Monday, June 02, 2014

Game of Thrones

The Goat admits it: his grand tourer doesn’t have a particularly comfortable saddle. It should have, bearing in mind that the 1400GTR is supposed to be capable of crossing continents, but the Concours14/GTR forums are full of complaints about how uncomfortable the seat is, and which after-market custom saddle is best.

Here, then, is the Game of Thrones. Opinions are like arses, in that everybody has one. And every one of them is slightly different. Understandably, this fiscally astute Goat is reluctant to lash out many hundreds of dollars on a throne that may or may not improve his personal seating arrangement upon his own Black Beast. It’s fair enough for Seth Laam to say he’ll adjust his custom seat if he didn’t get it 100% right first time, but this is an option that isn’t realistically available to Muggins who’s half a planet away.

Muggins did notice that the police GTRs imported to the UAE for reviewing by the Sharjah constabulary came with Corbin single seats, and the Goat asked his friendly neighbourhood Kawasaki dealer nicely if he could borrow one of these saddles for a weekend. The idea was that, if he liked the Corbin, he’d order one of his own. But no, that option wasn’t available. Neither was borrowing  a police-spec GTR with all the blues and twos. No surprises there, then.

Just in case a random surfer happens upon this blog in an effort to find a customised motorcycle saddle, here’s the list of links:-

And for air cushions:-

It’s very quickly obvious that pretty much any option involves the expenses of specialist craftsmen working with high-quality materials, plus the shipping charges from the USA and import taxes. Plus, in some cases, a need to ship the old seat so that it may be adjusted. Few if any of the options are realistically available for an impecunious Goat living in Dubai. It’s not solely a cost issue. The Goat would happily pay full price for the right product, but would very much prefer a ‘try-before-you-buy’ option.

However, a solution has presented itself in the form of Mr Rasheed of Delmon Upholstery Est. in Satwa. (Opposite the Municipality office).

Old cover off, and
cutting about to commence
Day 1:    The Goat brought his existing motorcycle seat into the shop and, assisted by various photos of customised seats downloaded from the internet, supervised as Mr Rasheed removed the old cracked vinyl and started to hack at the foam with an ancient breadknife.

Trimming the foam.
Draft final. Old foam cut and new blue foam added.
Day 2:    The Goat dropped into the shop to review the draft final shape of the foam. The seat had been adjusted to move the low point further back, widened slightly, and had a saddle horn added at the front. The Goat sat on his reprofiled saddle and declared it good.

Day 3:    Mr Rasheed covered the foam with a smoothing layer of spongy interfacing, and stitched a marine-grade black vinyl cover. By mid-afternoon on the third day, the seat was back on the bike.

More photos of the process, along with some finished custom saddles from which the Goat may have obtained inspiration, are here.

The Goat is to try it out and come back to the shop if there are any adjustments required, which is nice.

Oh, and as the Goat also owns a Road Zeppelin, motorcycle seat comfort, or the lack of it, should hopefully no longer be an issue.



Martín said...

dear Goat, you missed
They are around Paris and prices are a bit better, me thinks. And I know two people who have them and are happy, so I might take the leap...
But meanwhile, I went more modest and got a new tankpad and more powerful bulbs for the headlights, incredibly legal for the dear TÜV.

Martín said...

so? any opinions on the new throne?

Grumpy Goat said...

Unfortunately, Martín, I have been too busy over the past couple of days to take the bike out. That and daytime temperatures have been around 45°C. (And it's only June - jeez!)

I guess I should go out ridiculously early one morning.

Grumpy Goat said...

It's a success!

As soon as I got on the bike in proper motorcycle gear, my instant seat-of-the-pants reaction was, "Ooh, that's comfy!"

Although the seat is probably less than one centimetre lower than stock, the steeper seat back helps create the feeling of being seated in the bike rather than perched upon it.

Knowing what I now know, if I did the mod again, I'd cut the seat back a further two-three centimetres further back and put a new ridge on top of that to stop the pillion from sliding forward. And I'd dig even more out of the back of the horizontal part of the seat. But this is being picky. As is, it's certainly a great improvement over stock, and not worth re-doing until the current seat needs more work (in about 2021).

Martín said...

brilliant! congrats =)

Martín said...

damn you, Mr. Goat! I just coughed 294,45 euros in a new seat. Have you seen the movie Inception? It all your fault ;)


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