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September 8th, 2007

I spent all day friday getting a custom seat built for my motorcycle at Rich's Custom Seats. The whole process was fascinating and rather fun. They pull the cover off your old seat, re-glue the foam to the seat pan, and then glue additional foam and shape and trim it. Rich does all of the sizing and shaping himself and has a crew that he hands a lot of the rest of the work off to. Initially I thought that these guys did mostly grunt work but I soon realized that they are all skilled craftsmen in their own right. These guys do this stuff a lot.

I wasn't the only one there. There was a nice Canadian guy on a BMW R1100S, a girl on a brand new Honda Shadow 750 and an older couple on a BMW R1200GS who were getting both seats and backrest done.

The fitting part took the longest. Each time Rich would reshape the seat I'd have to take it for a ride. I kept having the same pressure point again and again and after reshaping it several times the seat was really out of whack and tipped me forwards in the seat. At this point Rich built the seat up again and carved it freehand and had one of his guys smooth it out. This time it was perfect, no adjustments.

After the fitting the gel pad was installed. I decided to go for leather instead of vinyl and I'm quite glad that I did. I picked a carbon fiber look embossed matte finish black leather that looks pretty good and matches some of the carbon trim on my bike. For the stitching I went with blue and white thread to match my bike's color scheme. It came out looking great. It's not as 'cool' looking as the stock seat but it's a hell of a lot more comfortable, and with me sitting on it you can't really see it anyway right? Next time I purchase a bike I'll be sure to set aside $500 and call Rich's for an appointment so I don't have to suffer a stock seat again. It just isn't worth it.

Pictures to come once I wash the bike :P