Has Anyone Modified The Stock Seat? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Dec 23rd, 2006, 5:30 pm Thread Starter
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Has Anyone Modified The Stock Seat?

Has anyone out there tried to take the terible stock seat to an upholstery shop to change the shape of the padding to make it more comfortable? I know Rick Mayer and other seats are a good option but I am curious as to if the stock seat itself can be modified.
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post #2 of 12 Old Dec 23rd, 2006, 5:40 pm
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I Sure Did...and it is AWESOME!

I took my seat to Donald's Auto Upholstery in Charlotte, NC and showed them pictures of a Mayer seat and some other seat. They took it apart and re-did the foam, built it up, contoured it and recovered it for $275 and I retained the seat heater. Can't hardly ride an LT with the stock seat now. Wow...what a difference it made!
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Jack Homesley
Cornelius, NC USA
'06 Goldwing - "The Black Pearl"
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post #3 of 12 Old Dec 23rd, 2006, 6:04 pm Thread Starter
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That is awesome. Do you have any pictures?

Sorry, I just saw the photos. It looks great.

Last edited by Billy; Dec 23rd, 2006 at 6:06 pm. Reason: Left something out.
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post #4 of 12 Old Dec 23rd, 2006, 6:48 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy
Has anyone out there tried to take the terible stock seat to an upholstery shop to change the shape of the padding to make it more comfortable? I know Rick Mayer and other seats are a good option but I am curious as to if the stock seat itself can be modified.
I went to the "Hyder Seek" in Hyder, Alaska in June of '05. My '00 LT still had the stock seat and I decided I modify it to make it more comfortable for the long trip. I peeled back the vinyl, took my electric knife and removed about an inch of the stock foam making the seat more flat. I then installed a gel pad w/memory foam and reinstalled the vinyl; I used a gel pad/memory foam seat pad made for a HD Ultra - it fits the LT seat perfectly. I did this the week before I left for Hyder and only got to test it on short rides but it felt great. Took off for Hyder and before midday I knew I'd made a mistake. My butt was getting numb I was constantly figgiting, trying to find a comfortable position. If I hadn't brought my sheepskin along it would of been the most miserable trip of my life; with the sheepskin the seat was bearable. If I'd just left the seat alone and used the gel/foam pad I'd would of been much more comfortable.
Our trip plan called for us to ferry to Vancouver Island, ride to the northern tip and catch the ferry at Port Hardy to Prince Rupert. While on the ferry we ran into Rick Mayer - he was on his way to Hyder also - of course my buddies had rub-it-in by telling Rick what I'd done to my seat.
Moral to the story:
Don't leave on a long trip until you've tested your new seat.

Bruce Hodges
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post #5 of 12 Old Dec 23rd, 2006, 8:52 pm
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New seat soon

We have a local guy (owns a older R bike)that is coming out to look at the bike with us on it in january. He is going to see what he can do to both the front and rear seat. I have had him do other work for us and he always does better than I expect. He should have a couple of months to complete this since the tundra is frozen now. I will post pics and review the comfort when the ice melts.

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post #6 of 12 Old Dec 24th, 2006, 12:58 pm
 
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Bill Mayer did mine, smiling A$$
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post #7 of 12 Old Dec 24th, 2006, 2:01 pm
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I put 600 miles on my LT first time out, but my tail was sore for the last 100 or so. MUCH better for duration riding than my Harley, though.

Bought an Alaska Leather sheepskin pad, but I suspect my butt wants more than that if I'm going to do any real riding on this beast.

Can anyone provide any guidance on what a Mayer rebuild costs? Does he use OEM BMW covering so as to match the rest of the bike?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhargrave
Bill Mayer did mine, smiling A$$

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post #8 of 12 Old Dec 24th, 2006, 2:20 pm
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My 2 cents worth

First off, that's a good looking seat Jack and if it's comfortable and you're happy with it,
I'd say you did all right.

I'm on BMW # 6, so I've had a few seats and I have more than a few opinions,

and of course you all are "entitled to my opinion"

Many years ago I found an "original" Mayer seat in the salvage department of the local BMW shop (Haps) I don't know how many miles it had on it already, but I put over 80K on it and my 76 R90/6, there wasn't much left of it by the time I sold the bike, I loved that seat.

Mayer was no longer making seats and he sold the business to his partner Russel. (Day long saddle)

I had Russel build a seat for my 83 R80RT, wore it out too,
I was so happy with the Russel seats that I bought one for my 90 K75RT,

In 96 when I got my K1100LT I took the seat to a local auto upholstery shop that was recommended by a few HD guys I know, he recut the seat so I could sit back further
(remember the knees against the fairing) and then recovered it with some industrial strength vinyl.
That seat was indestructible, but man did it ever hurt my ass,
that vinyl was so tough it wouldn't give at all.

I bought a gell pad from "Bunz-eze" great product, I still use it today.
Learned quick though, not to leave it out in the sun, yoouwee hot, hot, hot.
And when it gets cold, it stays cold for a long, long time.

Now I use these "qualities" to my advantage, on trips when it's really hot, I place the gell pad in the cooler, at the next stop it goes on the seat and I feel "cool" all under for 30-40 minutes.

Eventually I bought another Russel seat for the K1100LT,
it still looked like new when I sold it some 87K later.

Then I got the 02 LT, everybody on the forum said Rick Mayer was the way to go,
so I sent him my seats (3 pcs leather)
the day the seats arrived I called Rick on the phone and told him:
no way was I gonna pay $750 for anything of this poor quality,
we had words, I sent the seats back,
(In all fairness I should mention that this was the last seat he did before running the Ironbutt rally,
I think he had other things on his mind)

A couple months later I got the seats back,
quality was better but I still wasn't very happy with the comfort level,
after a couple hundred miles the piping on the edge of the seat would dig into my thighs
and start to burn,
I was back to using the gell pad.
On our trip out west last spring I did a ride in at Rick Mayers shop,
That changed my opinion of him, I found him to be a very like-able, personable guy,
he redid the seat (no charge) and made it a lot more comfortable,

looking at that seat today it seems he put a lot more "effort" into detail and quality
during the "ride in" rebuild than previously and even comparing it to the seat on the 05
(rivets instead of staples etc.)

(That just means he knows what side his bread is buttered on)

Unfortunately, three weeks later I totaled the 02 LT.

Fast forward a few months and I bought the 05 LT which came with a Rick Mayer seat
(3pcs grey leather) more comfortable than the 02 seat was when I first got it,

fast forward another six months and 20K later,
I'm getting ready to send the seat back to Rick,
same issue that the 02 seat had (the piping)

So finally if you can get your seat done locally
(read: no six weeks without a seat) you might be better of,
going with a "good" name is no guarantee you'll be happy.

Anticipating the next question I'll be asked,
would I buy another Rick Mayer seat?
Maybe,
by now I know what I want from him,
or I might try another Russel because I never had any complaints about their seats.


Hans
St. Petersburg FL

2002 K1200LTE
"Silver Buffalo" Totaled 5/06
2005 LT
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post #9 of 12 Old Dec 24th, 2006, 2:51 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cccpastorjack
I took my seat to Donald's Auto Upholstery in Charlotte, NC and showed them pictures of a Mayer seat and some other seat. They took it apart and re-did the foam, built it up, contoured it and recovered it for $275 and I retained the seat heater. Can't hardly ride an LT with the stock seat now. Wow...what a difference it made!
Hey Pastor,
That looks like very good work. Did they put in some gel or high density foam, too? Is it an all day kind of seat?

Blessings!
munson+

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post #10 of 12 Old Dec 24th, 2006, 11:31 pm
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I had Bill "Rocky" Mayer do my seat on the KTM 950 a few years back and really like it. I have a friend who owns an RT and has had one of everything on it, he had Rocky build him one and loves it. The seat will probably be in the area of $500. One thing I really like it Rock doesn't use piping or alot of seams. The best thing is a ride-in for any seat build.

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post #11 of 12 Old Dec 25th, 2006, 8:52 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy
Has anyone out there tried to take the terible stock seat to an upholstery shop to change the shape of the padding to make it more comfortable? I know Rick Mayer and other seats are a good option but I am curious as to if the stock seat itself can be modified.
Rick Mayer rebuilt my stock saddle. Boy, what a difference. The most I've ridden on it was 1546 miles in 22 hours. Not one sore spot anywhere. Not to mention that he lowered in 1 1/2 inches and made it narrower, so that my short legs with now "flat-foot it" easily.

Dick Wood
2014 R1200RTW Quartz Blue Metallic
Previous2008 Aventurin Silver Metallic K1200GT
Previous 2002 Toscana Green LTE
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post #12 of 12 Old Dec 25th, 2006, 11:38 pm
 
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Remodeled seat

I took my seat to a local upholstery shop and had it modified. He removed the foam and resculpted it from the bottom. When the seat was recovered, it was impossible to see the difference. Just like stock. But the reshaping made a huge difference to the comfort. I was considering one of the aftermarket options, but not now. I am happy, and recommend this procedure.
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