Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dual Sport Seat, Grip, and Comfort Mods

Have you ever been so saddle sore that riding has become downright miserable? Here are some simple, inexpensive, and effective seat farkles and tips for your dual sport adventuring to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Now keep in mind these won't magically turn your TW200 into a Honda Goldwing, but they will make your distance enduro adventures infinitely more comfortable.  


In our YouTube video “Why Ride a Dual Sport” I showed the highlights of the ride across Southern Utah, and people wanted to know how I managed 26 hours in the saddle of a DRZ 400 dual sport over just three days without having parts of me shrivel up and fall off like the dude’s face on Indiana Jones.

Well, just like in my farkle videos, I’ve done all the hard work, research, and testing for you, so all the recommended mods can be purchased from links right here in the article at the best online prices.

First we have this DIY windscreen made famous by FMLStewart. For short jaunts, high winds aren’t an issue. While riding anything more than an hour, though, it can be a massive cause of fatigue, even at just 50 miles per hour. It’s a good plan to have something to keep the wind off your chest without making your bike into a sailboat. This windscreen can be made for less than $10, and all you need is a trash can and some Dual Lock, Screws, or Velcro. Instead of going on about this mod, I’ll let you check out the video of how to make one here.



Before we dive into the saddle mods, let’s not forget the other bit of the bike that we have contact with: grips. I was introduced to Progrip 714s by researching vibe-dampening grips on klr650.net. It was almost unanimous, everybody who had these grips loved them. They’re slightly thicker than motocross grips, but they really do dampen vibrations, they’re very comfortable for the long haul, and they last forever. If you’re switching from slimmer grips you will feel some fatigue at first as you get used to the width, but then they’ll be the last grips you’ll ever buy. They’ll only set you back about $10, and with a bit of wire they’re a piece of cake to install.

Need some heated grips? I really like these Trackside Premium heated grips. They were recommended by MrDuhFactor, are rock-solid reliable, and work very well. In my experience, the cheap stick-on grip heaters aren’t worth even their low price.

For $10, the next mod may seem expensive for what it is, it’s a bargain for what it does. My friend Franklin gave me this Cramp Buster during the West Coast Adventure Tour, and I went from having arthritic knuckles and cramps through my whole forearm, to having no issues at all. It works by wrapping around the throttle grip, then allowing the weight of your arm to maintain throttle, instead of twisting a grip. It slips on and off easily, which is good because you wouldn’t want this on while riding in the gnarly stuff.

Now it’s time for the saddle mods. Meet my best friend for distance adventures, Chewbacca.

This is some real, long, definitely-not-Peta-approved sheepskin. Now even though the Seat Concepts seat I have is seriously fantastic, we're talking 10 hours in the saddle. When my buddy Neil, who rode the whole of Africa on a DRZ with a sheepskin, recommended one I thought he was crazy, but then after I did some research, I found that sheepskins were being sold as motorcycle-specific seat covers, and that people were raving over how comfortable they are. The drawback was that they cost almost as much as a new seat for a cover alone, so, being overly pennywise, I went ahead and cut off this hunk of momma eveRide's sheepskin rug and tucked it between my tank bag and my Green Chile Soft Rack. This little shred of wampa-ice-beast may not look like much, but it is a huge increase in comfort for the money. I can swap this to my KLR or back to the DRZ in seconds, and leave it off when I don’t need it. You can get real sheepskin on Amazon for about $50, and it should make two or three seat covers. Split the cost with your riding buddies and it’s the same $20 you'd spend on the infamous and questionably effective Coleman seat cover. Plus, it makes your bike look all Mad Max. Throw in a knife scabbard and complete the look.
Mad Max, much? Check out the survival knife scabbard mod video, and the military-recommended Gerber LMF 2 Survival Knife. You really should be riding with a survival knife, and what better way to make sure it's with you than by mounting it on your bike?
Get 10% off orders of $100 or more at Green Chile with coupon code "EVERIDE"

This next trick is an added layer of comfort that most people neglect, and it's to wear compression shorts. Sweat, constant movement, vibrations, and a very serious lack of blood flow to the butt and reproductive bits can make a ride miserable. Compression shorts reduce chafing by constantly keeping non abrasive fabric tight against the skin, wick moisture, dampen vibrations, increase blood flow to the butt, thighs, and sensitive regions, and for the gentlemen, keeps the proverbial dawgies in the proverbial corral.

Now if you're super cheap like me, maybe you can find some at your local thrift store. I found some armored shorts for $4, never even worn. Hopefully. You can also go the "I don't want another dude's dude sweat mixing with my own dude sweat" route and buy these ARC shorts new from RMATVMC for about $20. That’s about half the price of other riding shorts.

Now this is something that’s on the bike all the time, whether I’m touring or not. This is a Seat Concepts low seat, and in my experience, there isn't a better bang for the buck as far as seats go. I know some guys who have switched from a $400 to $500 seat to the $150 seat concepts setup because it just feels better. Now some guys have had good luck taking their stock seats into an upholsterer and having their seat re-foamed and re-covered for around $80. However, some guys have had bad luck with this and ruined their seats. You could roll the dice, but with Seat Concepts you're going to get a great seat every time without the gamble. The only drawback is that you have to install the foam and cover yourself, or pay a bit extra to have them do it for you. I've installed two Seat Concepts seats now, the low seat on my DRZ and  an especially poofy commuter for my KLR, and installation is a piece of cake. Just pick up a $6 staple gun from Harbor Freight, follow their instructions, and save your hard earned cash for that sheepskin.

And for the final defensive layer between your motorcycle and your cushion crack, check out monkey butt powder. I didn't use it on my most recent trip, but looking back, literally, I definitely should have. Remember, if you're spending a lot of time in the saddle to get to a place where you can shred, the shredding will be massively more enjoyable if you're not saddle sore and beat up from the trip.

Now we've just scratched the surface on ways to make your rides more comfortable, and we’ll make more comfort tips articles and videos soon. To make sure you see them, along with other great motorcycle videos, tips, and goodness, you're going to want to Like eveRide on Facebook, and subscribe on YouTube.

Want to see the tour of Southern Utah I mentioned earlier in the article? Check it out:


Thanks so much for reading, and may these tips, and tips in future videos and articles, bring you many happy, inexpensive, and comfortable miles on your adventures.

Tyler from eveRide, signing out.



5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I have a Coleman pad and a sheepskin cover on a Seat Concepts seat on my XT225. The Coleman raises the seat height a little, which the XT needs.

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  3. Wait a minute... you're having me read stuff! That's like the olden days, way back in the 90's. Just giving you crap, good article. Not sure how the DRZ is, but for comfort, larger foot pegs and proper riding boots can make a big difference. My friend has a WR250, with the little factory pegs and we recently went out on a ride with him in hiking boots. By mid day he said he could hardly stand up anymore his feet/arches were killing him.

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  4. "you will feel some fatigue at first as you get used to the width" huehuehuehue.
    Seriously though, good post about improving what is arguably the one true weak point of DS (not adventure touring) motorcycles.

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