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Old 11-16-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
kubiak OP
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seat material

i was wondering about seat material, i see some of the high end aftermarket seats with a suede or cloth material on top. is it better to use than the standard stuff or does it just look better?
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:19 PM   #2
StuartV
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I strongly prefer basketweave vinyl for my seat surfaces.

There's a fine line to walk. On the one hand, you don't want a seat to be too slippery. If you slip backwards and forwards on the gas and brakes, it makes it harder to keep your body, and thus, the bike, stable.

Butt (ha ha!), the more you stick to your seat surface, the more it promotes chafing. Really smooth vinyl is, I think, probably the worst. Any dampness (even from just body moisture) causes you to stick to it - well, moreso than any other seat material I can think of. Then, the little tiny movements you make as you ride - or the big ones, if you like to move around to change the angle of your knees, etc. - cause it to tug a little bit on your skin and your leg/butt hairs. No big deal on shorter rides. But, 2 or 3 days of 500 to 1,000 miles per day and it can become EXTREMELY painful. Especially if you're wearing something like regular cotton underwear under the rest of your gear.

Basketweave vinyl won't stick to you like smooth vinyl. But, it's not so slippery that it causes problems - as long you don't do something like ArmorAll it. And it doesn't hurt it to get it wet, nor does it soak up water and get your butt wet.

Smooth leather would be better than smooth vinyl. And leather *may* - debatable and depends on exactly what leather you get - last longer than vinyl (of any kind). But, it's expensive and it requires more care and consideration. And by the time you spend the same amount of money, vinyl will definitely outlast it.

My $0.02, anyway.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
kubiak OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartV View Post
I strongly prefer basketweave vinyl for my seat surfaces.

There's a fine line to walk. On the one hand, you don't want a seat to be too slippery. If you slip backwards and forwards on the gas and brakes, it makes it harder to keep your body, and thus, the bike, stable.

Butt (ha ha!), the more you stick to your seat surface, the more it promotes chafing. Really smooth vinyl is, I think, probably the worst. Any dampness (even from just body moisture) causes you to stick to it - well, moreso than any other seat material I can think of. Then, the little tiny movements you make as you ride - or the big ones, if you like to move around to change the angle of your knees, etc. - cause it to tug a little bit on your skin and your leg/butt hairs. No big deal on shorter rides. But, 2 or 3 days of 500 to 1,000 miles per day and it can become EXTREMELY painful. Especially if you're wearing something like regular cotton underwear under the rest of your gear.

Basketweave vinyl won't stick to you like smooth vinyl. But, it's not so slippery that it causes problems - as long you don't do something like ArmorAll it. And it doesn't hurt it to get it wet, nor does it soak up water and get your butt wet.

Smooth leather would be better than smooth vinyl. And leather *may* - debatable and depends on exactly what leather you get - last longer than vinyl (of any kind). But, it's expensive and it requires more care and consideration. And by the time you spend the same amount of money, vinyl will definitely outlast it.

My $0.02, anyway.
thats some good info!
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:27 PM   #4
AviatorTroy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartV View Post
I strongly prefer basketweave vinyl for my seat surfaces.

There's a fine line to walk. On the one hand, you don't want a seat to be too slippery. If you slip backwards and forwards on the gas and brakes, it makes it harder to keep your body, and thus, the bike, stable.

Butt (ha ha!), the more you stick to your seat surface, the more it promotes chafing. Really smooth vinyl is, I think, probably the worst. Any dampness (even from just body moisture) causes you to stick to it - well, moreso than any other seat material I can think of. Then, the little tiny movements you make as you ride - or the big ones, if you like to move around to change the angle of your knees, etc. - cause it to tug a little bit on your skin and your leg/butt hairs. No big deal on shorter rides. But, 2 or 3 days of 500 to 1,000 miles per day and it can become EXTREMELY painful. Especially if you're wearing something like regular cotton underwear under the rest of your gear.

Basketweave vinyl won't stick to you like smooth vinyl. But, it's not so slippery that it causes problems - as long you don't do something like ArmorAll it. And it doesn't hurt it to get it wet, nor does it soak up water and get your butt wet.

Smooth leather would be better than smooth vinyl. And leather *may* - debatable and depends on exactly what leather you get - last longer than vinyl (of any kind). But, it's expensive and it requires more care and consideration. And by the time you spend the same amount of money, vinyl will definitely outlast it.

My $0.02, anyway.
Man I couldn't have said it better myself! The worst thing about the seat on my GS is not that the shape is all that bad, but the material is so grippy that it prevents small movements that change pressure points. My 5$ Walmart modified bead seat cover took care of that.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:35 PM   #5
kubiak OP
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so why are the expensive seat companies using suede and it seems a lot of dakar race bikes use it too?
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:59 PM   #6
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i think i should be ok with any material since the longest day for me is about 400 miles but i was looking more for durability against elements like stains, dirt,rips and uv rays. my poor bike gets paint overspray and body shop dust all over it and gets stained from the overspray. i was wondering if cloth or suede was better since it would hide the stuff better and i could just smack all the dust off the seat cover? i know, just get a bike cover but i ride every day and too lazy to cover it.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:03 PM   #7
StuartV
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Seems to me that expensive seat companies offer it because people will buy it. People who think more expensive equals better. Many masters of that kind of rationalization around here. Especially in the BMW crowd (I get to say that, since I have one :)).

If they're using them on Dakar bikes, I can only guess that it would be because it helps the rider grip the bike between their knees better when they're standing up. At least, I think I would enjoy that extra grippage with my knees when I'm up on the pegs on my dirt bike.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kubiak View Post
i think i should be ok with any material since the longest day for me is about 400 miles but i was looking more for durability against elements like stains, dirt,rips and uv rays. my poor bike gets paint overspray and body shop dust all over it and gets stained from the overspray. i was wondering if cloth or suede was better since it would hide the stuff better and i could just smack all the dust off the seat cover? i know, just get a bike cover but i ride every day and too lazy to cover it.
I would think vinyl would be your best bet. Easiest to clean and none of that stuff will soak in. And, the least expensive to replace if it does get messed up.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kubiak View Post
so why are the expensive seat companies using suede and it seems a lot of dakar race bikes use it too?
Kubiak, I've been running a suede cover I did myself on a Husky TC450 for the last 2 years and love it! Grip is fantastic and bike sits outside in the sun and rain all summer(as it's ridden all the time) with no signs of degradation.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:56 PM   #10
Sport
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I prefer a leather seating area with vinyl sides, the areas that get scrunched down. Vinyl doesn't suffer as badly as leather over time when its scrunched down and wrinkled. I have a custom Corbin seat that is nearly eight years old and has over 50,000 miles on it and it still looks and performs as new. No piping either, no reason for the seats to cause creases or indentations in my legs
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:41 PM   #11
PeterW
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I prefer plain black textured furnishing vinyl - which is a good compromise for comfort/grip.

It's "good enough" , inexpensive, easy to get, and easy to work if you have hot days or a GOOD heat gun - replacement is a 30 minute job.

Probably lasts as well as anything else, the last seat I did had 40,000 k's on the vinyl when I sold it, looked great still.

Yeah, you can go leather/vinyl combos or whatever, but it'll still wear or get ripped - my choice costs <$20 and 30 minutes of my own time to make 'new' again.

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:45 AM   #12
kubiak OP
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great info, i guess i just like the looks of the suede/vinyl seats and trying to convince myself to use it on my seat lol!
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kubiak View Post
great info, i guess i just like the looks of the suede/vinyl seats and trying to convince myself to use it on my seat lol!
Just do it! Fabric or craft shop suede and power stapler with short staples worked for me on a plastic base. Suede formed/stretched very nicely for a perfect wrinkle free fit even after 2years in the elements.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:45 PM   #14
kubiak OP
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Just do it! Fabric or craft shop suede and power stapler with short staples worked for me on a plastic base. Suede formed/stretched very nicely for a perfect wrinkle free fit even after 2years in the elements.
does suede stretch easier than vinyl? i do my own seats as long as i can use one piece of fabric and stretch it over. vinyl is ok to work with since it stretches.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:07 PM   #15
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I have plenty of buyers from So Cal who have KTM bikes with velour or similar covers on their seats. They use my stuff for rainy weather but tell me the insert is a mod they all do to the seats because they are comfortable and great in the heat.

Thought this might help.
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