It’s the day of your big ride, and you awake to the sound of rain falling gently outside. You gulp down a cup of coffee and, with the skies clearing, you suit up, walk out to the bike—and find a pool of water on the seat. Now is when you’d usually go back inside, grab a wad of paper towels and spend 15 minutes swabbing the seat dry, but never getting enough of the moisture to prevent it from soaking through your jeans or riding pants. But this time, you just take off the Splitweight seat cover you put on the night before, stow it in the saddlebag and ride away.
A wet seat sometimes turns out to be more than a temporary bother. Some motorcycle seats aren’t watertight—they leak through the stitching in the cover, and after a few days of this, the foam underneath is soaked. To prevent that, the Splitweight cover is made of a fabric that’s both stretchable and 100 percent waterproof, as well as sun- and UV-resistant. There are three basic models, A, B and C, each cut to fit a general seat shape rather than one specific model. The stretchiness of the fabric is supposed to make up for any deficiencies in fit, and it sort of does, but on some seats the Splitweight will fit tighter and look better than on others.
As is usually the case when there’s rain-related gear to be tested, the skies remained blue, so the Splitweight got the garden-hose test on a Ninja 650, which takes a B150 cover. The cover slipped onto the seat easily and stayed put after securing the two pairs of hook-and-loop straps that connect under the seat. The fit wasn’t what I’d call custom, but one upside of this was that it was loose enough to leave room for an Air Hawk seat cushion or a sheepskin pad under the cover while riding.
Next, a layer of paper towels was placed under the cover before spraying the seat with water. After a full five-minute shower, the cover came off revealing dry paper towels. The outside of the cover itself was still wet, though, which would present a problem if you wanted to toss it into a saddlebag, or leave it on the seat and ride away. The leftover dry paper towels came in handy, and along with a cloth towel soaked up enough water to leave the Splitweight dry enough to sit on without getting wet. If you ride in waterproof pants there’s just no issue—hop on and off you go. You can put the Splitweight on to keep the rain off your seat, or leave it on in case it rains while you’re riding.
The A series Splitweight comes in three sizes, and the B in four, with the C series designed for any B application with a rider backrest. A and B covers are $99.95, and the C is $109.
For more information: Call King of Fleece at (716) 868-9881 or visit kingoffleece.com
(This Gearlab article was published in the February 2013 issue of Rider magazine.)