seat material

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by kubiak, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    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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  2. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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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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  3. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    thats some good info!
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  4. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

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    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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  5. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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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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  6. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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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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  7. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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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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  8. StuartV

    StuartV Motorcyclist

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    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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  9. MitchG

    MitchG Iron Collector

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    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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  10. Sport

    Sport Been here awhile

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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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  11. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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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.

    Pete
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  12. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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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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  13. MitchG

    MitchG Iron Collector

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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.
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  14. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    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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  15. KingOfFleece

    KingOfFleece SplitWeight(tm) waterproof seat covers

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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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  16. MitchG

    MitchG Iron Collector

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    The suede I used stretched just fine to conform to the TC450 factory foam and base. Go find some suede in a store and play with it in the store before you make a purchase. I assume there are different thicknesses that stretch differently but I got lucky and found the right one on the first try. It comes in a number of colours as well.

    Ya, and it doesn't get hot in the sun and dries fast.
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  17. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    [​IMG]
    the good in the heat thing would be good. my seat has some curves so its got to stretch to fit tight. i really like the looks of the vinyl sides with suede or cloth top.
    #17
  18. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

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    leather breathes, vinyl doesn't.
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  19. catweasel67

    catweasel67 Honda XRV 750 RD04

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    I like leather but I did have a problem when my bike was fully loaded - I'd hook my leg over the saddle and scuff the seat with my boots - after a solid month of doing that I could see some damage (scuffing) had been done. In hindsight I'd have had that section reinforced.
    #19