Having your seats redone is often thought of as a cosmetic improvement to your bike, however, with the recent advancements in custom seats, they are becoming more of a 'stunt part' as opposed to just a pretty accessory. High quality seats will not only keep your bike looking fly, but they can also help give you that extra edge which is becoming more and more of a necessity to ride at the level this sport is being pushed to.
I have had my seats wrapped a few times over the years, starting by wrapping them myself and then eventually paying a company to do the job. On the set I wrapped my self, they looked OK and I used a material that gripped better than stock, but since I can't stitch they ended up having some sag which negated the added grip from the material. The seats I paid for looked great, they were properly stitched and the material gripped great. However, the foam was soft like stock and just flat out missing in some spots, which led to them developing holes and starting to rip after only a few months (I ran them for around a year and a half before they were completely haggard, so I don't regret the $170 I spent on them at all).
The Summer of 2010 HT Moto seats started popping up on numerous professional riders bikes, and every rider we talked to acted like they were the best things since sliced bread. HT Moto is a company that already has notoriety in our industry as they manufacture Hydro-Turf, a product many stunters run for their tank grip. Since both Leah and my own seats were looking haggard, we hit up Max at HT Moto to see what all the commotion was about.
First thing to note, is there are a few ways to go about getting HT Moto seats, the first and least expensive is ordering the covers and installing them yourself. For the VIP treatment, we recommend sending them in and getting the freestyle seats - you will have to reach a little deeper into your pockets, but let me tell you, you will not regret it. Here is a quick breakdown of their current prices:
- Front and rear (no hole cut) basic seat covers, no installation - $70
- Front and rear (no hole cut) basic seat covers, installed - $110
- Front freestyle seat - $125
- Rear freestyle seat w/ no build up - $100
- Rear freestyle seat w/ high density build up - $150
Note: With the freestyle seats due to the high-density build up, and cut outs for the rear seat hole you must send your seats in. Installation is included in the price for the freestyle seats.
First thing you will notice about the seats is the high-quality, durable material and beautiful stitching. You won't be slipping off your seat standers, you'll have less arm pump with sitdowns and you definitely won't be ripping them anytime soon. For a nice custom touch, they allow you to choose any color stitching and materials they offer for no additional charge.
Next, you'll notice the high density foam build up. This is personally my favorite part about the seats. The areas in which they use the high density foam make the seats feel like bricks. I know it's impossible to tell from the photos, but just know that my rear seat could now be used to knock the next crackhead who tries to get feisty at a stunt spot out cold.
For the front seat they strategically use the high density foam on the sides and back tabs (the areas most prone to ripping due to foot traffic), while leaving the front of the seat nice and soft creating a solid pocket to sit in. The back gets high-density foam all around, as well as a build up on the front of it to create a harsh lip to remedy the problems of the gradually sloping stock 636 rear seat. This is a great platform for sit-down no handers (maybe it will help you catch up to Bill D's sitdown figure 8 no-handers..err probably not, but you can dream). I really can't stress how awesome the high density foam is, it's so good that I actually ditched my SI footplate I had in the back because it's so hard and sturdy now.
Riding with well crafted custom seats is akin to riding with a great tank dent. While it's not a necessity, it's something that can give you that extra edge, and in this case, look great in the process. I know a lot of people know someone who knows someone who can get your seats reupholstered at their grandma's shop down the street, but take it from my experience, on her first try (i.e. your seats) grandma is not going to pick out the best material, she's not going to build your foam up to actually benefit your riding, and she definitely won't stitch your seats up in a way that will withstand the abuse we give them and not rip out immediately.
Thanks to the guys over at HT Moto, the R&D is done. If you want the best seats you can have for stunting, hit them up and support companies who are actively supporting our sport. Check out the pictures and the next time you're giving your stuntbike a makeover, consider stepping up your seat game.