Have you ever purchased a seat cover for your off road or mx bike (to replace your torn one)? If you were lucky enough to own the right type of staple gun, and had some talent, you might have managed to get the thing on your old seat (properly, and without wrinkles). Seat covers alone can cost between $40-$60 and are difficult to install correctly. There must be an easier way . . .
Are you a tall guy like Travis Pastrana or Travis Preston, and find that the stock seat foam on your dirt bike might be a bit too low (providing less than ideal ergonomics)? Taller seat foam is most likely available for your seat, but installation of the $50-$65 foam can be even more difficult than a lone seat cover, and also requires a new cover, as well. Before you know it, you have invested about $100 on the foam and cover, and had to deal with the headaches of installation (or pay an upholsterer to do the labor for you), just to get the perfect seat. All this can be a pain in the rear for those of us on a budget.
SDG USA has a solution that may work for many of us. The Santa Ana , CA company has a complete seat package available for over 27 popular motocross and off-road bikes, in addition to their original line of bicycle seats. These complete, ready-to-install seats come with water-resistant, close-cell seat foam, a two-stage gripper seat cover, a nylon composite seat base, and mounting brackets (most often replaceable).
What is even better is that these ready-to-run replacement seats are available in standard or high foam. SDG even claims that these seats are lighter than stock. SDG standard and high foam complete seats retail for $99.99 and 105.99, respectively.
Sounds good on paper, right? Well, enough sitting around. MD contributing editor Matt Randazzo (6’2″) typically needs more room on a dirt bike. Hoping that a taller seat would improve ergonomics and comfort, he ordered an SDG high foam seat to fit his personal 2003 YZ 250f.
The stock YZ 250f has very good ergonomics, and the seat height is not an issue for most riders under 5’10”. However, Matt found the stock seat hard and uncomfortable, and too short for his lanky frame.
At first glance, the all black SDG seat looks attractive and well made. When turned upside down, the nylon seat base is molded in a very similar manner to that of the stock seat. The quality of the seat base, as well as the seat cover, appears to be of high grade material and manufacturing.
There are three parts to the seat cover. The sides are made up of a slightly less aggressive gripper material than the top, and all the seams appear straight and even. There are two SDG logos stitched on the seat, including one large logo on the back and one smaller logo on the front. The seat foam seems to be of quality material. When you apply pressure, you can tell that the foam is slightly softer than the stock foam, but it still has resistance and likes to return to its original position. If we had to complain, and it is our job to do so, the only thing we can come up with is that the stock seat fits the bike slightly better than the SDG unit.
The SDG seat bolts up and fits great, but there are minor differences in the way that the SDG seat molds up against the plastics of the bike that are worth mentioning. For instance, the gap between the rear fender and the seat is just barely larger than it should be. Many people may not even notice or care about this imperfection, but there is minor room for improvement here.
You install the SDG seat the same way you would the stocker. Get the two guides in place up front, and then two bolts in the back. It doesn’t get much easier. Now, the additional height of this seat is visually apparent. The SDG tall seat looks great. It doesn’t have quite as much of a dip in the middle as the stocker and seems relatively flat.
Sitting on the bike, you can feel that this seat is new and firm, but still softer than stock. Also, the seat does make the ergonomics feel better for taller riders. The seating area feels flatter and it seems it will be easier to move around on in corners, as well. The taller perch should also help riders transitioning from sitting to standing, and provide a more comfortable cockpit for longer trail rides.
After some time with the SDG seat, it is holding up well, and confirms our initial impression that it is a quality product at a fair price. It also saves you lots of headache associated with installing the foam and seat cover separately.
For more info check out www.sdgusa.com.