I picked up the Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike in Los Angeles and rode it to Portland, Oregon, in three days. On the first 140-mile day, I sat on the OEM full-length Rally seat. For the following 380-mile day, I added a gel pad. And for the third day, 600 miles, I stood for almost 14 hours. Once home, I swapped out the OEM Rally seat for the stock two-piece seat combination for my next 1500 miles of touring and off-roading, and I found standing way more comfortable than sitting at all speeds under 60 mph.
Everyone’s derrière has different “load bearing” pain tolerance, and mine was 10 minutes on the OEM Rally seat. Ten minutes hadn’t even gotten me to the freeway in Los Angeles, and I was already squirming. About halfway to my first evening motel, I purchased a gel pad to put between me and the already-tall Yamaha Rally seat. Between standing, sitting, and squirming, I was able to get through Day 2. However, Day 3 started to hurt as soon as I saddled up. At each gas stop, I took a few ‘me’ minutes to research seats for the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike. I decided on the Seat Concepts One Piece Comfort seat, stock height, with the gripper top and black carbon fiber sides. The seat’s price in that configuration is $300.
The other motorcycle in my garage is a very customized for comfort Yamaha Venture. It has a very plush, modified pillow-top seat that has taken me on two Iron Butt Saddle Sore rides and many 14-hour ride days. I am not trying to duplicate the comfort of a purpose-built endurance touring bike. However, I don’t want the distraction of squirming on the seat all day. The Seat Concepts One Piece Comfort seat is exactly what I was hoping it would be—reasonably comfortable for gas-stop to gas-stop riding.
My first test of the Seat Concepts perch was to gas up and ride non-stop for 3.5 hours. I was listening to my favorite tunes on a new Bluetooth intercom unit I was also testing, and the hours just slid by. I was wearing my Spidi 4Season textile pants over my FirstGear heated pants. It was 38 degrees for the entire ride, so I needed wind protection and warmth.
When I purposely moved around on the seat, which wasn’t often, the Spidi pants were held in place by the grippier top. Any movement I felt was really the slipping between my heated undergear and inside of the Spidi pants. I rode through some tight twisties at an aggressive pace to get the Ténéré 700 leaned over, and my bum didn’t slide on the gripper top at all. It wasn’t any trouble to move around the seat; I just had to unweight a bit.
The Seat Concepts standard thickness Comfort seat is 10.5 inches wide where you are supposed to sit. At the same location back from the tank, the stock two-piece seat is seven inches wide and the OEM Rally seat is 7.5 inches wide on top. The Seat Concepts tapers to 8.5 inches as it approaches the tank where your thighs hit, which is a half-inch narrower than the OEM seats. This helps us shorter inseam riders when stopped. The combination of the Seat Concepts Comfort padding material and the extra three inches or so of seat width are a game-changer. I literally didn’t have a concern about how my butt would feel as each hour passed.
Seat Concepts has a full array of seat replacements—Comfort, Comfort Sport-Touring, Rally, and Rally Hard Adventure 2.0—in various heights, as well as DIY foam and cover kits for the stock and pillion seats. I would love to be that Ténéré owner with a 34-inch inseam as I would really enjoy the two-piece Comfort Sport-Touring seat in the Tall thickness. But, with my stature, I wouldn’t be able to touch the ground or swing my leg over the seat. If you are tall and want the most comfortable Seat Concepts seat, then look at their Comfort Tall as a do-it-yourself kit.
Seat Concepts has many choices to increase your riding comfort, and you only need to choose wisely the one that fits your style. The Seat Concepts One Piece Comfort seat has made it possible for me to extend the touring range of the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike significantly, and it does it without compromising handling on the road or ease of movement in the dirt.
This content was originally published here.