I'd definitely take JTS 140's advice and check the schedule for the factory demo rides and then hit two, not just one. Get there early and ride every bike they have at the first one.
Even if you think your gonna hate it. Where else are you going to be allowed to beat the snot out of someone else's $30,000 bike.
Then when the second one comes up you should have a pretty good idea of what you want, bring the misses and try the bike you think is what you want with the different options available on it so you can sort out what is important to you. Those options are more separately than packaged on the bike.
That is exactly what did. The OL bought her's on the first demo ride cause she fell in love with the XR and was good. The 8 ball was in her price range.
I bought the XC 8 ball because I didn't want the ABS brakes. Personal choice. Nothing wrong with them just I don't stop better with them and when you change the fluid in the brake system they can be a butt. I don't need anymore expensive things to fix, have enough.
Then after the demo ride you get a certificate for $1000 off that is good for a couple of weeks and you can use it at any dealer.
Shop around and see what they will come down to and check out their used inventory which isn't eligible for the rebate too. You could find what you really want, just the way you wanted it or even better a year or two old and save more than the grand by buying grandma's Sunday morning going to church bike for less than a new one - rebate.
Another suggestion is try to find a demo ride in a small town.
Our first one was in Cottonwood AZ which is a relatively small community and the route was awesome.
Had some great corners and was quite long. The guys leading the rides were really good riders so there were plenty of chances to run them hard and quick. The second ride was at AZ bike week . The route was much shorter and there was so much traffic on the freeway
that you could barely get up to freeway speed. Pretty disappointing after the Cottonwood ride. Try to hook up with a demo ride where traffic isn't going to be a real headache so you can actually find out what you are buying before you cough up the cash for it. Get there early because if you are going to ride every bike they have you will be there a while. The cool thing is those demo guys really don't care you can ride them all 5 x if you want. Just don't make them late for dinner.
I love baggers.
With a bagger the extra gear goes in the bags and when the weather changes I change too. Want to stop by the store, put a bag of groceries in each bag. Driving rainstorm? No worries the bags are waterproof. I keep a compressor and tire plugging kit on hand.
I generally end up fixing other peoples tires but every once in a great while I actually fix one of my own. Usually on the car.
but you meet people who are actually very happy to see you that way.