Friday, October 30, 2015

Seat Concepts Seat Upgrade

I have been mostly happy with the stock seat on my 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT after 18,300 miles, but, as the season comes to a close, I decided that I wanted to try something different that specifically might level out a little of that steep ski slope in the front of the seat. Here are some photos of what I'm talking about when I refer to the slope. You have a tendency to slide down that slope and incur all the consequences thereof ... if you guys know what I mean.

The aftermarket seat options for the Versys 1000 are starting to develop so I had a few things to look at. Here's a link to my Seat Options Post. I decided to go with Seat Concepts.

Upon return from my recent road trip, I had my new Seat Concepts Seat Foam and Cover waiting for me and my 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT. Seat Concepts doesn't sell a complete seat, just the foam and cover. The Seat Cost was $169.99 and shipping was just under $20.

You can self install the foam/cover, have a professional upholsterer install it or Seat Concepts will install it for $20 if you send them your pan. I've changed seat covers and foams before and find it to be much more of a pain in the rear than you'd expect. Personally, I think it's better to have a pro do it. So I dropped the stock seat and the Seat Concept parts off at my upholsterer, Anthony Custom Upholstery in Brandon, Florida. Anthony's has done a couple motorcycle seats for me and has always done a pretty good job. They've also done some auto restoration for me. They charged $75 to replace the foam and cover.

Here are some looks at the new Seat Concepts Seat installed:

Here is a comparo of two stock photos of the seat. The stock is on the left and a photo sent to me by Seat Concepts of the seat on a V1000 they'd previously done is on the right.

Initial specs and thoughts:
  • It's really a good looking seat! The different textures stand out.
  • The design takes out a good deal of that annoying slope in the front. The overall feel is much more flat than the stock.
  • The seat height of the stock seat is 33 inches. The seat height of the Seat Concepts Seat is 32.5 inches. Obviously, that difference comes out of the foam. Although only half an inch, I can definitely feel this difference. It feels like I'm sitting "much" lower in the saddle and my knees feel like they're "much" higher. I couldn't flat foot both sides of the bike before the Seat Concepts and can't after, but it comes with a sensation of sitting low in the saddle.
  • The width of the stock seat at is widest point in the seating area is 14.25 inches. The width of the Seat Concepts Seat (at the tag) is 14.75 inches. Ditto, for some reason I can feel that the seat is wider. I can sit way back in the seat without sliding forward due to a flatter seat and the no slip fabric.
  • The gripper material on the main and rear seat are highly textured for no slippage. You're definitely not going to slide around or into the remaining slope. That was one of the issues with the stock; you would slide into the slope ... crotch first, if you know what I mean.
  • I used the seat on a 5 1/2 ride (Sugarloaf Mountain Loop). My endurance level on the Seat Concepts seat is going to be exactly the same as the stock seat even though the foam is thinner. The seat clearly feels thinner. It also feels flatter. Even though it's definitely flatter, I feel like I'm sitting lower, in a valley. I think it's going to take some getting used to.
On the downside, there's always an issue and here's the issue I have with the new seat ... even though it's using the stock seat pan, there is a fairly significant gap between the seat and the tank/frame at the front! Not only can you see it in my photos below, you can also see it quite prominently in the comparo photo above. Again, ^ Seat Concepts sent me that photo of the seat on a black Versys 1000 and, admittedly, I didn't notice the gap that is now fairly clear.

These two photos show the gap on my Versys:

When I got the photos of the installed foam/cover before my purchase, I didn't notice that gap. In person, it's more than inconsequential. I do not think it's an installation issue. Rather, I think the cover may be a little on the short side causing it to pull back on the plastic seat pan.

Hmmmm. Not sure what I think about this. Obviously return isn't an option. Can I live with it? Probably. Perhaps the material will stretch a little and fill the gap. Or maybe the cover is too short. I once bought a seat cover that was too short and Dean at Anthony's sewed a piece on the front to make it fit. That may also be an option. I sent Seat Concepts a preliminary email asking some of these basic questions. We'll see what they say.

Not an issue to panic over, but I set up this blog to pass along my experiences and that's what I plan on doing.

Here's the response from Seat Concepts:

"I just looked over our pics of the seat we installed, yes the gap is a little larger than the oem, but it is no where as large as what you have. Our foam is much softer than the oem stuff, so in certain cases where it is very thin, like the area by the tank, extreme care must be used when installing the set cover to not pull it too tight and squish the foam too tight. Even when we install it, it still turns out a little larger, but not obtrusively so, especially when you factor in the extra comfort our seat provides. Also from looking at your pices it looks like the cover is just installed too tight in general and is causing the seat base to spread out at the bottom and compounding the situation."


Check out my blog post on other aftermarket Seat Options for the 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT.

In hindsight, I think I might now recommend having Seat Concepts do the installation of the foam and cover. It's their product and they know it best and that way you keep any issue that may arise between you and them.


  1. Thanks for your review it was very thorough.
    I may look at Certain Bailey's or Sargent.
    I don't need my seat any lower for sure. I'm 6'1 and don't want to lose that seat peg distance.
    Although being flatter sounds good I'd like to have more support under my thighs.
    Credit Bailey's and Corbin have a form you fill out and are truly custom built. Expensive tho.
    I had a Sargent on my ZG14 Concours and it was no better than the stock seat. ..
    The only advantage with Corbin is you have your stock seat still.
    So we'll see.
    Thanks again

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