The first thing I noticed is the bike is noticeably sharper, with better acceleration, a smoother ride with a slicker (still a GS!) gearbox.
The bike hasn't lost any quirkiness with its weird switch gear and funny beak, and it's still BIG with the panniers on, nearly a metre wide, but you get used to filtering (the mirrors are wider than the panniers) and with the spotlights and headlight always on you look BIG and people see you and (most) tend to give you room.
The bike has ABS, which can be turned off, but I've never felt it come on yet.
Traction control, which can also be turned off, i have felt this kick in when I was a bit keen on the throttle out of a turn on a damp morning, it still wasn't drastic just a slight dip in power to stop the slide, then back to normal. This probably had the wheels about an inch out of line but in my mind I was Marquez!
The bike feels stable even fully loaded with a passenger up to motorway plus speeds with no wobble or weave, and you can dab the brakes into corners without upsetting the balance.
Compared to the 1150 GS the bike feels more stable in slow turns, this is probably down to the petrol tanks being re-positioned lower down, this in turn makes the bike feel lighter than the 1150 which it is... but only just!
The torque and power are up by 20-25% which is noticeable.
These bikes are known for their low down grunt and power though the rev range, loaded up with a passenger on a twisty road you can put it in 3rd and go from 2000 revs to 8000 and not need to change gear, where other bikes are really having to work the gears.
The features of the Premium and Dynamic Pack seem good,
being able to adjust the suspension with the ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) button for 1 person, 1 person with luggage and 2 people and also different modes for each, comfort , normal, sports, by just a touch of a button on the handle bar is great, no more messing about with spanners!
This has been great as the old bike was set up for 2 people so when I got on by myself it was too firm, but I was too lazy to swap it!
The digital display is better giving you a fuel gauge with a guide to how many miles left, like a car, also showing average mpg, tyre pressures which is great for lazy gits (like me) and outside temperature (frost).
Heated grips as with the 1150 are great on cold wet days, and the spotlights as I've mentioned great for day time visibility as well.
The exhaust has a valve on it that opens at higher revs, and for a standard can it is LOUD, with a thump not unlike a Subaru Impreza. Great for getting you noticed - Loud pipes save lives! and all that.
I've done a bit off light off road, some Metzeler Karoo 3's next and try a bit more adventurous stuff!
They're like riding nothing else I've ever been on, you will have to try one to know what I mean.
While the bike was in for a service I was given a 1200GS LC, in nthe short time i had it, the biggest difference is the engine and the throttle response from the fly by wire throttle, definately more powerful, great on the road but, it may be more off handful off road.