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Goldentaco

Seat comfort.

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Goldentaco
Posted (edited)

 

I've put about 1700 miles on my OEM Rally seat and while I love the ergonomics, it has not been without enduring some pain.  With Seat concepts possibly months out for a one piece Rally seat and my hesitation to go the full on Renazco route ( they are local ) I decided to get a gel insert and modify my stock seat.  Here are a couple videos with good techniques.  I basically followed these but my requirements were a little more specific.

 

1) After about 1.5hrs of freeway work getting to the Sierras, my crotch was numb...read into that what you will, you will be correct.  Everything was numb.  The seat has a slight dome and when you sit down, the center section presses up in the wrong areas.  In the past, my Seat Concepts seats have had the tailbone channel where they leave a softer middle channel to relieve pressure.

 

2) I needed to relieve pressure on my sit bones.  Because the seat is narrow, half my butt cheeks are off the sides of the seat.  Unfortunate because that puts more pressure on the sitbones.  A wider seat would provide a little more support but there aren't any Aftermarket seats yet that aren't custom.

 

So let's get started:

 

Prior to removing the staples, I traced the bottom edge of the pan onto the cover so I know how far I need to stretch the cover when I re-assemble it.  I also made match marks on the pan and cover so I could make sure I get the cover straight.  I removed the staples after figuring out where I sit.  Marked up the foam where I wanted to recess the gel insert.  I ordered the Saddleman Saddle Gel Pad ( Medium) from Revzilla: Hint, it's not Green 🙂

 image4.jpeg.944b7197568028382c3d99147a708b2e.jpeg

 

 

The foam has a channel that runs down the middle of the seat from underneath it looks like an Arch.  There isn't anything on the pan that this arch straddles.  I think it may have been an attempt to reduce pressure in the middle of the seat but it doesn't work...at least for me.  The box straddling the centerline is 40mm wide and represents the channel.  This area you will see later is where I plan to remove the stiff OEM foam and replace with softer foam.  In case anyone is interested, the foam thickness in the arch is 55mm and the front and 40mm at the rear on the "X" I have drawn.  This measurement is to the top of the arch so the foam thickness to the Right and Left of the Channel Is at least 75-80mm thick.

image5.jpeg.511365761db2a6d2ad91fbd48eaab3ba.jpeg

 

I laid out the grid to slice into the foam.  Basic procedure here is cut to the depth of the insert in the grid.  Then remove each square to the depth you need.  I used a gasket scraper you'll see in the one of the following pictures to remove the squares and it worked well.  While the removal of the squares was easy, it didn't leave a very uniform surface.  It's possible to grind the foam with a sanding disk, because I left material on the side of the seat it was too narrow to grind.  The gel is very compliant  and will conform to the irregularities so it's not necessary to have a perfectly smooth surface.  The gel insert is 18mm thick, so I drew a mark on my razor blade so I would cut 18mm deep.

 

image3.jpeg.dcd8ac272166fc963d596fc606d87bd4.jpeg

 

I have split the gel down the middle and removed extra material along each side to fit in the recess I made on either side of my channel.  Where you see the yellow foam I have removed roughly 8-10mm of material to relieve pressure when sitting.  The yellow foam is some scrap I had laying around.  It's fairly soft and will help to provide structure to the top cover but will squish easily.

 

Before applying foam over the insert and then the outer cover, I sprayed 3M 77 High strength adhesive.  The gel is sticky by itself but this will help hold everything down while it's assembled.

 

image2.jpeg.c538258b8d45332d1e7b646c0fd25c3d.jpeg

 

To smooth out the irregularities because this was part prototype and part finished product, I applied a self stick foam over the top of the seat.  I had some Ensolite left over from sound deadening my truck as part of my audio install.  It's roughly 3mm thick, has s sticky back and is really easy to cut.  To get the pattern right, I laid the Ensolite sticky side up and placed the seat upside down on it and traced the outline of the top of the seat.  I sprayed the seat, gel, and yellow foam with the adhesive and let it set up for a few minutes.  Then starting at the rear, I removed the backing and applied the foam and smoothed it out.

image1.jpeg.4b1a640ae43d32f661b09c25279d779e.jpeg

 

Fitting the cover, I started at the front and worked my way around evenly from side to side.  I aligned the previous matchmarks and edge lines I drew on the cover and stapled as required.  My staple gun is from harbor freight and is pneumatic.  I used 5/16" T50 staples that fit the gun.  The OEM staples are a little wider than the T50s but were 1/4".  I wanted a little more holding power so I used 5/16".  You could go either way though.  There were no surprises here and the cover went on easily.  The rear is the toughest part as you don't have much material to stretch.  It would help to have a second pair of hands, but it's not necessary.  All in the Gel cost $45.  I already had the stapler and staples and other foam.  It took roughly 2hrs to modify the seat.

 

image0.jpeg.64d48a234200d5de10e003256c424968.jpeg

 

Initial testing was a hour long ride in regular jeans.  The center pressure has been eliminated.  I'll have to check it out on a longer ride to be certain I've got that resolved.  The gel is more comfortable and the seat feels as sturdy ( not squishy) in the normal seating position.  I did measure where I sit normally but I think I didn't place the gel back as far as I should have.  In the first picture, I think if I had placed it at the rear most line the alignment would have been perfect.  Why?  As you sit closer to the edge of the gel it feel stiffer than sitting more in the middle of the gel.  If I scoot up a few inches, I can feel the gel is much softer.  So I would recommend placing the gel more centered on the sitting position depending on how you ride.  For me on the freeway, I'm further from the tank than in the twisties.  The constant shifting weight in the twisties naturally is more comfortable than my freeway position as the pressure points are moving around.

 

I'm happy with the result so far and will need more miles on it to be certain.  I'll provide updates as the miles pile up.   

 

J

 

Edited by Goldentaco
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Adventure6965

What a great idea. I find both the standard & rally seats uncomfortable after very short periods of time & was thinking about how I could modify them. This has given me some ideas. Thank you....🙂👍

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Simmons1
Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Goldentaco said:

 


 

1) After about 1.5hrs of freeway work getting to the Sierras, my crotch was numb...read into that what you will, you will be correct.  Everything was numb.  The seat has a slight dome and when you sit down, the center section presses up in the wrong areas.  In the past, my Seat Concepts seats have had the tailbone channel where they leave a softer middle channel to relieve pressure.

 

 

 

I thought I was reading my own comments for a second. Yours comments about ergonomics, numbness and seat width are spot on for me as well.  I also sit back a little farther then where  you put the gel when riding on the highway. I am getting ready to send my Rally seat to be modified or rebuilt. Now I am wondering if I should try to tackle this myself.

Edited by Simmons1

Africa Twin / Goldwing / Super Tenere / WR250R / ST1300 / KLR650 / GS1000S / GT750 / H2 750 / H1 500

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TimmyTheHog

for those who does their own seat, I applaud the effort and skill to do so...

I can barely saw, let along redo a seat.

 

Nice job!

 

but I might just wait for the seat concept to be ready knowing I will f**k up my own seat if I try lol...

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Goldentaco
2 minutes ago, TimmyTheHog said:

for those who does their own seat, I applaud the effort and skill to do so...

I can barely saw, let along redo a seat.

 

Nice job!

 

but I might just wait for the seat concept to be ready knowing I will f**k up my own seat if I try lol...

I get it.  I had the stock seat and I was prepared to screw the pooch on this one.  I have done a Seat Concepts recover and new foam before so I knew what to expect on the re-assembly.  

 

J

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TimG

Interesting coincidence 🙂 I've been hacking my standard seat down to reduce the seat height.

@TimmyTheHog very little 'skill' needed. I'd not done this before. It's easy and minimal tools required.  I prised the staples out of the seat base with a small screwdriver and needle nose pliers. Marked out the seat foam with a ruler so that my cutting was sort of even. Reduced height by 20 mm. I trimmed/profiled the edges so the top seat width remained the same. Cutting was done with a sharp kitchen knife. Once roughly cut to shape I used a wood rasp to shape the foam then went over it with 60 grit sand paper to smooth it off. Then the seat cover went on and stapled with a hand stapler. It turned out well I think. There's actually plenty of padding on the original seat and I have found it comfortable on 400+ km day rides. Hopefully this will be the same.

IMG_3271.jpg

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Making James May look quick!

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GPSAT
Posted (edited)

I have made custom seat foams for some of my bikes in the past. I used high density foams from other seats (snowmobile seats, bus seats, etc.). I would then use 3M adhesive to glue different density foams together then shape the foam with a 4" disk grinder. My KTM EXC530 had a 2x4 for a seat. I took the seat pan and added 2 inches to either side of the pan then custom molded a foam to fit. I was able to find a seat cover that fit as well. I am thinking that over the winter I will build one from the stock seat as I have the rally seat on it now. I have email inquiries with Seat Concepts and I will see what they come up with first as they are my #1 choice.

Edited by GPSAT

James 2021 Tenere 700 - Black

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Aleksandar13
On 8/7/2020 at 7:15 PM, TimmyTheHog said:

for those who does their own seat, I applaud the effort and skill to do so...

I can barely saw, let along redo a seat.

 

Nice job!

 

but I might just wait for the seat concept to be ready knowing I will f**k up my own seat if I try lol...

I agree with you here.. Mechanics is one things and maintenance to a certain extent I can deal with... This is not for me.. But I'm happy with my seat for now... 330 mile day with a bit of pain.. 😂 

Aleks 

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Adventure6965
Posted (edited)
On 8/7/2020 at 7:17 AM, Goldentaco said:

 

I've put about 1700 miles on my OEM Rally seat and while I love the ergonomics, it has not been without enduring some pain.  With Seat concepts possibly months out for a one piece Rally seat and my hesitation to go the full on Renazco route ( they are local ) I decided to get a gel insert and modify my stock seat.  Here are a couple videos with good techniques.  I basically followed these but my requirements were a little more specific.

 

1) After about 1.5hrs of freeway work getting to the Sierras, my crotch was numb...read into that what you will, you will be correct.  Everything was numb.  The seat has a slight dome and when you sit down, the center section presses up in the wrong areas.  In the past, my Seat Concepts seats have had the tailbone channel where they leave a softer middle channel to relieve pressure.

 

2) I needed to relieve pressure on my sit bones.  Because the seat is narrow, half my butt cheeks are off the sides of the seat.  Unfortunate because that puts more pressure on the sitbones.  A wider seat would provide a little more support but there aren't any Aftermarket seats yet that aren't custom.

 

So let's get started:

 

Prior to removing the staples, I traced the bottom edge of the pan onto the cover so I know how far I need to stretch the cover when I re-assemble it.  I also made match marks on the pan and cover so I could make sure I get the cover straight.  I removed the staples after figuring out where I sit.  Marked up the foam where I wanted to recess the gel insert.  I ordered the Saddleman Saddle Gel Pad ( Medium) from Revzilla: Hint, it's not Green 🙂

 image4.jpeg.944b7197568028382c3d99147a708b2e.jpeg

 

 

The foam has a channel that runs down the middle of the seat from underneath it looks like an Arch.  There isn't anything on the pan that this arch straddles.  I think it may have been an attempt to reduce pressure in the middle of the seat but it doesn't work...at least for me.  The box straddling the centerline is 40mm wide and represents the channel.  This area you will see later is where I plan to remove the stiff OEM foam and replace with softer foam.  In case anyone is interested, the foam thickness in the arch is 55mm and the front and 40mm at the rear on the "X" I have drawn.  This measurement is to the top of the arch so the foam thickness to the Right and Left of the Channel Is at least 75-80mm thick.

image5.jpeg.511365761db2a6d2ad91fbd48eaab3ba.jpeg

 

I laid out the grid to slice into the foam.  Basic procedure here is cut to the depth of the insert in the grid.  Then remove each square to the depth you need.  I used a gasket scraper you'll see in the one of the following pictures to remove the squares and it worked well.  While the removal of the squares was easy, it didn't leave a very uniform surface.  It's possible to grind the foam with a sanding disk, because I left material on the side of the seat it was too narrow to grind.  The gel is very compliant  and will conform to the irregularities so it's not necessary to have a perfectly smooth surface.  The gel insert is 18mm thick, so I drew a mark on my razor blade so I would cut 18mm deep.

 

image3.jpeg.dcd8ac272166fc963d596fc606d87bd4.jpeg

 

I have split the gel down the middle and removed extra material along each side to fit in the recess I made on either side of my channel.  Where you see the yellow foam I have removed roughly 8-10mm of material to relieve pressure when sitting.  The yellow foam is some scrap I had laying around.  It's fairly soft and will help to provide structure to the top cover but will squish easily.

 

Before applying foam over the insert and then the outer cover, I sprayed 3M 77 High strength adhesive.  The gel is sticky by itself but this will help hold everything down while it's assembled.

 

image2.jpeg.c538258b8d45332d1e7b646c0fd25c3d.jpeg

 

To smooth out the irregularities because this was part prototype and part finished product, I applied a self stick foam over the top of the seat.  I had some Ensolite left over from sound deadening my truck as part of my audio install.  It's roughly 3mm thick, has s sticky back and is really easy to cut.  To get the pattern right, I laid the Ensolite sticky side up and placed the seat upside down on it and traced the outline of the top of the seat.  I sprayed the seat, gel, and yellow foam with the adhesive and let it set up for a few minutes.  Then starting at the rear, I removed the backing and applied the foam and smoothed it out.

image1.jpeg.4b1a640ae43d32f661b09c25279d779e.jpeg

 

Fitting the cover, I started at the front and worked my way around evenly from side to side.  I aligned the previous matchmarks and edge lines I drew on the cover and stapled as required.  My staple gun is from harbor freight and is pneumatic.  I used 5/16" T50 staples that fit the gun.  The OEM staples are a little wider than the T50s but were 1/4".  I wanted a little more holding power so I used 5/16".  You could go either way though.  There were no surprises here and the cover went on easily.  The rear is the toughest part as you don't have much material to stretch.  It would help to have a second pair of hands, but it's not necessary.  All in the Gel cost $45.  I already had the stapler and staples and other foam.  It took roughly 2hrs to modify the seat.

 

image0.jpeg.64d48a234200d5de10e003256c424968.jpeg

 

Initial testing was a hour long ride in regular jeans.  The center pressure has been eliminated.  I'll have to check it out on a longer ride to be certain I've got that resolved.  The gel is more comfortable and the seat feels as sturdy ( not squishy) in the normal seating position.  I did measure where I sit normally but I think I didn't place the gel back as far as I should have.  In the first picture, I think if I had placed it at the rear most line the alignment would have been perfect.  Why?  As you sit closer to the edge of the gel it feel stiffer than sitting more in the middle of the gel.  If I scoot up a few inches, I can feel the gel is much softer.  So I would recommend placing the gel more centered on the sitting position depending on how you ride.  For me on the freeway, I'm further from the tank than in the twisties.  The constant shifting weight in the twisties naturally is more comfortable than my freeway position as the pressure points are moving around.

 

I'm happy with the result so far and will need more miles on it to be certain.  I'll provide updates as the miles pile up.   

 

J

 

You've inspired me to do it myself. Already purchased the rally seat with no benefit in the comfort so I've ordered the gel pad, spray adhesive & 2mm foam backed car roof lining material to cover the gel pad & original foam for a uniform finish. I'd checked out prices from custom seat manufacturers & wasn't prepared to pay out nearly 500€ from SW Motech for example for a custom seat.

Edited by Adventure6965
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Adventure6965

So yesterday I modified my standard seat & inserted a gel pad. Tested it today & the pain I was experiencing has virtually gone. So happy with the results. I can now start to enjoy my bike....🙂

20200823_124648.jpg

20200823_162130.jpg

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TimmyTheHog

Did you just removed the center and add the gel or did you shave the corners which are sticking to people's thigh as I read somewhere?

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BRUNO

Easy to do?

 

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Adventure6965
2 hours ago, TimmyTheHog said:

Did you just removed the center and add the gel or did you shave the corners which are sticking to people's thigh as I read somewhere?

I cut out the space for the gel & then covered the gel & original seat foam with 2mm foam back material & then replaced the original cover.

20200823_144409.jpg

20200823_153411.jpg

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Brent

That is a great Idea!  Thanks for the pictures!

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Stevoh

Hi

After purchasing a rally seat and finding it just as painful as the standard seat on longer ride I am about to attempt modified standard seat with gel insert.

Looks straight forward, one question I might ask, what type of staple gun did you use, also (2 questions actually) do you think I'll get away with a hand held mechanical stapler?

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Adventure6965
2 hours ago, Stevoh said:

Hi

After purchasing a rally seat and finding it just as painful as the standard seat on longer ride I am about to attempt modified standard seat with gel insert.

Looks straight forward, one question I might ask, what type of staple gun did you use, also (2 questions actually) do you think I'll get away with a hand held mechanical stapler?

I used a pneumatique staple gun with 6mm staples. I've used a regular staple gun before but it didn't work as well. With the pneumatique stapler the tip protrudes so you can get into the recess better.

20200913_080222.jpg

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Stevoh

Hi,

Interested to know how your seat mod went, in particular the cut out part for tail bone, I'm in the process of seat mod to standard seat and considering cutting a section out of the gel for my tailbone.

I'm not cutting out a recess in the original foam for the gel at this point as I'm looking for a bit extra width, so I'll just go straight over the top, not worried about the looks I just need it to work.

Purchased a rally seat for no gain, the pain in my tail bone was so bad after 2 hrs in the saddle yesterday, today I can hardly sit at all.

I love this bike, but if I can't sort out the seat I'm afraid I'm seriously considering selling it.

 

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rumrum
7 hours ago, Stevoh said:

Hi

After purchasing a rally seat and finding it just as painful as the standard seat on longer ride I am about to attempt modified standard seat with gel insert.

Looks straight forward, one question I might ask, what type of staple gun did you use, also (2 questions actually) do you think I'll get away with a hand held mechanical stapler?

I have done a couple of seats now on other bikes. Definitely get yourself a pneumatic staple gun. I just have a cheap one from Super Crap Auto.

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Stevoh
9 hours ago, rumrum said:

I have done a couple of seats now on other bikes. Definitely get yourself a pneumatic staple gun. I just have a cheap one from Super Crap Auto.

Is this the one you have?

 

Screenshot_20200914-063727.png

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rumrum

That's him. Try to find the shorter staples in SS Bunnings stock them, they may also sell the stapler.

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tooniks
On 8/10/2020 at 11:30 AM, Aleksandar13 said:

I agree with you here.. Mechanics is one things and maintenance to a certain extent I can deal with... This is not for me.. But I'm happy with my seat for now... 330 mile day with a bit of pain.. 😂 

Aleks 

A much simpler option to improve riding comfort may be consider Moto-Skiveez shorts?  Here is a review from ADV Pulse on their tights; https://www.advpulse.com/adv-products/moto-skiveez-compression-tights-review/.  They have both shorts and tights. 

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Aleksandar13
1 minute ago, tooniks said:

A much simpler option to improve riding comfort may be consider Moto-Skiveez shorts?  Here is a review from ADV Pulse on their tights; https://www.advpulse.com/adv-products/moto-skiveez-compression-tights-review/. They have both shorts and tights. 

That is my next move I've got them on the list as they are supposed to be brilliant.. 👍 

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Adventure6965
On 9/13/2020 at 10:37 AM, Stevoh said:

Hi,

Interested to know how your seat mod went, in particular the cut out part for tail bone, I'm in the process of seat mod to standard seat and considering cutting a section out of the gel for my tailbone.

I'm not cutting out a recess in the original foam for the gel at this point as I'm looking for a bit extra width, so I'll just go straight over the top, not worried about the looks I just need it to work.

Purchased a rally seat for no gain, the pain in my tail bone was so bad after 2 hrs in the saddle yesterday, today I can hardly sit at all.

I love this bike, but if I can't sort out the seat I'm afraid I'm seriously considering selling it.

 

I don't get any pain in the tail bone area. If you put the gel over the top of the foam you might not have enough material from the seat to cover it.

Edited by Adventure6965
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Tom McDonough
On 9/13/2020 at 4:37 AM, Stevoh said:

Hi,

Interested to know how your seat mod went, in particular the cut out part for tail bone, I'm in the process of seat mod to standard seat and considering cutting a section out of the gel for my tailbone.

I'm not cutting out a recess in the original foam for the gel at this point as I'm looking for a bit extra width, so I'll just go straight over the top, not worried about the looks I just need it to work.

Purchased a rally seat for no gain, the pain in my tail bone was so bad after 2 hrs in the saddle yesterday, today I can hardly sit at all.

I love this bike, but if I can't sort out the seat I'm afraid I'm seriously considering selling it.

 

If you want to soften the stock seat and relieve pressure on your tailbone . . . cut a section of the seat pan (via a razor knife).  Works great for me.  If needed, I can add foam padding under the the cut area if the foam sinks too much on long trips.  You can start with 2”-3” cut and lengthen as needed.  I am 195lbs . . . thought I needed a wider seat.  This may be all I need . . . I can still add a sheepskin pad to widen the load for longer trips .
 

This mod also worked on the firm seat foam of my V2.

3A49D334-D11A-4BC3-B0CB-C4888BA19043.jpeg

A763B61C-6E9C-4004-A913-2981A2E12D8E.jpeg

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2021 White T7:  Vin# 765

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Tom McDonough

I investigated what it would take for additional cushioning from under the seat . . . I found a way to secure a pad via a strap.  I am using a dense foam grout sponge for now  . . . Rainy day in GA . . . time to tinker.  
My test run this morning was very comfortable.  Plus, I will be prepared to do a grout job everywhere I go:-)

 

9F8289D6-D9C6-4A9F-B321-454F0403961C.jpeg

E3F81027-A0E8-4662-9A92-FB0C48F845B7.jpeg

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