By Bryan Harley, Cruiser Editor

Comfortable, cool and easy to install

Like a lot of things on our 2004 Sportster 1200 Custom project bike, its seat had seen better days. The stock seat was faded, weathered and the padding was pretty worn down. It had, after all, paid its dues with almost 10 years of service. But it was definitely time for a change. Wanting something a bit more sporting to blend in with the direction we’re taking the bike, we opted to install a Mustang Solo Tripper Seat with a Tuck and Roll pattern on our 4.5-gallon H-D XL Sportster. Since we wanted to keep the option of riding two-up, we went with a Tripper Rear Seat and a 7.5-inch x 9-inch Bracket Style Sissy Bar Pad in the Tuck and Roll pattern as well.

Mustang Seats has done an admirable job of making the process as easy and aggravation-free as possible. The stock seat needed to come off first. This required the removal of one bolt on the back fender and the one-piece stock saddle slid right off. With the seat off, we took the opportunity to clean up the layers of grime and grit on the fender that had collected out of sight under the seat. After that, we removed the plastic plug in the rear fender because the Mustang Solo Tripper Seat mounts in a different location than stock. Luckily, there’s already a hole there, so no drilling is involved.

With the hole exposed, it’s ready for the new fender nut insert Mustang provided. They also supplied a plastic zip tie to run through the middle of the nut insert so you can pull it through from underneath the fender. Feeding the zip tie through the hole from below, it’s easy to pull the fender nut into the notched hole. Finally, slide the C-clip Mustang also provides on to keep the nut in place. It’s now ready for the new Solo Tripper Seat. The Mustang seat needed a little elbow grease to push it forward where it meets the tank so the new bolt could be lined up. Tighten it down, and it’s good to go.

As far as the Tripper Rear Seat is concerned, it mounts in the old hole that held the stock seat in place. First, though, the forward bolt securing the Solo Tripper Seat needs to be swapped out for a new Allen bolt and spool washer in order to slide the Mustang  rear seat into place. After that’s swapped out, the front of the pillion pad slides onto the spool washer while you use the stock fender screw to secure the back end down. Job done. Almost.

We happen to have a removable passenger backrest/luggage rack combo for the occasional two-up road trip, so we also got a 7.5-inch x 9-inch Bracket Style Sissy Bar Pad with matching Tuck and Roll Pattern to go along with our Solo Tripper Seat. One screw through the middle of the backing plate welded onto the sissy bar is all that held the stock pad in place. While the old pad only had one bracket at the bottom to help secure it to the sissy bar, the one from Mustang has two: one at the top and one at the bottom. They were already mounted on the Mustang Sissy Bar Pad, so simply slide them over the bar, tighten it down with one screw, and get ready to ride.

Right off the bat, we’re pleased with the fresh look of the Mustang Solo Tripper Seat. It’s more svelte and streamlined as the new seat is thinner and not quite as wide as the stock saddle. The stitching is solid and the Tuck and Roll pattern looks clean and sharp. We now have three seating options to roll with – solo seat, solo seat with pillion, or full-on two-up ready with the addition of the backrest, too. Taking the passenger pad off is as easy as removing one bolt.

On the functionality side, the first time we sat on the new seat it felt firm in comparison to the thicker padding of the stock seat. But then we took it out for a spin and realized the proprietary padding of the Mustang Seat is very comfortable and only gets more so as we break it in. Ditto for the pillion pad. My wife commented that even though it’s smaller than before, it’s still provides plenty of cushion. And while the former saddle was a little dated, the Mustang Tripper Solo Seat looks much sportier and modern than the old seat, and we couldn’t be happier with the new addition to our Sportster project.