If You have spent any time on a stock Japanese motorcycle, excluding the modern versions of the Honda Goldwing touring bikes, You know that for the most part, the factory seats on them is an insult to Our heini’s.
I figure, that Kawasaki spent about $4 to make the stock seat on My Concours14. A motorcycle company that prides itself on the technology of it’s incredible 1400 cc engine, has no clue when it comes to a bikes seat.
After riding on this torture device for a while, I had to do something. I’m a hands on guy, & I was positive I could do better.
Evolution #1. That something was to get My little industrial sewing machine fired up, learn how to use it, and make My own. Rebonded foam, & high density foam was sourced from an internet warehouse. I added some foam to the stock seat under the factory cover. Then I reinstalled the cover. The results, while not hideous, they were close. It was a lumpy mess. Looked like I was hiding last years leaf raking stuffed under a wetsuit. Do it over buster.
Evolution #2 After that fiasco, it was time to get more serious. This time I went to My local Tandy’s leather supply, & bought a black leather upholstery hide. While the 1.5 oz leather that they sell is a little light for a motorcycle seat, it was by far more robust than the stock plastic cover. Working on My sewing machine, I soon had a technique down for laying down a pretty decent single stitch.
Taking the seat completely apart, I completely changed the profile of the seat, & added foam to build it up.
I re contoured the seat foam to maximize the comfort. I did the best I could at keeping it esthetically pleasing, but comfort was My main objective. My first attempt at a quilted leather cover started out with high hopes.
The longer I worked on it though, the more I realized, I just didn’t have the experience to do something that complicated. I started a second cover that was plain leather with no design. This is what I ended up with.
It was very comfy, & I was pretty happy with it…at first. My seat was super high. High enough in fact, that it changed My relationship to My handlebars, & My pegs. The extra leg room was nice, but being stooped over more was an issue. Also an issue was no longer being able to flatfoot at a stop. Still, I rode on the seat for an entire season.
At one point, I removed My bags from the bike to wash it. That was when I said to Myself, Self…that looks awful. She really looked goofy with the bags off. Something had to Be done.
Evolution #3 Custom seat. It’s time for a custom job. The seat makers on the table all had great seats. At a substantial cost though. One place in Florida, makes great touring seats that run upwards of $750, & are very big. They are not bad looking seats, but look like a Goldwing seat, & kinda out of place on a sport tourer.
Enter Seth Laam of LAAM Custom Seats. http://yourcustomseat.com/ Seth knows motorcycle seats. Although a relative youngster, He has been doing the motorcycle seat gig for 12 years or so. I gave Seth a call. Told him of My attempts to do My own mods on a seat, & fully expecting to be laughed outta my socks. Seth, however, was very sympathetic, & led Me thru a series of questions He used to determine My needs. I was impressed. I boxed up the monstrosity I built, took it to UPS, & sawed off My left arm to have it shipped to Him. After considerable time in transit to & from Seth’s shop, He had My seat done in record time. I got it back, & immediately put it on the bike.
This seat is a work of art. Seth does bang up work. Not only is the seat beautiful, made with quality materials, & comfortable, but it will also hold My hat. That is VERY important.
Contact Seth at his shop (530)282-LAAM, on the net at http://yourcustomseat.com/ or on facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/pages/LAAM-Custom-Motorcycle-Seats/351353608256078
I highly recommend giving Seth a yell, & talking to him about Your seat. Damn fine job.