron for finding as gas station 200 miles from now where....gas milage for the GSA is some time in the 35mpg range...no wonder it needs an 8 gallon tank!
When I go for a BMW event, or any other for that matter, I do a GS version of the chicken strip test for cafe racers. I check out the skid pans for scratches, dings, big dents. If they are pristine its give a clear measure of how that bike is ridden, if the rider is a profiler or real. A quick look at the tires tellls a lot. The typical dual sport tire is just a street tire with a bit more open tread...worthless in mud etc. Some put on lug and semi lug tires. Of couse these give significantly better off road traction. Checking them out a bit closer, look for stone cuts, tears in the lugs, especially in the side lugs. If you only see tires worn square and the lugs in pristine condition, they have not seem much if any off road... profiling!
The F650GS and F700GS are actually among the better Adventure / dual sport bikes. They have adequate power for touring pavement at speed. More than adequate power for off road. Better gas milage so gas is less of a problem in truly remote areas. Run on run on regular gas(loops 700 no more). Weigh less and are of more user friendly height for most riders, dabbing you foot on a rut, log, stone is easier for most people. Most people can actually push the bike backward while setting on the seat....WOW what a feature! Suspension travel is more than adequate for most speed and train conditions.
You get the idea. Loven my F650GS twin. bagged alaska, yukon, NWT, Labrador, and a lot of back roads here in Vermont