I went through the same upgrade path, 04 Ninja 500, and love the Versys. It fixed all the shortcomings of the 500 IMO. The Versys has a very linear power band, which is better for street riding, in comparison to the 500 and produces slightly more torque and HP. It also has all day comfortable ergonomics (huge improvement over the 500), feels slightly more refined, has more sophisticated and adjustable suspension and uses modern, radial tires that adhere and track better than the old narrow bias plys on the 500 do - it just makes it feel much more confident, planted and stable in the corners and at higher speeds.
On thing you will initially notice is a higher CG (center of gravity) compared to the 500 at stops, but this goes away after the first few hours of riding. Both bikes actually weigh a similar amount, but the Versys carries the weight higher up. Some Versys also have fairings that buzz when the engine RPM reaches their resonate frequency. Nothing to worry about though as this is correctable with some foam tape applied to the underside of the plastics, to isolate the panels from one another.
There is no perceptible difference between 2007 to 2013 models other than cosmetics. In 2010 they changed the fairing styling, made a very, very minor change to the seat shape and modified the rear engine mount supposedly to reduce vibration but I cannot feel a difference.
Suggest setting up an email alert on Kijiji using the word "Versys". It will notify you every time someone posts a new Versys. You may also want to do this for the Toronto and Montreal Kijiji sites - each local requires setting up it's own alert.
Last edited by twowheels; 05-08-2013 at 02:20 PM.