Careful now. 'round these parts that's blasphemy to say you can do anything but ride circles around your lawn on a 900 .
I am VERY comfortable on my 900. I'll ride it anywhere. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to take it coast to coast if I had the time and the money. (That's the funny thing isn't it, you can have lots of money but no time, or lots of time but no money!). I don't disagree with people when they tell me the engine is 'buzzy', but, it doesn't bother me a bit. I have made a few changes for comfort though, like gel-gripped gloves to eliminate vibration in the grips (though there really isn't that much), a much comfier seat, and a tour pak and hard bags. BUT, all in all, I spent a lot less than a touring bike, get 50mpg consistently (up near 60 sometimes), and have a bike that is super reliable, easy to maintain, and easy to handle. I think the cool thing about the 900 is that a brand new rider can start out on it, then take it across the country!
I would like a GL1800 one day though. It's kind of high on my list. 3 riding buddies of mine ride them and the more I look at them, ride them, sit on them, the more I really like them. But, speaking of V-Twin vs Inline, I'm not too ashamed to admit that a part of me really likes the sound and personality of a V-Twin motorcycle. My V-Twin motorcycle feels to me like a muscle car, whereas the Goldwing feels like a really peppy Accord. I dunno, just can't get past the allure of a V-Twin!
Well, I don't mean to offend here. Just drawing on my experiences. And I, too, like the sound of a VTwin. OTOH, the sound of a Triumph triple is like ripping sheet metal!
And I would also have no problems taking the 900LT coast to coast. I've just never ridden it more than about 250 miles at a time. I take that back--I once took it from our home in Meridian, Id to Hell's Canyon and back in one day. That was right at 300 miles, and I had a ball.
"Don't sweat the small stuff---it's all small stuff"
I guess it depends also on your circumstances...I'd love to have half a dozen bikes in the garage..but I have one.......I've circled Lake Superior Circle on a bicycle, toured Thailand and Laos on a Honda 100. Europe on a BSA C15 250.....Sure it's not comfortable sometimes, but you get to see some of the world...you can use whatever....the most important thing is just go do it......
Here's the school run in Northern Thailand...
1996 VN 800 Classic
MAC Fat Stakkers