My seat project


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Apr 24, 2019
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The joy of being retired; allow you some time to make projects...

In reading many posts on the NC700/750 seat, I realize I was not alone feeling uncomfortable on it. In fact, as a long-time motorcycle rider, I know that most of OEM seat designs are big flaws in this area. Moreover, my morphology doesn’t help; at 5’-10” 140 lb, you can imagine a lack of “padding” at the contact area with the seat, enhancing discomfort. Riding the NC for few months now, I found the stock seat to be bad, but not as bad as the stock seat of my previous bikes, a 2007 Honda ST1300A and a 2000 Suzuki Bandit 1200.

As I am seating very close to the frunk, I’m not bothered too much by the forward slope but as the seat narrows towards the front, the contact area with my body is smaller, increasing pressure, specially on my sitting bones. For me, and this is somewhat subjective, I would rate the stock NC seat as a 5 on a scale of 10. The ST; 4 and the Bandit, which was really bad; 1. In fact, again, this is for me and my morphology.
Oh, and yes I did try the trick to remove most of the slope in raising the support of the seat at the front end. I didn’t like the result for both comfort and appearance.

So, aftermarket seat comes to mind. I was a big fan of Corbin. Their design for my 2000 Suzuki Bandit 1200 was such an improvement over stock. I kept the Bandit 9 years mostly because of the Corbin seat comfort. Same good Corbin design for the ST1100 of my friend. On my ST1300, it wasn’t as good; there was a slight forward slope and there was no “dished” shape in it. In fact, it has a slightly convex shape instead of that concave “dished” shape I was looking for. I did liked it (better than stock) but not as the other ones.

Looking at pictures of the Corbin for the NC, we can easily see that forward slope is still there. This was confirmed by a member of this site. Moreover, the most interesting aftermarket seats for the NC (RDL, Laam, Corbin, Sargent) are American made, and not cheap. With the exchange rate US vs my poor CDN dollar, it ruled out this option.

The other option was to seek for a used stock NC front seat that I could modify and play with for few days/weeks taking my time without preventing me to ride as the season is quite short here in Quebec. And I would still have the original seat if I’m not satisfied with the results. Luckily, I found one few miles from home. The guy bought a Shad Comfort seat for his NC and was willing to sell the stock.

I established few goals for this project;

• Eliminate the forward slope allowing me to move slightly backwards my seating position
• Create a larger, almost flat contact area for the body (slightly dished)
• Add 2 small cavities located under my sitting bones to spread/equalize the pressure
• Re-use of the stock seat cover with no modifications
• 0$ budget (besides the cost of the 2nd seat) so, DIY only, no outsourcing.

Steps of the project were the following;

• Remove seat cover
• Mark a longitudinal centreline to help me in cutting foam
• Remove foam roughly using bread knife and saw
• Install on bike for first trial
• Fine-tune foam removal with saw and orbital sander
• Install cover temporarily with few staples
• Install on bike to mark location of sitting bones (I was able to see the depressions in the cover for few seconds after sitting for a minute or so)
• Remove foam for sitting bones (create 2 small cavities)
• Install a temporary cover to test the possible use of a metal piece (insert) to press the vinyl cover against the new seat shape
• Test (ride) with the new shape and verify if the insert interfere with my body - no interference
• Remove temporary cover and insert
• Final fine-tuning of the foam shape
• Install the original cover with the insert.

Few comments on the job done;

• This is not the first time I kind of play with seats. I did something similar once before so I didn’t have to buy tools
• More work than I thought was required to conform the seat cover to the new shape
• Not much foam is left towards the back of the seat but I don’t feel I need padding in this area
• The negative slope becomes a truly positive slope!
• The seat is 1 1/2” lower where I sit, increasing knee bend, but this is not an issue for me as I have no problems with my knees.

Tools I used;

• Hand saw
• Bread knife
• X-Acto knife
• Compact grinder
• Orbital sander
• Tap tool to make fillets into the insert
• Pneumatic stapler

I started this project 3 weeks ago and had no opportunity do make a day-long ride until last Sunday on which I rode 450 km. The verdict; it is great. Not only the seat comfort itself, but also the lower riding position that helps in wind protection and neck pain relief. I like also the back support. I would rate it a 8 on 10 and I’m very satisfied!

Few pics of the project

Preliminary foam shape


With cavities for my sitting bones


Temporary fabric cover for testing


3 screws (the middle one is missing on the picture) under seat pan to attach the metal strip that have threaded holes


The final result:





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Feb 7, 2018
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Post Falls IDAHO
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Now that is a nice piece of work there Sir! Too bad you're on the other side of the Continent, i'd very much like to sit on that one! I enjoy my RDL, but that is really cool looking, great job!


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Dec 1, 2014
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Troy, Ohio
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Wow...first class work! I'm impressed. :)

ps. the seat that conforms best to the shape of the human bottom is the ventilated, metal tractor seat that has been around for over 100 years.