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with your time in the saddle, I'm not sure why you don't go for the 1100? The two bikes you're considering are almost identical, with 2nd tier components and pretty small engines (especially for the area in which you live.) the 1100 will give you torque which you can enjoy when needed.. it's not a powerful engine, just appropriate. Don't waste your time with the 696.
 

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Rode a friend's monster 800 today to help him get it back from a dealership. Most gutless thing I ever tried, struggled to keep 75mph on highway, no acceleration, and definitely needed some better brakes and suspension. I would definitely definitely get an 1100evo with the radial brakes and adjustable suspension.... World of enjoyment will open up for you.


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