Ninja 400 Riders Forum banner
1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just got my seat in the mail (you can find it here https://www.norton-motorsports.com/product/norton-racing-supersport-seat-kawasaki-ninja-400/) And I will be updating this thread as I try out the seat and figure out what I like/dislike about it.


I want to start with the build of the seat. The top part of it seems alright. Although it is exceptionally smooth and easy to slide around on. And while that may sound good, unless you got some friction strips on your pants, you may end up having your butt slide around the seat. Will fully test that on my ride today through some twisties.


Also, the seat height is significantly higher, as you can see in the picture. But in just sitting on the bike it didn't make that much of a difference, I mostly tippy toe or flat foot one side of the bike anyway and keep my right foot on the rear brake.


I am concerned with the way the vinly is attached to the seat. The stock seat has elastic stitched to the vinyl, and then that elastic is stapled to the seat. But here there are just a bunch of staples right through the vinyl (some of which were torn before I received the item and some of those staples are not attached). This makes me think I'd need to apply some epoxy or glue where the vinyl meets the plastic to keep it from popping open underneath me, slightly concerning.


At the moment, it does feel like it doesn't really have the same pressure points as the stock seat and is more comfortable in general. But we'll see after I take a longer ride later today.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,290 Posts
... Although it is exceptionally smooth and easy to slide around on. And while that may sound good, unless you got some friction strips on your pants, you may end up having your butt slide around the seat. Will fully test that on my ride today through some twisties...
I actually quite like a smooth surface so I can transition easily from left to right without having to use my legs to lift my butt off the seat to aid the sliding movement. Personal thing maybe.

Yeah that stapling looks a bit average. I know it wont be seen but still..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I almost placed an order today for the Norton seat for my Z but refrained. Definitely looking forward to more feedback on your purchase. Thanks for the pics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I actually quite like a smooth surface so I can transition easily from left to right without having to use my legs to lift my butt off the seat to aid the sliding movement. Personal thing maybe.

Yeah that stapling looks a bit average. I know it wont be seen but still..



I had a feeling people would feel that way, and I definitely understand it. It does make it easier to slide sideways, so quick back and forth motions would be easy. And I don't mind the slipperiness really either. I can just see how it might not be for everyone.


My primary concern with the stapling is durability, not really the looks lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I almost placed an order today for the Norton seat for my Z but refrained. Definitely looking forward to more feedback on your purchase. Thanks for the pics.

So I just rode for about an hour on it with a mix of freeway and canyon carving and so far I'm really enjoying it. My butt was not feeling the same pressure points as the old seat at all and didn't really get sore during this ride. It also helped a bit on some of the more poorly maintained bumpy roads.


I didn't really have trouble at stops or intersections, but I did have to slightly change how I shift my weight when coming to a stop when compared to the stock seat. So not bad, just something to be aware of.


I did have a bit of soreness after this ride, but in my back/knees instead. Which might be more related to dealing with my rear tail bag and the fact I was helping someone move today lol.


The slipperiness of the seat does come in handy for those S turns where you're weaving back and forth on the seat.


I think this seat pretty much solves my sore butt problems and just is showing me I need to really think about my posture and body position to improve my comfort further.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
keen to hear how the seat lasts - the current seat i find fairly slippery - though depends on what pants i wear (wet weather gear slides all over the show).
The staples look horrifically done, untidy and look like they are easily going to rip, that would be my main concern
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
keen to hear how the seat lasts - the current seat i find fairly slippery - though depends on what pants i wear (wet weather gear slides all over the show).
The staples look horrifically done, untidy and look like they are easily going to rip, that would be my main concern
I'll let you guys know if it becomes a problem, but so far it's fine. I commute daily with this bike and so far so good. Vinyl's a lot stretchier than leather, and there are so many staples that hopefully that helps them stay together too lol. And I still am finding the slipperiness to be more helpful than not.
 
Joined
·
193 Posts
Thanks for posting your review. I'm glad you like the new shape, I made a lot of prototypes to get it where I thought it worked well and was comfortable.

I don't expect you to have any issues with the longevity of the staples in the seat, but of course if you do, we will happily warranty it for you. I agree it isn't the prettiest, but since the OEM seat base is plastic, the staples have held well. We've done over 100 R3 seats in a similar way and never had a warranty issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Rode with my Norton seat today for the first time. It definitely adds height (I am short), but it's totally worth it. I'm a newer rider and not as technically critical as you, but the seat makes it so much more fun to ride my 400!
 
Joined
·
193 Posts
Rode with my Norton seat today for the first time. It definitely adds height (I am short), but it's totally worth it. I'm a newer rider and not as technically critical as you, but the seat makes it so much more fun to ride my 400!
That's great to hear! Glad you love it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,575 Posts
My new Norton seat arrived today. I installed it right away and took a test ride on the worst roads in the United States. Fortunately, I only had to ride about 60 miles to complete this review because most of the worst roads in the United States are in the metropolitan Milwaukee area. And no, I'm not putting a smiley here--I'm being serious about these roads. They're the worst of anyplace I've lived in my adult life.

Installation was first. The extra padding to the front made me have to apply a bit of force to fit the seat into the latch. Ms. Noire didn't seem to mind that I was playing rough, she says, just so long as I'm smooth on the throttle. ;)

Ergonomics were kinda what I expected. I'm 5'7" in height (formerly 5'7 1/2", but the docs took 1/2" away at a physical about ten years ago). The extra height added by the Norton seat still allowed me to be flat footed if my legs were held fairly narrow. Putting my legs a bit further outward for stability in a crosswind left me on the balls of my feet, another 1/4 inch of heel on my boots would have left me flat footed even then. Getting on and off was about what I remembered from my taller 2007 N650R. I need to work on flexibility, but the seat isn't a real problem for mounting or dismounting. I also noticed that I needed to reposition my mirrors slightly. And the extra height also didn't put the bars at too low of a level for me in relation to the seat. I can't say that I noticed any less cramping at my knees, but being shorter, that wasn't an issue with the stock seat for me.

And then out we rode! It took about 10 miles to quit thinking about the seat and just ride. After that, it seems that the smoother seating material didn't cause me to slide around, and the more level seat prevented me from moving forward like I did on the stock seat. However, the extra padding does have a slight give to it that seems to allow for a little movement when the physics get more intense.

I can still feel the N400's troglodytic suspension, but the Norton seat makes bad roads much more tolerable. The vast majority of bumps and surface irregularities disappeared from the roads. Good to mediocre roads feel nice and smooth. The really bad expansion bumps still hit, but not with bruise-inducing force. I suspect that this seat and an upgraded suspension would make a really smooth ride, not like my parents' Sedan De Ville, but great for touring.

I believe that the seat will greatly reduce fatigue on a longer trip, and short rides will be a lot more enjoyable, even with the stock suspension.

I'm hoping to get out tomorrow on more average roads, and hit a few urban twisties--i.e., spaghetti junctions. That's probably the most testing that would be fair to Jesse. But the new seat is very promising.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,575 Posts
"Baxter," Ms. Noire cooed softly while I was doing a little maintenance on my bicycle, "I want to take you out to thank you for my new Norton seat."

"Take me out. Where were you thinking, Ninjette?"

"We both like Italian, and I'm in the mood for some spaghetti. So lets eat up all of Milwaukee's spaghetti junctions this afternoon!"

Well ... how can I possibly resist an offer like that?

After riding north for an errand, Ninjette and I hit the highways and gorged ourselves at each of the downtown and suburban spaghetti junctions. We then took the long way home to get dessert, via an exurban stretch that has a series of five tasty round-a-bouts in a row.

So, what about the Norton seat? It's a keeper. The little bit of squirm I noticed yesterday from the thicker padding doesn't cause me any issues on the urban twisties, even at speeds that I shouldn't specify in writing. And it definitely will reduce fatigue on a longer highway ride. Now, just to take that longer highway ride.

One observation is that the cushioning seems to stay a little compacted immediately on dismount, but it expands back after a few minutes. The only thing that is noticeable is a little temporary waviness in the material, like you can get with a leather chair. I'm thinking that this is simply inherent in the cushioning materials and not a defect. Like a memory foam bed.

Jesse, I'll pack up and send you my old seat very soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
I'll consider my new Norton Seat a Father's Day present to my self as it arrived today. A short ride up a local twisty road and down a very steep residential main road. The latter was a good test to see if I would slide forward into the tank....no problem! Fit and finish is very good, has a hand crafted design and character which I like a lot. I really like the stiching components. Underside staples are a non issue. Been riding for 53 solid years so comfort is very important at this stage. I'm under 5'4" so now I'm on my toes at a stop light. My last bike was a Honda "599" (Hornet), would say my Z400 is now still a tick lower than that machine. Will let you all know a little more after I take a real canyon ride.
13648
13649
13650
13651
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
How much wider at the back is the new seat than the OEM seat?

I find that on the stock seat I'm pushing myself away from the tank and off the back edge of the seat, but then I'm 8" taller than you are. The Norton seems like a very cost-effective upgrade (after doing the core exchange) but I'd consider a custom-made seat to get the padding extended all the way back to the tail piece. Perhaps the extra height of the Norton seat would help with that, even though it doesn't look like it goes back any farther than the stock seat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
How much wider at the back is the new seat than the OEM seat?

I find that on the stock seat I'm pushing myself away from the tank and off the back edge of the seat, but then I'm 8" taller than you are. The Norton seems like a very cost-effective upgrade (after doing the core exchange) but I'd consider a custom-made seat to get the padding extended all the way back to the tail piece. Perhaps the extra height of the Norton seat would help with that, even though it doesn't look like it goes back any farther than the stock seat.
I would say it's the same size at the back as the stock seat, with more padding. Even being a small person, I do find the back of the seat to easily. As I mentioned my previous bike was a Hornet 600 with a spacious seat. The Z400/Ninja is just a small motorcycles and I'm finding that I just have to adapt. Wondering if the pillion seat could be adapted for a cushion to slide back against? It wouldn't be pretty though.
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top