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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #1  
Old 14 Oct 2002
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Seat modifications

Getting your seat recovered isn't too hard, but reshaping the foam can be hard work. I started out with a hobby knife, then razor blades, then a hot kitchen knife. someone suggested sandpaper - not to sit on but to sand the foam down. being lazy, I fitted the 6" dia sanding wheel to my drill and wound it up to 2,000rpm. I was almost blinded both by the fine dust that it stripped off and the smoothness of the result. its ACE. just remember the dust mask and do it outside.
Rich
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Old 15 Oct 2002
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Can you give us some more details? The type of seat, was it reshaped for 1 up or 2 up riding etc? It would be really good if you could post a pic'

I have an Africa Twin with the standard seat, which is c**p, so I'm looking to do some modifications to it for 2 up riding. I find that after 75 miles or so I need to give my ass a rest wich is daft with a tank range of 300 miles+. I also find my wife ends up sliding into me (we're very close but enough is enough!) on down hill sections or breaking. I'd like to take off the cover and reshape the seat to put a step in it and maybe lower the front half by 1.5 inches. Do you think it is possible with your 'technique'?

Thanks

Chris
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  #3  
Old 15 Oct 2002
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why not make a `hot wire` knife?
its just a piece of wire connected up to your battery.
get a length of multi strand core wire and support it on a frame(wood or plastic, not metal!!!) so it looks like a hacksaw. then connect it up.
gradually take out one strand at a time and try it on the foam each time, until it cuts the foam easily.
the idea is that you want to reduce the wires resistance so it gets hot enough to burn through the foam,but just thick enough to take the current,so it doesnt burn out like a fuse.
be warned! get it right and it works so well you may be going to buy more foam! little bits at a time!

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Old 16 Oct 2002
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I tried using a hot knife, but couldn't figure how to get the curves. the "beauty" of the sander is being able to almost polish it to shape.
I didn't do any fancy sculpting, Chris. I just needed to lose an inch and blend the shape of the original to the new so that it would be comfortable. from what I've heard, you need a different foam and profile for the AT to be comfortable. if I had one, I might go for a Touratech seat as they've done the hard work of chosing foams and profiles. good luck
Richard
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Old 24 Nov 2002
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Rich -

I'd be interested in what you've done... I have the Tenere 3AJ "twinlamp" and have a spare seat.

I figured that, since my boxes are being fitted for 1-person use, I may as well make an ultra-comfy single seat, with a good front section (250 mile tank range) and a luggage plate on the back (for my duffel bag and some back support).

D'you think you could e-mail me some pics? Where did you get the foam from? Thanks!

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Old 25 Nov 2002
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my upholsterer friend tells me to use an electric carving knife---like the one that is used by some to carve a thanksgiving turkey.( it has 2 blades,that oscilates) you also must be a bit of a sculpter. to soften the seat---remove the seat and cover, attach a circular saw to your electric drill ( the circular saw that is used to cut a door handle ) or one of smaller diameter, and cut out plugs of foam. i suggest you plan your cuts carefully so as not to remove too many plugs and make your seat too soft. can't do this by trial and error !! anyway i've done it and it works, good luck
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Old 25 Nov 2002
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newfie's idea of pocketing to soften the seat sounds good. the carver would be fine for big mods, but I'd finish the job using the sander on a drill.
the purpose of my mods was to shorten the seat length to fit a bigger tank and to lower the ride height cos the XR650L is absurdly tall. I needed to keep the front portion to mate with the tank and the rear portion as the base is part of the mudguard. I cut the base and overlapped the front onto the rear and cut the foam in two places to remove the middle portion. if you cut your base, remember to keep any mounting/load bearing parts so that the base still sits on the frame securely.
I'll send a photo in case that helps. good luck.
Rich
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Old 25 Nov 2002
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I hear that if you put the seat in the freezer overnight the foam will harden and be easier to work on since it won't be moving around on you while you try to work. I haven't tried it, but it seems to make sense.
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Old 28 Nov 2002
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Quote:
Originally posted by RichLees:
newfie's idea of pocketing to soften the seat sounds good. the carver would be fine for big mods, but I'd finish the job using the sander on a drill.
the purpose of my mods was to shorten the seat length to fit a bigger tank and to lower the ride height cos the XR650L is absurdly tall. I needed to keep the front portion to mate with the tank and the rear portion as the base is part of the mudguard. I cut the base and overlapped the front onto the rear and cut the foam in two places to remove the middle portion. if you cut your base, remember to keep any mounting/load bearing parts so that the base still sits on the frame securely.
I'll send a photo in case that helps. good luck.
Rich
Thanks for that pic. I'll post up here when I'm finished. The new cover's arrived from M&P though: 6.99 in the sale!

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Old 8 Dec 2002
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The best way to model the foam of your seat is a grater for cheese (like parmigiano). At the beginning I couldn't believe this. But it's true. With a knife you can't be very precise, and the risk to damage the seat is very high. With a grater you can be extremely precise and progressive, checking the result every time you want.

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  #11  
Old 16 Nov 2010
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Seat recovering

Rather than start a new seat-related thread, I thought I'd add my question on here...(so here goes)

Does anyone know someone (business, mate etc) who can staple seat covers back onto seat pans?

The reason I ask is because I bought a seatcover&foam from the US company, Seat Concepts, for my WR250R travel bike but the mechanical stapler that I have does not reach far enough into the 'well' down each side of the seatpan's underside and I'm reluctant to try to staple the material across the well if I can avoid it.

Can anyone help (or know anyone who can)? I'm based in Buckinghamshire (South).
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Old 17 Nov 2010
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I'm in north Bucks, had a seat covered locally but don't understand the question!!! Do you just want someone to staple your new cover on?

Cheers
Pete
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Old 17 Nov 2010
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A small say 4 1/2" (115mm in new money) angle grinder with a sanding disk and rubber backing pad is ideal, can easily be used one handed.

I used to use this setup making surfboards back in the sixties
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Old 17 Nov 2010
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yes

That's exactly it. The pan base is not flat at all so I need help putting my replacement cover on.

Where did you get yours done, if I may ask?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgiggle View Post
I'm in north Bucks, had a seat covered locally but don't understand the question!!! Do you just want someone to staple your new cover on?

Cheers
Pete
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  #15  
Old 19 Nov 2010
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Hi Ed,
A mate of mine restores antiques, his upholsterer did it. It was a sheep skin rug that he cut to fit and stapled on, £25. I can ask the question if you like? Also in the unit next door to him is Sooty's Customs they may be able to do it as well.

Cheers
Pete

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