I‘ve had the good fortune of being able to try out a Ducati Performance Racing Seat courtesy of the guys at Ducati City, plus the stock one obviously and a recently acquired very different type of seat – the Sargent sport seat.
There are major differences between all three and I’m finding this out through trial and repeated changes over many kms. Slightly spoiled for choice yes? Obsessed with finding the best, definitely.
So I’m going to try and break it down to give you an idea of what those differences represent and what I think the best for a daily ride is.
The Ducati Hypermotard Stock Seat
The stock seat covering is a lot softer so you would think more comfortable, but the riding position pushes you forward, nuts up onto the tank, and with its soft rubbery covering is not one that is easy to moved around on. it also doesn’t really offer a great deal of arse comfort over any sort of distance. 100kms or more and numb bum begins to set in, wriggling around back and forth does nothing to appease this, and that is how my journey to replace it began.
It’s a weird thing how I tend to think of a little cosmetic change, ends up being a dramatic change to how the whole bike feels.
I really noticed it after doing almost 1500 clicks on the ADR this year with the Ducati Performance Racing seat and then slipping the stock one back on for the daily ride. The change in riding position was instantly noticeable.
Pressed hard up against the tank, sitting right forward in the only standard seating position (that I found annoying immediately) I felt like riding more aggressively – akin to being on my KTM GS300 two stroke, I want to get the front wheel up belting out of every 25km corner on the Black Spur.
The Ducati Performance Racing Seat
While the DP Racing Seat is harder, it has a very different covering with grips around the tank, meaning you can slide or shift up and down into different positions for going hard or cruising very easily.
The racing seat also gives you flexibility because of its scooped out contour – you can push back or sit up and further back for a touring or freeway ride more comfortably. Although it is harder and gives you the ‘Ducati Arse’ syndrome pretty damn quickly. After about a 45 min ride my fleshless puny arse is going numb and I wanna get off.
As I’ve said this also occurs on the stock seat, but with its narrower forward position profile you don’t really have the option to push back and sit up on comfortably because it doesn’t have that sculptured front scoop like the racing seat offers.
The other thing that annoyed me about the DP racing seat was the fit. See the picture on the right? That is the best it gets after playing with the adjustable slider for the pin that holds the seat down. Not a really flash fit.
I have read that the Ducati Performance Comfort seat is going to be much of the same, I’ve read that it is more comfortable, but the style doesn’t appeal to me at all. It is supposed to be more comfortable, but maybe not so much for the taller rider such as myself.
The Sargent Sport Seat
These seats consistently rate with other Hyper fans as the best replacement seat available. Check around on the forums and you will find the same sorts of reports.
So with our AUD performing well against the USD I went online hunting to solomotoparts.com over in the States where I have shopped before, and ordered myself a stock height Sargent Sport seat with black piping. I saved quite a few bucks even with postage and those guys know how to do customer service. Big thanks to Tyler for sorting me out so quickly and effortlessly.
When the seat arrived it unfortunately had a small tear in the very rear section that I recognised would tear continually over time and contacted them straight away to report it.
Fortunately the guys at SoloMotoParts know customer service. The immediately shipped me another and refunded the cost of the shipping to return the faulty seat. I happily recommend any Aussie customers their way.
The big difference with this seat is, firstly, the riding position. You sit back a bit further from tank and I feel slightly higher up. This does not mean you feel less controlled by any means, you can just as easily hoist yourself into that forward position, but with the extra sculpting, contour, padding and wider seat you have options. The website says that the seat is level front to back which makes sense to me now I have sat on one.
The other difference is the width and aesthetics of the seat. It is much wider than both the stock and the racing or comfort seat mentioned above which means it kicks your legs out wider than normal. I like this, I feel more comfortable probably because I am tall skinny bastard with long stick-insect like chicken legs. Visually I think it looks way tougher than any of the others, I think it is the piping (the black piping, not big on that red piping pictured – too glam for my liking) and the subtle but high quality tri-tone Sargent label stitched into the back part of the piping that attributes to this most. It says premium, it says quality, it says I cost a fuckload of money and I’m worth it.
Everything about this seat screams quality. The high quality vinyl used is comfortable and just the right mix of grip and slip. I really like this seat and it scores top marks from me and I’d recommend for anyone looking to make the switch up to anything other than the stock one. Not sure how the 796 or the stock EVO go as far as stock seating goes but I can tell you that any of the ones described here will save you heaps of arse pain.
The other small benefit, which is minuscule considering you must remove the seat to get at it, is that it has a built-in torch under the saddle. There is also a block of foam that provides an extra level of suspension that none of the others give.
As I am still waiting for my replacement seat to arrive I can’t really give you an update on what the long distance feels like for comfort, but I promise I will do some hard kilometres as soon as it arrives and give you an update not long after. I already know in my gut that this is going to be the seat of seats, the king of thrones, I have no doubt in my mind.