CheckerD that is an amazing story. While I was traveling around the country I saw numerous motorcycles scooting around the terrain and my first thought was about what a great place to ride. I don't know if this place will ever be safe to ride through again like you did back in the 70's, but it sure would be a trip. Actually, if you could avoid the big cities and stick to small towns and villages you'd probably do ok...although after us being here a western looking individual might not be very welcome....I guess it will depend on their take of our departure from their country and how graceful we do it.
Well thanks to everyone for the additional thoughts. I am really leaning towards the 1200 GSA for a couple reasons, size (I'm 6'4" so should fit nicely), windprotection (big gas tank acts like a fairing from what I've heard, plus extended range), factory installed options I think everyone adds to their GS shortly after purchase and I like a clean factory install so why not.
Unless a fabulous deal comes along that I just can't pass up I'll probably wait to pull the trigger on something until I can ride the Tenere. Its reviews and the fact that its water cooled (having had Harley's I'm sensitive about the oil cooled bikes) so I won't have to worry about overheating, easy of maintenance/dealer support, and about half of a 1200 GSA new lends one to stop and take a look. If anyone has ridden the Tenere and given it an honest evaluation, but still went with the GSA or has just ridden one I'd be intereted in your comparisions (pluses and minuses) between the two.