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  #1  
Old 12-28-2009, 11:34 AM
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Default poor man's dl650 stock seat fixes

I'm really trying to avoid spending hundreds of dollars on a seat, although it is probably inevitable, but at least for now, I've been able to extend my riding time with a Stearns ATV pad and the foam from a bleacher cushion. The foam is maybe two inches thick and compresses pretty easily, but it does help.

The bleacher cushion foam I put under the ATV pad is yellow-ish, and although I trimmed it a bit to fit under the pad, it is still visible. What I'd like to do is find some dark gray or black foam padding instead so it does not look so unsightly.

Where can I get a gray/black dense foam to replace the bleacher cushion foam?

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  #2  
Old 12-28-2009, 01:52 PM
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Some computer components are shipped in dark grey quite dense foam; perhaps local computr parts store would have some lying around?
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Old 12-28-2009, 01:58 PM
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Crack open your local telephone book and look under "foam", or "upholstery", you should have luck there.

Upholstery foam does come in different grades/densities, so someone who specializes in auto upholstery might be a consideration.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:03 PM
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I ventured out to Dick's Sporting Goods with a gift card I got for Christmas in hopes of finding a black exercise pad. I found a 2'x6' mat that looks to be polyethylene sandwiched by two very thin pieces of Neoprene. 1/2 inch thick so I'll be gluing at least two peices together.

I think this will work at least as well as the bleacher cushion and should look a little better!
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:16 PM
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Check with carpet shops for some 8 pound carpet pad scraps. You can glue them together to get the thickness you want. Try to make the saddle wider under your butt as much as the material will cover, something like an English saddle for horses. You might try some temporary padding to get the idea of what works for you before you glue it down. I need relief holes cut into the foam under my sit bones.

Experiment a lot to find what works for you before you use a lot of glue and staples. Here's a source for some gel and top quality foam padding: http://www.kemmlerproducts.com/products1.html
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:11 PM
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I did some modes to my stock seat.

It's a big improvement over stock, but nothing like a custom Russel.

I removed the staples securing the cover, used a turkey slicer to flatten the top of the seat and laid a tractor seat-shaped piece of 1-5/8" closed-cell foam over it.

I made some adjustments with wedges of foam and secured it with some 3M upholstery adhesive.

I can do 200 miles of highway fairly comfortably.

You'll probably need someone to stretch the seat cover back in place while you re-staple it.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stromin'Nroman View Post
...I removed the staples securing the cover, used a turkey slicer to flatten the top of the seat.... .
This by itself makes a huge difference.
Quote:
and laid a tractor seat-shaped piece of 1-5/8" closed-cell foam over it.
I made some adjustments with wedges of foam and secured it with some 3M upholstery adhesive.
I used scrap foam from my canoeing days, denser on the outside(hips), softer 4" square in the middle (buttcrack).
Quote:
I can do 200 miles of highway fairly comfortably.
I guess it depends on the individual, type of riding, and the road. There's times I've not felt a need for the wally pad for 400 miles or so. It might be more of time, than mileage.
Quote:
You'll probably need someone to stretch the seat cover back in place while you re-staple it.
If you leave the cover partialy on and only peel back the portion you're working on, I find it easy to stretch and staple it back myself.
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTRider View Post
Check with carpet shops for some 8 pound carpet pad scraps. You can glue them together to get the thickness you want. Try to make the saddle wider under your butt as much as the material will cover, something like an English saddle for horses. You might try some temporary padding to get the idea of what works for you before you glue it down. I need relief holes cut into the foam under my sit bones.

Experiment a lot to find what works for you before you use a lot of glue and staples. Here's a source for some gel and top quality foam padding: http://www.kemmlerproducts.com/products1.html
The illustration you posted, as you might know, is for the Specialized Body Geometry line of bicycle saddles.

The dynamics of a bicycle saddle is generally much different than a motorcycle saddle. Given that the V-strom has a relatively upright seating position, you sit less on your ischial tuberosities also known as "sit bones" thank you do the fleshy, fat, and/or muscle tissue of the butt. The fact that on a motorcycle you are riding with your knees in a constantly bent position also causes you to sit on your flesh more than the sit bones.

The only motorcycles that more closely approximate the dynamics of a bicycle saddle are dirt bikes because of the narrow saddle profile and longer seat to footpeg distance which straightens the legs out a bit more. When you are riding a bicycle, you need a narrower saddle to allow you a full range of motion while pedaling to prevent any chafing or soreness of the inner legs and thighs. That is why most cycling professionals will recommend finding a seat that is just wide enough to support your sit bones, so you get that needed support without excess width to slow you down and cause you pain. That Specialized Body Geometry fitting tool allows you to find the correct saddle width for your body.

Back to the motorcycle saddle issue...Given the different dynamics, you must look for something that supports your whole butt. This generally comes down to a function of saddle shape and firmness. If you could take a mold if your butt and perfectly transfer it to a motorcycle saddle, that would probably be the most comfortable thing you have sat on. In fact, you could probably make it out of a hard material such as wood or plastic and it would never be uncomfortable as long as it was so perfectly made that your weight is perfectly distributed evenly around the surface. That will never happen, so the best you can do is get pretty close with the shape. Then, the rest of the battle is finding the correct density foam to suit your weight, shape, and comfort preference.

I truly think the best way to find a good fitting saddle is through the assistance of an expert in the field. You already said that you don't want to spend hundreds on a custom seat like a Russell or Rick Mayer. That is understandable and even the aftermarkets like Sargent and Corbin are 4 bills. You might want to look into some of the people who are experienced in reshaping your stock seat using your height, weight, and photos of you on the bike. I can't speak for the results as I have never had any such work done, but there seems to be a lot of happy folks out there who saved a bunch of money by going this route.

For example, there is a guy in Florida who's company is named Spencer's Seat Mods (greatdaytoride.com). I think his services range from $50-75 for a basic reshaping plus the cost of shipping both ways. Obviously the biggest down side is you have to send your seat off and be without it for a few days. You can generally pick up stock seats pretty cheap which might not be a bad idea. Then, you can keep riding and sell it when you get your reworked seat back.

If that isn't up your alley, there are also the usual suspects like beaded mats and air cushions.
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  #9  
Old 12-29-2009, 10:27 AM
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Also check out kneeling pads at your local gardening shop. Fairly dense material and cheap.
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2009, 10:52 AM
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Keep It

I agree with much of what you say. A hard leather cowboy saddle or an iron old-fashioned tractor seat had no comfort layer, and the workers sat in those all day, every day.

But...but I know what hurts in my butt. I agree with what you say about sitting position if the bike is a cruiser. It much depends on whether the rider's spine is slumped (as on a cruiser) and sitting on the tailbone or straight...actually concave..., or somewhere in between when in the riding position. In my case, taking measurements with something like the Specialized assometer and making allowance for my sit bones, much like my seat in a rowing shell, is necessary for me and likely for some other riders. (Notch to the back for tailbone clearance)

In any case, I strongly recommend lots of trial attempts with the foam pieces held on the saddle with duct tape before the foam surgery begins.
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