1) Can anybody tell me if the new body style with the adjustability of the windshield made much difference?
Having ridden the Gen1 and now owning a Gen2, I have to say Yes. I've found I'm happy (so far) with the standard position of the shield and don't feel I need to experiment with changing the angle yet, even with now wearing an Arai TourX lid. But more so in the aesthetics of the bike. The latest bike looks much nicer (to me) and the changes seem to have helped eradicate the vibration issues of the Gen1. Which nicely brings us to point two.
2) Did the motormount explained by Kaw make that much difference in the vibration? And did it cure the blurred mirror syndrome?
The two main things that put me off buying the Gen1 was the looks (mostly of the headlamp) and more importantly, the vibes of the Gen1 which caused a terrible buzz around the front of the bike and mirrors that were practically useless. Now it's not like they were bad enough to stop me enjoying the bike (I was bringing this bike to its new owner and covered 250 miles which isn't the longest time spent on a Versys, but I think it gave me a good insight to the machine), but I just don't know if I could have lived long term with these annoyances should I have bought a Gen1 and did stop me buying one (things like vibration noises drive me crazy). However, there have been plenty of Gen1 owners who have taken the time to investigate these problems and there are quite a few opinions and fixes here to help a Gen1 owner get round these issues for the most part. But riding the Gen2 was (to me) such a good step forward. Kawasaki have listened to owners and done a good job of sorting out the early issues (mainly rubber mounting the rear engine mounting points and footrests) and it is a better bike to now ride (again, IMO).
3) If I can still get a new 09 for around $5K did the changes make it worth paying the extra $2K for an '11?
$2k is still a lump of money and if it was me, I'd try to get a demo run on both generations because $2k can go a long way to buying loads of accessories and farkles or going away for a nice riding holiday on the bike should you buy the Gen1. If you can't get any demo rides, personally, I'd happily spend the extra cash on the Gen2 as it's the newer model with less 'issues' and $2k difference between the latest model and a bike that is essentially two years older is a wise spend.
4) And as an off subject, how many miles are sensible riders getting from their tires with 95% road riding and a rare off road experience?
I think I've read here that some owners are getting up to 8 or 9k on the oe tyres. But the main complaint is that they aren't the most popular tyre and lacks grip in the wet and I don't know if anyone puts the same make back on come replacement time.
This will either help or maybe I'm talking absolute bollocks.
Good luck with your decision.