Most motorcycle seats are comfortable enough for short trips but can become a real pain in the behind during longer rides. One of the solutions is to replace the seat with an aftermarket gel seat, which uses a polymer gel to disperse the rider's weight evenly and negate vibration. Unfortunately, these seats are very expensive. As an alternative, your stock seat can be modified with a gel insert for a fraction of the cost.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Tape measure
- Gel seat pad
- Flat screwdriver
- Permanent marker
- Angle grinder
- Spray-on adhesive
- 1/4-inch open-cell foam sheet
- Heavy-duty stapler
Remove the seat from your motorcycle and measure the width and length. Obtain a gel seat pad, using your measurements to determine the required size.
Flip the seat over and remove the covering. Most seat covers are secured by staples around the inner lip of the seat pan. Remove the staples using a flat screwdriver and pull the cover off.
Flip the seat over, right side up, and lay the gel pad over the seat. Use a permanent marker to trace the outline of the gel pad onto the seat foam. Mark any other areas of the seat's foam that you want to eliminate for comfort reasons. Remove the gel pad.
Using an angle grinder, remove foam from the marked areas. Use long, deliberate motions to remove small amounts of foam at a time, pulling the grinder toward you. Stop occasionally and test-fit the gel pad on the trimmed area. Continue trimming the foam until the gel pad fits flush within the desired area. Remove foam from any other marked areas.
Spray the trimmed recess in the seat foam and the bottom of the gel pad with an adhesive. Allow the adhesive to set for one minute and place the gel pad onto the seat foam.
Using a pair of scissors, cut a sheet of 1/4-inch open-cell foam to the shape of the seat. Spray the top of the seat and gel pad with spray-on adhesive, and let it set for one minute. Lay the sheet of open-cell foam over the seat and gel pad. Allow the entire seat to cure for at least one hour.
Re-cover the seat using the original seat cover. Select an edge of the cover and pull it down tightly over the seat pan. Secure the seat cover to the pan using a heavy-duty stapler. Repeat on the opposite side of the seat. Work your way around the seat, pulling the seat cover down tightly and stapling it to the seat pan. Alternate from side to side with each staple until the entire cover attached to the seat pan.
Reinstall the seat onto your motorcycle.
Tips and warnings
- Use a blow dryer to help the seat cover stretch over difficult areas.
- Take your time. Rushing the project will create problems that may be difficult to fix.
- Alterations to your seat are permanent.
- Wear protective eyewear and a mask while trimming the seat's foam.
- Don't push the grinder while trimming the foam. This can cause the grinder to "catch" the foam and create unintended cuts.
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