When I picked up the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike in Los Angeles to ride it 1120 miles back home to Oregon, I never expected to stand for about 800 of them. Check your state laws for the legality of standing—California and Oregon, yes; Florida and Nevada, no.
The OEM accessory Rally Seat is too narrow and hard for my bum. I tried the Yamaha Parts & Accessories two-piece seat, and it was just as uncomfortable for me to sit on for more than a few minutes. I found the solution at Seat Concepts. I now have two seats from Seat Concepts. This is a review of the Seat Concepts Comfort Tall Seat Foam & Cover Kit. I chose to do it myself, and it took me about 90 minutes.
My other bike is an 850-pound, customized for comfort, Yamaha Royal Star Venture. It has taken me on many 3500-mile summer trips since 2012. Quite simply, it is comfortable. As I learn more about the Yamaha Ténéré 700 and all the aftermarket products available for it, I am slowly but surely turning this big adventure bike into a capable touring machine. There are so many amazing dirt roads in the Sturgis area that I could only wonder about. I even checked into mounting knobbies on my Venture. It took years to get my Venture “just right”. Getting the Ténéré 700 just right has been an accelerated one.
Seat Concepts says the Comfort Tall seat kit is 1 ¼-inch taller than stock. However, I measured the height increase of my installation to be 1 5/8 inches. Although it puts me on my tippy toes with my 30-inch inseam, the extra height makes for great ergonomics for riding long distances. With my OEM lowering links, I measure the seat height at 36 3/8 inches with the new seat mod. The stock seat measured 34 ¾ inches, and that is why I have dropped the bike 10 times on trails and once on the street.
While the instructions are clear, the actual installation is kind of a learn how to upholster as you go. You will need spray-on glue, a heavy-duty stapler, quarter-inch stainless steel staples, and a way to pull out the OEM staples and all the misfired staples you shoot in.
To make sure your stapler is strong enough to punch all the way down, try to send one into the seat next to the others. If it doesn’t bottom out, then you need a stronger stapler. OEM count was about 50 staples, and I am sure that I misfired (not deep enough) about that many in the installation process. The FAQ on Seat Concepts’ website is very helpful, as is its live customer service, should you have any questions.
You glue the new foam to your old seat pan and then stretch and attach the perfectly shaped cover over the foam, using staples to secure it. I got the hang of it pretty quickly, but it still didn’t keep me from not stretching enough in the multi-curve center section.
I will re-stretch the seat cover a little tighter when we have a warm and sunny day in Oregon. The instructions say to leave the cover in the sun for a while to warm it up, but there was no sun on the day I did the install, and it can be a long wait in these parts at this time of the year.
Seat Concepts provides a thin plastic sheet to put between the seat cover and the foam as a water barrier. The installation process is pretty straightforward, besides needing strong fingers and a strong stapler. I wouldn’t caution anyone away from the DIY kit who wants to do it.
As soon as the last staple is in, the seat is ready to ride. I hung up my dirt biker bravado and opted to push it out onto my driveway. I didn’t know what 1 5/8 inches of extra seat height would do to my standing balance on this bike. On my much lighter 250cc, I would just hang my butt off the side if I wanted to put my foot down. As it turns out, that is what I did instinctively once I put the kickstand up.
If you have a tall inseam, this modification should be a no-brainer, as your knees are less bent. I did the mod for the ergonomics of all-day touring. My knees are not as bent, combined with my arm position with a HeliBars riser installed, is more relaxed. This is not a combination for trail riding, where I might have to put a foot down to keep from dropping the bike. This mod is for spending a week riding as much as 700 miles a day, with some off-road exploring. The extra seat height also gives me a more comfortable leg angle to my highway pegs.
The Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike now has the standard-height one-piece Seat Concepts Comfort one-piece seat, and the now modified driver’s OEM two-piece seat. The one-piece Comfort seat is for everyday on- and off-road riding, and the Comfort Tall seat is for touring.
The DIY Seat Concepts Comfort Tall Seat Foam & Cover Kit requires using the seat pan from the rider’s seat of the two-piece combination. Seat Concepts only sells this as a kit to modify your own seat pans. For a fee of only $25, Seat Concepts will install the kit on your seat pan if you ship them your pan. Seat Concepts rates it standard foam for riders weighing 160 to 260 pounds. If you are lighter or heavier, you can contact them about custom foam for a custom price. The driver’s seat kit, as I ordered, runs $265 MSRP, with the matching pillion kit adding another $125.