Kawasaki Motorcycle Seat Removalby Chris Gilliland
The first step in maintaining your Kawasaki motorcycle usually involves seat removal. This is especially true when it comes to replacing the battery, but can also be required to work on the suspension or electrical system. Although the methods may vary between Kawasaki's Ninja sport bike and the Vulcan line of cruisers, taking the seat off can be a simple task with a little preparation required.
Removing the seat on Kawasaki's newer sport motorcycles usually occurs in two steps. First, the pillion, or rear passenger seat, must be removed. Most Ninja models have a seat lock mounted on the left side of the tail fairing, usually just out of sight. Insert your ignition key into the lock and twist, and the pillion should pop loose. Remove the pillion completely by lifting the front portion of the seat up then forward to clear the catch tab on the tail. Removing the rider's saddle can usually be done by unlatching it with a lever hidden within the tail fairing compartment. Some models, however, secure the saddle to the frame with Allen head bolts. In this case, lift the edge of the seat upward enough to slide an Allen wrench into the bolt head and unscrew it. Once the bolts are removed, pull the saddle upwards and to the rear of the motorcycle to clean the catch tab below the fuel tank. Some of Kawasaki's older sport motorcycles, such as the EX250 or pre-2000 ZX models, were equipped with single-piece seats and are removed as a whole unit. Fortunately, these seats were secured using the seat lock and key method, similar to the pillion on newer models. Insert key, twist, pop and remove.
Taking the seat off a Vulcan cruiser differs among the various models. Some newer models, such as the Vulcan 1700 Classic, use a keyed seat lock. Simply insert the key, unlock the seat and pull it away from the frame. Other models, however, are secured by bolts. Bolted seats are usually secured at all four corners, with a set of bolts at the sides and rear of the seat and a metal catch tab securing the front of the seat to the frame. Slightly lift the edge of the seat to locate and remove the side bolts. The rear bolt is usually the easiest to find since it is often screwed into the rear fender. Once the bolts are removed, lift the seat up and to the rear to disengage the seat from the frame.
- "The Professional Motorcycle Repair Program;" Professional Career Development Institute; 1995
- "2004 Ninja ZX6R Service Manual;" Kawasaki Heavy Industries; 2004
- "2009 Vulcan 1700 Classic VN1700E9F Service Manual;" Kawasaki Heavy Industries: 2009
An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.