There has been, is, and probably always will be, a fair bit of conjecture about the V being capable offroad.
I just wanted to share my V story from a true Aussie dirtbike riders point of view.
Im sure there are many on this forum that ride both offroad and street as well as somewhere in between, and my thoughts may well be shared by others here.
I ride true offroad (by definition) on my DRZ400 and DRZ250. There is no road. The best it could be described as is a mountain goat grazing trail or an extreme bushwalkers walking trail...single trail, enduro..whatever you want to call it...the Versys DOES NOT
However, the Versys makes a fine gravel runner and adventure tourer. In outback Australia a greater fuel range is necessary, but simply strapping a 5 litre fuel can on the back is no big issue.
Im a glass half full kind of bloke, and Id take my Versys anywhere a GS rider would take his Beemer, no questions asked. Perhaps Im more confident than others in my ability handling the Versys on gravel roads and firetrails because Ive done so much enduro riding, but I really enjoy getting it on gravel. Sometimes just cruising along taking in the scenery from the road less travelled is my thing, other times I really enjoy powersliding it through corners. The V handles both with ease and comfort.
Where it lacks is suspension travel at the front. An extra 2 inches (perhaps 3) would be ideal. But as long as you take it easy on rutted and eroded trails, then its fine...or go fast enough to skate across them
In summary, the V makes a great adventure tourer where it will spend its time on bitumen, gravel/dirt roads, and firetrails (forest service roads) provided its set up to do so with some proper tyres. Its every bit as good as the V-Strom, if not better due to the lighter weight. A 19" front wheel would be nice, but a 130/80 front tyre gets the diameter pretty close to that of a stock 19" dual purpose tyre anyway.
Mods on my 2007 Versys are...
SW-Motec Crash bars and engine guard
Full Givi luggage
DanMoto exhaust (contemplating a custom high mount one though)
Protaper ATV High bars and pillow grips
Barkbuster Storm hand guards
Oxford heated grips (it gets cold in my part of Australia!)
Givi touring screen for winter
Supermoto high mount front fender
Custom fork protection (required since factory front fender is removed)
Some random $20 ebay mirrors (much better than Kawasaki ones)
Speedy peg lowering blocks
Random $10 ebay steel offroad foot pegs
Oxford tank bag
Spot lights (mounted where front indicators normally are)
Avon Distanzias but will be upgrading to either TKC/Karoo/Kenda