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OEM SEAT MOD FOR SHORTER GUYS


panooch

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Since I've switched to my summer perforated Sidi boots, I'm having an even harder time touching the ground. Flat footing the FJ has been impossible for me. So, after my ride yesterday, I got motivated to try and do something about it. My goals were:
 
1. Lower the seat height
2. Try and level out the seat as it rakes forward even with the rubber bumpers cut down in the back
3. Shape the seat to my bum and bones
4. Cut the side edges down. My hips are not very wide and the seat edges dig into my inner thighs a bit.
5. Accomplish this without screwing my only seat up. (Another back order I would imagine, currently have two)
 
I had to purchase a wide crown pneumatic stapler @ our quality tool supply store, Harbor Freight for $23.99 + and some 1/4" and 3/8" staples. Neither package of staples ended up feeding into their gun so I made another trip to Lowe's. Arrow staples have never failed me and worked fine in the Harbor Freights stapler. I also chose to use some standard batting at a local fabric store. I do have a professional upholstery supply store that I've purchased material from before but their expensive and too far away from my home so I steered away this time.
 
 
This is the seat obviously removed, staples removed along the front and sides. I used a small std blade screw driver to start the stable removal which pulled out one leg and a pair of wire cutters to remove the other. Worked just fine. I didn't remove the rear most staples as I wouldn't be doing anything that far back. I also used a white line, my daughters fingernail polish, to mark the very center of the front edge of the seat pan and vinyl BEFORE REMOVING STAPLES so I was sure to realign the front after my attempts.
 
Just thinking how much I dislike this seat and really hoping this helps. I had to import a outdoor custom work bench from Japan. Toyota made this one but there's many others readily available.
 
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Staples removed from vinyl cover
 
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There are three staples in the very front edge of the foam. The foam is not glued down and folded over the seat pans underside. So be careful to leave the seat pan flat on the bench while removing the last few staples. It's OK to have the pan upside down while removing the staples of course, but be careful towards the final front ones. I worked from the back moving forward. It would be easy to tear the foam otherwise as there's nothing else holding the foam on once most of the staples and vinyl is removed. There are also three tabs of plastic, the middle one being the center point of the seat pan. You can see the white nail polish. I'll use this to realign the vinyl when reassembling. Both the pan and vinyl are marked. Again, didn't remove the rear staples so no need to mark the rear as the vinyl is still in its original spot.
 
CQgATXT.jpg
 
After a little more fiddling, I sat the foam back onto the pan, mounted both back on the FJ with the vinyl cover removed and started to mark my measurements in my normal riding position. Blue tape was used for the position of my ischium , butt bones, which I put in place and then sat on the seat. Started at the front of the seat and later on removed a 1/2" deep pocket in the back where my bones dig in. This area of the seat will end up having 1/2" deep pocket cut out from side to side.
 
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Seat pan with foam removed. Guess how it sits on the FJ?
 
q4QkO9A.jpg
 
Yep, talk about being raked forward. I knew the boys kept getting cramped. The flat spot in the pan has the thickest foam. This is where Yamaha intends us to sit. But the boys get too cramped so I keep pushing myself back. Only to slide up again during casual braking. Hard braking, I'm digging my knees into the tank. 
 
WslRU1e.jpg
 
Started off measuring 1" down in the front. Note the markings for the rear, or was that just a somber looking face wondering if this is going to work? The blue tape line is where I didn't want to go past. Foam is too thin back there.
 
CjSXo3v.jpg
 
Tools used to remove foam were adjustable 1/2", 1" deep X-acto blade, 4 1/2" Dewalt angle grinder and 80 grit grinding flap disk. I had the 80 grit flap disk on hand but went and purchased 100 and 120 grit. 80 cuts too deep, too fast and shoots the foam across my imported from Japan customized work bench, into the neighbors yard. 100 grit cuts nice, 120 for light finesse cuts towards the finish.
 
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I resolved the flying foam by piecing together this customized jig. LOL
You need something like this to hold the foam down while using the angle grinder. Extra pair of hands would be great.
 
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The first result was this. I went 1 1/2" down on the front as there's lots of foam up there, which will eliminate tip toeing. Still can't flat foot but much better.
 
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Then I went 1/2" deep towards the back. Yamaha just doesn't put much foam towards the back because of the pan being raked, sub frame design. I wanted to go slowly with this to avoid going through. There's probably 1" to 1-1/2" foam left after removing 1/2". Approximately 3/4" total after hand sanding it smooth.
 
 
TEKCvAh.jpg
 
Then I made a seat mold of my hips and bum. Sat the cardboard on a chair and had my wife outline with a Sharpie. This was after she had a couple cocktails as one might have guessed. The clamp was used to measure the width of my hips while seated but later found this measurement was not needed. Started to grind down the front edge on the front of the seat where it rises up.
 
 
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Little at a time, removed material, set the foam on the pan, set the pan and foam on the bike, mounted the bike and waited to see if I got a smile. Remove, cut and grind a little more repeating the process.
 
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This was pretty good. Felt much better then it did prior to these efforts. If I had time today, I would have gone for a nice long ride with just the seat foam slightly glued to the pan. The stock seat has a crown in the middle that bothered me. So I used a piece of 1" x 2" wood fir strips wrapped in 60 grit aluminum oxide 3m sanding paper to hand sand. This step smooths out the grinding marks, levels and flattens everything and makes it look much nicer, though soon to be covered. I wanted to go clear back to the Sharpie line but felt there just wasn't enough foam back there. So I stopped just short of it. If its not better, I'll do it again and go further back. There won't be any ischium, butt bones back that far digging into the pan so shouldn't be too much of a problem.
 
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I had to take more out of the front so the boys don't rub up against the seat in a more forward position, round it out and hand sanded down to get rid of the edge that I had in previous pics
 
7KVnFsW.jpg
 
Standard batting used from fabric store for $12.00. I used two layers.  Nothing fancy and yet to see how comfy it is. Maybe too soft for big long days. Batted down, the two layers are only 1/4" of material. Just enough to cover the edges and smooth out the foam for vinyl to lay on.
 
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This was the largest purchase for this project. I'll end up using the custom imported work bench from Japan for other things besides this so I didn't include it in my project costs. LOL
 
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Planned on gluing the batting to the foam, but after stretching and rolling the vinyl over the edge of the seat pan, I didn't feel I really needed it. Plus, this is the first run. If I were to do it again, better to not have anything glued IMO.
 
63JMDBA.jpg
 
You can just see the white line, fingernail polish, centered on the vinyl edge. Make sure you do this so the vinyl stays centered while reassembling. I did not cut the excess material off until I know this mod is good for at least 350-400 mile days. Its a long shot but I'm trying to be optimistic.
 
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I moved the staples in more on the pan from the originals so new holes were punched. The 1/4" staples worked fine with 90 psi on the compressor and gun turned all the way up
 
Esbr3AJ.jpg
 
I'll try adjusting the seat height up to help with the rake and see if I can keep my feet on the ground later, that's easy. Luckily I have two new seat bumpers that I ordered after cutting two and the two cut ones. So four uncut and two cut which will allow me to easily tinker if I don't get a happy bum.
 
NlaukD4.jpg
 
It still has a rake in it. Over 1 1/2" of foam removed from the front and 3/4" from the rear. There's no way to lower the seat height and take the rake out IMO. You have to build the front of the seat up with foam and then level out the front and rear. Thus raising seat height. My 30" inseam prioritizes lowering. So we shall see how comfortable it is riding for a few hours, with a break in between. This is my first attempt at a seat mod. Normally I don't let my bum guide me, though felt it necessary for this project.
 
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Please note:
 
Outdoor custom work bench, of some type, is definitely needed for this project. The grinding and sanding makes a mess.
I spent around $65.00 and saved the $240.00 it would have cost for a Yamaha low and uncomfortable seat.
 
 
Project total time:
Approx 4-5 hrs working slowly, which I have tendency of doing, a swim, lunch and a beer break with the Mrs.
 
Project costs:
$25.00 Harbor Freight pneumatic wide crown air stapler
$12.00 Harbor Freight 1/4" and 3/8" staples which didn't feed in their staple gun (taking them back, too wide and get stuck)
$ 7.00 Arrow 1/4" staples
$12.00 45" x 60" batting material
$11.00 3M 77 spray adhesive (which I did not use and will also be taking back)
$3.50 3M 60 grit aluminum oxide sand paper
$17.50 for 100 grit and 120 grit flap disks. I used the 100 more then the 120 if you only want to try one and cut project costs a bit
Outdoor custom imported work bench with 123,000 miles, priceless
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Everyday's a good day when your able to ride
 
15 FJ-09 - 2WDW ECU flash, Givi SV201, Nelson Rigg tail bag, OES sliders, Koubalink extenders, Ermax Sport, Vista Cruise, OEM seat mod, (smiles)
07 Honda ST1300A (sold)
06 Kawi KLR650 - Big Gun full exhaust, Corbin, Givi, PMR racks, carb mod (keeper)
97 Honda VFR750 - Traxxion Dynamics, Penske, Givi 3 piece, carbon exhaust (keeper?)
20+ years of snowmobiles
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@panooch Thanks very much for that write up. Textbook example of the proper way to do a tech tip. Alot of people will get great use of this over the years. Great job!
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@panooch Thanks very much for that write up. Textbook example of the proper way to do a tech tip. Alot of people will get great use of this over the years. Great job!
Thanks Cruizin,  
I also thank everybody else for all the help they've given me, and others. I hope this can be of use to whoever decides to tackle the OEM seat.
 
Everyday's a good day when your able to ride
 
15 FJ-09 - 2WDW ECU flash, Givi SV201, Nelson Rigg tail bag, OES sliders, Koubalink extenders, Ermax Sport, Vista Cruise, OEM seat mod, (smiles)
07 Honda ST1300A (sold)
06 Kawi KLR650 - Big Gun full exhaust, Corbin, Givi, PMR racks, carb mod (keeper)
97 Honda VFR750 - Traxxion Dynamics, Penske, Givi 3 piece, carbon exhaust (keeper?)
20+ years of snowmobiles
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panooch,
excellent how to. I had planned to do one when my order for new foam arrived.
A suggestion on tools for working foam. An electric carving knife works very well.
To mark the depth to cut, drill small holes with a high speed drill (or Dremel) set to that depth.
Kimdo
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  • 3 weeks later...
panooch, excellent how to. I had planned to do one when my order for new foam arrived.
A suggestion on tools for working foam. An electric carving knife works very well.
To mark the depth to cut, drill small holes with a high speed drill (or Dremel) set to that depth.
Kimdo
Thanks for the update on tools. I was going to purchase an electric knife as I didn't have one on hand. But did have the 4 1/2 angle grinder. A bit of overkill for the foam of coarse but it worked.  
Everyday's a good day when your able to ride
 
15 FJ-09 - 2WDW ECU flash, Givi SV201, Nelson Rigg tail bag, OES sliders, Koubalink extenders, Ermax Sport, Vista Cruise, OEM seat mod, (smiles)
07 Honda ST1300A (sold)
06 Kawi KLR650 - Big Gun full exhaust, Corbin, Givi, PMR racks, carb mod (keeper)
97 Honda VFR750 - Traxxion Dynamics, Penske, Givi 3 piece, carbon exhaust (keeper?)
20+ years of snowmobiles
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Ride report:
 
This actually turned out better then I had originally expected. I've added miles gradually to my rides with no soreness or problems. So this past Monday, I went on a 452 mile ride. In the saddle all day with four stops total for fuel and necessities. I did raise the seat to the high position and put my trimmed rubber bumpers in the rear eliminating just a bit more of the OEM forward rake in the seat pan. I also wore a pair of Pearl Izumi microfiber bicycle shorts which may have made the ride a bit too cushy with the extra padding but kept me dry. First 300 miles was fine, though I missed the ability to confidently put my feet down on unlevel surfaces. The OEM seat mod did accomplished this for me, so I went back to the lowered seat position and finished the ride.
 
I'd put 2,000+ miles on the OEM seat prior to this mod and gave the unmodded seat ample time for me to adjust. Still didn't like it. With few aftermarket solutions, I knew something needed to be done. Could I customize the seat myself or would I just end up with a hack job? A new OEM front seat was $85.00 ish when I looked it up. If this mod had failed and made the seat worse, hmm, if that's possible, it would cost me that much to replace it. Did I hear back order? So I took the chance and to be honest, glad I did. Now I can concentrate on the ride and be in reasonable comfort. Instead of thinking how uncomfortable or irritated my back side was. Will this mod challenge a Russell Day Long or equivalent? No, of course not. Especially if you like how they look. But for what I intended to accomplish, it was well worth the effort and I'm pleased.
Everyday's a good day when your able to ride
 
15 FJ-09 - 2WDW ECU flash, Givi SV201, Nelson Rigg tail bag, OES sliders, Koubalink extenders, Ermax Sport, Vista Cruise, OEM seat mod, (smiles)
07 Honda ST1300A (sold)
06 Kawi KLR650 - Big Gun full exhaust, Corbin, Givi, PMR racks, carb mod (keeper)
97 Honda VFR750 - Traxxion Dynamics, Penske, Givi 3 piece, carbon exhaust (keeper?)
20+ years of snowmobiles
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