How I fixed my butt-busting GT 650 seat. RE factory....are you listening?

fog rider

Well travelled
Location
Alberta
The GT 650 is legendary for its uncomfortable seat. I could barely get 1 1/2 hours down the road before I had to pull over. Long distance riding was out of the question for me. Rather than fork out another couple of hundred bucks for the "touring/comfort seat", I decided to reshape my existing seat.

The problem with the factory seat is that it has a 12" radius convex curve to it, rather than a concave curve. Why they made it this way is unfathomable to me.

I removed the cover and used an old electric turkey carving knife to reshape the seat. I modelled it after an old GL1000 seat I have - one of the most comfortable seats I've ever sat on.

I removed the convex hump, leaving a slight concave shape at the back, on both sides of the centreline, for my "sitting bones". The foam transitions to a convex curve near the front. I left a small longitudinal hump for perineum/testicle ("taint/ball") support in the centre of the sitting area.

I also installed a Luimoto gel insert. The final repair was wrapped in the foam-backed felt material that came with the kit.

The result was transformative. I can't describe the smile I had on my face on the first test ride, even without the gel insert. Feels like a bike I could ride all day.

My advice: The seat re-shaping would be enough of an upgrade for most riders. You can skip the gel insert if you like.

Give it a try...

thumbnail_20210717_135712.jpg


Rough final shape. I later sanded it smooth with 60 grit paper:

thumbnail_20210717_150618.jpg

thumbnail_20210719_121437.jpg


Initiall rough-fitting of the gel insert:

thumbnail_20210719_213627.jpg




Final result. Re-contoured seat, Gel insert, fabric wrap, cover installed.thumbnail_20210720_123536.jpg
 
Last edited:

Seakuv

Finally made it
Location
Helena, Montana
Nice job! Looks great. I'd really like to lower the seat on my Himalayan about 3/4-1". Have been toying with the idea of using a gel insert to compensate for the foam that I would remove.
 

Morgan60

Well travelled
Location
NW USA
I preference is to build up the seat bones a little at a time. The problem with gel inserts is when the sun hits your seat when your in a restaurant or such the gel heats up, then it gives you monkey butt.🥴
 

fog rider

Well travelled
Location
Alberta
After putting 4,000 K on the bike, I can state, with no hesitation, that no amount of riding would ever make that stock GT seat comfortable for me. Building up a tolerance for pain is not an option for an old timer like me (45 years in the saddle), nor should it be for anyone. Life is too short for that. Besides, the modification (without the gel) costs next to nothing.

I've heard complaints about gel seats heating up in the sun, but the complaints seem to come from folks who didn't wrap the seat in quality upholstery batting before installing the cover. I'm hoping the batting will insulate the gel from the heat.

Butt rot isn't a big issue up here, as it is in warmer climates. I live in the land of heated vests and heated grips... We're lucky if we can get 5 months of riding in each year. :)

I wonder what people think of the INT seat. It looks more comfortable than the GT seat to me.
 

Bluestrom13

Finally made it
Location
UK
I wonder what people think of the INT seat. It looks more comfortable than the GT seat to me
About the same. And the main reason that I did not buy either one. Too narrow. Too hard. Lovely looking though.
I did speak with one old lad who had ridden Holyhead to Matlock Bath, non-stop. He reckoned it was OK. And how could you argue with that. But my butt did.:(
 

fog rider

Well travelled
Location
Alberta
Put on 1,800 Km in 2 days this weekend. No problems. I removed the cover and re-shaped the seat slightly after I got home. Feels even better. I met lots of other riders on the trip. It's amazing how many people are out there riding on $30,000 bikes, and hate their seats.
 

fog rider

Well travelled
Location
Alberta
Now for the solo seat:

Initial rough cut:

thumbnail_20210727_223329.jpg


Final smoothing with a rasp:

thumbnail_20210727_225542.jpg


Here's the factory extra padding that you pay for when you buy a "touring seat". Total manufacturer scam. Probably $1 worth of padding fibre under the foam. Its thinner than the foam cutout in several places, negating its effect. All manufacturers do things like this. Why not just design the seat shape properly in the first place and offer a comfortable seat right out of the box? I think you know the answer to that one.... It's sad that a company would sully the reputation of a nice bike like this to try and squeeze a few extra bucks out of their loyal customers.

thumbnail_20210727_221849.jpg

thumbnail_20210727_225655.jpg
 
Top Bottom