The Ducati STx bikes have pretty good seats. For a Ducati. That actually doesn’t do them justice — several 500 mile-plus days without major pain, loss of feeling or feelings of self-flagellation have demonstrated that. However, to be picky, the side ridges of the rider’s perch can start digging into the inner thigh after a few hundred miles, and one 600-mile two-up epic revealed a few, ah, points of discomfort for my uncomplaining pillion — it wasn’t anything she said as much as the very fine John Wayne impression she did on dismounting. So several alternatives presented themselves: the buy-in, from Corbin or Sargent, a new model year Ducati OEM seat (they’re distinctly plusher on the butt) or the full custom route.
Several WVAMers have used Custom Motorcyle Seats of Coventry to build a custom seat on their existing seat base — in each case, the results looked superb and seemed to work very well. So I’d been keeping my eye open for a cheap spare ST seat on eBay, with the idea of sending it off to have a custom build done on it. But what came up the other week but an ST seat made by the same outfit. So I bid, won it and have just received it. It looks great and is beautifully made; there is a more pronounced step twixt pillion and rider, and the whole plot places me 2-3cm lower on the bike, making me feel more like I’m sitting locked into it than on it, and marginally reducing weight on the wrists. So far, so good, but that same height reduction means that my knees are bent that little further — not a trivial consideration after thirty years of ski-ing abuse. But hey, I’ve taken a punt on something that wasn’t specifically made for me, so will ride it solo and two-up for a decent distance and then decide whether to keep it, sell it or send it off to Customer Motorcycle Seats to have their gel pad option installed. It’s a lovely piece of work though, and looks cool on the bike. And with a Ducati, that has to count. Doesn’t it?