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.
Article Focuses On Our Proven Seat Construction Techniques
Our friends at bikernet.com recently added an informative article about Saddlemen gel and foam technology and its benefits for comfort, support and riding endurance.
We are always proud and pleased to let the motorcycling public get a look at the materials and know-how that make our seats top-of-the-line.
Real world riding experience, and years of craftsmanship have combined to make Saddlemen a leader in seat manufacturing and custom projects.
Our thanks go out again to Bandit, and the folks at bikernet.com for publishing such an in-depth article about our gel and foam technology.
We at Saddlemen are pleased to share with you what our expertise, craftsmanship and technology can do to make riding more enjoyable.
“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.
Saddlemen’s Deluxe Tail Bag is featured in the latest issue of Hot Bike (Volume 41, Number 2) for December 16, 2008 through January 13, 2009.
The listing describes the quality construction, features and spacious dimensions of this expandable, large-capacity motorcycle luggage.
The SaddleStow TS3200DE Deluxe Tail Bag is easy to mount and full of features – offering any bike maximum luggage capacity. Its universal quick-detach mounting system offers a variety of quick-secure options for easy on/off mounting. Its rigid construction looks great, even when empty, and has a wide top opening for easy packing. The TS3200DE features a top carry handle and shoulder straps for easy toting off bike. The bag’s high-quality construction uses UV-, water-, and weather-resistant 1200 denier Saddle Tuff™ and leather-like vinyl panels and a non-skid, heat resistant bottom. This spacious bag can hold 3,200 cubic inches.
These bags are also available through Drag Specialties dealers. To find your local dealer, use the Drag Specialties dealer locator web utility, here.
Visit Hot Bike Magazine’s web site at www.hotbikeweb.com.
Saddlemen’s Tom Monroe will make a guest appearance on Cycle World Radio this Saturday, December 20. Cycle World Radio is hosted by Steve Natt, formerly of TV’s American Thunder and many other motorcycle-related shows. The show is broadcast live from 5:00 to 6:00 pm in over 50 different radio markets, and is also available online at iTunes.
This fast-paced, highly informative and entertaining program represents the only national radio broadcast destination for anyone interested in motorcycling—from long-time enthusiasts to seasoned race-watchers to newbies. It’s the only place on the dial to hear leading industry insiders, pro racers and award-winning customizers as well as a collection of great motorcycling characters talk about their lives on two wheels. Listeners will also enjoy hearing from the Cycle World editorial team.
Other guests this week include Dr. Arthur Ting, the orthopedic surgeon who has worked with most of the top racers in our sport including John Hopkins and Nicky Hayden, and also Ed Moreland, the AMA’s VP of Government Relations, who will discuss important legal issues confronting the motorcycling community..
More information can be found at: http://www.cycleworld.com/article.asp?section_id=3&article_id=590
“If you need more room than this, you might want to think about leaving the bike at home and driving.”
That’s the advice of Steve Bohn, reviewing Saddlemen’s BR4100 Dresser Back Seat Bag in the August 2008 issue of American Rider magazine.
The Dresser Back Seat Bag is a very handy piece of motorcycle luggage that uses the passenger space of a two-up seat when you’re riding solo. It’s designed to fit perfectly between the rider and Tour-Pak on the back seat of all Dresser models (but is made to fit securely on a variety of different seats). The reviewer also appreciated how the bag helps avoid overloading the rear axle by placing weight further forward than many other luggage options.
Bohn was impressed by the storage capacity of the Back Seat Bag. “I was able to fill the bag with 15 T-shirts, two long sleeve T-shirts, one sweatshirt, four pairs of jeans, three pairs of shorts, one pair of tennies, one pair of sandals, and a shower kit, with room to spare – this thing is huge.” He also complemented the bag’s ease of installation. “Attaching the DBSB is a breeze.”
The BR4100 is also ruggedly made. “The bag is constructed from 1200 denier Saddle Tuff and leather-like vinyl, wrapped around a lightweight, rigid skeleton.”
The American Rider reviewer found that the mounting system was very secure, and although the bag was designed for touring bikes with a Tour-Pak, it will also work on bikes without one. Adjustable straps allow the bag to fit securely with other bike and seat layouts.
The Dresser Back Seat Bag has numerous storage and attachment features, including backpack straps for easy toting; convenient accessory straps that allow easy strapping down and access to jackets, chaps or roll bags; elastic mesh netting pouches for quick and easy access to maps and other small items. Of particular interest was the insulated pouches, which keep up to six cans of your favorite beverage cold.
The BR4100 retails for a suggested $139.95, and is available here or by contacting your local Drag Specialties or Parts Unlimited dealer.
V-Twin Magazine’s Kit Maira recently visited Saddlemen’s facility to get a new seat for his Harley FLHT.
Because he works for a major biker publication, Kit rides a LOT, and knows the value of having a good seat under you. Saddlemen set him up with a new Road Sofa, and guess what? He loves it.
The article also gives excellent explanations of the hows-and-whys of seat design, support and comfort – the exact things we take pride in at Saddlemen.
Read the full story in the December, 2008 issue of V-Twin. Kit’s review is on pages 120-121.
V-Twin Magazine’s website can be reached with this link.
Saddlemen’s “Explorer” series magnetic and suction cup map pouches are reviewed in the February 2009 issue of American Rider.
The article, written by Reg Kittrelle, discusses the many features of these convenient quick-access storage pouches, and offers advice for selecting the right type of attachment system (magnetic or suction cup) for different makes and models of bikes. Their write-up appears on page 50 of the February issue.
American Rider’s website, www.americanrider.com, features weekly video segments, and a wide range of product reviews.
Click on the images on the left to see them full size.
Several of the latest additions to Saddlemen’s product line are featured in recent motorcycle magazines.
The December issue of American Rider Magazine showcased our Pillow Top SaddleGel Pads, one of the new expansions to our popular range of external gel pads for increased riding comfort. Their write-up on our pads appears on pages 56-57.
The Pillow Top Pads were also featured in the November 21st “Inside Powersports” video news segment on American Rider’s website, www.americanrider.com. Select the video for the week of November 21st, which also focuses on Bonneville Salt Flat speed runs…
Also, the January 2009 issues of Easyriders Magazine and sister publication, V-Twin Motorcycles show off two Saddlemen items: our Road Sofa for 2008 Harley touring bikes and the specific fit, rigid mount saddlebags for the Dyna. The write-ups in Easyriders are on pages 116-117, and appear in the V-Twin issue on pages 102-103. Their shared website can be reached with this link.
Click HERE to link to our online page featuring the Road Sofa for 2008 Harley-Davidson touring machines.
For more than 10 years, Norwegian-born Helge Pedersen and Olga, his sturdy BMW motorcycle, traveled vagabond style across six continents, through 77 countries, and over 250,000 miles, more than ten times the actual distance around the world. The result of this incredible journey? “10 Years on 2 Wheels,” ISBN-0-944958-38-9, an 8 1/2? x 12? hardcover book of 208 pages, with 200 color photos and 9 maps, is an unusual and exciting travel story of the history of a wanderer with an address that read simply, The World.
Here’s an excerpt:
Helge Pedersen Comments on Gel for Iron Butts
How far did you personally ride last time out? 300, 500 miles? Why did you stop?
Most people on a long trip complain about having a sore rear end. Sounds like me. I just can´t stand it sitting endlessly on the bike hour after hour without moving my butt. Sometimes I stand up while riding, other times I let my feet hang out in the wind while stretching. Eventually the time comes when I have to stop and take a break. My butt has had it…
In order to relieve this problem, I have tried all kind of saddles and I have found out that there are really bad ones. But there are some good ones as well. What surprises me, is that people will spend 10,000 dollars or more on a bike that comes delivered with a terrible saddle. The brakes, engine, paint job, along with everything else are just perfect, but the stock saddle sucks. It might look good on the bike, but a few short miles down the road you’ll know it definitely doesn’t feel good on your rear end..
Relief, however, is in sight. According to Saddlemen in Los Angeles, California, they have built the perfect saddle. This innovative company has researched other “seated” user groups and found for instance that people bound to wheelchairs were sitting on silicon gel..
Some manufacturers of bicycle seats claim that their silicon gel seats are the best in the world. How about your wife? You can just ask the experts. Women have been using silicon for all kinds of self improvements and we all like it don’t we? So why not make a saddle for motorcycles built on the same principals: make ‘em look good and feel good.
No More Aching Butt
Some three years ago, I noticed that my butt hurt. I’ve been accused of being a pain in the butt occasionally, but never the other way around and I didn’t like it. And being extremely quick on the uptake, it didn’t take long for me to realize that it only hurt when I was on the bike.
At the time, my 1989 FLHTC had about 65,000 miles on it and factory saddle had slowly, almost imperceptibly worn out over the four years I’d had it. Finally, it split and I had to do something about it. And as fortune would have it, I was in Sturgis at the time. I decided to hit all the seat makers and buy something I liked. Well, that was my plan anyway, it didn’t work out that way.
I sauntered outa the motel that morning and another writer I knew was there riding a fresh Road King with this really neat looking seat. He explained it was a new Saddlemen gel seat. WOW, I’m a sucker for new, improved etc.!! So off to Saddlemen’s booth at the civic center in downtown Sturgis to see the recently introduced road sofa.
I quickly learned that they produced three variations of this saddle for my bike. I could choose between leather, vinyl or a marine grade cloth covering for the seat. The demo seat they had available had the cloth covering.
I was a lot more interested in hearing about the gel material for the seat. As a young troop at Walter Reed Army Medical Center during the Vietnam debacle, I had observed severely burned patients and others who could not move about due to their injuries, we placed on gel beds. The theory being the gel would distribute weight evenly help to alleviate pain and to prevent bed sores. The folks from Saddlemen told me that this was the idea behind their road sofa. They did emphasize that it would take 500-800 miles to break in the gel seat. So, I had 'em bolt one on for a test drive..and it was comfy. I liked the cloth seat very much. It also was fairly hard on the ol' buttocks.. but I remembered the break in period and figured it would get softer.
It turned out, the demo seat was the only one they had. So I put in an order for the cloth covered one and headed home with my aching butt. A few weeks later this huge box arrives and in it a seat!! It bolted right up…the backrest slipped into the holder and off I went to ride the entire length of Route 66 for Hog Tails magazine.
AFTER ABOUT 600 HUNDRED MILES I BEGAN TO WONDER IF IT WOULD EVER BREAK-IN… BY 800 I WAS SURE IT WOULDN’T… BY 1000, IT WAS THE MOST COMFORTABLE SEAT I’D EVER BEEN ON!!!
The gel had, almost unnoticed by me, formed to the shape of my uuuhh… cheeks. This had become the most comfortable seat I had ever been on.. bar none.
I also discovered some advantages I hadn’t expected. Not only was the cloth cool in summer, it was warmer on the cold days as well. But the biggest advantage I noticed was, once I got comfortable on the seat.. I didn’t move around and the cloth held me where I wanted to be.
By the way, once my wife caught up to me, she also observed and extended break-in for the passenger seat .. but now that it has conformed to fit her, she won’t ride with anything else. She also commented on the fact that I didn’t squirm around at all and that she didn’t feel the need to move either.
The folks at Saddlemen explained to me that the break-in period is dictated by the riders weight. Lighter/ longer… heavier/shorter.
OK… now for the nitty gritty. The seat has been on my bike for three years and some 15,000 miles. It’s been through hundred degree days in Texas and temperatures well below zero in the garage enduring the Wyoming winters. I’ve washed it every spring with Woolite and dried it with a towel, reapplied Scotchguard and that’s it. How has it held up?
In a word GREAT
The pictures you see here were shot while the bike was down to be painted this winter. I can’t find any sign of wear on the cloth or the vinyl parts of the seat. None, zip, nada… as far as I can tell, the color hasn’t even faded.
The gel is a marvel. It’s still comfortable and molded to my derriere. Neither heat nor cold has effected it’s ability to evenly distribute my weight. And in the cold months, it has an unadvertised quality. Leave your bike in direct sunlight or use a heating pad or something like that to heat the gel and it stays warm for a longtime!! A bun warmer!!!
But be warned, I learned this in Albuquerque the hard way, leaving the bike sitting in the sun for 2 hours, and then hopping on.. and right off!! Yeehaw!!
I quickly learned to cover the seat!
Saddlemen makes a number of gel seats, and can add it to yours. I recommend it. And I have to say, that while having to protect the seat with a baggy cover during inclement weather is a pain in the butt, the pain this seat prevents more than off-sets the slight amount of inconvenience it causes!!
You’re looking for a seat… and want a comfy, long-lasting one… try out the Saddlemen gel seat.