WRT the above reference to motorcycle.com, they did a 9 bike shootout in 2015 here
which is more relevant, and is interesting reading.
I do wonder about their criteria for deciding the winner however when the KTM1290 Super adventure (the winner) "exhibited an unnerving weave above that speed", “Its tall shield would be nice on cold, wet or insect-ridden rides, but it was too obtrusive – even in its low position – for our coastal California environs, and it was also difficult to adjust.”
The Ducati got "The bigger and taller you are, it seems, the less you’re going to like the Ducati", and "Tom Roderick didn’t dig the Duc’s handling, complaining he couldn’t get it to finish corners without running wide, but it was our size XL Editorial Director Sean who liked the Ducati’s handling least, and took his vengeance by giving it a 7.5. Sean’s aggressive riding style, combined with his 260-pound mass and two saddlebags full of stuff, were just a bit much for the Ducati even with Sport mode selected and more damping dialed up; to him, the bike just felt too soft and hinged somewhere in the middle."
The BMW got "Nothing is as stable as the GS, and I mean nothing. Corners, high speeds, whatever, the GS is unflappable, even on the brakes in one of those bumpy, tight downhill corners through the gullies of the California Coast that terrified me on other bikes." and probably the most telling statement "The GS goes about doing everything you ask of it with mechanical precision,” says staff complainer Roderick, ”For many riders, its steadfast reliability to perform without much enthusiasm, though, may be viewed as kind of boring. It’s really hard to fault this bike, but then again it’s really hard to get enthusiastic about it either.”
So, if you aren't carting a bunch of gear and no pillion, and aren't tall, but want that shit-eating grin every time you start it, the Ducati's your pick. If you can tour on the Monster, then the Multi is easy. Best place to buy them 2nd hand is at your local BMW dealer.
If you don't let your ego spend your money, are past the stage of having to impress others, and want the most capable, but happy without that huge grin, then it's the GS
Oh, but don't buy the BMW luggage. Heaps of better stuff out there for the same or less money..
Oh, and the new Africa twin is indeed a good bike, but talk to someone who has had one a while. Surprising how many have traded them already.......