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Seat replacement/redesign options?

4577 Views 40 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  bahn88
I need a different seat. I’ve put up with the original because it’s the only thing I didn’t like about the bike when I bought it, but it’s time to find something more comfortable.

Sitting in front of the split is too short for my legs and sitting behind it is too long for my arms. I can reach the handlebars just fine but it keeps my elbows straighter than is comfortable for feeling in control, especially during sharper turns.

Sitting right on the split is ideal but I end up sliding forward, so I need to find a seat that’s flat.

A direct replacement is ideal but I’m not opposed to having it redone at a shop/upholstery service if necessary. I’m not concerned about keeping the original leather or resale value.

I did find one thread about the GL1000 seats being a direct fit but the pics are no longer viewable and it didn’t specify if the year matters.

As always, all input is appreciated.


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All GL1100s came with the same basic seat, although the Aspencade's was a bit fancier and you could move it fore & aft without loosening the bolts as was required for the Standard and Interstate models.

When the seat on my 1100 split we were broke so I bought some vinyl and re-covered it myself. By the time it was starting to look tired we were a bit better off so I took the spare seat I had acquired to be done by a pro. I wanted the bump moved back as far as possible but he could only move it a bit because of the step in the pan.
It's not a huge difference but it does make a difference.

I don't know if these pics will have any relevancy to the CX500C but here's the one he did (left) and the one I did (right)
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Synthetic rubber Automotive design

old seat
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle

"new" seat
Tire Wheel Land vehicle Fuel tank Plant
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If you can't find someone that works on bikes look for someone who does snowmobile seats. The guy who did the seat for my GoldWing (& the tops for both of my sidecars) does a lot of boats and custom cars; I don't think he had done many motorcycle seats before mine but he's near a big lake that freezes over so he's done a lot of snowmobile seats. In fact, he did my seat with the same vinyl he uses for sled seats, which is a lot heavier than the original vinyl and (apparently) stays flexible at very low temperatures.
"nice stitching" on a motorcycle seat is a place for water to collect and make its way into the foam through the stitch holes so it will come back out when you sit on it. If you are expecting to use it much I'd go for as plain as possible.

I'd also talk to other upholstery guys before making a decision.
One would assume that an experienced upholsterer would build the seat's cover from several pieces stitched together. I believe my GoldWing's seat consists of 8 or 9 pieces but there is no unnecessary stitching done just to make it look nice.
It is possible to make the stitches water resistant but if, say, you were to drive to work in the sunshine and park in the shade and it rained the water could sit on any unfortunately located stitching for hours before you left for home and it wouldn't be unheard of for some to soak in.
As I understand it, that diamond pattern stitching that is popular on seats is particularly bad for that.

As for stencilled lettering on the back of the seat, unless you go to someone that does enough seats to merit having silk screens & equipment for that you would probably be better off to mask the letters and spray with vinyl paint.
I guess a seat made for a standard or a Deluxe won't fit a Custom frame will it?

You could perhaps do something like I did to fill the space under the seat. Eccles has a GL500 front seat but the attachment points on the CX650E frame are higher and farther back (which I liked because it gives me more legroom) so I came up with a bracket/block affair to support the front of the seat and a panel to cover the stuff below the seat. Mine doesn't look terriible considering it is strictly utilitarian but I'd bet you could come up with something that looks better with a bit of thought.
I don't have a pic that shows it well handy but you can get an idea of how it works from the pics of when I changed the seat and moved the bracket here
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