My suggestion (especially since you now own it) is it to try to improve the experience that you shared. However, something to keep in mind is that this is a parallel twin and not an inline 4. That's not to say that a twin can't be relatively smooth, but the firing characteristics/compression/timing do tend give the motor a bit of a "thump".
You mention it's jerky, so I assume the engine is running as it should without missing or sputtering. Please share if it's not. You are correct about 1st gear-- it is geared pretty low (a stump puller in off road terms) and is more sensitive to throttle input.
Here's where I'd start, if it were mine. I'd mention it to my dealer to get their feedback, then would consider the following.
1. check slack in throttle cables and adjust to spec if needed
2. check slack in chain and adjust to spec if needed
3. ask the dealer if they would check/sync throttle bodies (TPS) to spec
4. change my sprocket gearing (increase teeth up front or decrease teeth in rear)
After I did these things, I'd reevaluate.
I recently rode a friend's GSXS 750 and had a similar experience. I checked the chain and it was way out of spec, on the loose side. An adjustment really helped with the abrupt on/off throttle transition. So, my point is to consider giving it a chance. In the end, it may or may not be the bike for you but addressing a few things just may help transition the bike. Also, I might try reducing my rpms or ride in a taller gear when traffic flow and circumstances safely allowed.
Good luck with your decision! Keep us posted.
Well, 600 miles and I can honestly say, I do not like my new Versys 650 LT. I took a 400 mile hill country ride yesterday in Texas and by the end of the ride, I was so disappointed, I called my dealer and started talking about my options. I should have researched engine types I guess, because this bike is so jerky compared to my other bikes. I've had Vstroms and most recently a Concours 14. When I let off the gas at speed, it throws me forward. The low end acceleration, especially in 1st gear is so touchy, I just do not feel comfortable with it. The seat seems to be shoving me forward also.
If you live near Austin and want a brand new Versys with 600 miles on it , let me know.
I think I am going to trade it in or sell it and get a FJR 1300. Anybody else have this experience or ways for me to salvage this bike?