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Navy Vet Search & Rescue
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I don't ride as aggressively as I did in my youth I don't need the low CG preferred for the twisties. For that reason and others, (I would be more comfortable with more space between my seat and the pegs) I'm considering making a mod to my bikes seat. I want to add some foam to the drivers portion of the seat that would reduce the transition "step up" from the driver to passenger position of the seat. At the same time I'd like to install a gel insert in the drivers seat. I think by giving me more leg room and the added cushion would make for a much more comfortable ride. So my question is, has anyone seen gel inserts made for the narrower vintage seats. I have found hundreds made for the cruiser seats but those are far too wide and the ones for the passenger seat on a cruiser are smaller than what I'm looking for.
 

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This space for rent
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I think Dennis Kirk sells what you're looking for.

I did this back in the early eighties on a Yamaha XV920RH, added foam and a gel pad and had the seat recovered. Prior to doing this after half hour in the seat my butt would hurt, after the change I could do 700 mile days with no problem.
 

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Don't go into gel..
Gel will feel at first as comfortable, but it isn't on longer rides.
It will not give you support.
I have done my own saddle with good firm foam because I wanted to lower it.
Foam is the best way to go.
You can also let a good saddlemaker do it.



Since I don't ride as aggressively as I did in my youth I don't need the low CG preferred for the twisties. For that reason and others, (I would be more comfortable with more space between my seat and the pegs) I'm considering making a mod to my bikes seat. I want to add some foam to the drivers portion of the seat that would reduce the transition "step up" from the driver to passenger position of the seat. At the same time I'd like to install a gel insert in the drivers seat. I think by giving me more leg room and the added cushion would make for a much more comfortable ride. So my question is, has anyone seen gel inserts made for the narrower vintage seats. I have found hundreds made for the cruiser seats but those are far too wide and the ones for the passenger seat on a cruiser are smaller than what I'm looking for.
 

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KLR`s and BBQ`s
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I seriously considered buying one of those knee pads from the hardware store and cutting it to shape and fitting under the seat cover. I friend of mine is going to add an inch or 2 of foam under the seat for me so I didn't end up doing it.
 

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Here is a very good webpage how to do your saddlework.
I did mine with, it's called here "polypress", the grey (or any color) with the spots on it. That's the stuff you need to have.
I know for a fact that professial saddlemakers use exactly the same foam..
It was really fun and satisfactory to do it myself and it wasn't that hard, although the covering is the most challenging part.


Pics

I seriously considered buying one of those knee pads from the hardware store and cutting it to shape and fitting under the seat cover. I friend of mine is going to add an inch or 2 of foam under the seat for me so I didn't end up doing it.
 

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This space for rent
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Gel will feel at first as comfortable, but it isn't on longer rides.
Sheesh, and here I thought 650 miles qualified as long, that's 1300 miles round trip, four times in one year. Foam added on top of original foam, gel pad on top of foam and under seat cover.
I thought it was pretty comfortable anyway, but that was 28 years ago, and I was younger then :)
 

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Navy Vet Search & Rescue
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well thats the sort of info I want. Where someone has actually used a method whether it's with gel or just foam but actual experience. The reason I asked about a gel insert is because I have a friend I ride with that had just the insert w/o extra foam added to his cruiser seat. He's had that for 3 years and still says it continues to be one of the best comfort investments he's made for his bike. He's in his late 70's so I'm guessing it's not just your youth that made you think that steel.

Am I correct in thinking that you can't cut gel inserts? I thought it was some sort of gel contained in a sealed bag of sort, but I think I saw in one article where they said to cut the insert to size.
 

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I miss you, Deron
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Don't go into gel..
Gel will feel at first as comfortable, but it isn't on longer rides.
It will not give you support.
I have done my own saddle with good firm foam because I wanted to lower it.
Foam is the best way to go.
You can also let a good saddlemaker do it.
I have to disagree. I can ride on my seat all day and still be very comfortable. I bought some raw gel and had someone put it into the stock seat for me. It's super comfy, even for long rides every day for three or four days in a row.
 

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Navy Vet Search & Rescue
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If you hadn't guessed by now, I'm gearing up for a long ride. I doubt that I'll be ready in time to do it this summer, but maybe next. I want to head back up to PA on my bike this time. It's 840 mi. one way so I need to do all I can for comfort. I've got the luggage rack/back rest already and I've decided what bags I'm going to get but still working toward the seat, windscreen, and highway pegs solutions. I'm trying to keep it where all the highway gear is easily removable so I can just pop them on or off depending on where I'll be riding. I won't remove the seat mod, pegs, or luggage rack but the rest needs to be quick change type equipment.

I'd like to get my hands on one of those solo P model seats and see if I could mod it so I could switch between the 2 seats.
 

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Navy Vet Search & Rescue
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yea, cop or P model is the seat I'm talking about. I've got case guards on my bike and don't want any of those ugly crash bars. I may end up having to make it myself, but I'd like a bar that clamps to the down tubes with offsets on the ends so the pegs mounted at the end would be lower and forward of the actual bar they're attached to. I've never seen and didn't know they made any floorboards that "clamp" to the frame. I thought they all bolted on using a nut thats welded to the frame of the P models.

And besides being ugly, the fairing wouldn't be a quick change over. :lol:
 

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I think a gel seat will do just fine for your requirements (no sarcasm of offense involved).

A year ago I was thinking too about gel.
I came to know a guy who makes seats as a profession and actually does the seat and saddlework for the "Pimp my ride" shows.
After my question about gel, he shaked his head..not good for carving/saddlemaking.
In general,
When it comes to seats, he said, remember the hard seats as on school?
You could sit all day long on it right?
That's actually the issue, the softness in the seat, it kills your butt.
So I bought only some 1 inch polypress, removed everything from the saddlepan, started carving, glueing and ended up with my present saddle.

I think gel could be comfortable on long rides too, as long it's not too soft.
It is also about your sitting position, changing a bit your handlebar forward can make some difference too.
I remember I have been on an insane 18 hours ride (with tankstops) on a sportsbike with a standard seat, surprisingly not much issues with my butt.

The only issues with gel is, it's not very applicable for carving, it detoriates, doesn't breath and when in the sun, it stays warm, in the cold it stays cold.
Maybe that's why they offer these gelpads on that website with fur and that most of the aftermarket seat-brands don't offer gel anyway.
But you could just get a gel seat and slide it under the cover?
It's inexpensive, not much work and at least on any future ride, you will be comfy for some time..
 

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This space for rent
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Beginning of last summer I replaced the seat on a TD8 bulldozer with a new, firm, seat. Maybe it's an age thing (operator was late fifties), but I got unending complaints until I finally gave in and put a softer seat cushion on top of it. Operator was happy after he got the softer cushion.

Maybe it's a cultural thing, maybe Scandinavians have hard firm butts, while we Americans (including those in the Great White North) have soft flabby butts.:lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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Navy Vet Search & Rescue
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I do remember those hard seats from school. I also remember squirming in those little desk all day long. First your sitting forward in a normal position, then your slumped down with your legs stretched out, then you turn sideways or anything else to try and get comfortable. And all of that happened in just a 1 hour class. Then the bell would ring, and you get up and stretch your legs while you walk to your next class. Those seats were anything but comfortable to me. And all of that on a body that was 40+ years younger than it is now.

I don't know what I'll end up with in the final result but I'm determined to try the gel. I've read about the gel and temp problems you face if it gets cold or hot and is next to the body. I've also read that you are supposed to put a layer of foam over the top of them to prevent this problem. I don't think the temp problem with be much of a concern for me anyways. I don't ride in cold weather and once my bike comes out of it's indoor parking, I'm sitting on it the rest of the time it's outdoors, unless I stop to pump some gas.

I plan to add more foam also, so some of the added foam will be above the gel so that should insulate it from the sun on the occasions that I do get off for an extended time.
 
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