I watched the service guys at Kawasaki Rama 9 struggling to fit an SW Motech Skid Plate to a customers bike and wow, all I have to say is, installation is a royal PITA!
Thing is the Versys is really not a good choice for serious off roading due to its weight and the stock headers running UNDER the bike just waiting to be smashed.
Really the only thing you are protecting with the skid plate are the headers.
Personally if I wanted to make my Versys into a real off road bike I'd get some custom headers fabbed so that they run around the side and not under the bike and then have a small bash plate fabbed to protect the engine casing like this guy did:
OR go buy a KLX 250 and save your Versys for the road
When touring Laos with Ian (KLX250), West (KTM SMC) and KiwiJohn (D-Tracker 250) I realized that when the roads get really rough, you really want a dirt bike! Of course, when the roads are in good repair, then the Versys is the bike to have.
Versys can never be a substitute for a KLX and I have no intention in taking Versys to extreme off road conditions. This was pretty apparent when we were in Southern Laos at the beginning of this month on 250cc dirt bikes. Some roads would be extremely difficult and not safe on a Versys type of bike.
On the other hand, as you mentioned Tony "the stock headers running UNDER the bike just waiting to be smashed" and I don't want this to happen as I will be hitting some non paved roads from time to time.