$11 Seat Rebuild: KLR or about any bike

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by AKTobias, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. AKTobias

    AKTobias Frugal Badass

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Instead of forking out the money for something more comfy than my stock KLR seat, I decided to rebuild what I had. I've got champagne taste, but a beer budget. Bottom line: I wanted a dished saddle and good foam, but didn't want to fund Corbin's kids' college.

    Cost of Materials used $11.
    -spray adhesive
    -laminate underlayment (waterproof)
    -8# carpet padding (it's more firm than stock KLR seat foam)

    Step 1: Take cover off seat. Cut down old foam. The KLR was more of a motocross seat (tall and narrow) so I brought it down from 4.75 inches to 1.5 inches with a sawzall and a long blade.

    Step 2: Spray glue on remaining seat foam. Set 2 layers of 8# carpet padding on seat. Let it dry. Then cut the carpet padding to the shape of the seat.

    Step 3: Shape the seat with whatever you have. I used a grinder and it made a mess. It will take me longer to clean up that mess than it took me to do this whole project. I shaped a fairly deep saddle into the seat and then sat on it a little after each bit of cutting. I wanted it to fit my butt perfectly.

    Step 4: Wrap it with a waterproof underlayment that goes under laminate flooring. I did 2 layers to cover up my not so perfect job of grinding the 8# carpet padding. It smoothed out the lumps, and adds a waterproofing.

    Step 5: Now the difficult part of the job. To make the seat fabric stay down inside the saddle and not bubble up when you pull it tight to staple it ... you have to glue it in place. Lay the old seat cover on. Begin with the saddle area. Use your spray glue, and let it really dry before you pull and stretch and staple it underneath. As it was drying, I used a little weight to hold the inside curves of the saddle down. I used a 7 year old 72 lb little girl who can't get enough of sitting on the bike.

    Step 6: Pull the edges tight around the bottom of the seat and staple the seat cover underneath.

    I basically cut off 2 inches from the height of the seat ... and it helps me a bit to plant my whole foot on the ground at stops, or while pushing through the snow this week.

    This worked well and looks like a custom seat ... except for the Kawasaki logo down the side of it.

    I've got great pictures I'd like to load ... but can't. Is ADV not compatible with Mac?
    #1
  2. See-Double-You

    See-Double-You Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,693
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Sabre

    Sabre Prêt? Allez!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,962
    Location:
    Ferntucky, Washington
    Sounds like something that would appeal to a wide audience here. Some sites allow you to upload pics directly to the site's database. Here at ADV, you'll want to upload them to some commercial photo hosting site and simply insert a hyperlink to the pics (as the above poster shows). Saves a ton of storage here. ADV Rider is affiliated with Smugmug, but any of the others work just fine.
    #3
  4. Wannabee

    Wannabee Survivor of Reality

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,476
    Location:
    Portage ,PA
    I was just thinking about this today , I would like a better seat , but don't have the $$$$$$$$ to drop on a commercial seat. It really would be nice to see the seat in progress , I have some ideas , but never having done anything like that , pics help!
    #4
  5. eyedragaknee

    eyedragaknee McGuyver

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,319
    Location:
    Triangle
    Electric knife to cut the foam
    #5
  6. MikeyT

    MikeyT Krusty Olde Pharte™

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,633
    Location:
    The Thumb of Michigan
    Another option, more money than cutting up your seat, but a lot less than a new aftermarket seat is Spencer's Motocare. Ship him your seat and he will trim the foam, add what you need, sculpt it and even add gel to it if you want. It'll cost $50, $75 if he adds the gel, plus shipping both ways. He does really nice work.

    http://greatdaytoride.com/Home_Page.php
    #6
  7. Wannabee

    Wannabee Survivor of Reality

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,476
    Location:
    Portage ,PA
    Thanks for the link RatBob , I will be in contact with him , sounds like just what I am looking for.
    #7
  8. clangers

    clangers Love a drink

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    220
    Location:
    Tocumwal, NSW, Australia
    +1, does a very neat job
    #8
  9. Northwoods Yeti

    Northwoods Yeti Almost house broken

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,728
    Location:
    La-X


    What Sabre said. I have a MAC and works fine with Photobucket
    #9
  10. mogwai

    mogwai humorless prick

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,366
    I was not interested in DIY but didn't want to pay $$ for aftermarket. I asked my dealer to recommend someone who works on motorcycle seats. He suggested a local upholsterer. :thumb
    #10
  11. AKTobias

    AKTobias Frugal Badass

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The stock seat is like a motorcross seat, high and narrow. I wanted shorter and wider, like my actual physique.
    [​IMG]

    After removing the staples underneath with a flathead screwdriver, this is what you get.

    [​IMG]


    My work area. I used a sawzall to cut the foam down. See how close I got to the line? Pure luck.

    [​IMG]

    This is after I trimmed the original foam to my liking and tried it on the bike.

    [​IMG]

    You can see a little of the saddle I cut into the carpet padding. This is 8 lb. padding.

    [​IMG]

    This is the laminate underlayment. It adds waterproofing and a bit of cushion.

    [​IMG]

    I did 2 layers of this.

    [​IMG]

    While glueing the saddle part, I left the ends loose, not glued or stapled. This enabled me to glue the saddle and then stretch the rest.

    [​IMG]

    This is my helper. A 72 pound girl who can't get enough of a motorcycle is a perfect seat holder while the glue dries. She actually sat still for about 10 minutes!

    [​IMG]

    This one really shows the saddle well after the glue stuck and I stretched the rest, stapling it underneath.

    [​IMG]

    Final Product.

    [​IMG]

    Looking at her from the side.

    [​IMG]

    Looking at her from the rear. From this angle you can see that it is wider.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a close-up of the saddle.

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. Wannabee

    Wannabee Survivor of Reality

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,476
    Location:
    Portage ,PA
    Great Mod!
    Makes me want to attempted my own , but the scroll work on your saddle looks like it maybe complicated !:lol3
    #12
  13. CA Stu

    CA Stu Steer with your face! Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    48,205
    Location:
    Riverside, CA
    Great job!


    Thanks
    CA Stu
    #13
  14. Transalp Jas

    Transalp Jas Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    807
    Location:
    Corner Brook,NL
    That's some fine work. Have you tried it on an extended ride yet?
    #14
  15. AKTobias

    AKTobias Frugal Badass

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I've not gone an extended ride yet because I've not gone out at all yet. We still have a bit of snow and ice on the roads. But I have done a lot of sitting on it in the garage ... making vrooming sounds.

    I'm planning on pushing through the ice in my neighborhood today and going toward some dry roads. I may ride for an hour or 2, and will let you know.

    I still plan on getting a sheep skin cover from Barb at Alaska Leather. Everyone swears by them ... so I'll take their word for it. But for around town rides and out in the bush, this ought to be perfect.
    #15
  16. Superhawk

    Superhawk Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    684
    Location:
    Flatlands of NJ
    Nice work !
    #16
  17. brnsfn

    brnsfn Brownsfan

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Bellevue, OH
    +1 on the Alaska Leather sheepskin...I love mine!
    #17
  18. AKTobias

    AKTobias Frugal Badass

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    It worked great! JimBlack and I rode down to Girdwood and back (80 miles) and it was nice. At 34 degrees with snow on the shoulder it was a little chilly, and a strong breezy wind coming in from the Turnagain arm made me wish I had the sheepskin on today. But that's next month's expense.
    #18
  19. ruh roh

    ruh roh hey Yall

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Central Ark
    Good job. Except for the Logo being slightly higher, its hard to tell at first glance. The blue waterproof stuff - did you glue that down or just staple it? glue between both layers?
    #19
  20. AKTobias

    AKTobias Frugal Badass

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    240
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The blue stuff (underlayment for laminate flooring) is really kind of tacky/sticky and it worked well in shaping the seat. I sprayed adhesive on the foam before I put on the first layer, then let it sit and cut the edges off of the blue stuff around the bottom of the seat. At the bend by the gas tank, I cut a "v" into it on each side of the seat. Then I sprayed it again with the adhesive and put the second layer on, cutting my "v" in a different spot and trimming the bottom edges.

    Rode over 100 miles on it altogether today and it did fine.
    #20