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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Default add gel to the seat UPDATE W/ PICTURES

So I'm planning a trip to the smoky mountains this summer but my wife is worried about comfort on the 9 hour ride. I'm happy with the seat, but she says its uncomfortable, no specifics, just uncomfortable. I'm thinking about removing the cover off my seat and adding gel pads to it. Has anyone ever done it them self? I'm confident I can I'm just wondering if anyone has done it and has any pointers, or other tips to add comfort. I do have floorboards on the way to replace the passenger pegs, I think it will help too.
Buying a different seat is not an option, I'm not spending the money one will cost. Plus once I do this seat once I'll be confident in doing it again if I want to do more to it.



I went ahead and did the gel. it was pretty easy. I watched a few videos on youtube and decided it wasn't that big of a deal. I went with a 3/4 gel pad with 1/2 memory foam on top, then covered the whole seat with a thin layer to smooth it all out. the back of the front seat got 3/8 with the same memory foam. it turned out good although you can see a couple lumps if you look closely. I cant really tell a difference in my seat yet but haven't rode for more than 30 minutes at a time so far.
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Last edited by worm5932; 04-13-2014 at 09:11 AM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 06:38 PM
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I skinned a sportster before my trip to the tail of the dragon. Needle nose pliers, an electric staple gun and some time. I added a memory foam pillow to the top of the stock seat then. Just put it under the plastic waterproofing cover, glue on with spray glue and cut to fit with an electric knife. Place leather back on and tack the front, back and sides to start, then work your way around. I sat on the seat to compress the foam from time to time to make it easier to get skin back on. Good luck!

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 07:05 PM
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What Merc said... I also have modified my seat on other bikes and it is quite easy. Find a store that sells commercial grade foam and get a 12x12 inch block of 25 lb foam, that's what I use. Just make sure you can pull the seat cover back over far enough to get the staples into the underside. Once you do it you will wonder why you waited so long. I even used a manual stapler but power is better if you have one.
Just work slowly and smooth it out.. YMMV :^)

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 07:17 PM
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Have you considered beads? I ask, because you can do this for $26 + shipping at BeadRider, so it's a pretty cheap experiment.

If your wife is skinny, i.e., tends toward a bony butt, this is probably not a good idea. However, if she's more on the full-figured side, this may work OK for her. Me, I could stand to lose 20 or 30 pounds, so it works for me.

Attached is a pic of the 10x14 BeadRider passenger model. I use this up front on my XCT -- it's the perfect size for that -- but the pic shows it just draped over the passenger seat. I believe the XR passenger area is not that much smaller than the XCT passenger area.

I realize that sitting on wood seems counter-intuitive to comfort, but I've had BeadRiders on my Valkyrie Interstate and my Burgman 650 for a total of about 12 years with them (plus another year on my XCT), and like them a lot. I did four 800+ mile days on that Burgman scooter, and three or four 600-mile days on the XCT now; there's no way I could've done those without beads and overpants (the Firstgear HT Overpants, in my case). Just a suggestion...
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 06:15 AM
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I'm with Bill P on the beads... have used them for years of riding on all kinds of seats. There's some kind of circulation/massage benefit that works great.

I always cheap out and go to the auto parts store and get a set of natural color for $10 or so... instead of the $59 black ones.

PS... they keep your butt cooler in the summer too.


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 08:40 AM
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I bought large piece of gel off ebay. I added the gel to the drivers portion of my XC seat and reshaped the seat while doing it. It increased the comfort and reduced the tailbone pressure of the seat. It wasn't hard to do and was definitely worth while. I would think that it would be relatively easy to add gel to the passenger portion of the seat. You would only have to peel back that portion of the seat cover and it is a relatively flat area to work with.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 09:06 AM
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It's not that hard. I do it occasionally at my shop.

One thing to remember is get a piece of thin (1/4" or so) foam to lay over the seat after you cut it and put the gel pad in. The 1/4" foam gets rid of any lines you'd see from the foam/gel being there after you stretch the cover over.

The last one I did was a gel pad off Ebay, a memory foam pillow from Walmart, and a piece of 1/4" regular foam from the local fabric shop. Recessed the gel pad into the seat, put about 3/8-1/2" of memory foam on top of that, and then the 1/4" foam over the whole seat.

You'll need:
-an electric knife to cut the memory foam
-spray adhesive to keep everything in place
-stapler (I use a cheap Harbor Freight air powered one that works ok but not great)

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 09:07 AM
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Here is a link that might help. It shows how to insert a gel pad.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 11:50 AM
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Buy a good quality gel, preferably the kind you can cut as it won't spread out as easily when your sitting on it. That's a pretty good write up posted above....

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 05:31 PM
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The bad think about cutting up your seat and then find out you don't like it your stuck with and have ruined a good seat.

Wood beads work great a long with ship skin to keep your butt dry
If you don't like it just take it off

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