Thought i would offer some insight if i may. Bought the 790 R and very impressed with it. Was trying to adapt a BMW Urban GS to more off road duty but said the heck with it after a few mods and traded it in on a minty 17 1290 SAR. So i now have both 790 and the 1290. Biggest issue to date of the SAR is the height. With 29" inseam, it is a challenge. Nobody makes a low seat for it so will have improvise and make my own or have one done. I have the seat concepts new low on the 790 and that did the trick. Concur with all, 790 noticeably lighter, low center of gravity, very capable off road and a pleasure to ride. Not sure I would say cheaper feeling but engine is louder and def has more engine noise with stock pipe. Most all the same can be said about the 1290 (but not lighter or as nimble or as noisy eng wise ) but with super nice features the 790 lacks and the power that would turn Mother Teresa into an addict. Not sure what i am going to do. I may have suspension lowered on 1290 as I do not need all of the off road capability it has. That being said, lowered it would almost be too much "like" the 790 to bother...or would it? Not sure what to think. LOVE everything about the the 1290, especially the fuel gauge. Its, well,..normal. The 790 one REALLY sucks. Rode it home from TN to PA and found myself stopping too often for fuel, then I almost ran out. Besides showing only from a 1/2 or less, below 2/3rd of a tank, it flashes empty after getting it off the side stand. I have to turn key off and restart while riding for it to read accurately and stop flashing. It a shame. I pray they come up with a software update and get rid of that crap. What the hell were they thinking? Will have to spend some more time on both and maybe even do some back to back riding to compare best. Will post more as soon as I get an opportunity to do that if interested.