Seat

GUTS Racing Firm Seat Foam And Gripper GR1 Seat Cover 

 


If there is one area that the 2018-2019 Yamaha YZ250F/450F is lacking in, it would have to be the seat foam/seat cover area. Yamaha firmed up the seat foam for 2019, but to me it just wasn't enough for my skinny ass. If you have a Kardashian butt it might be ok, but for us skinnier riders we need a foam that doesn't sink into the fuel tank when slamming into corners. While I was searching for a firmer foam, I thought why not get a seat cover that has some ribs on it, in order to keep my but in place when coming out of corners as well! 

So I called up Andy over at GUTS Racing and he sent me their standard firm foam (not Phantom foam) and GR1 ribbed seat cover with extra padding sewn into the sides of the seat cover. Guts offers many different styles of covers and foam densities so make sure to check out gutsracing.com for all of their offerings. Swapping out seat foam isn’t that hard, it just takes patience and some trial and error to get the new cover on the seat. The foam shape is pretty much identical to the stock foam and went on the seat base without issue. The seat cover went on without much of a fuss either, but there might be a little extra material that you may have to trim once all of the staples are in.

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So when you think of the words “hard” or “firm” you may think of uncomfortable right? Well in this case you would be wrong. The “firm” GUTS foam is just what the doctor ordered, especially when I am slamming into corners. The stock 2019 YZ450F foam is a little better (than the 2018 foam), but lacks density on the sides where my butt is forcing the foam down. With the GUTS firm foam the density is harder in the middle of the foam, but also on the sides of the foam where you need it (especially when riding aggressively). Your butt is not always placed directly in the middle of the seat when you're riding, so why just make the middle part of the foam firm? GUTS thought of this because all of us riders need to have a firm feel on each side of the foam as well. The GUTS Racing foam provides the correct amount of density so I am not pushing my tushy through the foam and into the plastic of the fuel cell. My butt bone thanks you GUTS Racing! 

The GR1 GUTS Ribbed Seat Cover is unique because of the extra padding that is sewn into the cover on each side. Since the Yamaha seat is designed so thin near the middle portion and on the sides, I felt like I could use a little extra padding when working the sides of the seat through flat corners. Not only did I feel like the extra foam on the sides helped me through flat corners with the slightly wider nature of the seat cover (due to the foam inserts), but it helped me grip the Yamaha better with my legs. Not to go full Ryno on you, but using your legs is crucial to going fast on a motorcycle. Gripping the machine with your legs is sometimes overlooked to an amateur rider, so with these extra foam inserts inputted into the seat cover, it really helps me grip the side of the Yamaha when I am getting tired. It may not be the most attractive looking cover (due to its width), but it sure does do what its supposed to do. The ribbed portion of the seat cover also keeps me in place, but the gripper material isn't so gnarly that it is chaffing my ass on long test days. Some gripper materials out there are so aggressive that you can only ride one full day on it before you have to have your wife rub chamois cream on your ass. 

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If you own  2018-2019 Yamaha YZ250F/450F do yourself a favor and get a GUTS Racing firm seat foam and ribbed GR1 cover. Your ass can thank me later. The GUTS Racing standard height/firm seat foam will run you $89.90 and the ribbed GR1 seat cover with foam inserts on each side will cost you $149.90.     

Think Technology Lite Seat Foam and Lite Seat Cover 

 There is a saying in racing that goes something like this “worry about the ounces and the pounds take care of themselves”, and Think Technology seems to live by this saying in everything they do. Think sent us replacement “lite” seat foam as well as a “lite” seat cover to go with the long term 2018 Honda CRF250R that I have had for some time now and I thought they forgot to put the foam in the box when UPS dropped it off (I’m not kidding, it’s that damn light!). I never really thought about seat foam and covers being a factor when it comes to the overall weight of a 200+ pound motorcycle, but when I felt compared foams, side by side, I was rather impressed. I honestly didn’t weigh them side by side since the scales I have don’t register that low, but I can tell you that the feeling in your hand is impressive and the claimed difference Think Technology says is close to one pound! I believe it, because it actually feels more than a pound on my human hand scale. 

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When I took off the original seat cover and foam I initially noticed the stock foam was still slightly wet from the recent washing a couple days before. The second thing I realized was that the stock foam not only goes on top of the seat pan, but the side overlaps and slightly goes around and under the stock seat pan. After all the stock parts were removed and I went to put the new foam on I realized that the foam no longer wrapped around the side and under the seat pan, which didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. The foam fit nicely on top of the pan and the new cover wrapped around the foam nice and tight with plenty of material left over on the bottom to staple. 

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The new cover has a cool look to it with the custom “120” Think put on the front of the cover making it custom for Kris (I’m not fast enough to have my own number). Installing the seat on the bike was almost easier than the stock one, but there is a reason for that. Remember how I said the new foam didn’t wrap around the bottom of the seat pan? Well, that now created a small gap all the way around the seat between the seat and the plastics, so much so that you can see daylight between the seat and the gas tank. This gap also left the seat pan a little loose on the side of the gas tank and lets the seat rattle slightly more than stock. However, where the seat hooks to the tank isn’t wedged tight, you really don’t notice it when riding, you notice more in the pits riding out to the track. That being said, those are the only negative things about the performance of the Think Technology seat foam. On the track those couple negatives go away when you feel the nice firm seat foam, not hard, but firm which never broke down at all, as well as the grippers sewn into the cover that really keep you in place on the seat. In addition to customizing the seat with your number (if you’re fast enough to have a number) Think Technology will also put a seat bump in your specified location for an extra $40. 

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After putting many hours on the Think foam and cover I’m impressed with the holdup of the product, the cover has only slightly lost its bright red look due to all the dirt and the foam hasn’t broken down or got water logged after further inspection. I did not notice a weight difference on the track, but maybe Kris can feel that kind of stuff more than me. The other cool feature of the Think foam is that it’s a closed cell foam (which comes from the aerospace industry), this means during washes it won’t absorb or retain water, which is good for two reasons; one it will not retain the water which makes it heavy, and two it will not stay water logged and ruin the foam like stock seat foam can do. Now to the part that will scare a lot of you away, the price of the Think foam is $299.99 (plus $40.00 if you want a bump) and the cover is $59.99. I know this is a lot of money (anything related to aerospace isn’t going to be cheap), but if you are into saving every ounce (as some of you crazy weight biased people are) as well as not having to sit on a water logged seat ever again, I’d definitely look into Think Technology. -Michael Allen

There is more of a gap between the Think Seat and fuel tank compared to stock. This is common with aftermarket foams and we may have pulled this seat cover on too tight up near the front. Check back to keeferinctesting.com for an update as we install another cover on to check gap. 

There is more of a gap between the Think Seat and fuel tank compared to stock. This is common with aftermarket foams and we may have pulled this seat cover on too tight up near the front. Check back to keeferinctesting.com for an update as we install another cover on to check gap. 

Stock seat and cover comparison. 

Stock seat and cover comparison. 

 

Second Opinion: 

I have used the Think Technology foam on other machines like a Yamaha YZ450F and have come to the same conclusion as Michael. I like the firmness of the seat and the fact it hasn't got heavier over repeated washes (over the course of a year). As you know I ride a lot, so I wash my bike a crap ton as well and it hasn't broken down. I have heard through some grumblings that the foam shrinks up over time, but I haven't seen this happen yet. Like I said, I have had mine on the Yamaha over a year now and all is well. This is a niche product, but I like testing these niche pieces because its not the norm. It’s expensive, yes, but it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the money. It’s a good product, but to me gives you no real advantage on the track. The advantage is the lifespan and weight consistency of the foam. -Kris Keefer