The ATV Seat Buyers Guide
All You Need to Know and Then Some
When taking your quad’s handling into consideration, it’s quite unlikely the first place you think to tweak is the foam of your seat yet the area specifically offers a great deal of influence over the relationship between your hips and foot pegs.
Additionally, worn down foam often forms a divot that sucks the rider into a fixed position along the seat’s surface, making sliding fore or aft much more difficult than need be. Since a good deal of ATV riding depends upon the rider’s ability to move around the cockpit, paying attention to the condition of the seat should always be taken into handling consideration.
Perhaps the most common seat alteration is the replacement of the outer cover itself. All ATVs feature a seat cover in some capacity (be it leather-based, nylon, plastic, cloth and so on). Not only can replacing a worn cover pay dividends in style points, it may actually make you faster too (taking into consideration the old racer adage that you are only as fast as your confidence level allows). More scientifically, moving up to a seat cover with rubber gripper material could alleviate the tendency to slide around under hard acceleration and braking.
The only con to a seat cover replacement is that installation (especially for first timers) can be a bit of a hassle. Lining up and stapling a new cover to the rock hard stock seat base is an activity that usually requires endless patience, skill and a bit of luck.
Whether you’ve decided to update the seat cover or not, the foam base below may very well hold the secret to perfect handling of your machine. If you’ve felt the relationship between the seat and pegs was always perfect but you’ve worn a soft spot or divot in the foam, you may consider looking into an OEM Replacement (or Standard Model) seat. The beauty of an aftermarket Standard Model is that it retains the same dimensions as the original manufacturer intended usually with higher quality (and lighter) closed cell foam wrapped within a modern seat cover. Best of all, no staple guns, or hair dryers to worry about here: simply purchase, pop the stock seat off the quad, and replace.
Giants Only Club
Riders who’ve struggled with the sensation that their knees were alarmingly close to their chest when seated have an option as well in the game of ATV seat replacement. Tall Model seats feature an additional two-inches of foam beneath the properly fitted cover. While two inches may not sound like much, in truth it makes a world of difference for longer-legged riders and lessens the transition from seated to standing position for aggressive riding (and those racer-types).
A recent and immensely popular trend among motocross racers, the Step (or Hump) Model ATV seat offers a stepped rear section that holds the rider in place while seated but doesn’t inhibit use of the entire seat while standing. The look of the Step Seat takes a bit of getting used to but many racers have come to rely upon the design for its functionality.
While there’s no shortage of companies offering additional foam models to increase the distance between the seat and foot pegs, shorter riders may wonder why seats with less foam to decrease the relationship are much harder to find. Fret not; your friends at ATV Connection are here to report a very simple solution that works wonders…
Important Safety Tip: Always use extreme caution around sharp objects and if you doubt your abilities, get help.
ATV seat foam can be easily and professionally trimmed down using a simple electric carving knife- yes like the one you would use to trim the turkey at Thanksgiving. Simply remove your quad’s seat cover then use the carver to shave off layers of foam to the desired height then reattach the cover when you’re done.
ATV Connection Word to the Wise:
We like to err on the side of caution when using this method by removing less than necessary then going back to trim more if need be. It’s a lot easier to take more foam off than it is to put some back!
If you’re contemplating the benefits of a stepped seat but can’t justify the 9 asking price, savvy garage mechanics have been known to create their own seat foam hump with the above electric carver method and a steady hand.
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