First off, thanks for the warm welcomes! With the wait almost over, it's great to be welcomed by the community of the bike I chose. Even cooler to see how spread across the globe we are.
I see as many motorcyles each week in Norfolk as I did in a month in Dallas (big military presence in this area) and in general drivers here seem to be more accustomed to sharing the rode with them. And one of my coworkers has been riding for about 10 years and has offered to shadow me on city streets a few times so he can coach me on safe riding and general good practices.
Even still, I'm aware of the inherent risks and while I don't expect to use the bike for commuting (at least not for a few months), I'll still take it out more often than "sometimes on the weekends" so I'm actually building skills over time.
While I was binging on Versys-X 300 reviews, I found an installation video for "T-REX Racing" crash bars. They cover more area SWMs and even include their own frame sliders (errr... bar sliders?). Considering how both I are the bike will be new, I'm sure you can understand me opting for as much coverage as I can get. Regardless, I appreciate the suggestion!