Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2012 Classic SE. Bought it 6 weeks ago (left-over sale with 1 mile on the OD). It, of course, came with the seat from hell. I've put over 2,500 miles on it in the 1st 6 weeks I've owned it :soldier:, and realized the seat has to go! The problem is, the wife doesn't want me spending another dime on parts or accessories :rolleyes: (currently spent over $2,500). So, if I get a Kawasaki Gel seat, she won't know I bought a new seat :D.

I can tell the seat I have is not shaped properly for long rides, no lower back support. I have read many posts on this subject, and have looked into all the options as far as having the stock seat modded, to buying a $300-$600 replacement seat. I can't get away with any of these. :(

Is the Kawasaki Gel seat a complete redesign over the stock seat, or does it just have a gel layer on the stock seat from hell?

A lot of you have commented that the Kawi Gel Seat is a huge improvement over the stock seat, but no one has stated if they can drive all day on one, or that the rider's position is the same or different then the stock seat. I believe my position needs to be shifted back in the seat a few inches so the front of the passenger seat can provide a bit of lumbar support. Is that the case?

Any info is more than appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
It is a redesign with less of a "crown" that the stock seat has. It is the crown in the seat that puts pressure on the tailbone that makes the stock seat uncomfortable in my opinion.The gel seat is a bit more comfortable but with one problem. The gel gets extremely hot when left in the sun. The overall comfort is better but still lacking a bit.

To provide more comfort I added a medium airhawk cushion. On top of that an Alaska Leather sheepskin pad. The sheepskin hides the airhawk and prevents any heat buildup in the gel seat. I can ride all day now in comfort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Good info!

Do you notice if you sit further back? Is there any increased back support?

I have seen multiple posts on the heat build up. That is a problem with any black leather seat in general, the fact that the gel retains that heat just amplifies the uncomfortable conditions that come from sitting on a hot surface for extended periods of time. Doesn't covering the seat when parked or parking in the shade help alleviate how much heat the gel builds up?

She already keeps a towel in the saddlebag to sit on when the bike is parked in the sun, so I don't think she should notice a huge difference there (I hope).

I ride 2 tank rides with her, 1 out & 1 home. Luckily she has the bladder of a 3 year old, because I need to stop almost every hour as it is to walk it off. In your opinion would the Gel seat make the difference I need to love my bike to the fullest? Or do I have to really piss her off and spend another $500 on the bike?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
I have not sat on the gel seat but I recommend pissing her off...you can buy a Mustang seat with backrest for under $550 on your doorstep and she gets a better seat and you get a great seat with backrest which will change your whole experience. There is also a good used market to sell the seat later if you want to get rid of the bike and this way you can recoup most of your purchase cost. Good selling point for your wife. You may even get lucky and find a used one here for sale...I have seen several over the last year that are used but near perfect condition for under $300. The backrest is just such a comfort you will never know how you rode without it. Without a decent seat these bikes are just not worth struggling through the pain. Just something to think about. I have done three 500 mile days on mine back to back to back....that could not happen on a stock seat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I recommend pissing her off...you can buy a Mustang seat with backrest for under $550 on your doorstep and she gets a better seat.
Thanks for the recommendation Dirtwiz. The problem there is all the mixed reviews. Some people love Mustangs, some Saddlemen, Max & Willies, and so on... Just as many people out there hate them all. There really is no way to justify that much money to her without knowing she's going to love it. Heck, she loves the stock seat:eek:.

The easiest way for me to get an upgraded seat is to sneak a factory looking replacement on there. If I get caught, it was only $200. I can pick it up at the shop in 3 days, and take it to a friend's house to install.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
Doesn't the gel seat have cross-hatch stitching across the top of the seat? That would be a give away as the stock seat has no top stitching. I don't have one, just seen pictures. Put me down in the Mustang seat love column. Once you have a seat with a back rest you'll wonder how you ever lived without one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
+1 with Dirtwiz. Most of us have been through this dilemma. Most of us have better things to do with $400+ than buying a seat for a new bike we just purchased. I researched this a long time before I finally bought a Mustang seat. Best thing I've done to the bike. It makes all the difference in the world. No more pain after 45min - 1hr. The majority impression I got, and you can do all the searching yourself, is that you are not going to be happy with the Gel seat. Some improvement, yes. Put the money towards a good seat or you'll probably be spending more later, if you throw it away on a seat that's not going to do the job. If there was a better or less exspensive way, people would be sharing it with you. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Doesn't the gel seat have cross-hatch stitching across the top of the seat? That would be a give away as the stock seat has no top stitching.
There are a couple factory gel models: K53001-190, K53001-193, & K53001-194. All plain leather gel seats, just have to choose which one is closest to the stock seat. Thanks for pointing out the cross-hatch stitching Rogereh :beer:, I believe that's the 190 model, that one also looks like the passenger seat is rounded where the stock is squared.

+1 with Dirtwiz. Most of us have been through this dilemma. Most of us have better things to do with $400+ than buying a seat for a new bike we just purchased. I researched this a long time before I finally bought a Mustang seat. Best thing I've done to the bike. It makes all the difference in the world.
I'm sure it does Akgeezer, I'm convinced. The problem is that for every 1 person that likes a particular seat, there are 3 more that hate it. From the posts I've been reading, some on here believe that Mustangs are worse than the stock seats. Sneaking a $200 stock gel seat on will allow me to enjoy the rest of this year, and give me more time to research and possibly hook up with other riders and sit on their bikes. When I am able to talk her into a $500 seat, I'll be able to sell the Gel seat here for $100 or so. A lot of us on here on a budget :coins:.

I will let you all know how the Kawi Gel seat works out. Thanks for all the posts and suggestions :peace:.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
From my research you have your Mustang seat like/dislike percentages quite a bit off. When I was deciding on which seat to buy it was more like 10 to 1 that liked it. There are several reports stating that it is the most popular brand. The Kawa gel seat, however, is rarely liked. If you buy a replacement seat, then need to buy a pad (or two) to put on top of it, I think you probably made a mistake in your purchase. You could just buy those pads (which are not cheap and put them on your stock seat. Just saying...

I can affirm that I had a very painful month that I could not stand, walk, sit or lay down from the stock seat damaging my sacroiliac (aka tailbone). I DID NOT want to spend more money to replace a seat on a brand new 900 but it was either that or sell the bike. After researching and studying comments I decided to cough up the funds and replace with a new Mustang Wide Tourer with back rest. I can once again ride my bike (and for longer than 30 minutes). I have no experience with the other brands, which may be fine, but I can attest to the Mustang seat being a vast improvement over the stock seat. Your opinion may vary but don't waste your money on a Kawa Gel seat. You would be better off buying an Air Hawk pad for half that money. Keep in mind that most riders don't comment much on stuff that they like as much as commenting on stuff that they hate so there are hundreds of satisfied Mustang seat riders that are just being quiet about their replacement seat. You can go to most stores and see hundreds of cars in their parking lot but on a small group of people at the returns desk. Percentage-wise, that's several thousand satisfied customers to a mere small handful of dis-satisfied customers returning their purchases.
 

·
Living The Dream
Joined
·
1,512 Posts
You could also pick up a used stock seat and send it off to get modified. I have read somewhere in these forums of a guy (North Carolina maybe?) that tears it down, removes the stock padding and reshapes it with memory foam in all the right areas. Thought it was only $150 and you have it back in like 3 days? Not sure about total cost of seat and mods but you could sell your stock seat again on ebay to recover some funds.

I have had the stock seat (Blah!), a Mustang Wide (no backrest) it was OK, but inevitably purchased an Ultimate Seat. LOVE IT! Soft and all day comfortable! Very spendy, but worth every dime to me, even without a backrest. I then sold the stock and mustang seat on Ebay recovering 1/2 the cost of the ultimate. so really in the long run I only paid like $300 for it. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
You can also put a second airhawk on the pillion seat for more comfort. The sheepskin covers even though they are black, prevent heat buildup in the seat and add a lot of comfort. By the time you buy a gel seat, two airhawks and a sheepskin, you probably will have spent as much as a Mustang seat would cost.

As far as reworking the stock seat I had that done twice with no luck. The shape of the seat is just wrong. Too much pressure on the tailbone. A flatter seat will provide more comfort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
From my research you have your Mustang seat like/dislike percentages quite a bit off. When I was deciding on which seat to buy it was more like 10 to 1 that liked it. There are several reports stating that it is the most popular brand. The Kawa gel seat, however, is rarely liked. If you buy a replacement seat, then need to buy a pad (or two) to put on top of it, I think you probably made a mistake in your purchase. You could just buy those pads (which are not cheap and put them on your stock seat. Just saying...

I can affirm that I had a very painful month that I could not stand, walk, sit or lay down from the stock seat damaging my sacroiliac (aka tailbone). I DID NOT want to spend more money to replace a seat on a brand new 900 but it was either that or sell the bike. After researching and studying comments I decided to cough up the funds and replace with a new Mustang Wide Tourer with back rest. I can once again ride my bike (and for longer than 30 minutes). I have no experience with the other brands, which may be fine, but I can attest to the Mustang seat being a vast improvement over the stock seat. Your opinion may vary but don't waste your money on a Kawa Gel seat. You would be better off buying an Air Hawk pad for half that money. Keep in mind that most riders don't comment much on stuff that they like as much as commenting on stuff that they hate so there are hundreds of satisfied Mustang seat riders that are just being quiet about their replacement seat. You can go to most stores and see hundreds of cars in their parking lot but on a small group of people at the returns desk. Percentage-wise, that's several thousand satisfied customers to a mere small handful of dis-satisfied customers returning their purchases.
+1 again. I believe Asus you have not researched the Mustang seat enough to have an accurate understanding of the percentages. I did for months and it was crystal clear that, by a huge majority the Mustang seat is more than just an improvement, but the solution to the seat from he'll problem. It was this huge majority that swayed me to give it a try. No regrets. This seat is great. Now, there are always someone who may like another seat better. There are other good seats, for example, Corbin. So, find what works for you. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thank you all for weighing in.

Yes, I exaggerated the numbers a little. I ordered my Kawasaki Gel seat yesterday. $199.99 plus tax. Why? I went on another forum, and searched their Gel Seat discussions, since I wasn't getting a lot of responses from those with Gel Seats here (thank you to those who did weigh in).

The Kawasaki Gel Seat looks a lot like a Saddleman Explorer, because (rumor has it), it is made by Saddleman for Kawasaki. Once I was armed with that info, and the price Saddleman is charging for the Explorer, I went to my wife. I had permission to buy the seat.

I will post photos of the seat on and off the bike, and keep you all informed on if I had made a good purchase.

The truth is, any seat will be an improvement over the stock seat, there is no 1 right seat for everyone. I will let you know if the cheap option was the right option for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Good luck with the new seat. I have a Saddleman explorer and bought a universal back rest from comfortzoneride.com. The seat felt rock hard at first but every time I ride it, its more and more comfortable. I have serious back problems and having a flatter seat with better lumber support is a god send. For around $70, the comfort zone back rests are worth every cent too. I just worry that somone with pinch it when I'm parked though, and considering I'm in Aus and everything takes a month to get delivered, I would be one very angry little vegemite if that happened!
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top