The Versys was designed to pass the current Euro CAT 3 standards, meaning the exhaust is very very quiet (we wouldn't want to upset the EU beaurocrats snoozing in the beds thinking up new whizzo schemes to fleece the EU taxpayer would we).
I like the sound of the stock Versys, but I like the sound of a aftermarket can better, it makes the bike sound more like a bike, and less like a sewing machine. and others (not all agree).
my solution was a MTC can, around £160 fitted. yes its noiser), but its not a straight pipe, there is some baffle to reduce noise, its road legal (in the UK as its BSAU stamped), and that will make it road legal elsewhere in the EU (except possibly Germany).
you can a feeling of the difference in sound here
..second bike has an MTC can
..first two standard, third as an MTC
as usual the sound ont he video isn't the same as live, but its better than nowt.
but you do need to be clear in your mind about what you are buying... a repalcement end can isn't going to give an significant performance improvement. some claim it makes the low end a bit freer and easier to ride but thats a subjective view.
as to noise affecting hearing, yes there is a possible issue, however its my understanding the main cause of hearing problems is the higher pitched wind noise (which comes in around 45..50mph, so I tend to ride with ear plugs no matter what)
as to a gear change indicator I believe Acumen http://www.acumen-electronics.co.uk/...ssories,b.html
do a range, some with voltmeters, some without which work for the Versys. If Acumen do it then Im sure there must be other manufacturers out there who would supply locally. apparently Acumen are sold through www.riderstation.com/
in the US