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Old May 12th, 2018, 12:23 AM   #1
Angel-be-Good guru
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Name: Ryan
Location: San Francisco
Join Date: Dec 2008

Motorcycle(s): '08 Ninja 250, '11 Street Triple R

Posts: 337
Factory Rear Seat Cowl

I bought a factory seat cowl for my Ninja 400. I...don't think I'd recommend it.

Link to original page on YouTube.

I had a seat cowl for my Ninja 250, I like how it improved the look, and it was super easy to swap back and forth with the passenger seat when needed. I pretty much never put a passenger on the bike, but it was useful to have a flat surface for strapping on camping gear, like a tent...or a small stack of firewood. Both happened.

Unfortunately, the seat cowl for the Ninja 400 is a bigger pain in the ass. To fit it, you have to install a small bracket under the seat. And once that bracket is installed, the rear seat no longer fits. So if you want to go back and forth, you need to uninstall/re-install the bracket. Gross.

It'd be annoying enough if it was a simple tool job, but the bracket is not easy to install. I think the instructions want you to remove the rear plastics in order to get at the small space where the nuts + bolts fit. I started to oblige, but all of the bike's plastics are intertwined -- I got to the point where I was unbolting the front fairing just to remove the rear plastics and gave up.

The challenges: The space where the bolt head fits doesn't leave room much room for a socket, and the space where the nut fits doesn't leave room for fingers to actually hold the nut.

I was able to pull back the lip of the plastic and make enough room to jam in a small socket head. (Be sure to release two bolts from the rear plastic, which will give enough play to allow the socket in.)

To manage the nut, I stuck duct tape to the tip of my index finger and held the nut in place well enough to get the bolt threaded through. At that point, I could fit a small 8mm wrench into the small space to hold the nut in place, and use the socket wrench to tighten it down.

The seat cowl looks pretty nice, the butt bumper is nicely fitted, and I think it's overall a better-built product than the 250 cowl. But way harder to install, and much more inconvenient to own.

Thought I'd share.

The Sunday Best | Current mileage: 50,000
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Old May 13th, 2018, 08:53 AM   #2
randycastell member
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Name: randy
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Join Date: Nov 2017

Motorcycle(s): '74 Honda CB450K, '87 Ducati Paso750, '17 Kawasaki EX300

Posts: 35
Great review & video Ryan. Much thanks for your efforts. Funny thing is I have the same box cutter. Great piece o' kit/always with me. And, I've also hacked an IKEA Chinese Oak counter top and made it an excellent table. Cowl looks great BTW. Thanks again. I had a cowl for my W.T.E. N300 and they pop on and off easily and allow for easy interchangeability. Have you ever ridden a Ninja 300? It would be really interesting if you did in relationship to your experience on the 2nd Gen 250 and the 400. -Randy.
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Old May 13th, 2018, 04:01 PM   #3
MLR member
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Name: Mark
Location: Australia
Join Date: Feb 2017

Motorcycle(s): 2011 Ninja 250R

Posts: 219
Opps, the bracket looks like a afterthought.

I hope the enginner who designed the seat bracket assembly got a stern talking to.

It's not like Ninja's haven't had the ability to easily swap between a seat and a cowl before.

Hopefully the next gen has this sorted.
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Old June 5th, 2018, 05:00 PM   #4
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Name: Harper
Location: NC Milkshake stand
Join Date: Mar 2013

Motorcycle(s): 2013 SE NINJA 300

Posts: Too much.
MOTM - Sep '13, Sep '16
Looks just like the bracket and cowl on the 300... I never found a need to switch the seat back on so I sold it
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