We will split this into two parts - on the road and off it. Because ADV.
On the road, the Versys is a joy. It's got a neutral balance, decent turns lock-to-lock, and a low seat height that allows you to put both feet firmly on the ground. And though its not exactly a light bike, moving it around on muscle power alone won't leave you with shredded tendons. It's also easy to filter through traffic with.
Away from the city, its straight line mannerisms are typical of a big bike. It just stays on its intended line of travel no matter the crosswinds or change in surfaces. Even around corners, it might not be as agile as street nakeds with its slightly lazy trail, the long travel suspension, and its high handlebar, but it is anything but cumbersome or uninvolving.
It doesn't feel vague when you tip it into a corner; it doesn't skip or wallow if it encounters a mid corner bump; and it doesn't flex or feel skittish when powering out. Sure, it needs positive and slightly exaggerated steering inputs, but once you have steered it, it holds on to its line, like a dog does a ball.
Off-road, the Versys won't blow your mind. It might run spoked wheels - 19 and 17 inches, front and rear - but it uses more road-focused IRC tyres. And, you can't turn the ABS off, even for just the rear wheel.
Then there's the high-strung engine. The parallel twin is borrowed from the Ninja 300, and it hasn't lost any of its top-end potency. It also creates unnecessary vibes at the handlebar, seat and foot pegs between 5,000-7,000rpm. Rev past it, and the bike runs smoother and it finally begins to pull with vigour.
Yes, the low end grunt is relatively weak on this engine, which is very uncharacteristic of an adventure motorcycle, big or small. So, to have any sort of control or purchase on dirt, one needs to wring the hell out of the Kawasaki at all times. And, that's not just rude to the bike, it's tiring for the rider too.
Having said that, the X300 does have a few off-road friendly traits. Its slim waist makes it easy to grab the bike with the legs. The fuel tank design allows you to hook your knees when standing up. And, the handlebar is high enough not to necesate excessive bending. To ride standing up comes easy on the Versys.