Originally Posted by Dubl-A
I can agree with your core point. I honestly DO NOT notice a difference, that's what I should have written in retrospect. Why dont we have a poll of owners opinions as stated to help out the potential buyer? Chill out on the granular dissection of every word on the internet, you just end up looking like an ass my friend.
I have the 800 XC.
I weigh 180 lbs with gear. I had one time a passenger on that bike (it was an emergency situation, when her bike failed). I can't say exactly how much she weighted. More than 120lbs (she is 6ft tall), less than 130lbs (she is thin). I adjusted the rear preload for the extra weight. No bags.
Huge difference everywhere, including performance, braking, and suspension response. I realized that if I want to have a passenger + bags on a regular base I would need something different If I want less impact on the performance of the bike (there will always be a difference, even on a goldwing or K16).
The issue is: 1) there will always be a difference, when you add a passenger; 2) that doesn't mean it can't be done. I know of many situations where people traveled with passenger and bags on bikes smaller than a 650, and I mean long distance travel. I used to do it on a Honda XL 250...when I weighted 130 lbs on a good day and the girl weighted 100lbs... + bags.
So it is just a case of what you really want, not what you really need. Unless of course we are talking about XXXXL people here...