Yeah, I got a lot of bug eyed looks when they realized where I was from and what I was on. Even had a HD rider crap his pants, once he realized what I was doing.
The only advantage to a bigger bike would have been a little more grunt at 70mph and more weight against the wind.
My ass would still be sore, same with the shoulder.
Lots of good gas station conversations were had 1) because of the little bike, 2) because it had a NH plate way down south, and 3) because it was a motorcycle out and about in April, like a crazy person. I didn't tell them I had just ridden all winter on studded tires in the Arctic like NH.
As on my other various long distance motorcycle trips, people just gravitate towards a bike. Maybe it's because they realize you are alone or they just want a conversation, I don't know, but I've met some great people and had some crazy conversations. That never really happened as much doing the same in a cage.