Seat Concepts Installed
2008 Versys Seat Concepts Kit Installation
Like most owners, I found the narrowness and forward slope of the stock seat uncomfortable and awkward. I am a 6í2Ē male. I wear 32x34 pants. I weight shy of 180lbs. in full gear. (Sorry ladies, happily married.) I tend to lean to the sport and sport touring. I am a track rider and racer. Previous street bikes Iíve toured on include 600 Ninjas, CBR600s and 900s and a VFR750 (for a decade on the VFR). As you can guess, the CBR900 was the least comfortable. My 2004 GSXR750, though for track use only, had one of the most comfortable stock seats. Comparing the stock Versys seat to those bikes left me wanting. Having installed a Seat Concepts on my KLR650, I was already familiar with their product, and for me I was confident their Versys kit would be an upgrade. So, thatís where Iím coming from.
The kit will come in a box. Duh. The box will contain front and rear seat foams, a vinyl cover, instructions and a couple decals. I recommend all labor be performed in the sun. This will aid in keeping the vinyl soft and workable. This includes removing the stock cover. You will need some Foam/Fabric adhesive, a screwdriver to pry staples, pliers to pull staples, a staple gun and ľ to 3/8 heavy duty staples. I recommend ľ if you can get them. The pan itself is less than ľ thick around its outside edges. I used a mix.
First, read through the instructions. Second, get a mild soap (I used Simple Green) and clean and rinse the slimy mold release from the bottom of the foam. Squeeze out excess water from the foam with towels, then let foam set in sun to dry. The foam adhesive wonít work if you donít perform this step. Lay the new cover in the sun next to the drying foam. This will warm and soften it.
While the foam is drying, log onto YouTube and search for seat cover installation videos. Watch two or three and become familiar with the techniques other people use. This will really boost your confidence. While the foam is still drying, take your screwdriver and pliers, and start pulling staples. Thereís a lot of them. When all the staples are pulled from around the edges, notice the three strings wrapped and stapled around the three short posts in the center of the seat pan bottom. Remove the staples and slip the strings off the posts. You can now remove the stock cover.
The foam is next. There is very little adhesive holding the foam to the pan. The only adhesive I found was at the front that presses against the fuel tank. Just coax the foam off with your fingers and nothing will tear. Rub off any old adhesive that is stuck to the seat pan. Nowís a good time to clean your seat pan with some soap and water. Not entirely necessary, just nice to do since youíll be handling it and setting it on you pants and against your shirt during the install process.
Next is the mock up. Lay the foam onto the pan. Youíll notice it fits on perfectly, as it was molded using a stock seat pan. Now stretch the cover on over the front to the back. Sit with the seat in you lap and just start smoothing and massaging the cover on over all the edges and bends. Youíll see the cover taking shape. Turn it over in your lap as you are smoothing and shaping and get an idea of where some staples will be placed. This just allows you to build a picture and plan. Thereís no need to rush.
Next you will need to apply some foam adhesive. So, pull the cover off and remove the foam. The only place I applied adhesive on the front pad is around the front edges to hold them down for the cover fitting process. I didnít shoot any of the base. On the back foam, I shot adhesive around the edges for the same reason. Youíve already fitted the foam in the mock up, so you know it fits perfectly. Shoot your adhesive and place the foam on the pan. It takes about a minute of you holding and massaging it into place.
Now, sip some beverage and stare at your project.
Next is the time consuming part. Securing the cover. First, feed the three strings through the three pan holes. Hereís a tip. Once youíve fed them through, put paper clips on the ends so they donít pull back through the holes during the cover install. Fit and massage the rest of the cover into place. Now its time to staple. A couple staples in each end is how I started. I treated the Versys seat as two separate seats. I found it easy to secure the passenger end first and alternating side to side and working to the middle. Then I secured the three strings. DONíT PULL TOO HARD ON THE STRINGS! They will tear away from the fabric. I pulled one off. No panic. I just pulled some staples, grabbed a needle and threaded the string around the wire and back out the hole. Next I worked my way around the driver seat front to middle.
Donít try to get it all perfect the first time. Donít shoot staples every inch along the way as you go. Get the key areas first. Youíll fill in later. When you have the cover ĺ of the way stapled, install it on the bike. The tension of it being installed will create tight and loose spots. Note where the wrinkles are and remove the seat from the bike.
You will have to remove some of your original staples. This is perfectly fine. You might have to readjust tension on the strings. This is fine. Remember not to pull too hard on them. Donít make the project more complicated than it needs to be. Its as easy as an oil and filter change.
My impression of the Seat Concepts kit. Irritating narrow forward slope is gone. You will notice your inner thighs are resting on edges now. The sensation disappeared for me once I got feet on the pegs and was riding. Since Iím not sliding forward, I noticed I was sitting more middle/back. Nice even support. It does everything you hope it does vs. the stock foam shape. My daughter liked having the extra width on the passenger seat too. Since the slope is gone, I did notice some extra reach to the handlebars. Nothing extreme for me, as I am used to sportier bikes that lean me forward. I might experiment with different handlebar rotation. You canít expect everything to remain ergonomically the same with such a significant change. Yes, I can still get my knee down.
If you havenít considered it, I recommend the Seat Concepts kit. If you are on the fence, go for it. I think youíll be glad you did.