Seat Modification-A different approach - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-31-2009, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Seat Modification-A different approach

This may have already been done, but I feel I need to share so here goes.....


So this story started about a month ago when I decided I wanted the Versys. I had just sold my 2007 Ninja 250 because I wanted a more upright riding position and the offer was good. The dealer here didn't have the bikes set up to test ride, so I went in and sat on it a few times, loved the positioning, and decided that this was the machine for me.





The day I got "Verbal" (my wife named him...don't mess with her), I rode him for 55 miles and realized that I had just sunk $7000 into a machine that had a horrible seat! 55 miles and my tailbone felt like it's about to explode? The horrid frontal wedgie? Sliding forward whenever braking?? What is this??!!! This couldn't be happening! This must be changed asap or my wife is gonna kick my respective backside for spending our money on a bike that is too uncomfortable to ride. I thought "I'm gonna change this without buying a custom seat and without spending more than 25 bucks."

After pouring through all the posts about seat modification, I built my courage up and decided to take a stab at modifying the seat. I gathered my tools, removed the staples and pulled the seat cover back and then I froze. Was I about to mutilate my seat? What if I mess it up? Is this going to be worse?...ad infinitum...

I balked...

I DIDN'T want to start cutting with my electric knife OR start sanding with my orbital sander. My guts went out the door with the morning trash....so I sat...

and I pondered...

and I waited for the epiphany that often comes when I sit still and concentrate on something hard enough...(no punch line needed)

As I sat there and looked the seat over, i thought about how I could do this without sanding, cutting, or using the cool "nose raising with a bracket" technique....

And then it hit me! If I could peel the seat cushion away from the plastic seat base, then I could build the seat up from the underside of the cushion on the plastic seat base without destroying my seat. SURE ENOUGH, the seat cushion was just glued at the edges that folded over the plastic and nowhere else. With a little gentle prying, my seat cushion came off nearly clean!







I set the cushion aside and rolled out an old $14.00 yoga mat to use as my underpadding.





This is the only material I used in the seat. I cut pieces from the mat with a set of scissors, shaped them around the nose and center of the seat in the areas that needed to be raised, and glued them to the plastic base with a can of $4.50 spray adhesive.







Notice I didn't take any special care in grinding the yoga mat, and I just applied the glue to one side of each layer so I could peel off cleanly if any modifications are needed.. The seat cushion covers most of it.

Then I placed the seat cushion back on top and stapled the seat cover back down with SHORT staples ($3.00) The long ones stick through and poke the nether regions!










It has a couple of wrinkles, but they are barely noticeable!

The ultimate test was a ride, so I took it out last night and rode for about 15 miles, and they were the best 15 miles ever! I broke hard to test the slide and frontal wedgie factor, I hit some twisties to ensure I could move around on the seat easily, and I hit some bumpy roads to see how well it stood up to the "giblet jostling" test! IT WORKED! IT WORKED WELL! Of course, I need to put some real miles on it to test the endurance level, but I can tell you that even short trips into town were turning uncomfortable. After last nights mod, I want to live on my Versys! WOOOHOOO!

Total Cost: $21.50

$14.00 for the yoga mat
$ 4.50 for the spray adhesive
$ 3.00 for the staples
Arrow Heavy Duty Stapler (in garage)
Small flathead screwdriver (to pry staples out)
Hammer (to ensure the staples are secure)
Kitchen scissors (don't tell my wife)

The cost is actually quite a bit less less considering I still have half of a yoga mat, 90% of the staples, and over 1/2 a can of spray glue left!


On another note....I put the spray adhesive in the closet next to the spray starch. This morning whilst ironing, I grabbed the wrong can and glued the iron to my shirt. I don't have a picture.....
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post #2 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-31-2009, 06:24 PM
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Great post!
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post #3 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-31-2009, 06:26 PM
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This post is great! Enough "how to" to answer my questions.

I'll be watching this thread as you get some more miles on it.

That was a great remedy for you. I have Russell saddles on all my bikes. I have always thought there must be a less expensive way to get some comfort.

Your comment "I want to live on my Versys!" says a lot. I know what you are talking about. Thats the way a Russel feels. I think you found a way that allows experimentation without spending $600.

I'll give it a go before I drop the ching on a Russel this time.
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post #4 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-31-2009, 07:10 PM
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shed.head

Nicely done! Definitely gonna give it a shot.

Do you think that you could have peeled the cover on back over the "hump" and trimmed it back a little? I sure could use a little more room to the rear.

Montani Semper Liberi
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post #5 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-31-2009, 07:37 PM
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I reworked my seat completely a while back, just did a 200 mile ride this past sunday....no more butt ache.....
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post #6 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-31-2009, 08:55 PM
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Glad you guys are able to work the seat to your stature. Guess i must be built different or been rideing terrible seats as i kind of like the seat the way it is. So much better than the 650 R i had. I do a couple hundred miles and no problems so far. Not as good as the 1600 cruiser but that is expected. Best seat i have is on the old 92 Secca. Why as the bikes get newer do the seats get worse. You would think that would be the one thing they would make the best they could as it is so darn important. More than half the write ups on bikes say the seat needs to be replaced. Good job on yours and thanks for the how to.

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post #7 of 70 (permalink) Old 03-31-2009, 11:25 PM
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Nice. Very nice!

2007 Versys Black, V35 Bags, H&B Bars, Skidmarx Hugger.Fender Ex., Avon Distanzia, Braided Lines, Hella 65W bulbs Arrow Can, DNA Air filter, GIVI tall screen (for winter), PCIII, Baldwin Saddle. **SOLD**

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post #8 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Milanowski View Post
This post is great! Enough "how to" to answer my questions.

I'll be watching this thread as you get some more miles on it.

That was a great remedy for you. I have Russell saddles on all my bikes. I have always thought there must be a less expensive way to get some comfort.

Your comment "I want to live on my Versys!" says a lot. I know what you are talking about. Thats the way a Russel feels. I think you found a way that allows experimentation without spending $600.

I'll give it a go before I drop the ching on a Russel this time.
Please let us know how your mod works out. Let me know if you have any questions. I can't imagine spending another 600 bucks on a seat. Phew.
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post #9 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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shed.head

Nicely done! Definitely gonna give it a shot.

Do you think that you could have peeled the cover on back over the "hump" and trimmed it back a little? I sure could use a little more room to the rear.

Hey Spklbuk,

What you will have to do is remove the staples from the back of the seat and pull the cover forwards toward the front of the seat. Here is why.

Your seat has a seam between the back and front cushion of the seat.



This seam is pulled tight with strings that go through the seat and to the bottom where they are wrapped around plastic posts and then stapled.



Now these strings are really tight, so messing with them would probably mess with the tightness of the seat. Even if you removed them and then put them back, I think it would be too difficult to get them tight again after removal.


So in my opinion, I believe you could remove some foam from the back hump but I think you would have to go in from behind!
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post #10 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Great post!
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Nice. Very nice!
Thank you both. I hope this helps someone!
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post #11 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsunamichop007 View Post
I reworked my seat completely a while back, just did a 200 mile ride this past sunday....no more butt ache.....

Hey tsunamichop007,

Yes I have read many of your comments in other threads on your seat modification. You guys have alot more guts than I do when it comes to chopping and grinding. Thanks for sharing your experiences, as they gave me the confidence to at least remove the staples I'm glad your seat is working well for you.
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post #12 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deano View Post
Glad you guys are able to work the seat to your stature. Guess i must be built different or been rideing terrible seats as i kind of like the seat the way it is. So much better than the 650 R i had. I do a couple hundred miles and no problems so far. Not as good as the 1600 cruiser but that is expected. Best seat i have is on the old 92 Secca. Why as the bikes get newer do the seats get worse. You would think that would be the one thing they would make the best they could as it is so darn important. More than half the write ups on bikes say the seat needs to be replaced. Good job on yours and thanks for the how to.
Hey Deano,

I'm sure glad you aren't experiencing the same difficulties some of us are having. I'm sure some of it has to do with posture, and what you are used to, etc etc. It is a shame that many cyclists must purchase a new seat or modify their own seat because the manufacturer skimped on it. Of course, if they spent more time on their seats, corbin and russell and everyone else wouldn't exist...the jobs wouldn't be there....and so on and so on.....

Hopefully more people are like you and love the seat because this is a GREAT motorcycle, and I would hate for people not to experience the pleasure derived from driving it because the manufacturer was lax when it came to seat design.

Thanks for the feedback!
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post #13 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 10:08 AM
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I did pretty much the same thing to mine almost right after I got my bike except I used some of the .5 inch thick camping pad (the stuff you put under your sleeping bag). It helped quite a lot. I've reworked a lot of bike seats over the years; sometime with great results, sometime with so-so. But I still wasn't completely satisfied with the reworked V seat. I thought about again removing the cover and making the stock foam slightly dished from side to side which would give better support and give even more relief to the pressure on the "boys". Then I found a place that gave me 15% off MSRP and in addition lower shipping cost on a Corbin. Never looked back.

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post #14 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 10:31 AM
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This is my rebuilt seat.About 3 inches higher as I am 6ft 4ins.
Ted.
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post #15 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 11:27 AM
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I modified my seat also. I removed the staples from the front back past the hump. As stated, there is just a very small amount of glue at the very front and removing the front foam is very easy. I sanded the back down with an angle grinder and then hand sanded. Now here is the trick. After removing about a half inch from the back part of the seat, if you do not tighten the bar that goes across under the seat, the cover will not be as tight and not look as good as before. I found that this was an easy task also. I used a 14 gauge solid copper wire striped of its insulation (typical house wiring) and bend a hook in one end and twisted the other end into a nice handle. The bar that goes under the seat is plastic and can be bent quit a bit. I pushed the hooked end of the wire trough from the bottom over the plastic bar and was now able to exert enough pressure to bend the bar enough that I could wrap the thread around the little seat post (pin?) to tighten it without having to cut or change anything there. After re-stapling (I have never found an electric staple gun that has enough power for this job, always use an air staple gun) the seat looks stock, not one wrinkle, and ir WORKS. Have rode about 100 miles with it now and the results made this into one of the best non-after market seats I have ever sat on.
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post #16 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 03:41 PM
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shed.head and pegasus,
Thanks for your considerate replies and advice.

I get the feeling that my seat it about to be redone!
spklbuk

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post #17 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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I modified my seat also. I removed the staples from the front back past the hump. As stated, there is just a very small amount of glue at the very front and removing the front foam is very easy. I sanded the back down with an angle grinder and then hand sanded. Now here is the trick. After removing about a half inch from the back part of the seat, if you do not tighten the bar that goes across under the seat, the cover will not be as tight and not look as good as before. I found that this was an easy task also. I used a 14 gauge solid copper wire striped of its insulation (typical house wiring) and bend a hook in one end and twisted the other end into a nice handle. The bar that goes under the seat is plastic and can be bent quit a bit. I pushed the hooked end of the wire trough from the bottom over the plastic bar and was now able to exert enough pressure to bend the bar enough that I could wrap the thread around the little seat post (pin?) to tighten it without having to cut or change anything there. After re-stapling (I have never found an electric staple gun that has enough power for this job, always use an air staple gun) the seat looks stock, not one wrinkle, and ir WORKS. Have rode about 100 miles with it now and the results made this into one of the best non-after market seats I have ever sat on.
Awesome Pegasus! I didn't get that deep into the seat so I didn't even know about the plastic bar that holds the cover. This will definitely help others!
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post #18 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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shed.head and pegasus,
Thanks for your considerate replies and advice.

I get the feeling that my seat it about to be redone!
spklbuk

You are quite welcome spklbuk.

Keep us posted on your progress!
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post #19 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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This is my rebuilt seat.About 3 inches higher as I am 6ft 4ins.
Ted.
Very nice! I like the shape! Did you have this done or did you do it yourself?
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post #20 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DennisD View Post
I did pretty much the same thing to mine almost right after I got my bike except I used some of the .5 inch thick camping pad (the stuff you put under your sleeping bag). It helped quite a lot. I've reworked a lot of bike seats over the years; sometime with great results, sometime with so-so. But I still wasn't completely satisfied with the reworked V seat. I thought about again removing the cover and making the stock foam slightly dished from side to side which would give better support and give even more relief to the pressure on the "boys". Then I found a place that gave me 15% off MSRP and in addition lower shipping cost on a Corbin. Never looked back.
Now that's a good deal on the Corbin. Care to share where you got it for those who don't want to get into modding their seat?
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