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.
Saddlemen Modifies Two-Up Seat From Victory Cross Country For Event And Advertising Photography Duties
Click on the images above to view them at full size.
Saddlemen had the interesting opportunity recently to design and produce a highly modified seat for Victory Motorcycles’ new camera bike kit. This kit allows compatible stock Victory machines to be quickly and temporarily converted for on-road photographic use. Besides the Saddlemen re-worked saddle, the setup also includes shielding for the rear wheel, running gear and exhaust.
Our rebuild included a special front-and-back pad on the driver’s backrest for use by both riders, a modified passenger backrest with storage pouch, our famous SaddleGel inserts in the seating areas, and a new custom seat cover.
Victory plans to use this setup for their own corporate advertising use, as well as making it available for loan or rental.
Photos provided courtesy of Victory Motorcycles.
Victory Motorcycles is a part of Polaris Industries, also makers of snowmobiles and ATVs.
At Saddlemen we thrive on the chance to show our expertise and creativity, no matter how unusual the project.
Parts Unlimited Rep’s SV650 Features Color-Scheme Matching Sport Saddle
Recently, we produced custom seats for this highly modified 2006 Suzuki SV650, owned by Parts Unlimited representative Dave Schmalenberg. The saddle was made as our “Track” style of sport bike seats, and following our design philosophy with this line of saddles, our “Gel Channel” feature was covered in yellow material to coordinate with the bike’s paint scheme.
Dave contacted us after receiving the seat, letting us know how he liked it, “The seat is very comfy, and looks awesome. No feedback on the passenger seat yet, but I will let you know as soon as I can sucker someone into riding on the back with me. (Anyone that knows me won’t ride on the back with me). Thanks again… the seats are EXACTLY what I wanted!”
Here’s a rundown of the custom work and modifications Dave made to his Suzuki:
- Swingarm, rear wheel, and brakes: 2007 ZX6R.
- Forks, triple clamps, front wheel, and brakes: ZX6R.
- Shock is from a GSXR750.
- Tag T2 bars with Moose risers.
- CRG levers and mirrors.
- Custom Barnett braided steel cables and Goodridge lines.
- Hand built exhaust with Leo Vince GP Pro silencer for 2009 R6.
- Hotbodies undertail and rear fender.
- Michelin Power Pure tires.
- Dynojet Power commander and LCD display.
- Engine is cammed and ported.
- Many other custom modifications and parts not listed…
“One Very Satisfied And Happy Customer”
With the recent introduction of our new range of sport bike seats we have started to offer custom conversions of stock seats to the standards of our three sport bike seat types: “Sport” style, “Tech” style and “Track” style.
One our first customers to get a saddle upgraded and converted with our sport bike seat technology was Robert S., in Minnesota. We reworked his Honda RC51’s stock seat, turning it into the equivalent of one of our Track models. Click on the images below to see them full size
Soon after we shipped the seat back to Robert, we received an e-mail from him, along with the photos seen above.
“I put 91 miles on the new seat and absolutely totally love it!!! It looks awesome and is a perfect compliment to my RC51. And it is way more comfortable than the factory seat. Great workmanship!”
“I was out again yesterday and really really like the new seat. I have had compliments from three people who saw it and asked where I got it, so you maybe getting more business.”
“Thanks again for helping me pick the seat I wanted and for making it happen.”
The response has been exciting to the introduction of our sport bike seat lines – and to the addition of these new styles and technology to our range of custom seat options. We’re always pleased to provide the perfect solution for the needs of the individual rider. Our thanks to Robert for the photos and feedback. We hope he gets years of riding comfort from his revamped saddle.
To inquire about getting an existing seat re-worked with Saddlemen’s sport bike materials and craftsmanship, please contact us by e-mail or telephone at the address or phone number listed below…
Whether with a new seat, a custom retrofit, or our wide range of motorcycle luggage, we at Saddlemen are proud to show what our expertise, craftsmanship and technology can do to make riding more enjoyable.
We Can Transform Any Seat Into The New, Innovative “Gel Channel” Standard
Our craftsmen and technicians here at Saddlemen are well known for their talent for custom seat alterations and refurbishing. Now, with the introduction of our brand-new “Gel Channel” line of seats for sport bikes, we also offer the chance for riders to have existing seats remade to match the look, feel and technology of these excellent new saddles.
The seats in these new product lines utilize Saddlemen’s latest design development, our Gel Channel (GC) technology (patent pending), that incorporates a split piece of SaddleGel and a channel in the base foam to relieve seating pressure, increase blood flow, and keep the rider in the saddle longer.
Seats can be modified along the lines of our three popular new styles. The “Sport” style series uses black-on-black, easy-to-clean microfiber cover material, reminiscent of suede, for the entire top portion of the seat with a matching center strip. The “Tech” style incorporates high-quality, highly flexible fabric top covers that breathe well and are textured to allow the body to move on the seat for aggressive maneuvering. We can also install a layer of memory foam just under the top cover to contour to the shape of the rider’s body for maximum comfort. Also, the “Track” style, with its hard-line looks, are normally covered in contrasting colors and materials that specifically match each bike’s colors and textures.
When ordering, the customer can work with our sales and customer service staff to design the best covering combinations for the perfect desired look, as well as any alterations to the structure and contours of the saddle to suit the requirements and riding style of the owner.
We also can recover rear seating pillion pads at the same time to match the renovated seat’s appearance.
We invite you to see what our expertise and technology can do to make riding more enjoyable – no matter how old the bike…
Ailing Rider Gets Another Custom Saddlemen Seat For A Second Bagger
Last year, we had the chance to build a seat for Rick H. of Riverside, California. The aim was to help get Rick back riding comfortably and confidently while healing up from a severe tailbone injury. Our customer service staff and seat builders worked with him to construct an “Explorer” design saddle to meet his needs.
Rick got back to us within days, letting us know the seat worked great… “It is perfect!”
Recently, we were pleased to be able to make another Explorer seat for him, this time for his great looking red Road King Custom. This time we covered the seat with tan colored Saddlehyde, with the eye-catching results seen in the photos Rick sent to us.
Click the images above to see them at full size.
“Not only does it look incredible, it is very very comfortable,” Rick tells us.
“Thanks again for the personal attention.”
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:
Providing “TLC” For Well-Worn, Damaged And Uncomfortable Seats
At Saddlemen, one our constant sources of work is providing seat refurbishing and modification services to the riding public, no matter what type of machine they ride. Whether replacing the cover on a favorite seat, installing our famous Saddlegel inserts for added support and comfort, reshaping a stock saddle for better ergonomics, or upgrading seat performance and durability with our top-of-the-line foam, Saddlemen has years of experience, know-how and workmanship ready to help.
An example of recovering existing seats… These flat track racing seats, for a Saddlemen sponsored rider, are receiving custom tailored and embroidered covers, as seen before final mounting. Also, the seat on the right demonstrates some of the possibilities of foam modification and upgrading regularly done here at Saddlemen.
Measure twice, cut once. That’s how the old-but-true saying goes. Our experienced craftsmen are not just skilled but also methodical in their work. At left, in our workshop, a seat due for reshaping and Saddlegel installation is carefully pre-planned, with contours, cuts and insert areas all spelled out before any blade or tool gets near the foam. At right, another seat shows our renowned gel pads installed, awaiting final re-covering.
We at Saddlemen invite you to see what our expertise, craftsmanship and technology can do to make riding more enjoyable.
One Size Does Not Fit All… Saddlemen’s Years Of Customizing Experience – Ready To Optimize Your Ride
At Saddlemen we pride ourselves on our experience and ability to custom fit our seats (especially our touring saddles) for the needs of the widest variety of riders. Height, weight, build, riding style and habits can all influence the effectiveness and comfort of a seat. Our sales staff and craftsmen know the right questions to ask, and the answers for providing the best solutions for each individual.
Our standard American-made production run seats are hand-built and designed for comfort and optimal seating position, with years experience behind them, and Saddlemen’s innovative combination of proven materials. Like even the best made piece of clothing, tailoring sometimes is needed to suit the individual “wearer,” or can make a “good” seating setup just about perfect.
Adjustments can be made to improve many aspects of the riding experience. The forward area of a seat can be narrowed to help provide better leg reach to the ground when stopped. Lumbar supports can be adjusted to improve the rider’s seating position, front-to-rear. The shape of the seating surface can be customized to relieve sources of discomfort. Over many years, our staff has found solutions for all kinds of individual issues.
Potential buyers with concerns about comfort, seating position and styling can contact our knowledgeable sales staff at our California offices and factory. A brief conversation can answer many questions, and provide a basis for creating a seat for the best ride possible. We can also discuss options for cover materials, stitching and ornamentation.
Our experienced Sales Department representatives can be reached during normal Pacific time zone business hours at (800) 397-7709.
We invite you to see what our expertise and technology can do to make riding (and travel in general) more enjoyable.
Saddlemen Workmanship And Technology Gets Customer “Back In The Saddle Again”
Rick H. of California recently had us construct a custom seat for him, to help get back into riding (comfortably) after suffering a bad tailbone injury. Working with Rick, our customer service staff and seat builders made a seat based on our Explorer design to help him out.
Within days we received an email response, with images, from Rick – “the guy with the crushed tailbone.”
“Thanks for the great seat. Use these [photos] for the next guy that wants a custom seat. It is perfect!”
Click the images above to see them at full size.
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
As previously posted, the Joker Machine / Cody Racing / JRM Bonneville Bike ran at the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trails August 30th through September 3rd at the Bonneville Salt Flats, in an AMA & FIM sanctioned event, to break the speed record for the MODIFIED ALTERED FUEL 500 CLASS M-AF.
Click on the images below to see them full size…
Joker Machine’s Geoff Arnold reports on the run at the record with rider Billy “The Bullet” Hamill:
“Well we are back from Bonneville. What a week! As you may already know we ran 144.2 mph. This is not bad but the record still stands at 145.2 mph…..one mph short, what a bummer. But what a great week, Billy and I learned so much. Going to Bonneville is like no other experience you will ever have, it’s unreal. You get up everyday at 5:00 am and get done a 6:00 pm. Being on the salt all day is about as hard a days work you will ever have. One of the coolest things about working there is meeting all the people. Everyone from the fellow competitors to the AMA staff was great and made Billy and I feel very welcome. Making new friends and seeing old ones turned it into a bitchin' week and one to look forward to for next year. I highly recommend going to Bonneville if you get the chance. It’s worth it to check it out once in your life. You’ll dig it.
Also this would not be possible without Dennis Manning and his staff at BUB for putting on such a great race. All the volunteers and the AMA folks, great job and thank you. And for Billy and me one big thanks to our sponsors, who without them we would be lost and would have never gotten as close to our goal as we did. My wife Diane Rawson, without her it just wouldn’t happen. Come on – she put up with Billy and me for week on the road – what a trooper.”
Saddlemen is proud to have provided a custom-made seat for this machine. Here’s to setting the record next year!