A Step-By-Step View Of Our Experts During Design And Construction
Saddlemen was pleased to produce a seat for Keith Ball and our friends at bikernet.com, for their latest speed record machine, due to run at the Bonneville Salt Flats. We took a seat base pan supplied by the team, and made a top-notch seat and chest pad for their bike.
Above, left: We started out with the metal pan that had already been fit to the bike. Weight wasn’t an issue – according to Keith, the weight actually helps with traction – important on all that slippery salt. Center: As this wasn’t going to be a comfortable seat, per se, tons of foam and gel weren’t high on the list of necessary materials. A thin, inch-and-a-half layer of foam was glued to the seat pan as a starting point for the “comfort” section. Right: Using a flexible knife the carving process began…
Above, left: …and continued… Center: …until the rough shape of the foam was readily apparent. Right: Knife blades leave sharp corners in the foam. An angle grinder is employed, fit with a sanding disc, to smooth out the sharp corners.
Above, left: In a short while, the seat foam had taken on an attractive, aerodynamic shape and was ready for its covering. Center: Instead of wasting good leather using the trial and error method to figure out exactly how much material was going to be needed to cover the seat, Saddlemen covers the entire thing with tape. Right: The tape fully encompasses the seat, just like a real cover would.
Above, left: Then lines are drawn on the tape where we think the seams for the covering should go. Next the tape is removed and the leather is cut using the tape as pattern. Center: The chest pad received a covering treatment similar to the main seating area. Before the covering can be attached, a final thin layer of foam is glued to the seat and chest pad. Right: Leather for the chest pad is cut and checked to make sure there’s enough material to cover it properly before it is permanently attached.
Above, left: Holes were drilled in the pan base of the seat and chest pad. The front of the chest pad cover was riveted into place. Center: Glue was applied to the foam and backside of the leather. Right: …then stretched over the base.
Above, left: The seat required more work to get it finished. Once the covering for the lower part of the seat was cut and sewn in place, we marked where a small amount of material needed to be removed so the seam for the lumbar support would line up with the shape of the foam. Center: While the detail work was finished on the base, the lumbar support covering was stitched with the Saddlemen logo. Right: The lumbar support covering and the base covering were sewn together.
Above, left: Next, it was fit to the pan, glued, and stretched into place. Center: The rest of the rivets were installed for the chest pad. Right: A final layer of glue was sprayed on the underside of the chest pad where a thick piece of felt is secured so the pad won’t damage the paint on the gas tank of the bike.
Above, left: A final layer of glue was sprayed on the underside of the seat. Center: The felt was smoothed out and the edges received a few final snips from the scissors for a perfect fit. Right: The finished seat and chest pad, ready to break records at Bonneville!
Above: The completed custom Saddlemen seat and pad.
Since our company was founded, Saddlemen has been an enthusiastic sponsor of motorsports, whether on the track, or speed record attempts. We thrive on the chance to show what we can do for any machine, as well as the opportunity and fun involved in these efforts.