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Discussion Starter #1
So I've had my 08 650 for about two months now and I realized I needed a backrest. I'm 6'4" and removed the buttrest to gain more legroom, which is what I had to do on my Honda Reflex. On my Reflex I had purchased a bracket that converted the buttrest into a backrest and I was generally pleased with it so I wanted the same comfort on the Burgman.

I had just decided on a Jac Vinson backrest and was going to order one this week. But then I read the threads about using an Isuzu Rodeo headrest as a backrest, so I figured I'd give it a shot and save some big $$. I picked up a pair of headrest for $15 from a local junkyard and got to work. I bought a pair of headrests just in case I made any mistakes, which was a great idea as it turned out.

Step 1.
Get a filthy Isuzu Rodeo headrest from a junkyard. Mine were from a 1998 Rodeo.



Step 2.
You'll need to find a way to bend the headrest bars. Using your hands is not an option. I do have a workbench vise, but it's really only for holding things in place or for light bending. The vice would rip out of my MDF benchtop if I exerted all the leverage needed to bend these bars. I have 4x4s framed with rebar driven through them around my shed to keep the gravel in the shed area. So I just drilled two holes a little larger than the diameter of the headrest bars into on of the 4x4s. This method also had the benefit of bending both bars at once and at the same exact angle.



Step 3.

Insert the headrest down to the desired depth into the newly drilled holes. Stay about at least a 1/2" below the 2nd notch that is in one of the bars (circled in red). If you bend at, or too close to, this notch then the steel will rip. It still seemed very strong, but since the bar strength was compromised I just used my extra headrest instead. I made sure to stay 1/2" below the notch and it was fine.





Step 4.

Now push, and push hard to get those bars bent. I finished bending the bars in the push up position using all my weight and leverage to complete the bend.



Step 5.

Clean the junkyard filth off the headrest! Dawn and a sponge in the kitchen sink worked fine.



Step 6.

Get two lengths of 1/2 copper pipe. I'll update this post with the exact lengths. But I just fully inserted the pipe into the buttrest holes and marked where I needed to cut with a sharpie. Look under the seat to make sure the pipe is going all the way to the back.



Step 7.

I guess I forgot to take a pic showing only the copper pipe in the buttrest holes. But this pic shows the copper pipe sections already inserted into the buttrest holes. The backrest has now been insert into the copper pipe. The fit should be fairly snug. Note: after painting the headrest I will wrap the headrest posts with electrical tape so make the fit a little more snug and have more grip. I'll then drill a small hole into the tubing where I can insert a bolt or screw to tighten against each post as well.



Step 8.

Begin painting the headrest. Skip this step if you were lucky enough to find a Rodeo with a black interior. I used a spray paint for exterior plastics and I'll see how it holds up.




I'm currently waiting for the 2nd coat of paint to dry and should be completed with the painting by tomorrow evening. I'll cover the exposed ends of copper pipe and headrest bars with black plastic wire loom I have. I'll get the rest of the pics up as I complete those steps. I'll also take a pic of the buttrest adjustment area with the copper pipes too.

I did go for a few mile ride prior to painting so I could make any adjustments. Wow! I didn't lose any legroom at all and I now had excellent lower lumbar support for long rides.

Rick
 

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Nice job and I really like the pics. I recently did the same mod using an Isuzu Amigo head rest, and like you, ended up cracking the head rest post on one side where the adjustment notch is. I'm still using the head rest, though. I've thought about taking it to a local welding shop I deal with and asking them if they can reinforce that side of the head rest with a small spot of weld. I'm not sure if the metal these things are made of is weldable, or not. Do you happen to know? In any case, the post is holding up fine so far. Incidentally, I started out by using copper pipe and then happened to find a small length of spare pvc pipe that by luck had the same outside diameter as the OEM butt rest tubes and thicker walls than the copper so the head rest posts fit into it snuggly with no need for black tape.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No idea if the crack in the headrest post is able to be welded either. I thought of that when it happened, but just don't know. But anyway, it still seemed very strong as I was putting my weight fully back when sitting against it. But since I had another headrest I just used that one.

I do have PVC pipe that should be 1/2" OD. I'll take a look and give it a shot tonight because that smaller inside diameter should do the trick like you mentioned.

How long have you been using yours now?

Rick
 

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Only about a week now. I really like the way I can use it to feel more connected to the bike since we don't have a tank to hang on to. I thought I'd get more leg room (I'm 6'2"), but it almost feels like I've got a little less which doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. I may have been leaning back over the old butt rest without knowing it which gave the illusion of more leg room. In any case, it's not a problem so far.

Now, if I could just figure out how to make the seat work a little better for me. It's too wide as it goes back toward the back rest, and doesn't "cup" enough where I sit. If the seat "horn" were a little higher to create more of a saddle effect, that would be great. As it is, I tend to slide forward a bit. It's not a huge deal, either, but maybe I'll fool with it someday. I don't want to sit any lower. Some folks here on the forum have peeled back the seat cover and carved on the foam with an electric bread knife. That might work for the width problem toward the back of the driver's seat, but not for the saddle effect I'm looking for. That would require adding more foam, not taking it off. I'm not sure how the seat cover would fit if one starts fooling with the foam.

Gary
 

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You get the saddle effect by scooping the foam out where you want to sit. It's less than you think, so make the hollow too small to start with, then set the seat on the bike and test sit it to see how much more to remove. Gluing foam back on the seat is a pain. It should be flat or slightly hollow side to side to give proper support across the seat and prevent a foam wedgie. Leave the horn untouched and it will cradle you like a mother with her first-born.
Also, when you reapply the seat cover, start at the middle and work toward the front and you should be able to slide the staples back in the original holes. Good light and a set of fine pliers are important here.

8) Claude
 

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Claude,

Thanks for the help. I just might tackle doing this. Does the factory glue down the seat cover. If so, how do you pull back the cover without messing up the foam? Also, what kind of glue do you use to glue the cover back down? Did you also try to make the sides of the seat back where you sit a little narrower, or did you just do the "scooping" mod? I've been concerned that if I take off very much foam (not so much from the top of the seat but from the side) that the seat cover wouldn't fit right anymore.

Thanks.

Gary
 

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I didn't find any glue when I peeled the seat. It would interfere with stretching the cover, I guess.
The cover fits okay as far as I can tell. It looks fine to me. You can shave the sides of the seat for easier access to the ground, but not where you sit unless you like uneven pressure points. :D Just cut away right in front of you. If you're close to flatfoot already, the lower seat might be enough anyway.

8) Claude
 

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I just did mine today. Went to the parts yard and found as many as 6 compatible head rests from Isuzu Rodeos, and a Honda. Just bought 1 plus a "spare" though. Same part #'s for the Isuzus and the Honda SUV. Drilled the holes in a 6x6 and bent the posts of the head rest. Had some copper tubing (1/2 inch laying around- measured and cut to size. Made my own modification to this mod by applying 3/8" black vinyl tubing to the posts. This makes the fit into the copper tube shims very snug and more non-slip. It also covers up the the metal posts and gives it a more finished look. I replaced the screws with new ones to lock the copper tubes in place. I've decided to add some black wire looming over the vinyl covered back rest tubes. First coats of paint are on the cleaned up former head- rest. Pics are below. I'll post some "finished" pics when I'm done. My Thanks to pomc, kuhnsmith, and especially Mmmburrrger.





 

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I just got mine made up several weeks ago. What a difference, I now have leg room. I used 1/2" pvc waterpipe instead of copper tubing for the inserts and wrapped the headrest posts with electral tape for snugness then used the wire loom for finish. I have 5 more of these and will sell them already bent with all parts ready to install. If anyone is interested PM me.
 

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I got my Isuzu backrest mod today, purchased from another BurgmanUSA member who just got a new Russell Day Long seat (kuhnsmith you lucky devil!).

My first impression - I love it! :cheers: I'm only 5' 9", so I didn't think I needed the additional legroom it provides. After the first 50 miles or so I realized it not only gave me the back support I wanted but also a more comfortable riding position altogether.

Gary
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Just finished painting Bearcat's backrest with Duplicolor vynal and fabtic paint. The flat black matches the seat very well. Three light coats was enough
 

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I figured I didn't have much to loose in making one of these. I went to a local salvage yard in Conroe and they had 10 or more left in the old Rodeos. They were all the gray color and extremely filthy due to being left in the vehicles without doors and broken windows. I bought one and had to pay $15. They shouldn't cost that much but they knew I wanted one and they had one. I brought it home and cleaned it with soap and water and it looked like new. Bending the bars and getting the perfect angle for me was the hardest part. I used 1/2" CPVC as a bushing along with 1/2" shrink tubing over the bars. Ended up with a very good snug fit. I then went to Auto Zone and purchased flat black vinyl color made by Rust-oleum . Two coats was enough and the black is a fairly good match to the stock seat. It will be a few days before I can road test but I am betting I will like the mod.

Thanks to everyone that has posted the "how to" on doing this mod. It has made what I think is a nice looking back rest that should give good support as well as an extra inch or two leg room. The nice part is that it didn't cost a lot and I can put the butt stop back on if desired. :cheers:
 

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Just wanted to thank who ever came up with this backrest in the first place. I got lucky and the first junk yard I went to had the headrest, and it was in like new condition, I couldn't beleive how nice it was. I also had a bit of a problem with the bending, but the end result is well worth it. I did buy 2 just in case, so I think I'll be making another because I used the wrong black not flat black and my bends don't quite match.
 

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Great Idea,

I am going to try and make one of these back rest for my 650. I am only 5'9" tall but I think the exta leg room will help. New to Burg riding.


Thanks

Thomas C Carpenter
 

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I recently bought a pair of headrests cheap on ebay. First one was a play back and i cracked it at the cut. I own a welder so decided to try it myself. It seems to have been welded sucessfully but I will use it a while and make sure it holds before I reccommend the repair. Am going to play like it is all good and use it after painting. By the way I have an old railroad with an eye bolt through it and a piece of steel pipe and that is much easier to bend but the exact bend needs to be checked often. Good luck to all that try it and it did feel good.
 

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I have a good supply of these Isuzu Backrest's already made up for both the 650 and 400 Burgman's ready for installation for $65 shipping included by FedEx, for those of you who don't want to try to make your own. Just send me a PM if interested.

Thanks
Bearcat[attachment=0:3bruhemr]Black Isuzu Backrest on 650 001.jpg[/attachment:3bruhemr]
 

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What do I need to do to remove the butt rest? I couldn't see anything under the seat which keeps it from coming all the way out, but there must be some screws or something somewhere that I'm not seeing.
 

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Ooh, this is thread is very interesting!!

just picked up my K9 Exec with 3200km, and rode it from Melbourne to Sydney (Australia) via a friend's place in Gippsland, over one and a half days, for some 1200km, and within an hour I knew something was "different". My test ride of a Burg 650 was on a Standard, and I had been rather comfortable. But my Exec was not. And discussion with one of the sales staff on a different matter brought into light the different seats on the two. The Standard has the front of the seat pushed up. My Exec does not. So a constant feel of sliding forward, needing constant shifts to effect a more (read slightly) comfortable position. Add to that my larger than normal butt, my 185cm (6'1")height, and I was not a very happy chappy in the bottom department. I was forever pushing hard back against the butt-stop to relieve the stinging pains in my cheeks!! :oops:

So, an Airhawk, or maybe lambswool for under-butt, but this mod with the headrests looks like a must! The only thing I would like to see are photos of the under seat showing how the tubing is placed and secured, etc. Are they available? I'm off to the gallery and other places looking, but will happily accept a PM if that's easier.

Go Burgy!

Mark
 
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