The best thing I can say about Sargent Cycle Products’ World Sport Performance seat for the Kawasaki KLR650 is that I barely noticed it while on the bike. That’s a huge improvement over the stock seat on my 1997 KLR (and the 1987 model that preceded it), which has always bared its teeth to my backside within an hour or so of mounting up. I’ve also spent many hours on the 2008 Kawasaki KLR650’s new and improved saddle, and while the ’08 unit is better than previous KLR perches, Sargent’s is more comfortable yet.
Except for the gray color, the injection molded Poly-tec seat pan looks very much like the stock unit, and includes a tab for the catch on the back of the 2008 model’s tank that keeps the seat snugged up tight. The tab doesn’t interfere with the fit on older models. At 4.8 pounds, the Sargent is almost a pound heavier than the stocker. Could it be that Sargent’s Super Cell Atomic Foam weighs more than the marshmallows that Kawasaki stuffed into my KLR’s stock seat? Whatever the reason, I’m happy to add a pound to the bike if it keeps my seat happy.
Sargent upholsters the seat with its handsome CarbonFX fabric, a UV-stabilized marine-grade vinyl lightly textured in a carbon fiber pattern. Most riders don’t buy KLRs for show bikes, but the Sargent seat does dress up the big single, especially if you pop for a contrasting welt color (silver on our test unit) for $20 above the standard price of $349.95. The search for comfort sells most aftermarket seats, and this is where the Sargent really delivered for me and my sitting bones. The foam is firmer than stock, but not hard, and the saddle is wider and better contoured to my anatomy. In touring terms, it’s the difference between fidgeting in pain or cruising in comfort, and the different profile did not interfere with standing on the pegs for off-pavement work. My wife, though not a long-distance passenger, enjoyed the Sargent’s wider pillion area on our excursions around town.
Available in low and regular seat heights, Sargent’s KLR seat can make height-challenged riders more comfortable by bringing the ground closer to their feet. The normal version reduces the KLR’s seat height to a smidge below the stock at 343?4 inches, while the low one shaves it by 2 inches. I’m comfortable on a stock KLR with my 31-inch inseam and tested the normal seat, but 2 inches lower would make a big difference to riders who aren’t comfortable with just their toes on the tarmac. Sargent also offers a heated seat option—sit down, turn on, warm up. This level of luxury commands serious money and energy, an extra $150 over the standard seat and 24 watts from your KLR’s alternator. Our test seat didn’t include the bun warmer.
Sargent has modified two seats for me and I had its World Performance seat on my Honda CBR600F2 years ago. Its products have always been top quality and this seat continues that reputation with good construction, good fit, solid attachment to the pan and a high quality look and feel. The CarbonFX fabric even manages to bring a little bit of class to my gracefully aging KLR. One minor thing I noticed is that the Sargent seat doesn’t fit level with the bike’s luggage rack. But none of the bags I’ve strapped on there have complained, so why should I? The bottom line is bottom-end comfort, something I didn’t have before and do now.
For more information contact Sargent Cycle Products, 44 East First Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32206; (800) 749-7328, www.sargentcycle.com