Honda Africa Twin Forum banner

In Pursuit of the Perfect Butt Bench! (Africa Twin 1100 Seat Thread)

4982 Views 21 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  veloccity

Long time rider, short-time poster. I have a seasonal job so my updates are usually several months apart.

For those who are trying to decide on that new, fancy seat - I thought I'd share some findings and offer some insight since the new benches are getting might expensive these days.

I've tried several aftermarket seats, as well as accessories so I'll put some subjective analysis below hopefully along with prices and links for the interested.


STOCK SEAT (NORMAL HEIGHT): Ass time ~3 hours. For me, given that I tend to focus my weight (6' 3" // short torso // 200 lbs) on my pelvic bones known as ischium bones so I benefit very little from the cupping or padding that's designed for those with junk in the trunk (I'm jealous of said junk, btw). That said, I found the stock seat padding to be overall adequate on initial sit. The shape, though appearing to be flat in the photos, tends to want to push the rider forward into the tank over time. I found that I have to occasionally do a "butt reset" every few minutes and consciously stand up and sit rearward again. There's little grip to the seat cover so don't expect to be held in place during panic stops or when showing off with the big bike wheelie for the kids on the school bus next to you. Take a look at the attached pictures (blue and black).

SARGENT REVOLUTION: Ass time ~4 hours. Cost $499 initially for me back in 2021. This purchase is a little frustrating. I've owned Sargent seats before and my all-time favorite all-day-ass seat has been the World Sport Performance seat for my old DRZ400. When you finish their online order, they give you instructions as to how to ship your OEM seat to them for the upgrade, so you're without a seat for several weeks (it was 2 months before I got it back) while they're putting it all together. When I got the seat back, I honestly could not tell ANY difference between their own foam and the stock seat foam. I did notice a sightly different shape as well as the quite slippery carbon cover it returns with. The shape was also prone to pushing your riding position towards the gas tank so that got annoying fairly quickly, especially with the cost. In the end, I asked if they could add more or perhaps different foam and this service was an extra $110.00 which I paid but I obviously had to ship the seat back yet again. I specifically gave detailed instructions about how it should be slightly sloped towards the rear of the bike and have a soft top layer. What I got back was decent... but not idea. It feels like they simply glued a little foam brick on the front of the seat on top of what was already there. By their own admission, they claim their seats need no break-in period whatsoever. Take a look at the attached pictures (black and gold).

SEAT CONCEPTS COMFORT: Ass time ~3 hours. Cost $264.99 plus tax. Yet again, this purchase is a little frustrating based on the description on their website "PLUSH AND ACTIVE". It didn't feel that plush nor that active to me. What's odd is I used to have a seat concepts bench on a Honda 450L and the feel was far different from this. That bench had a very squishy "gel" feeling along the top with a firmer foam sensation beneath and was quite good. The Africa Twin seat kit arrives as a solid piece of shaped foam with the cover and doesn't look too remarkable. The installation experience may vary - It wasn't too difficult to get the old staples out of the OEM seat pan with a flat head screwdriver and some needle-nose pliers. I used a heat gun to loosen up the new cover before and during installation along with an electric stapler so that cut down the total installation time to about 3 hours. The seat angle is better than both stock and the Sargent as it does a far better job of keeping the rider towards the wide, rear area of the seat, rather than crotch-stuffing you up into the tank. Initial impressions are good, as I like grippy seats, but the foam density doesn't feel any different from stock, merely the shape. I'm hoping that it will soften up or at least feel slightly different over time. Take a look at the attached pictures (All black, installed on bike).


ALASKA LEATHER SHEEPSKIN: Additional Ass time ~1 hour? Cost between $120-$169.00. There's a great deal of hype surrounding these products. To experiment, I brought home both the long hair and short hair versions and took them both out on day-long trips both into the wilderness and long highway stretches. I’ve tried them both in the frozen reaches of Alaska and the sweltering, humid forests of Arkansas. I didn’t find them super useful, to be honest. At first, there’s an extra sensation of padding during the initial sit, but after an hour or two, you start sliding around, looking for a comfortable position. I think if I had to pick one I’d prefer the short haired version as the hair tends to allow more airflow under the rump than the long haired version, confusingly. The long hair goes limp and gets matted down while the short hair tends to continue to “push” upwards for a little longer, before suffering the same fate. Attached are long vs. short hair versions so you can see what I'm talking about.

AIRHAWK CUSHION: Additional Ass time ~2 hours? Cost between $100.00 and higher. There's also a great deal of hype surrounding these products as well so this thread will probably end up controversial. Keep in mind that everyone's butt is a little different (or a lot different) so I again remind the reader that this is merely my subjective and poorly-constructed analysis. If you look into the forums about these things, you'll find frequent suggestions about "airing down" the pads to extremely deflated levels in order to find the most comfortable solution. I found this practice to give very strange sensations when riding as the cushion of air tends to feel like it's sliding around and ruins my sense of stability and connected'ness with my bike. While the pressure was taken off my pelvic bones, it then moved to the hamstring area and the back of my rump area, oddly. In the end, I felt like I was sliding around all over the place instead of sitting in a comfortable chair, which is all any of us want, right?

COOL COVERS SEAT MESH: Coming soon! Recommended from fellow long-distance adventure riders.


See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
21 - 22 of 22 Posts

I have done the Seat Concepts and really am contemplating needing to make an appointment with a custom seat maker and attempt that route. Its frustrating.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
21 - 22 of 22 Posts