Of the various interfaces between rider and motorcycle, the seat is the most important comfort factor. A seat that’s too soft or firm, or improperly shaped, can turn what should otherwise be a very pleasant motorcycle into a torture rack. On the other hand, one that is properly shaped and padded can make any bike more pleasant. And that brings us to the Wide Vintage Seat from Mustang Motorcycle Seats.
When Mustang offered to send us a seat to test, we asked for one to fit the 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 LT. With its windscreen and saddlebags the LT version is set up for traveling, and for it Mustang suggested its Wide Vintage Seat. It has a marine-grade fiberglass base plate with progressive-density foam from Mustang’s own foam shop. This is overlaid with a half-inch of softer foam for that initial soft touch, and covered with high-grade vinyl.
Installation was stone simple: Unlock the bike’s sidecover with the ignition key, pull the release cable and remove the passenger portion of the seat. Then remove the two bolts holding the rider’s portion and install the Mustang seats in its place. Mustang even provides a couple of washers so the front seat’s installation tabs will not scuff the paint on the rear fender.
The major difference I noted immediately was the initial softness of that first half-inch of foam. Next, I noted that the rider’s portion of the Mustang seat was divided into separate flat and backrest portions, while the stock seat was one sculpted piece. During our test of the large-displacement cruisers, I noted that the Kawasaki offered a natural seating position, but that when I stretched out, the rise at the back of its roomy seat put the rear of my rump to sleep. It was like sitting in a sling in which your tush settles into a V-shaped cradle that is too tight fore and aft. By separating and dividing the seat into flat and backrest portions, Mustang allowed me to settle into the cushier flat portion while also enjoying some back support to the rear. The initial softness combined with the firm base resulted in noticeably greater comfort.
I asked my wife to sample the pillion seat, and her experience mirrored mine. It offered the same cushy/firm feel that allows your butt-bones (I like to impress by using high-end medical terminology) to initially sink in so that the seat conforms to and supports the rest of your bottom. The stock seat is more firm overall, so as with a wooden bench your natural contours are not allowed to sink in and seek their own level within the foam. For these reasons we found the Wide Vintage Seat much more comfortable overall than the stock unit.
Please note that the seat we were sent was the Plain version, which retails for $469. For studs (to match the stock backrest) add $30. Or, go all the way and order the version with matching rider backrest and sissybar pad for the passenger, for $689.
For more information:
Mustang Motorcycle Products Inc., 278 Town Hill Road, Terryville, Connecticut 06786; (800) 243-1392; www.mustangseats.com