Seat Concepts, version 2.0

670cc

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Back 5 years ago, when Seat Concepts came out with their NC700X kit, I ordered one right away, and installed it myself. It was about the first after market seat option available for the NC. I found the seat to be too wide, too hard, and it raised the seat height more than I liked. One good thing, however, is that it’s one of only two seats I’ve tried that removed from the forward slope. I kept the seat a week, and sold it.

Since then I’ve been on a 5 year mission to find the perfect seat. No luck. I managed to ride the NCs 45,000 miles on whatever I could find, but 2000 mile trips were my limit, and they ended in pain. It’s the NC’s seat, not me, because I rode my Goldwing 9,000 miles last June, with no butt pain at all.

Then I heard some rumors that Seat Concepts could build your kit with different foam densities. I read that their standard foam is meant for riders 165 pounds to something like 235 pounds. Woah, wait a minute, I’m on the very bottom of that range, at 165. I ordered a kit on line, and requested softer foam based on my weight. I got a call from SC confirming that my foam density request was acknowledged. A couple weeks later I got a call from the seat builder and we further discussed my weight (not that it’s a problem), and my goals for how the seat would feel. The kit arrived in August and I was busy with other projects, so the seat just sat. . . until today. My motivation to get it installed comes from the weather forecast. This brutally hot weather should end late this week, and motorcycle riding season returns!!!

I like this new foam. It sinks a bit, so I feel like I’m in the seat a little, not just on it, but it has a definite spring to it. If I raise up on the seat a bit, I feel the foam pushing back up at me. It has good support, but it molds to distribute the weight. Still, in regards to the shape, there are sharp styling edges that serve no purpose but to inflict pain, and the front is too wide and puts pressure on my thighs.

I marked the foam with guide lines, to maintain symmetry, and used a wood rasp and sanding block to shape the foam. I took a couple 10 mile rides, in between shaping sessions, and was very pleased with the shaping improvement. Again, the goal was to round off the sharp styling edges, and narrow the front section. The SC shape is built up high in the front by design, and it does remove the forward slope.

I was worried that the cover would not fit well after removing foam, but after the whole two hour cover mounting ordeal was over, I was quite happy with the fit. There are a few very mild wrinkles in the front where I made it narrower, and they might go away with time. If not, it looks fine, and comfort is way more important than looks anyway.

The only real test left is to ride about 1500 miles on a camping trip, and I think I might just do that next week to enjoy the cooler weather!

Pictures in the post below!
 
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670cc

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Pictures. It did happen.

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superdedooperman

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Very cool to hear. I know you'll let us know the long term review on it after a good ride. Can't wait to see how it works for you.
 

MZ5

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Nicely done! You’re now very nearly a custom seat builder! (-:

Looking forward to future updates on comfort.
 

halfmt1

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I also shaved down my Seat Concepts foam to suit me, and am very happy with it now.
 

670cc

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For the record, I’ve tried the following seats on the NC: stock, standard issue Seat Concepts, Saddlemen, Shad, Sargent, Russell Daylong, some of these with an Airhawk cushion or sheepskin, and now the modified Seat Concepts. I’ve used a Corbin on a prior motorcycle model and have no interest in trying a Corbin again for the NC.

The Saddlemen and the Seat Concepts eliminate the forward slope. The Russel probably does too, but I had other issues with it, so I can’t say for sure.

I’ve now sat on my new customized Seat Concepts for 1700 miles now, 1660 of that covered in the last 5 days, and I’m declaring it a success. Today I was on a ride for 11.5 hours, and all but maybe 50-60 minutes of that, I was on the seat. I took very fast breaks for a pee, snack and a drink, no official meal break, and there were three quick gas stops. The seat foam shape allows for the usual tactics, like shifting off to one butt cheek or the other, sitting forward, sitting back, and once in a while using highways pegs (which is a great option to have for brief, occasional use). It helped that it was a cool temperature, so sweating and chafing was not an issue. At the end of the day, no residual pain was noted from sitting on the seat all day. I feel like I could do it again tomorrow.

Obviously, having a good seat opens up more opportunities for long distance riding. The modified SC Seat is still not Goldwing comfort, but I believe the only remaining solution for seating improvements lies in changing the overall bar-peg-seat arrangement. The current rearward NC700X peg position makes it difficult to put my weight squarely on my buttocks when I want to. The ideal would be to reposition the foot pegs about 4-5 inches forward and 2 inches up, more like sitting at a kitchen chair, which is where I would expect them if the NC was a touring bike. Moving the main pegs is not really feasible, so this is probably the best it’s going to get. The bar-peg-seat position is great for riding the twisties, no quite so great for riding Interstates. “Your mileage may vary” based on your own body dimensions and how they fit the NCX.
 
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ScottHump

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Looks great, you did a really nice job.

I tried doing the same thing with the factory seat. I shaved it down, inserted a different piece of foam that I thought would be awesome. Stapled it back together... and hated it.

It looked horrible too. I called it Frankenseat. We can add "stapling seat covers" to the list of things I suck at.

I almost bought the seat concepts but decided to go back to a known quantity and had Seth Laam make a seat for me. It cost more than the seat concepts, but I had one on my Versys so I knew it it would be great. And it is. It's kinda like sitting on a leather office chair. Kinda firm, but soft too. It's awesome.

Glad to hear you solved your seat issue, and thanks for all the info.
 

670cc

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Looks great, you did a really nice job.

I tried doing the same thing with the factory seat. I shaved it down, inserted a different piece of foam that I thought would be awesome. Stapled it back together... and hated it.

It looked horrible too. I called it Frankenseat. We can add "stapling seat covers" to the list of things I suck at.

I almost bought the seat concepts but decided to go back to a known quantity and had Seth Laam make a seat for me. It cost more than the seat concepts, but I had one on my Versys so I knew it it would be great. And it is. It's kinda like sitting on a leather office chair. Kinda firm, but soft too. It's awesome.

Glad to hear you solved your seat issue, and thanks for all the info.
Thanks for posting. I have not heard of the Seth Laam Seat. I’ll need to investigate it.
 

ScottHump

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I'm lucky enough to live about 3 hours south of his shop in Redding, CA so I was able to do a ride-in and have it made while I waited. Most of his stuff is all done through the mail. I was there in June and he was booked through August. He does it all himself. Some people will send it back and ask for a modification, and he's totally cool about doing that. Dude knows what he's doing. If you do reach out to him, I would call him directly, rather than contact him via the website.
 

1wiseguy2

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Thanks for posting. I have not heard of the Seth Laam Seat. I’ll need to investigate it.
I believe he used to work for Russell Day Long seats. I have heard good things about his seats on my CBR 1100XX and ST1300 forums. I also heard that his prices are less then what RDL charges. You'd have to check to be sure though.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

670cc

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Yes, it is! It’s the best seat I’ve had on the NC to date. Unfortunately I’ve not yet taken a long trip with this seat version. I’ll probably do an 1800 mile trip in May, which will be a good test.
 
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