KTM Tall/Step Seat
Being in my late 30s, helping raise two young children and working a demanding job all add up to not enough exercise and a decided lack of "therapy," or seat time. And not enough "therapy" means arm-pump and a huge lack of stamina when I am able to ride. It doesn't help that bikes are faster than ever. It's really tiring holding the throttle wide open, so lately I noticed myself taking the path of least resistance and twisting three-quarters or short-shifting. Or both. Not good.Enter the Guts Tall/Step Seat; my feeble attempt to replace lost fitness. And soooo much easier than getting up at 5 a.m. to pound out a 45-minute run before diapers, breakfast, day care and commuting. Guts is the only manufacturer in North America that offers a tall/step seat and by far has more options than anybody else. Installation was straightforward-for $79.90, you get the foam step, cover and easy-to-follow instructions. If you need a new "standard" foam, it runs an additional $54.90. I chose medium-density tall foam to replace the stock KTM brick, and the density and feel were perfect for my tastes. It had been a while since I had done one of these, and with a standard staple gun, it felt like I had just done two 45-minute motos at Southwick! After the fact, Jimmy said an air stapler is the only way to go, but I burned more calories my way.Let me tell you, this seat works. Besides using less energy going from sitting to standing (a major benefit of tall seats), I was amazed at how well the step held me forward on the bike under acceleration. I barely had to hold on-just concentrate on throttle inputs, line choice and, of course, not crashing. The seat is unique looking-take that any way you like. But my only true beef with the kit is that I wish it was not a kit. For example, someone else builds it and then I buy it. Guts is working on a program where you buy the seat ready-to-go and simply ship the company your stock pan in exchange. This program is already up and running for KTM models, with other makes soon to follow. The price is around $155 premade for the tall ($125 for standard), with a core charge of $100. As part of the deal, Guts provides a prepaid shipping label for your stock seat pan return.Pro-Action
'07 KTM 250 SX Suspension Mods
The stock suspension on the '07 KTM 250 SX simply didn't work for my 205 pounds. For lighter riders, the balance is at least in the ballpark. But for me, it was hopeless. Clearly undersprung and underdamped, the shock would blow right through its travel. In contrast, the fork was punishing and scary at times. And because the balance was so far off, handling was poor and confidence in the bike was nil.With a call to Pro-Action, some thoughtful packing and less than a three-week-long wait, I had my revalved shock and fork ready to go, plus the old parts (stock springs, internals, etc.). The complete job ran $775, which included new front and rear springs and a bladder kit for the shock. Pro-Action provides truly excellent step-by-step set-up instructions with recommended settings.