Saddlemen is pleased to announce the launch of the Kevin Schwantz Signature Seat for sportbikes. The Kevin Schwantz Signature Seat features Kevin’s world famous #34 as well as his signature embroidered on the seat.
“We are very thrilled to be working with Kevin, not only is he a great ambassador for the sport, he knows exactly what’s important when it comes to seating position on a motorcycle” says, Ron Benfield, Director of Sales and Marketing at Saddlemen, “Saddlemen will also partner with Kevin at his Schwantz Motorcycle Riding Schools, by fitting the school bikes with his signature seat.“
When Kevin retired from professional competition in 1995, the FIM felt the loss to the sport was so significant that they retired his signature competition number 34. It was the first time in the history of the sport that a rider had been so honored, and his number 34 continues to be one of the most recognized symbols in racing. “I am excited to work with Saddlemen on the development of this seat and more”, says Schwantz, “my students and racers to come will benefit from the relationship as we continue to develop hi tech sport bike seats.“
Saddlemen has been crafting seats for racing for nearly 20 years, starting in Flat Track and now for sport bikes and Road Racing. Its patented channel design has set the standard for performance and design. The Schwantz School was started in 2001 with the goal of making better, safer and more confident riders. The Schwantz School holds the honor of being the only track-based school to be recognized by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). www.SchwantzSchool.com Available at your Parts Unlimited Dealer. MSRP $299.
Visiting A Few Moments With Racing Legend Kevin Schwantz In Milan
Earlier this month, while Saddlemen was on hand for the International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan, Italy, we had the opportunity to catch up with a friend of the company, international racing legend and racing school operator, Kevin Schwantz.
Above: Kevin with Saddlemen's Ron Benfield (at left) and with David Echert (on the right).
Connecting with the international riding community at events like EICMA is an exciting opportunity, and a part of our aim to increase our worldwide market and exposure.
Clovis, California Motorcycle Racing Museum Celebrates 20th Anniversary
Besides all the great times that are standard for an outstanding event like this, Tom also got to be there when Dan Rouit was informed of his invitation for induction into the Trailblazers' Hall of Fame next year. Seen above, left: Saddlemen's Tom Seymour with Dan Rouit, and at right, film maker Peter Starr presenting an autographed book to Dan, for the museum.
For more images (including lots of excellent shots of vintage racing bikes) and complete coverage of the Open House, we suggest checking out this posting at www.todayscyclecoverage.com for the full story and content.
Saddlemen has been connected with motorcycle racing from the very beginning. We were founded by race fans, and still proudly sponsor racers, races and race-related events. It's in the fabric of what we do.
Don Emde To Retrace Route Of Landmark 1914 Cross-Country Motorcycle Journey
Saddlemen motorcycle luggage will travel with magazine publisher and AMA Hall-Of-Fame racer Don Emde as he rides and researches the route taken by Erwin “Cannon Ball” Baker on his historic, record-breaking 1914 San Diego to New York run.
Don, along with a Parts Magazine writer, will follow Cannon Ball Baker's route as closely as possible, taking into account a century's change and development across the nation. The course will be completed in sections, with Don and his partner doing research on the various stages of the trek. As pictured above, most of the ride will use current KTM 990 Adventure model bikes, but Don will also use a restored Indian motorcycle to recreate portions of the trip. More information is available at the Cyril Huze blog site.
Whether for vintage machines or the latest model,Saddlemen offers top-notch value and versatility with our motorcycle luggage and seats. We offer a wide range of applications and styles, to suit every need and every taste. We look forward to matching you with the perfect saddle and storage solution for your riding needs and style.
Los Angeles Area Bartels' Harley-Davidson Unveils Artist's Custom Painted V-Rod
Recently, Saddlemen created a custom seat for a one-of-a-kind, uniquely painted V-Rod, produced by Southern California artist, Jack Armstrong. The premiere event was hosted by Bartels' Harley-Davidson of Marina Del Rey. Among the notable attendees was actor Lorenzo Lamas, and a number of celebrity motorcycle enthusiasts.
For this high-profile project, the builders wanted an excellent seat. Saddlemen was pleased to create a top-of-the-line saddle, based on our proven seats for V-Rods, featuring our famous design sense and innovative construction and technologies.
We at Saddlemen enjoy creating unique motorcycle seats and luggage for the widest range of special projects. Custom work like this has been an important element in the growth and evolution of our product lines. We invite you to contact us about any custom project on the horizon.
Avid Race Fans Join Saddlemen and Racing Legends at Laguna Seca MotoGP for Launch of Peter Starr’s Latest Motorcycle Tome
Many of the thousands of race fans attending the Laguna Seca MotoGP event on July 21st received a special treat as world road racing champions Kenny Roberts, Wayne Rainey and Eddie Lawson, plus flat track racing legend Gary Nixon joined famed film maker Peter Starr for the launch of Starr’s new Saddlemen-sponsored book “Taking It To The Limit – 20 Years Of Making Motorcycle Movies”.
Starr’s large coffee table book: “Taking it to The Limit – 20 Years Of Making Motorcycle Movies” is a rich collection of images and stories about filming the greatest names in motorcycle racing history. In addition to Roberts, Rainey, Nixon and Lawson the book documents Starr’s experience filming riders such as Roger DeCoster, Steve Baker, Mike Hailwood and many other legends.
A special book printing made copies available so the famed racers, and Starr himself, could autograph the high quality, color book for the excited fans. Remarked one fan; “Peter’s film was special as it focused upon the sport and racing as they moved from the seventies into the eighties. Motorcycles were evolving fast and the racers had to be pretty skilled to keep those bikes under control. Peter captured their exploits on film and we can now learn more about those times with his book!”
Saddlemen’s role, as a presenting sponsor of the book, was a natural continuation of the support provided to racers of all disciplines. Universally recognized as one of the nation’s strongest supporters of flat track racing; Saddlemen President Tom Seymour is pressing forward with a higher level of support in the road race arena to help showcase the company’s new Sportbike seat and accessory offerings.
Accompanying the book is a DVD featuring special outtakes from several of Starr’s award-winning films including his best known movie, “Take It To The Limit.” Also on the DVD is a special greeting from Seymour in which he provides a fascinating look at the engineering and processes behind the country’s premier motorcycle seat, luggage and accessory manufacturer.
The iconic “Take It To The Limit” film was recently made available in DVD format. Starr’s book will be available for order from Saddlemen in the near future. Check back at www.saddlemen.com in the coming weeks for additional information about the book’s availability and for additional racing and enthusiast news.
Motorcycling is not simply a business at Saddlemen, it’s our passion. See what our enthusiasm, craftsmanship and innovation can do to improve your riding experience.
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.
“Valentino Rossi” Themed 2009 Yamaha R1 Unveiled At Long Beach Show
At the recent Long Beach Cycle World International Motorcycle Show, Don Emde, publisher of Parts Magazine and project leader for the build, unveiled an attention-getting, street-legal, custom Yamaha, the Rossi/Riders For Health Yamaha R1, built to be auctioned for charity next year.
Proceeds will benefit the Riders for Health organization. Saddlemen was pleased to make and donate a special custom seat and pillion for this unique machine, and proud to be among the top-of-the-line aftermarket manufacturers asked to participate in its creation for the Friends Of Riders For Health organization.
The bike’s concept is to be a one-of-a-kind “Track Day” sportbike, wrapped in famed racer Valentino Rossi’s AGV “Five Continents” graphics. This machine boasts numerous upgrades from major aftermarket firms. When auctioned, the eventual buyer will receive all needed “street legal” items currently off the bike, as well as a second full set of body work and windscreen.
Click on the gallery images above to see them at full size.
We at Saddlemen invite you to see what our expertise, craftsmanship and technology can do to make riding more enjoyable – just as we’ve done for the Rossi/Riders For Health Yamaha R1 custom machine.
Strong Positive Review Of Our “SaddleStow” Large Fastback Sissy Bar Bag
“After riding to Sturgis and back from here in Southern California using this bag, I’m very happy with it. The design is fantastic with the either-side-opening it is convenient to get into while still mounted on the bike. I found the semi-rigid construction was a perfect backrest on those long open roads. The side pockets are perfect for a few water bottles, your camera, cell phone, maps and other items you might want to get during a gas stop or along the highway. I used the straps on top to secure my rain suit giving easy access without opening the bag. Yes, I did have to use my rain suit, and the included rain cover for the bag which kept everything dry. The movable shelf inside was perfect in its highest position to keep my laptop handy but away from possible damage. All in all, your designers have done a fantastic job on this bag.”
To learn more about the experiences of satisfied Saddlemen customers, and the benefits our technology and workmanship can offer to you, please click on the following link: Saddlemen Feedback and Testimonials
Multi-platinum selling musicians Jason Freese (left in photo) from Green Day (keyboards, guitar, sax, vocals), and his buddy Kevin Baldes (right), bass player from the band Lit stopped by to tour the Saddlemen facilities recently, and to get a custom Saddlemen seat for Jason’s XR650L Honda supermoto bike.
In addition to being world class musicians, Kevin and Jason are all-around nice guys, long-time motorcyclists and friends from Orange County, California. That’s Saddlemen President Tom Seymour showing them around.
The seat on Jason’s Honda was reshaped for his riding style, and includes a lower rider position for better control in supermoto situations, a rider bump-stop (common racer mod), custom non-slip ultrasuede finish, contrast color stitching (red, naturally), and of course Saddlemen’s exclusive SaddleGel™ inside for a comfortable ride. It was also lengthened so that Jason’s bride could accompany him around town.
The bike is a project in conjunction with the Motorcycle Industry Council (www.mic.org) under the direction of IRS Media’s special project guru Avery Innes. Other modifications include 17″ wheels and sticky street tires, supermoto-specific brakes, lowered suspension, wider footpegs, aggressive handlebars, engine tweaks and a Jardine exhaust. This is one bad-ass XR650L streetbike!
Click on the images to the left to see them full size.
See Jason Freese and other rock musicians on the MIC’s new website RockMoto.com, which combines the high energy of rock ‘n roll music with the speed and grace of motorcycling.