I have seen a couple threads about the Versys as a first bike, and I thought i would do a little description of how my first 4 months have gone.
No trouble for me at all, so far. I've made it into my primary mode of transportation (at least when there is no ice on the ground or rain in the sky). I added a Givi E52 trunk and SW Motech rack, Powermadd hand guards, Garmin GPS, and recently (2 weeks ago) a full Arrow exhaust. Everything but the exhaust was a necessity for me.
I think the Versys was the perfect bike for me. Good ergos for sitting up straight, smooth power, good suspension, and nice seat. Now I'm not a tall guy (30" inseam), but I've got pretty comfortable at being on my toes. At stop lights I sometimes do a little dirtbike, stork stand. Would I want to lower it? Nah, I like being up high once I'm riding.
The R 1200 GS is still my dream bike, and I plan to go for a test ride in a couple weeks. Is the Versys a good starter bike? It all depends on who it's for. For me yes. It really proved to me that riding a motorcycle is something I want to do. It was a good transition ergonomically for the bike I eventually want to get into. I would recommend getting an older bike (cb750, xs650, etc) rather than a 250cc, with the idea being that you get a taste of what you next bike will likely feel like. Not just a scaled down version. In fact, I am looking to pick up a cb750 or xs650 to build up as a full on cafe bike.
I also want to say that this website has been a great help to me. Having such a good resource was one of the reasons I got the Versys. So thanks. See you guys out on the road.
2008 Kawasaki Versys