Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Gel Seat

The factory seat on the Bandit is a bit ordinary.  It feels nice initially to sit on, but the foam is too soft, compresses and on a trip starts to cause a deep seated (literally) ache.

The options were things like an aftermarket seat (too expensive as all sourced ex USA), getting the seat re-covered and new foam in NZ (at least $500) or a Suzuki gel seat.  Rather optimistically I priced the gel set through Suzuki NZ, and almost fell over when quoted $1000 (yes, one thousand dollars) ex Japan with a 10 week delivery time.  No sale for Suzuki there!!

The answer?  Ebay.  Ex USA, as new gel seat off a wrecked bike, $187USD.  The sellers didn't realise it was the gel seat, but fortunately I was going through the pictures and recognised it for what it was.  New they are $286 on Ebay.

Took less than 2 weeks to arrive, bolted straight on and perfect condition.  It's wider, heavier and has far more robust vinyl with a heavy basket weave on the rider's part.  It is much firmer and I don't think this seat has been used much at all.  Initial impressions are that it is much higher quality than the OEM seat.  I haven't had a chance yet for a longer ride, but it's unlikely to cause the same issues with the foam compressing.

Always worth shopping around.  I just wish Suzuki NZ didn't charge so much, as all it does is drive my shopping off shore.

UPDATE: The longest ride to date has been over 4 hours and 400 km.  Much better than stock and I don't get the pain I got in the past.  A good buy. (And it's adjustable and I have it on "high")


  1. $187USD was a really good price for your seat. The seat on my Bandit 1250 is not the best either particularly the slope of the seat, which keeps pushing me towards the tank. I have found some gel seats on ebay but the postage is horrific. Did you manage to avoid paying excessive postage for your seat? I was thinking of using a proxy USA address.

  2. The seat was second hand from a low mileage crashed bike. The seller I think wasn't aware it was a gel seat - just a Bandit seat, so it didn't command a premium price. Postage was quite reasonable - about NZD$60 from memory.

    You can adjust the stock seat to be higher in the front. I prefer my seat in the highest position.

    Where are you based? If a Kiwi, MacDonald Motor trimmers in Tauranga do the Rider seat modifications for about $500.

  3. I live in Lyall Bay (021 056 0951), so not too far away at all!

    Have decided to order a gel seat from the states rather than get the existing one modified as I have managed to find a supplier whose postage isn’t too high. This way, hopefully, I can sell the original seat units and recoup some cash.

    I have been busy and also installed the Dale Walker Stage 1 kit which has certainly made the engine run smoother and given it a nice bit of induction noise courtesy of the snorkel removal and the hole in airbox. One disappointment has been that the surging at low revs, which while certainly better than it was, is still there and makes me think that the bike is still running a little lean. I am using Dale’s settings but think that a little tweaking of the first TFI pot is in order. I will let you know how it goes.

  4. Hi Kewwig,

    Perhaps you can shed some light on this seat question. I have a 2007 Bandit 1250 ABS and have the stock seat. To get some more leg room I adjusted the seat to the high position. This made the legs happy, but by raising the seat, it increased the gap between the front of the seat and fuel tank. This new gap now pinches when moving around on the seat when in traffic.

    Do you feel that with this new gel seat and raised to the higher position that the front seat to fuel tank gap has increased?


    1. The new gel seat on mine is in the high position and actually just touches the tank. Perfect fit.

    2. Thanks for the info. Continue to farkle the Bandit so I know what to add next!

    3. I am running out of things to add, but will keep on trying...

  5. Please tell me what I need to add to this seat to make it fit my bike. I have a low panned out Corbin seat that I don't like now. I bought the bike with this seat and dont have the OEM seat. Do I need six bumpers and some sort of hook that engages near the tank? Thank you...

  6. Hi Mark. You are missing the under-seat cover and 4 rubber bumpers. You can buy them separately but cheaper to get a damaged seat with hardware intact. Where do you live?