Something is seriously wrong if you're only getting 8500 & 4500 miles on chains. Is the wheel being aligned with any other method than just eyeballing? I'm at 19,000 miles on my OEM chain and it's still in great shape. No kinks or overly stretched portions yet.
The cheap EK chain (the basic oring SRO6 version) is holding up now better than the last DID (same as the OEM 2017 model). The bushing on the front sprocket now has groves worn in from the chain links. Some excess friction was definitely going on there.
I met another versys gen 3 owner at the Yamaha shop in Whitehorse who also had a chain that wore out much faster than expected. Not sure if his was the OEM or not.
If going on a long trip with the original chain I'd just swap out that front sprocket and chain in advance or carry the spares and something to break the chain. The EK screw links are really easy to use and don't require the riveting tools. They self rivet, you then just need to get something to cut the chain.