Review: Triumph Tiger - Seat Concepts Seat
Last summer I purchased a 2103 Triumph Tiger 800 XC as a gravel road slayer. The bike has proved to be a great tool for the job, offering stability, power, and occasionally grace as my do-everthing bike. Although I love the bike generally, there is one thing that I don’t like at all: the seat.
The stock seat on the Triumph Tiger is a dish that constantly slides me forward into the tank. The longer I ride, the more I sink into the bottom of the dish and the more I became locked into that position. My legs are forced to splay outward as I slide into the rear of the tank. Eventually, changing gears required an awkward pull upward to raise my leg to get my toe under the shifter. Not fun at all!
The solution: a Seat Concepts tall seat kit!
The Seat Concepts kit consists of new seat foam and a custom cover. The kit uses the stock seat pan as the base.
The Seat Concepts foam is denser and fills in the valley that forms the deadly dish of the stock seat. As a result, I sit higher and no longer slide forward into the tank. It also provides a nice padded place for my knees when I’m standing on the bike. The kit totally transformed the Tiger for me and now I can ride longer and feel better in control of the bike.
Kit installation is a straightforward process that you can complete in a couple of hours or less, depending on how good you are with a staple gun.
Start by disassembling your current seat. To disassemble your seat, simply pull the staples that hold the cover on. The seat foam isn’t glued or otherwise attached to the seat pan. Once the seat cover is off, the two pieces separate easily.
Seat Concepts has a good video on how to assemble the kit, so I won’t show you my learning experience. Here is the video of a professional installing the kit.
There are a few tips an amateur like me can pass along, though.
First, a pneumatic staple gun will definitely help the process. I used my spring powered gun and found myself constantly getting half-installed staples that I had pulled out and re-shoot. If you’ve been waiting to purchase a pneumatic staple gun, you now have the perfect excuse to get one.
Second, the directions call for 1/4 inch or 3/16 inch staples. I purchased a box of 1/4 inch staples, only to find that they were too short to penetrate the foam and cover and frequently had 1/4 inch stables pull right out immediately after shooting them. I ended up using 3/8 inch staples instead.
Third, if you can get a friend to help you, it will make the job easier. Your friend can drive the staples, while you pull the seat cover tight.
When I was finished, I still had some wrinkles that I needed to remove. I light a fire in the woodstove and warmed up the seat and then worked around the seat, pulling staples out, stretching the fabric, and then re-stapling the cover and I was able to remove most of the wrinkles. The Tiger seat has many curves and I suspect that other seats that are less curvy would be easier to install.
In all, I would say the Seat Concepts seat is far superior to the stock and I’m super glad I made this upgrade. If you have a seat that ruins your ride, I’d definitely give Seat Concepts a try: they just might change the way you experience your bike.