Seat comfort is very important on a motorcycle. The wrong seat can turn a daylong ride in torture after just a few hours. This article compares 3 different seats that are available for the Suzuki V-Strom. There are several other choices so this is just a selection of the ones that I tried. Some riders even have custom seats made specifically for them. There is no ‘best’ seat because it all depends on the rider build, type of riding and other preferences.
The stock seat has its limitations and often the more expensive OEM and aftermarket seats can extend ride comfort from 1 hour to many hours or an entire day of happy riding. These seats were fitted on the DL650 but will also fit on a DL1000. I think the stock DL1000 seat is a little bit higher than the stock DL650 seat. I am about 6’2″ / 188 cm, 210 lbs / 95 kg, waist: 38″, inseam pants: 32″, inside leg measured with boots on: 34″. So what fits best for me may be entirely different for someone that weighs 160 lbs with an inseam of 28″. This is my experience with the different seats.
1) Stock DL650
This seat is too low and too narrow for me. The curved shaped doesn’t allow for moving around so you’re sitting in one spot. The shape of this seat pushes you toward the tank. The soft foam is comfortable at first but becomes uncomfortable after 30 minutes and painful after an hour. The good thing about this seat is that it is easy to flat-foot with both feet at the same time.
2) Suzuki Gel
This seat has a comfortable height and width for me but I still could use an extra inch on each side. The gel is a bit hard at first but is comfortable for 6 – 8 hour rides. It has more room to change seating position and has a flatter sitting area compared to the stock seat. It is wider in the front so more inner thigh support. This also makes it more difficult to put your feet on the ground. I could not flat-foot both feet at the same time.
3) Sargent World Sport
This seat is the widest of the three but was not high enough for me. I felt like sitting only on the back part of my butt and the front edges of flat area pushed into my thighs after a while. It is wide in the back but narrow in the front so it did not provide enough inner thigh support for me compared to the gel seat. It is in between the gel and stock seat for height and I could put both my feet flat on the ground at the same time. I only rode it for about an hour after which it became uncomfortable for me.
The most comfortable for me is the gel seat. The Sargent would be very good if my legs were 1 – 2 inches shorter. An inch difference in seat height may not seem much but can make a big difference for comfort. I also found the larger surface area and shape of the gel seat made me feel more in control of the bike because of the better thigh support. I felt a bit like balancing on the Sargent seat but that was also because it was too low for me. The gel seat was not perfect for me though. Even with a sheepskin pad, it became uncomfortable and sometimes painful after 6 hours of riding. I may have to get an even better seat for my next motorcycle.
Seat height measured when motorcycle is level. Actual measurements were made in my garage on a level cement floor.
Stock: 32 1/2” – 82.6 cm Gel: 33 3/4” – 85.7 cm Sargent: 33” – 83.8 cm
All seats are in the same order: 1: Stock DL650 2: Suzuki gel 3: Sargent