I thought the grills looked goofy for the first few days of staring at them when they first came out. I do like them now. I think the plain panels actually look out of place. When Roaring Toyz did the showbikes for Kawasaki, they painted the grills bodycolor. I was going to do that to mine... then Kawasaki did it for me this year. Thanks Kawi! I would think they are there for aerodynamics and not just "looks".
Did a 120 mile ride on it yesterday. Tough to keep the thing under 4,000 rpm! It has proven to me why I bought it ..... nice and comfortable and heavy enough not to get blown all over the place. It was really windy yesterday with gusts over 40mph. I might look into risers from Twisted Throttle. My neck might appreciate it on the longer rides (200-500 miles) I like to do.