I haven't taken mine on a whole lot of off-road adventures, but it seems very capable. This guy says it's a great bike, but it's not for off-road :frown2:. I think some folks here may disagree.
I like his channel too, but he's selling bikes. With him being a salesman, I think he was stressing the fun street aspects of this bike. I have to give credit to the folks from India that ride this bike and make videos. They have no qualms about taking this bike anywhere, and they're the ones that illustrated what this bike can do and were instrumental in my purchase decision. I don't have the skills to do hardcore off-roading, but, as he mentions, not a lot of people do that. I was watching some KLR videos and came to realize that I don't think that type of riding is for me; hence my decision of the Versys over the KLR. I also see what some folks on this forum do, and that's about all of the off-roading I'll need; more than enough in many cases. This bike has helped me evolve as a rider, and I feel much more confident on gravel.I like his channel. He also says some stupid and/or ignorant stuff sometimes.
I’ve done an occasional dirt trail in mine and hope to do more now that I have some scorpion iis on the bike but I think the biggest improvement off-road would be a more consistent power delivery than my 18 offers currently. First couple mm of my throttle is like flipping a light switch but I don’t think the 18s can be retuned yet.
You said it, those limitations are in your mind...In my mind the biggest limitations are the 17 inch front wheel and the non-switchable ABS. I don't ride very aggressively on gravel and always have to keep in mind how the ABS might act on steep downhills. The 17 inch wheel limits your ability to deal with obstacles. But so far I've not found any open forest service road that I couldn't handle. If you want to do single-track, that is another story.
Oh, you probably want to argue about "off-pavement" vs "off-road"...If you can't easily pick up the bike, do a standing doughnut, or slide off the back and stand the bike up, it doesn't belong off-road. I miss my Trail 70.