I am so glad that I don't work as a designer for a motorcycle manufacturer. I dunno what the tallest building is in Japan, but after listening to some of you guys, I'd probably be on the ledge of it.
Yamaha obviously targeted the heavyweight dual sport market, because that is where the sales numbers are. How many 990 Adventure units does KTM sell? I'm guessing not enough to even be a blip on the RADAR, at least in the US. I don't think Yamaha is interested in spending a lot of R&D $$$ to create another orphan bike for a small niche of a larger niche.
This has the potential to be a great bike, and get the Big 4 competing in the big dual sport market in earnest. I'm at least going to reserve judgement until I can read about it from someone who has ridden one and not just speculate. I'd like to see one of these and a BMW GS weighed side by side, and my guess is that they'll be pretty close in actuality (<8%). And then it is all about how it performs and how it meshes with your particular riding style.
And I disagree that they won't take sales from current BMW riders if it is a good performer. There is a subset of people riding BMW's who are sick of the company's crap, but like the way the bike works. Or have been stung by serious mechanical issues (read: $$$$) and just deal with it because there is no easy alternative with a shaft drive. Now there may be another fish in the pond that gives people some options.
I'll eagerly await learning more about the bike. More choice in the marketplace is generally a good thing.