Spent a few days riding around Laos on a rented Transalp 400 (see sig line). It was by far the biggest bike I saw on the road and we got looks everywhere we went. Speaking of roads, the road from Vientiane up to Luang Prabang was fine. A bit rough in spots but it was all paved. If you want to fit in with the locals and get service\ parts and have no one look twice, pick up a small cheap honda. If not, (and you are ready to live with the consequences,) then get what you want and enjoy the ride. For me, I had a 2008 DR 650 in Thailand for 3 years and I could not have asked for a better bike. If I was going to Laos, I would bring my DR.