My 5 previous bikes have been old suzuki gs, and they had gear indicators.
My comment after testing a dl650 was "I hate it, I can't tell what gear it's in" followed by "but it doesn't seem to care".
After 2 years on the wee, I don't miss the gear indicator at all. I usually go up the gears until I'm in 6th and gear down twice or thrice when I need to accelerate.
There's not really a need to know; I'm either in top gear or heading there.
The gears are really close together on the wee (feels like a 500rpm drop, maybe someone has actual numbers), and they're pretty much there only to compensate for the engine's lack of torque. I find it really easy to figure out what to do with the shifter when I want to do it, and don't think knowing what gear I'm in would add anything to my motorcycling pleasure.
I have riding habits that are pretty set though, and that makesa it easy:
- When I take off, I shift until I'm in top gear.
- If top gear doesn't give me the oomph I need for the job, I go down one (or two), and shift back up when I pick up speed.
- I usually go down 2 gears before a corner, three for a sharp corner.
- I often find out I geared down too much and go up a gear (or two) mid-corner; that's ok, I'd rather approach in too low a gear than too high.
- After the corner, I shift back up to top gear.