In 2011, I got back into long-distance multi-country motorcycle travel. I had my new bike – a Yamaha XT660Z – shipped to Ushuaia, Argentina. A bike I had never ridden more than 5 miles.
When I first sat on it and rode out of town I had a feeling of euphoria, but after about 25 miles I wanted to get off, the seat was so bad – and I still had the whole American continent to ride.
I struggled through agonizing miles, but whenever I had an internet connection, I would search for solutions. There weren’t many; I found a few companies making custom one-off seats with very high prices and long lead times…the search continued.
Little did I know that at the same time, a fledgling company was growing in a guy’s garage in California. They had found the same problems I did – getting a good comfortable seat, at a reasonable price and within a reasonable timeframe.
They are Lendon Smith, Amy Smith, and Robert Lightfeldt, calling themselves Seat Concepts. An evolution in comfort and quality was on the horizon.
Skip forward a few years and after trying solutions like seat pads, silicon gel, different foams etc I heard about Seat Concepts, I was immediately interested and on the phone.
I had changed bikes by now and was on a KTM 625sxc, a rare bike – but Seat Concepts had a seat for it. I placed an order and a few days later, I received my seat cover and new foam; within 20 minutes, I had it mounted onto my stock seat pan.
The key to good quality parts for your motorcycle is simple: once they are mounted you never think of them again. This was the case with this seat, I rode this bike around the world in 2014, and honestly never thought about the seat once! Why?
It was comfortable, and it held me in place with its gripper top when I wanted it to, and it never made me not want to ride from discomfort from the previous day.
***in the Bartang Valley, Tajikistan
This Seat Concepts 2014 journey…
I was now a very big fan of Seat Concepts: whenever I heard someone complain about their seat those two words were all they needed to know.
Like a lot of people, I have more than one bike, but they all have something in common. They have Seat Concepts.
…Riding on Seat Concepts seats, I have covered over 125,000km and adding to that daily
So now you know I love Seat Concepts, but should you? It’s a company you probably know very little about, so here are some more in-depth details.
Originally based in Southern California, Seat Concepts moved to Idaho just over a year ago and expanded. The employees love the company so much they all moved too!
The new manufacturing facility is state of the art: they give you the option of a seat cover and foam and you do the mounting at home with a few simple tools or ship your seat pan to them and they will mount it for you, or a complete seat with a new seat pan from their vast inventory.
Their process is all in-house and this is how it happens:
A premade fiberglass mold is taken from stock to be used to form the seat foam, you can see they have literally hundreds of bikes and models covered, yours is in there somewhere
Then, the seat foam is mixed and injected into a mold to be a perfect fit to your stock seat pan…no cutting and shaving here.
You can choose standard, low or high seats on a number of models
***this is my seat foam being created before my eyes for my DR650. I asked for a slightly firmer foam, not an issue, a few buttons were tweaked and the foam started to flow
For some popular bikes, they held a stock of premade foams and covers. Lendon explained this was very rare to have this many sitting on the shelf, in a few days they will all be shipped out!
My new seat pan was getting prepared
My foam, once it had set, moved across the facility and was placed on the new seat pan. The mounting process began
While my seat was being finished Lendon showed a few new concept seats he’s working on adding to their vast range.
Seat Concepts vs stock seat
I’m extremely happy with my new seat; has it taken me to unique places in comfort?
A resounding 100% yes!
If you are ever in Idaho, drop in and say hello, and if you are like me you WILL be converted and become a Seat Concept customer for life.
I’m a RTW rider with over 300,000kms clocked since 2011 and I’m still riding and adding to that distance daily.