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I've showed my wife a couple of pictures of the V-Strom and Kawasaki Versys with two riders on them, and we've sat on a Versys (but not a V-Strom yet). She still doesn't like the way the driver and passenger are so far apart. We've been riding for several years on a small Hartford HD200-S, and it allows us to sit right up against each other. In the hot summer, I make her sit back an inch or so so my back doesn't get too hot, but she's okay with that because it's still close enough.

What are the advantages of the split-up seat on these kinds of bikes? (And, for reference, she loves the way the seat is on the Kawasaki W800 and Triumph Bonneville.)
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Dual sport bikes have to be tall to provide long suspension travel and good ground clearance. The passenger seat is above the rear axle so those needs force the seat to be tall to clear the rear tire. If that height was kept for the rider position too, it would be too tall for most people to get their feet on the ground. As it is, many people lower their bikes because they have trouble with the stock seat. Also, dual sport riders have to be able to use their body weight to adjust for terrain so the seat needs to provide space for the rider to move around.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Thanks. So it's more of a frame thing and unique to dual-sports.
It's the reason large dual sports have split level seats. Shorter framed bikes have them and those are referred to as king/queen seats normally on cruisers. The stereotype is a man will be the rider and a shorter woman a passenger and the higher rear allows the passenger a better view forward. At Motorcycle Ergonomics , you can plug in various bikes to see profiles and rider positions.
 

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It's not a dual sport thing at all. The drz400, klr, xr650 and almost every other dual sport bike out there have dirtbike-ish seats.
Sportbikes have staggered seats too, not just cruisers.
Don't worry; shell be close enough and you will both get used to the new seat(and like it).
 

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Saying the level of passenger seat on Stroms is defined by the need to maintain clearance between rear tire and bottom part of the seat is at the least inaccurate. Both stroms have 160 mm of rear wheal axle movement, less in fact, add here 50 mm for mud clearance. Now everybody can measure tire - seat distance, about 350 mm. So we have about 140 mm extra. Even with seat thickness and useless underseat compartment there are some unneeded mms which are there only for fashion reason. Look for any sportbike, it will have the same profile, rear seat is up, because otherwise you will perceive them as old fashioned standards, not so sporty as they want to be.
Stroms are in general want to be rather than they are.

Bikes that were designed as "adventure" have much moderate step in heights, look at beemers, tenere, triumphs. Or old fashioned KLR, which has 220 mm or rear suspension travel, but one level seat.
 
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