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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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Thanks to all for the tips/suggestions/ideas. This’ll be a good winter spare time project.

I’m going to start by calling a few places and see where the most-recommended upholstery-type shop is for this kind of thing. Then I’ll take it in to get an initial idea of what needs to be done.

i’m very comfortable and experienced in metal work and have the tools necessary to modify the pan if needed, so I’ll do that and have the professional mold, cover and mount the seat padding. Upholstery type work never goes well for me and I want it right the first time.

I’ll post pics with future updates.
The boat/aircraft/snowmobile places are good ideas - not sure what’s in this area but I’ll keep them in mind.

As to pan modification, I figured if anything needed to be done, it would be to add a “shell” to the forward part of the seat in order to level it out with the back, but that remains to be seen.
I’m not assuming the pan will have to be modified - I’m just prepared to do it if needed. I try to think through the steps and possibilities for projects like this so I don’t get surprised by hang ups.

I’ll see what the upholsterer thinks/wants done before I do anything.
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So I happened to have time today to take the seat to an upholstery shop that works primarily on recreational/hobby type vehicles (cycles, ATV’s, boats, etc) so they are well-experienced with motorcycle seats.

Their plan is to strip it down to the pan, build up and mold new foam, then cover it with vinyl. They quoted me $400 for the work which is hard to accept, but I also don’t have any personal point of reference for what a job like this should cost. I have no problems paying for good work and at least I know the seat will still bolt on and be shaped the way I want.

Not sure yet if I’ll do it.

I sorta figured those seats would do that. Good excuse to cafe race it out though
Are cafe racer seats an option for my 82? I found some on Amazon for < $100 but even using the vehicle filter, I’m not sure if there’s a match - they all look like they’ll be too skinny or possibly match the back/wider end and then be overhanging on the front.
I thought it might be a joke, but these days most of my dumb questions are the ones I don’t ask. :D


That shop certainly isn’t my last stop. I told them I’m going to wait until it’s closer to spring before I have it done. In the meantime, I can keep researching direct replacements and at least have an expectation of cost should I decide to have it redone.

Thanks again to all.

How about this one from DS?

The shape of the pan and frame looks right but it still has a split - I’m looking for a seat that’s level all the way across.
Well, as I expected when it comes to projects of this nature, I put it in the basement store room to focus on more important matters. I hadn’t given it a single thought since my last post until mid-January.

Then, as my wife often does with stuff like this, she snuck it out of the house and right back to the upholstery shop with strict instructions that they don’t call me until after my birthday to let me know they have it.:oops::D She’d of set that place on fire if they ruined her gift to me.:LOL:

They did call me shortly after my birthday to confirm what I wanted to do with it, but they had a lot of work ahead of mine so it would be late March/early April before they got it done. I’ve just been riding without a seat, in the middle of winter, melting snow and hearts as I go because I’m that damn hot thanks to riding my motorcycle without a seat.

I’m very impressed and happy with the work - I think it looks great and they were true to their original estimate + tax.

Helmet Hood Synthetic rubber Sports equipment Musical instrument

Waste container Automotive tire Flooring Floor Fender

I just had to give it a test ride - it’s very comfortable for pretending I’m gunning down unicorns.

Shorts Tire Wheel Automotive tire Hat

I’m in the middle of a renovation project so it’ll be later in the season before I can dewinterize the bike, but I think it’s gonna look good on the bike and be a comfy ride.

If you live in/near the Des Moines metro area and want work done, here’s the place I took it to:

Plug Ugly Customs
10500 Hickman Rd. Suite K
Clive, IA 50325
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Almost too good to put on a old bike. Possibly the new tv throne?
Looks good enjoy.
I’ll start parking it in the living room. :LOL:
Well, the heat this week pushed me to pull the bike out sooner than expected tonight. It didn’t take long to install the seat and fill the carbs, so I just took it out for a 10 mile test drive - it’s running great!

The seat looks a bit odd (to me) on the bike, but I think if you don’t know how it used to look, it’s not going to stand out all that much.

It’s a little weird riding it because it rides higher (obviously), but it’s very comfortable and I’ll get used to it.

Overall still very satisfied with how it turned out.(y)


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