Give us your height and inseam measurement and we can make some more specific recommendations.
I am 6'2" with a 32" inseam and the stock Versys (2009) is cramped for me. I put in Speedy's (Motowerks) peg lowering kit and cut the pillion back about 1.25" so I could shift my butt back. Where I had to force my knees to hug the tank before I now naturally am in the right position. I also added padding to the front of the seat to force it to be more neutral and keep my crotch off the tank but that didn't affect riding position that much.
After all that I needed 2" risers and chose to put on new bars for ergonomic reasons (broad shoulders, stockers were NOT comfortable) and it is now a VERY comfortable ride.
The peg lowering kit also fixed the position of the rear brake and shifter for me. IMHO, the stock position of the brake is for a more forward leaning riding position (Ninja) than the more upright position of the Versys.
The Versys makes a good first bike as long as you are willing to take the time to learn the bike. Get out and ride but more importantly find an empty parking lot and work on stopping to learn the brakes and some slow speed handling skills like you did in the MSF course. Take a few yellow tennis balls and cut them in half and they make excellent and very cheap "cones" to work with.
When I took my MSF course the instructor left us with these parting words (more or less):
"Congratulations! You are now qualified to ride a 250cc motorcycle in a parking lot. Your work has just begun. Now go out there and learn how to ride *your* bike."
2009 Kawasaki Versys
SWM Engine Guard; Windscreen de Jour on a MadStad bracket; Motowerk Peg Lowering kit & Stand Big Foot; ProTaper ATV Low bars; Stebel horn; KTM Duals Rear Rack; Coocase 36L topcase...and more to come
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