Homemade pressure relief cushion for seat
Itís been a while since I posted one of my projects here, so hereís the latest.
If youíre one of the unlucky riders (like me) who have to deal with Prostatitis and/or hemorrhoids, you know how it can turn a nice ride into the Spanish Inquisition. Worse still is trying to find some sort of help online, and finding very little help but an awful lot of snortling and guffawing. So hereís a solution that has provided me with some relief.
The seat cushion is made from a $15.00 yoga mat from Walmart and a $7.00 piece of leather-like vinyl upholstery material (I bought a square yard, way more than you need) from Hobby Lobby. I also used about four feet of inch wide elastic (also from Hobby Lobby). Youíll also need six 1Ē square rings (to attach the straps to the cushion and to make the adjustable elastic loops) and two 1Ē sliding strap adjusters. I bought these from an online company called Strapworks, but they could also probably be found in Hobby Lobby or a camping supply store. Youíll also need about two feet of 1Ē polypropylene webbing, which also came from Strapworks (but you could probably also get it at Hobby Lobby or a camping store).
The shape of the cushion was determined by putting a sheet of aluminum foil over the seat and burnishing it so it followed the seatís contours. I then followed the top seam of the seat and marked it on the foil with a Sharpie marker. Then I cut this shape out of the foil, and used it to make a pattern out of posterboard. This pattern was used to cut out the cushion parts. The pressure relief cutout in the center was pretty much just guesswork; it should be wide enough to relieve pressure without being so wide that you end up sitting on a very narrow piece of foam.
I cut out two layers of the vinyl upholstery material (for added strength), and two layers of the yoga mat foam. The vinyl layers were affixed together with two sided tape, and then I sewed the two pieces of polypropylene webbing across the vinyl. The webbing is to strengthen the vinyl material so that when the cushion is strapped to the seat, the straps pull evenly across the vinyl and wonít pull the vinyl out of shape.
After the vinyl base was made, I attached the two pieces of foam to each other with double sided tape, and then sewed the foam to the vinyl base. A square ring was then sewn to each end of the polypropylene webbing that was attached to the vinyl base. The quick adjust straps were then made from the elastic, square rings, and sliding adjusters, and sewn to the square rings on the vinyl base. These adjustable straps are the same kind you see on the shoulder straps of carry on luggage.
All of the sewing for the project was done with a needle and thread.
Iíve tested the seat cushion out on a 200 mile ride and a 150 mile ride so far and, for me, it does provide relief. It didnít make my rides 100 percent discomfort free, but it made it bearable enough to keep me on two wheels. After testing it, I might make a couple changes if I were to remake the cushion. I might add a third layer of yoga mat material, to provide a little bit more room between me and the motorcycle seat (and hence, more pressure relief on sensitive areas). The foam is a dense gel like material so it doesnít compress like upholstery foam; I find it to be comfortable, though others may not and might want to try different kinds of foam. Whatever foam you choose shouldnít be so compressible that you find yourself sitting right on the motorcycle seat, since that defeats the purpose of the cushion. I used the yoga mat because it was cheap and readily available. Iíd prefer it to be black, but the blue mat was the least garish one in the store.
The cushion was made for my Super Tenere, but the technique would work just as well on a V-Strom seat. I know it looks weird. I also know that, if it can keep me riding, I donít care. Itís easy to remove from the motorcycle seat, and easy to carry along on a trip in case itís needed.
If you suffer from the same issues I do, I hope this thing could help you too.
"No matter where you go, there you are."