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Discussion Starter #1
Over the last few years I have been making seats for my fellow Burgman riders. I have followed a basic DIY approach of a gel pad topped with memory foam and have received very good feedback. However, during the conversations I have had with those who purchased and those who did not purchase, I made some mental notes of your complaints about the stock seat. Issues that are more frequent but not well known. So this year I have been doing more TINKERING than seat making. Hopefully it will provide even better results.

Regardless of the seat you ride on, what are the main issues you would like to see addressed?

I truely do put in about 20 hours a week researching/playing/tinkering/talking to others about how to make a seat that is "PERFECT". Here are the main goals of what I am trying to bring to you my fellow scooter enthusiast:

1) A better replacement foam. I am working to be able to manufacture a better foam that you could purchase. It would require you to lift the front of the cover and replace the foam.
Benefits: Smaller package/cheaper shipping cost, No downtime with out seat, great experimental piece for those wanting to try their own experiment or replace damaged cushion.
I have my own foam and will be able to have various degrees of hardness of foam.

2) A WIDER Seat. As many of you have complained, the seat could use a wider platform. I have found a solution, but some details still have not been totally worked out. Seat would be about 3 inches(1 1/2 inches per side) bigger. Will be doing this on the 03-12 model 650 first. Will work on the new model 650 next the seat is even more narrow, 2 inches more narrow than original 650 seat.
This will be a complete custom seat using the stock seat pan.

3) Longer Seat. I get this complaint quite often and truely regret that I have had no solution. However, after seeing a modification done by a rider, I am convinced I can replicate this. Some details still have to be worked out - ie.. have not started any of it yet and every detail has to be figured out.

4) Full Independant Backrest - No attachements, one piece, that will not interfere with the passenger's movement.

Again, all comments will be appreciated. Seats will be made the same way as in the past until I can feel completely comfortable any changes will be reasonable improvement.

Cary
 

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Cary, I had my seat modded by a local upholsterer here by having the foam replaced with much denser foam which helped but is not perfect. I have a lower back issue and need to keep my knees below my hips if at all possible, so for me my concerns would be having a wider, firmer and slightly taller seat. I realize that seats are very personal as far as what works for one may be terrible for someone else. Really glad you are trying to accommodate the masses.

Greg
 

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The seat foam on the Big Burg is just too squashy, so moving to a denser foam may reduce the need for gel/memory inserts. Width is about right (for me) when the backrest is removed. I think a flatter, single piece seat that allows you to wiggle around on might be a good idea too.

Not sure how you would integrate a backrest. Maybe from the sides, with different mounting holes to match the rider? :confused:
 

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For me I want to sit more in the seat than on top of it . Right now I am using the Air-hawk slightly over aired so more weight is on the back of my legs and less on my butt . I'm also using the Utopia back rest which also helps distribute more weigh off my butt and onto my back . Combined the two have really helped distributing my weight better and off those hip bones that stick out one's back side . The width of the stock seat for me at 180 pounds is just about right , but my Silverwing seat could definitely use some new found gearth . I HATE THE SILVERWING SEAT !

I like what you are doing .;) TheReaper!
 

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1) A better replacement foam. I am working to be able to manufacture a better foam that you could purchase. It would require you to lift the front of the cover and replace the foam.
Benefits: Smaller package/cheaper shipping cost, No downtime with out seat, great experimental piece for those wanting to try their own experiment or replace damaged cushion.
I have my own foam and will be able to have various degrees of hardness of foam.
I like this idea…A lot!

Just a bit of back ground.I’ve had two Corbin saddles in the past and was NOT impressed. The first one was okay, but took a year for it to break in and the second was just plain old hard and uncomfortable; there was no way to fix the piece of junk. I paid over $1k for those two seats more than 20 years ago. Swore I’d never waste my money on another custom seat.

I got into scooters, a Helix specifically and that had perhaps the best stock seat I’ve ever been on. Not great, but comfortable enough for semi-long rides.Then came the Burgman 400. As much as I love the bike, the seat s.cks. I remember dreading an upcoming all day trip about a year after I bought it, thinking this is gonna hurt as I’ve got maybe three hours saddle time before I’m sore.The solution was in an upholstery shop at my work. We do interiors for private jet aircraft, all top grade materials. I got myself a couple inches of some scrap foam, cut it to the Burgy’s seat shape, stuffed it in a pillow case, pinned it up and I had a decent seat pad.I’m still using it to this day, six years later.

I am currently using an Airhawk on my 650. But the little pad I made for the 400 proved to me that all you really need is a couple inches of good quality foam to make the Burgman seat enjoyable.

If you could somehow devise a foam pad that could easily be installed on the bike’s OEM seat and put together an easy to install DIY kit, you could have a real winner. Something along the lines of partially removing the covering, sawing off a layer of original foam and gluing your product on top. Staple it back together and you’re done. I don’t even think you’d need to do the pillion seat, or make it an option. You could supply the foam, glue, instructional video, whatever it takes to do the upholstery at home.

It would be a lot cheaper than a custom seat, so more people would be willing to try it. If you came in at a decent price point I would certainly give it serious consideration.

Good Luck. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you could somehow devise a foam pad that could easily be installed on the bike’s OEM seat and put together an easy to install DIY kit, you could have a real winner. Something along the lines of partially removing the covering, sawing off a layer of original foam and gluing your product on top. Staple it back together and you’re done. I don’t even think you’d need to do the pillion seat, or make it an option. You could supply the foam, glue, instructional video, whatever it takes to do the upholstery at home.
Actually, the first goal is to reproduce an identical replica of the stock seat foam. Hence, all one would have to do is unstaple, replace, staple, and ride. Thru one company I have some formulas where I can adjust the density of the foam. Once I get a few set variations I can rate them and after some trails they would be good to sell. I am anticipating a price point of $125, shipping included.

So in reference to the first email, I am trying to make 3 seats. One would basically just be a foam option, 2 would be a wider seat, and 3 would be a longer seat. After that I will be able to do other scooter seats as well. It is so difficult getting the first details figured out. After that it gets so much faster.
 

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I have bought and used seats from Corbin, Sargent, Russell and have used seat pads, Airhawk, Gel Pads. By far the best seat designs that have worked for me are the one's made by Russell. I have Russell seats on both my BMWs and my Norge. But they aren't cheap ranging from $700 to $1000.00 depending on the bike and the options, I always get my seats made with the heated option. The perfect shape of a seat for me is how Russell does it with their wide wings.

I absolutely hate Corbin and anything that has to do with that company. I had them make a seat for my Norge that took them 5 tries and six months to make it like it was advertised. 3 of the seats they sent me looked they were made by a first week community college student who was taking an upholstery class. Truly the worst company I've ever dealt with and the seat once finally made was only slightly better than the stock seat.

If you can make a seat that looks and works like a Russell and cost a bit less, I think you would have a winner.
 

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Actually, the first goal is to reproduce an identical replica of the stock seat foam. Hence, all one would have to do is unstaple, replace, staple, and ride. ..... I am anticipating a price point of $125, shipping included.
Man! Cary, .... I was just thinking of this very idea last week. Even considered emailing you but never got a round to it. Based on our previous phone conversation, and my ongoing rumination on my seat situation, a mold of that front section with better, and perhaps thicker foam, would be easy peasy for DIYers. And as you say reduce shipping significantly. Frankly that has been what has held me back from redoing my seat- the shipping both ways. (And losing my original seat pan was a consideration as well)

Question? This reproduction seat foam would include the gel and memory foam in the seating area like your current re-do? Or, are you thinking the new foam from the mold would be THAT much better than the original that extra foam would not be necessary?

**Ramble alert!!
I got an extra seat from a member here. Took it apart. The major weakness of the stock seat, to me, is the lack of foam in the rear section of the passenger seat. Really thin-1 1/2 inch at best- according to your posted pics as well. For me, based on height/weight, I need a taller seat. By taller I mean a seat with additional, and/or better foam, that would provide as much cushion effect as possible while my feet still reach the ground. Based on my experimentation I need to add an additional 1" minimum of foam to the height of the stock seat. Problem. We now need a new seat cover? Because thicker foam may not accommodate the stock seat cover? So could you sell a custom seat cover (basic black- no frills) and at what price? .... So with the new and improved foam and a basic black seat cover- a seat kit if you will- then this is still a doable DIY project.

An additional thought/question .... This new foam has to be vastly superior to stock foam in order to provide significantly increased comfort? I know next to nothing about foam, but it seems to me that additional foam in terms of thickness is necessary to achieve the goal of a better seat?? Seems to me that there needs to be enough thickness of the foam to protect my butt from the horrible design of the seat pan.... At least for XXXL peeps like me self.

And yes I would agree to be a beta tester. ;)

Sirkitrider
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Right now, I'm still making seats the old way with a gel pad and memory foam. I would like to get away from that, but finding the perfect foam is gonna be a difficult thing to do. If I do not find the perfect foam, I will hopefully have created the perfect platform so finishing a seat would be easier. However, due to the long list of things I have to do before I can say they are "ready" to sell, it will probably be spring before any of them actually go out.

The perfect shape of a seat for me is how Russell does it with their wide wings.
I recently looked at one and what I can tell you is they have a neat set-up. Its about 8 springs compressed betweeen 2 metal plates. So you should not bottom out when riding. What is suprising is that the bowl that they make is hard as a rock. But it is the shape that makes it work. They also cut out a 2 inche piece and replace it with a softer foam for the tailbone and glue it all together. Since the spring section is patented I wont be going down that road.

In the end, if things go well, there would be about 4 options for the 650 seat. I have not heard much from the 400 group, but will at least do a stock foam for it. Then I will work for the newer model 650 as it has a more narrow seat.

There are so many things to discuss and this is really a slow process, but it is something that really needed to be done as we all complain about the seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have no idea why someone would cut it up like that. I just pulled the cover up and peeked so I did not damage it.
 

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Perhap a Russell show & marketing cut away seat.
 

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Hey Cary, Hope all is well with you and the family.
I like your innovation and desire to keep moving your product forward. The replacement foam with different densities idea is brilliant! Being a lightweight <140lbs I would prefer a lower density than a 200 lb'er I am sure.
I have put 1" memory foam from a mattress topper under my cover of my 400 and like the effect but not the elevated seat height. I also want to do a little shaping so the front is higher and not sloped like a sliding board. lol

But if you offer a lower density DIY replacement for my 400 sign me up and charge my PayPal account! :D
 

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Keep us posted. I've been wanting to do something in the seat department for a few years. I don't want to plunk down $800 - $100 for a Corbin or Russell and toyed with the idea of DIY and even bought a spare seat. I just don't have the expertise in the foam area to know what I'm doing.

I like the idea of pre-fabbed foam that I can pull the staples, replace, and staple back. Being a big guy (250 lb), I'm looking for a little more support in the wings and cut out for the tailbone.

Good luck and if you need a test subject, give me a holler.
 

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One thing I noticed on my foam bed topper was that thicker wasn't always better. I had a 3" memory foam topper and it is not as comfortable as my current 1.5" one. Not sure how that translates to mc seats but I thought I'd throw that out there
 

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Discussion Starter #19
One thing I noticed on my foam bed topper was that thicker wasn't always better. I had a 3" memory foam topper and it is not as comfortable as my current 1.5" one.
Thickness is a factor with the quality of the foam. However, the real factors are the "Density" which is the weight of the foam that equals 1 cubic foot. Most of the better foams are 4 or 5lb weight. The other factor is the "IFD", which is basically the stiffness of a foam. Some lighter foams may be a tougher foam. The IFD is based in LBS of pressure to push the foam down by 25%.

I to was the victom of the memory foam craze. I bought a topper for my bed due to it being hard as a rock. So I had to see how it would be on a seat. The only way was to buy a twin sized topper. It gave out in about 5 seconds. I tried to find another use for the rest of the foam, but eventually it was thrown out as no one has use for a partially cut up mattress. I eventually found the right memory foam, which I still use after 4 years. I am working with a company that is trying to develop a foam that could be poured into a mold, but so far there has been little progress.

IFD Range Type of Product
6 – 12 Bed pillows, thick back pillows
12 – 18 back pillows, upholstery padding, wraps
18 – 24 thin back pillows, tufting matrix, very thick seat cushions,wraps
24 – 30 average seat cushions, upholstery padding, tight seats, certain mattress types, quilting 30 – 36 firmer seat cushions, mattresses 36 – 45 thin seat cushioning and firm mattresses
45+ shock absorbing foams, packaging foams, carpet pads, and other uses requiring ultra-firm foams


I do have one favor to ask and that is that the thread sticks to the subject. The thread is becoming very long due to a few unrelated large pictures. Thanks.
 
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