As a general rule, I'd guess that aftermarket seat options are second in popularity among bikers only to aftermarket screen options. So far, we've had a considerable number of aftermarket screen options for the 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT. However, the seat options have been slow in coming.
I noticed that Corbin was quick to come out with a seat for Yamaha's new FJ-09 and expected them to linger in the wings for another provider like Sargent to take the plunge on the 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT. However, in just a few short months since I saw the FJ seat on Corbin's site, reports are popping up all over about their new V1000 seat.
Now that Corbin is out with a seat, I thought I'd start a log on seat options among the remaining usual suspects.
Corbin ($452), website
I can't say that I'm digging the looks of the Corbin. That's not a bike seat for a sporty motorcycle. That's a seat for a stumpy cruiser or maybe it's better suited to throw over the back of a Shetland pony. Although they missed the mark on this one, Corbin is more than capable of designing sporty seats. Check out their 2015 Kawasaki Z1000 seat. Why couldn't they have lines like that on the Versys 1000 design?
More important, Corbin seems to have eliminated a lot of room in the butt area to move around on. It's important to be able to move around to change pressure points. Seems to me, you sit in a big hole on the Corbin and have no place to go all day.
Admittedly, Corbin isn't the top of my hit list when it comes to aftermarket seats. I've had a few of them and I never found myself falling all over myself like some people do about their corbins. In fact, one of the worst aftermarket seats that I purchased was a Corbin for my 2009 Harley XR1200; although, I have to admit that I could never find a seat that worked on that bike. However, unlike Corbin, at least the other full seat makers take returns when their seats don't work to the liking of the customer. Bottom line, I don't think this new Corbin is for me.
Seat Concepts (your pan, $169 +$20 installed), website
Seat concepts is not a complete seat. They ship a foam and a cover for you to install or you can send your pan and they'll install it for an additional $20. I really dig the lines on this Seat Concepts Seat much better than the Corbin. They only have the seat pictured on their site. I'd like to see one installed on the V1000.
Well, I sent an email requesting photos to Seat Concepts. Ask and ye shall receive, photos of their seat installed on a V1000.
It really does a good job toning down the Lake Placid-like ski slop/jump in the front while, apparently, not reducing (or increasing) the seat height.
Yeah, I'm still kind of digging the Seat Concepts package. Having experience changing out foams and seat covers, this could be a real economical option for folks looking for some modification to the seat, particularly up in that forward dip.
Baldwin (your pan, $425 vinyl-$750 leather), website
Dang, that's some expensive kit when you go the leather route! Plus, you have to surrender your stock seat to them, like a core exchange program. For those dollars, it would be nice to keep the stocker to re-install upon resale and separately sell the Baldwin (i.e. get some of that $$ back).
Kawasaki (Pound Sterling 411.95 = $627.45 at today's exchange rate), website
Last, but not least, is an option offered by Kawasaki itself. However, this option does not show on the U.S. accessories offerings. The link is to Kawasaki's EU Website. It is a gel seat and I suppose if anyone really wanted one they could find a way to have one shipped from the UK. It's not a bad looking seat, but I think it's the same design as the stocker, but with a gel insert.
Other usual Suspects with no current offering:
Russell Day-Long (your pan)
I contacted Sargent a couple months ago and offered my Versys for their design. They're based in Jacksonville. A few years back, they used my Yamaha Super Tenere for the design and construction of that seat. They advised that they didn't have plans for a Versys 1000 seat at that time. We'll see if that stands now that Corbin is out. Certainly my offer to use my bike stands.
I made a run at the Seat Options Foam and Cover. CLICK HERE for a link to my report.