OK, I'll go first. I would take the blue over the silver any day. As for the E-shift, Why? Wouldn't that be more suited to a scooter or entry-level bike than thier premier sport-tourer? It seems like an answer to a question that nobody asked.
(Oh, and don't even get me started on the gear-position indicator).
Because all those things make sense for hours of freeway droning on your road trip...how does a semi-auto help you out when you're going 70mph in the same gear and you never have to shift besides stopping for gas/food?
My wife's new car has a 6 speed auto with steering wheel mounted paddle shifter. Spend most of Labor Day week spanking it in the W. NC Mts. (don't worry...I spend the long labor day weekend spankin my bike, too). Paddle shifters are cool.
Hey, its something interesting and different from Yamaha. Why not? And even better: another year with a premier Sport Tourer in something other than funeral Black or Brick Red. Finally!
My car has a clutchless manual or SMG (Sequential Manual Geaerbox) as BMW calls it and it drives me crazy sometimes. The computer can only react to what you do with the throttle and by then you're lurching away from a stop like a 16 year old learning how to drive a stick-shift for the first time.
Plus, what's that Yamaha gearbox going to cost to fix many years down the road when it's out of warranty?