Basically it is personal preference. This is an exotic desert bike thats street legal. If you dont mind thinking outside the box this could be a bike for you. If you want to be able to open a catalog and order panniers that could be overnighter you might want to re think it. I bought my 2001 es/ds wanting a more dirt orientated do it all dual sport. While I can run this thing through the woods in 3rd gear, I better be on top of my game. I have since bought a yz 250. So as you requested I will try to get away from personal opinion and list things i have discovered... the bike comes stock with many dollars worth of after market pieces as mentined above. one very important thing for me was the heavy duty spokes and rims. i have yet to bend a rim and I have taken some good hits ie rocks.
This bike eats batteries unless it is a Yuasa gel cell. I went through 3 Batteries Plus gel cells in 4 months.9they claim they are just as good but after the 3rd one they said they couldnt help me anymore,of course I was done also) Finally I just went and bought the Yuasa per ATK.
Also do not start a car and jump start the bike it will fry the electrics. you can jump the car off a battery if the vehicle isnt started per ATK.
the seat foam for long hauls is a little on the shy side.
parts take a week to a week and a half to get.
air box is tight for cleaning the K&N filter
Clutch tear down is pretty intensive
fuel milage is about 30 mpg
how loud the supertrapp is. I have since put a stock KTM silencer on
Things I like
the handle bars mounts are rubber mounted for vibration.
the cockpit is spacous and the bars are perfect for standing up
I mounted a spare 1 gallon tank on the rear fender along with a wolfman soft bag and with the huge aluminum flat support it worked great. I went as far as the xr 650 l with the 4 something gallontanks.
with the wheel base no steering stabalizer is needed. straight line hold one
I adjusted the sag and my suspension was perfect.
Lee at atk has diagnosed things over the phone he knows these bikes inside and out
also search google/yahoo and the old forum will pop up with good info example (605 fuel range)
the electric start.
the huge oil capacity
the long narrow feel
i have a bolt on kick stand
the pull and strength of the engine
the possiblities of building the engine
i just went to cooper canyon and back on it.
price and simplicity