Seating Made Easy: Seat Concepts DIY Seat Swap
An uncomfortable motorcycle
seat can really put a damper on a long ride and result in issues
such as pain, hot spots/pointers, being too wide or narrow so that
you don't fit on the bike comfortably, or being so slippery that
you're constantly readjusting. While most stock seats do a decent
job serving the average rider, there's always room for improvement.
The stock seat on our
Baja Brawler KTM 500EXC project bike wasn't horrible but we
knew there were better aftermarket options available, so we deiced
to upgrade with a Seat Concepts DIY Seat Cover Kit.
Seat Concepts offers a variety of seat covering options for just about every make and model. For our KTM we chose to go with the Carbon Fiber Gripper Series with orange stitching ($159.99, part# KT0171-11). The kit comes with a new seat cover that has carbon fiber style vinyl sides and a grippy, textured top panel that features ribbing at the front. In addition to the seat cover there's also a new foam piece to replace the stock unit. The foam is proprietary to Seat Concepts and has a memory foam-like feel to it. It's also denser than stock to provide plenty of cushion without being too hard or too soft-"just right," as Goldilocks would say. Follow along as we show you how easy the kit is to install.
The kit we used is the standard version, which is the same height
as the OEM seat. Seat Concepts offers a tall version which 20mm
taller, a low version which is 15mm lower than stock as well as
comfort versions in all heights, which offer a little bit broader
seating area for more comfort and improved weight distribution.
The stock seat on the KTM 500 EXC does a fine job, but the cover
doesn't offer a ton of grip-especially when compared to the Seat
Before you get started working on the bike it's best to set the new
seat cover out in the sun so that it will be easier to work when
it's time to wrap the foam. Start by removing the bolt from the
underside of the rear fender so you can remove the stock seat. Once
the seat is off, use a flat blade screwdriver to remove all the
staples from the underside of the seat cover.
After all the staples are removed start peeling the seat cover off.
There may be a bit of adhesive residue around the edges so make
sure work carefully around the edges until the cover is completely
With the cover off, work your fingers around the edge of the stock
foam to separate it from the seat pan. The foam is glued to the
pan, so if you want to keep intact so you can possibly reuse it,
then work slowly and once you have the edges free slide your hand
in and gently push up on the foam while pulling down on the seat
With the foam off use a piece of fine sandpaper followed by a mild
cleaner and a cloth to remove the leftover glue from the seat pan.
After the seat pan is clean and dry spray the underside of the new
foam or topside of the seat pan with some 3M All Purpose
Next align the foam over the seat pan then press the foam into
place. Be sure to push down all over the surface of the the top of
the foam to ensure it's securely mated to the seat pan.
After letting the adhesive set for a bit grab the Seat Concepts
cover, align it over the foam, and then start securing it to the
seat pan with a pneumatic staple gun and Â¼" staples. If you don't
have an air compressor you can use a heavy duty stapler. Start at
the front of the seat pan and tack the front of the cover. Then
flip the seat around, pull the cover tight, and tack the rear over
the cover to the seat pan.
Once the ends are stapled down begin tacking the sides down and
work back and forth between the left and right side while also
pulling the cover tight to ensure a nice smooth top surface. Around
the edges where there's extra material, use a pair of scissors to
cut a small V shape in the excess so that the flaps can be folded
over and stapled down.
It should take about 30 minutes or so to perform the foam and cover
swap-minimal time for a much improved seating area. The seat
profile is identical to stock but provides a more comfortable
cushion and the carbon fiber like side panels add a bit of style to
an otherwise boring part of the bike. As you can see, the top of
the seat has a textured surface which will provide plenty of grip
when racing across dusty trails.