Seat rant (again, I'm sure) - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Seat rant (again, I'm sure)

It's been said before, but I'm saying it again - Seems like no matter what bike you get, the seat is almost ALWAYS the weekest link (with a few exceptions).

I sometimes wonder if so little engineering goes in to the butt to bike interface because most people spend less than 30 miles at a time on their cycles. Kind of think that has to be it, honestly, because dang near anything would be better than the crap you get stuck with on the majority of bikes. Even some of the bikes set up for middle-weight touring just have absolutely horrible seats.

Current case in point: the Versys. It's almost as though they planned on the maximum ride being about an hour. By the time I reach that hour, my tail bone is aggravated with me and ready for a break. I usually just deal with it, stand for a few seconds, roll to the back seat, something like that. Having to constantly adjust myself all over the place stinks. After another 45 minutes or so in, and I REALLY start noticing that tank-ward slope to the seat and the resulting numbing is less than fun.

I understand that the bike basically has to be designed for a wide range of uses and the most common of which for virtually any bike in the states these days is garage decoration. It's also fairly expected that a heavily dual sport machine have a thin seat as opposed to a wide one, so on and so forth. I also understand that there are cost factors involved with using better foam/materials, design, etc. Butt sheesh. /rant

A few decent sized rides on the Versys have convinced me to buy a different saddle. They're expensive, but I intend on keeping the bike for a good long while, so I can justify it to myself (and more importantly, my wife! ;D). Here's what I think I might end up going for:
http://www.day-long.com/gallery_Kawasaki/Versys.jpg

2008 Versys - 37k miles
Givi - V35 Monokey Saddlebags - Large windscreen - Tail rack with v46 trunk
Speedy's - 1" Handlebar risers - Footpeg Lowering blocks
Osram 65W Bright replacements
Kawasaki Handguards
... And the all important gremlin bell, courtesy of my wife.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psalm11_6 View Post
A few decent sized rides on the Versys have convinced me to buy a different saddle.
I think you just made the case for the manufacturers to continue making seats as they do. People like to customize to their liking and each person is built different, and they can't make everyone happy anyway!
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 06:56 PM
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I've had a Corbin, Russell Day Long and the Baldwin Tall. The Baldwin was the best. i sold the others. Did 850 miles in 15 hours the first day then 550 miles in 10 hours the second day when i rode from texas to california. BTW i have the Baldwin up for sale http://www.kawasakiversys.com/

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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I saw the Baldwin.. I really want a legit backrest though and the passenger seat doesn't look nearly as comfy on the Baldwin either.

2008 Versys - 37k miles
Givi - V35 Monokey Saddlebags - Large windscreen - Tail rack with v46 trunk
Speedy's - 1" Handlebar risers - Footpeg Lowering blocks
Osram 65W Bright replacements
Kawasaki Handguards
... And the all important gremlin bell, courtesy of my wife.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 08:16 PM
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I'm guessing that the manufacturer's main concern is styling and getting those lines as close to perfect as possible... And if it hurts the rider's butt a little more than they'd like... So be it. I'm pretty certain if all new Versys' came with a Russel Day Long saddle most shoppers would pass it by because those darn things just ruin the motorcycle's basic lines. (I'm being nice here.) In addition... that stock seat helps keep the overall price down so we aren't coughing up Beemer level dollars for our rides.

Myself? I have an Airhawk and a sheepskin from a previous bike to boot... and they did a great job on my 760 mile weekend last month... And once home they came off until my next long run.

GeneHil - Mount Dora, FL
2011 Kawasaki Versys
Viet Nam: Dec67-Dec68 & Jul69-Dec72

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 08:44 PM
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A bike designed for the international market has to fit small people. The slope to the front on the Versys seat allows people with short inseams to reach the ground. I'm guessing it's as simple as that. Here's what I did:
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Versystole View Post
A bike designed for the international market has to fit small people. The slope to the front on the Versys seat allows people with short inseams to reach the ground. I'm guessing it's as simple as that. Here's what I did:
The forward slope is so when y9u are riding in the sport position your butt and back are in the correct position. I have no issues with the slope, but do want more comfort for those 400 mile days.

If the seat were flat my balls would get squished when I lean forward for the twisties.

The bike is a sport bike.

My Versys Travels:


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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 10:42 PM
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I played with mods to my seat last Summer and into the Fall. Made one last mod but then weather closed in and other than quick ride to the gas station in December hadn't tested it. Did a good ride this weekend and have it tweaked to where it needs to be done right. So I'm on Loren's schedule for Baldwinizing in a couple months.

With the stock seat I was uncomfortable in 20 minutes. Lowered pegs got that to 30. The mods I did were good for over an hour. Not sure how much more...yet.

It is impossible to make a seat that will work well for everyone. So as far as I am concerned the cost of a custom seat is just part of the cost of the bike.

2009 Kawasaki Versys
SWM Engine Guard; Windscreen de Jour on a MadStad bracket; Motowerk Peg Lowering kit & Stand Big Foot; ProTaper ATV Low bars; Stebel horn; KTM Duals Rear Rack; Coocase 36L topcase...and more to come


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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 11:02 PM
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Kawasaki factory gel seat. That is all I will say.


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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 11:12 PM
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A few decent sized rides on the Versys have convinced me to buy a different saddle. They're expensive, but I intend on keeping the bike for a good long while, so I can justify it to myself (and more importantly, my wife! ;D). Here's what I think I might end up going for:
http://www.day-long.com/gallery_Kawasaki/Versys.jpg[/QUOTE]


There's a Russell on Ebay right now.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twowheeladdict View Post
I have no issues with the slope,
Then you're in the minority - The overwhelming majority of complaints on this forum concerning the seat are about having to resist sliding forward, which takes energy and contributes to muscle fatigue and discomfort on long rides. When I went to Corbin for my custom seat, the first thing they asked was if I wanted the front of the saddle raised...
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 05:31 AM
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It has always been my view that the versys stock seat is okay and i can ride a 350 mile day no problem, my friend has a kawasaki Z 750 and that seat is a board and he thinks my v stock seat is luxury, do have a complaint about my ninja 1000 seat as you spend all that money on a bike like that and the seat is a lot less comfortable the the versys.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 05:45 AM
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Then you're in the minority - The overwhelming majority of complaints on this forum concerning the seat are about having to resist sliding forward, which takes energy and contributes to muscle fatigue and discomfort on long rides. When I went to Corbin for my custom seat, the first thing they asked was if I wanted the front of the saddle raised...
Agreed. I've only had my Versys for a week and I already don't like that slope. I'm going to try and shave it down this weekend using CJBROWN's tutorial. http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=11152
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 06:02 AM
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Get the original airhawk. Medium size. Lasts forever and you can transfer between bikes. Only around $150.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 06:17 AM
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What I find scary is that my stock KLR seat seems more comfortable over long rides than the Vesys seat. I have tried the Kawi Gel seat and an air hawk. The air hawk was better than the gel seat but neither fixes the forward slope. If I wanted to ride bent over I would have bought a Ninja or something like that. The seat should match the Versys seating position. I'm hoping the Sargent seat works.

" I don't care about shinny chrome or loud exhaust, I don't ride to be seen, I ride because I want to disappear"

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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 07:31 AM
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Until I lower my Versys I'm using the low gel seat. I find during warm weather it is pretty comfortable. Anything below 36 degrees and I might as well be sitting on the plastic pan of the seat.

I've been toying with the idea of cutting some of the underside of the stock seat to well out the area to provide a lower compression area for my tail bone and shaving the sides to slim it a bit so my legs aren't thrown so wide out to the sides.

I really don't feel like buying another stock seat if I screw it up. As a temporary fix I went and bought a atv gel seat cover. Sadly it works but it's basically like using the stock size for the Versys now.

I've been delaying the lowering of my V for almost a year now but I'm faced with the fact I have stubby legs.

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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 08:05 AM
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Having highway pegs, raising the front of the seat, and standing briefly on the pegs periodically have helped (as well as having a Baldwin seat.)

In cold weather, wearing fleece lined jeans helps with interior friction, as does wearing seamless undergarments.

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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 08:23 AM
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I have tried the Kawi Gel seat and an air hawk. The air hawk was better than the gel seat but neither fixes the forward slope.
For me the airhawk works, the key is that you need to push the airhawk forward a bit more than expected so one end is overlaping the tank by 1/4 an inch or so.

Then, as you position yourself, start from the back and then move your body weight forward. This will force a lot of the air into the front most pockets which will even you out.

This sounds complicated but it really isnt Once you get used to it its a 1 second motion.
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
I've had a Corbin, Russell Day Long and the Baldwin Tall. The Baldwin was the best. i sold the others. Did 850 miles in 15 hours the first day then 550 miles in 10 hours the second day when i rode from texas to california. BTW i have the Baldwin up for sale http://www.kawasakiversys.com/
Ohhh Kaaay, I'll bite. The Baldwin is the best and now it's for sale?? Hmmmm. Does that mean it's good for about 1400 miles or 25 hours and then it's toast??

Don't tell us you've found something better and are keeping it a secret.

Arion

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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 09:01 AM
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MikeV, before you spend any money, we should get together so you can try my seat on your bike. I ordered the Seat Concepts kit and installed it a week or so ago. I find it a major improvement on the stock seat.

I'm planning on going to a motorcycle club meeting in Frederick on Sunday. If you want to get together after lunch, let me know.

George
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