Jeff, you should look up ed29 on TWT. He splits his time between DFW and Terlingua and owns a V, as well as a couple other dirt-oriented bikes. He can give you some really good info about what the V can do on gravel and what you might want a different bike for.
Me personally, I thought about converting my V to be more dirt-capable, but for the price of new tires and engine guards and a bash plate and barkbusters and maybe a 19" front wheel conversion, I just bought a 1997 DR350SE to park next to the Versys and use to play in the dirt. Right tool for the job and all that. Where the Versys feels bouncy and a little skittish on gravel, the DR just floats. I didn't realize what I was missing.
Still, it's not cheap to buy a new bike, and if you've already got most of the right farkles it may be better to just take the V. 90% of where you can take a bike has to do with the rider, not the bike.
I'd rather be riding.
2005 Triumph Speed Triple | 2009 Blue Versys
1997 Suzuki DR350SE (sold) | 2004 Triumph Speed Four (sold) | 2008 ZX6R (sold) | 2008 Concours 14 (sold) | 2007 Suzuki M50 (sold) | 2006 Ninja 500 (sold)
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