Back in 2014 both me and a mate brought a 2014 SD each, mine was black his orange. He fitted the sticker kit, we both got locally made link pipes, and brought the Akra pipes through KTM and got the Akra map loaded. After 20,000kms i switched to the 1290GT, then 3 weeks back brought the new 1290R. I wasn't in the market for a new bike, i travelled up with my mate on his 1290 to get his big 48km service, i rode along for company and a night out on the town. Friday morning dropped of the 1290, he grabbed a Yam T750 to ride and i was looking at the new demo 1290R, and thinking WOW. They said take it out for a ride, i said, NO ill want it jokingly. Well i said we are going to Raglan (250km round trip) no worries, go for it. We switch rides, riding up and over this nice curvy hill, The suspension was set too hard, the tires were way over inflated, but we could tell this was one hell of a bike. I adjusted out some compression, and much better. On return he said they give xxxxx$ for trade on the GT, i said i can't afford that, (i could but wife), how much for both my 790 and GT. xxxxx$ plus a few more $s. Ok deal done, ordered and they picked up and fitted the pack rack, and off i went home to explain to the wife. Ride position is more sporty, pegs a little higher over the 2014 SD but the new 1290R is so much faster, and needs that ride position to get the best out of this machine. At 160kph there is very little wind blast, the lower bars help duck under the air flow. Seat is more comfortable, biggest surprise is when you tip it into a corner at speed, the front end feel is amazing, exiting the corner hard on the gas its just planted, no squatting and understeer. The 2 biggest bug bears on the Gen 2, and thats why i went for a 790 for a track day bike over the Gen 2 1290R. Well when home i told the wife id saved us money, 2 bikes in one, a fast tourer and a track day weapon in one. Yeah she said, but what about all the extra's you will want for it. She's seen the light, and I'm off the hook.