I'm a newborn to bikes in general. So most of you can simply ignore my contribution here.
I just have one thread so far where I'm asking for buying advise on some of the bikes I found.
I have also been doing research and just keeping my eyes open for about a year or so as I got closer to getting a motorcycle.
Rather than bore you regurgitating opinions that I've found, I'll simply tell you what I witnessed as a observant student of life.
1) At the MSC class there were several classes going on at the same time. Each class had two teachers I believe. At the end of the weekend I left late and noticed that almost all the teachers were riding BMWs. I took notice and began exploring BMW for something that might work for me.
2) When I found one I was going to buy, it happened to be about 300 miles away. I did not want to drive a bike I was totally unfamiliar with on a long ride when I'm not even an experienced rider. Too many negative variables in that equation. I contacted a towing service through a local motorcycle group and had this guy give me professional help. When he shows up he comments that although dirty ("You can clean up the wire wheels or leave it and call it patina"), it looks like a nice bike. He tells me that he also rides a BMW (I forget exactly which but 1200 is in there somewhere). He further comments that BMW riders almost never call him. They simply don't break down that often.
For whatever reasons, it seems that these two samples (the MSC teachers and this motorcycle tow service guy) both chose BMW as their personal rides and bikes they like. Both may or may not also own other bikes including Japanese makes, I don't know about that. I didn't say exclusively, I'm just reporting what I observed and was told.
I found that interesting and perhaps relevant to the subject.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. - Mark Twain