Customizing Stock Seat with a Gel Pad - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2020, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Customizing Stock Seat with a Gel Pad

Bought my '14 1300A with a Corbin seat and Smuggler trunk, but didn't really care for either: found the seat to be too hard, and never used the Smuggler and had a hard time avoiding kicking and scuffing it when swinging my stiff old man leg over the bike - removed and sold on eBay.

The stock seat.

Looks nice on the bike, IMO, but my first long ride of 150+ miles (yah I know for many FJR riders that is like a run to the corner store to buy milk or a pack of smokes) I noticed all the pressure was concentrated on my tailbone, and the forward slope of the seat seemed to have me seated forward, just behind the tank.

Tried the bike in the raised position, and while that was more comfortable for my legs, it caused more forward bend, making my arms, wrists, and between my shoulder blades more sore, along with placing my head completely above the windscreen at the high position - so put it back to the low/standard position.

Considered (and still considering) a Sargent, etc., but thought I would try to mess with the stock seat a bit first, as I am already spending lots of $$ on other items for the bike.

Purchased this 5/8" thick Gel pad off Amazon - with tax was about $45:



Many/most of the gel pads available were only 1cm in thickness, and in the ratings and comments many complained it was too thin. This particular piece was actually the correct shape and size for the FJR seat.

Pad was very cushy yet firm, very sticky, but the instructions said dusting it with Talcum or cornstarch was recommended if one did not care for the extreme stickiness, which I went ahead and did.


This is the pad sitting on top of the seat, note the sizing is pretty much right on.




The pad as it came, and after dusting.
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2014 FJR1300A

Burning it up in the Desert Southwest

'82 Honda CR250
'83 Honda XL250R
'82 Yamaha Seca 750
'82 Honda V45 Sabre
'90 Suzuki Katana 750
'89 Yamaha FJ1200

Last edited by RedRockFJRider14; 11-28-2020 at 12:34 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2020, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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After watching a vid on YouTube, I removed the seat, pried up the staples and pulled them out with a pair of pliers, and pulled back/off the cover:




Set the gel pad on top, drew the outline on the foam with a Sharpie:


Cut the outline with a razor, and then made a checkerboard pattern of cuts, keeping depth on the shallower side, as I figured I can't add it back, but could always cut away more:


After I cut out the area, and initial gel try in:



The floor of my cut out was pretty rough, so looked around the garage for something to use other than the blade, and found a sanding wheel on a cordless drill worked pretty well (note how much uniform and smooth the floor of my cut area is):


Final placement before replacing cover - note I intentionally left it higher in the front, trying to reduce or eliminate the slope that makes me slide to the front:



Stapling the cover back in place - note I literally only had about a dozen 1/4" staples, so consider this a temporary covering anyways, in case I wanted to make adjustments:


Ended up with a bit of a ridge in the front, and the front right and left corners of the gel pad are visible:

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2014 FJR1300A

Burning it up in the Desert Southwest

'82 Honda CR250
'83 Honda XL250R
'82 Yamaha Seca 750
'82 Honda V45 Sabre
'90 Suzuki Katana 750
'89 Yamaha FJ1200
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2020, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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How does it feel?

Actually pretty good. When comparing the stock foam by pushing on the passenger seat and then in the center of the gel pad, there is a big difference in feel. The Gel is pretty firm and supportive, but molds to your hand (butt) when pushing, and has a much livelier springier feel.

Yesterday I went on a 160 mile ride.
DEFINITELY an improvement over stock. I found I am not sliding forward any more, not sure if this is because I shaped away some of the slope, or because the gel conforms to your butt and keep you planted in the center of the seat better.
Probably both.
At the end of the ride, my butt was not sore, and I didn't have the pressure spot right on the tailbone that I had experienced with the stock foam. This morning I also notice NO soreness (was sore the day after a 150-200 mile ride on the stock foam).

For $45 and about an hour and a half of time, I consider this a very good result.

Planning on removing the cover today and shaving the foam a bit in the front corners, before stapling it down more securely. (about to make a run to the hardware store for more staples).

Hope this helps anyone wanting to try an inexpensive upgrade to their stock seat!


2014 FJR1300A

Burning it up in the Desert Southwest

'82 Honda CR250
'83 Honda XL250R
'82 Yamaha Seca 750
'82 Honda V45 Sabre
'90 Suzuki Katana 750
'89 Yamaha FJ1200
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2020, 01:58 PM
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Customizing Stock Seat with a Gel Pad

RedRockFJRider,

You did not give any location for your base of operations, but I'm guessing it's desert country, USA. One frequent complaint against any gel seat is that they get very hot in sunlight, and they hold that burning heat for a long while. I'm all in favor of your mod, so I would suggest making an aluminized fabric cover for the seat, to be used when you are parking your ride in direct sunlight. Bungee cords would hold it in place, until you remove the cover to ride. I think any kind of white or shiny cover would be better than nothing, for when you park in the sunlight.

I have dark glass T-tops on my car, and you can not hold your hand on that glass in the summer sun. The car interior can become an oven. I fixed that problem using the (RC planes) chrome-silver mylar MonoCote which I iron-on the glass each summer, and peel off each winter. Even in the summer sunlight, the "chromed" glass tops are barely warm, so I can tell ya truly how much difference it makes to reflect the sunlight away, rather than absorb it. HTH.
.

Cheers,
Red
2008 FJR1300A
- Pirelli Angel GT (Spec A) tires, RDL seat, TPMS, GPS digital speedometer (Amazon ~US$28.00).
P.S. Life is too short, and health is too valuable, to ride on cheap parade-duty tires.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2020, 03:29 PM
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I have posted before about my Seat Concepts up grade .. for me on all seats it is my hips that hurt ( years of weightlifting have done some damage )
and the seat concepts plus a Purple Pad works much much much better than the Sargent Seat that was there .. yet I am sure when I travel from Seattle to Orlando next year I will also bring my air hawk to mix it up
I will say keep the Purple Pad in mind if you think you need a bit more comfort

2010 FJR 1300 2003 Suzuki bandit 1200
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2020, 05:09 PM
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This was a mod to flatten the seat of my CBF1000.... most seats have a crown in the middle. FJR seat certainly does... This one had a gel pad, which I'm not a fan of. Angle grinder works good to shape foam. Best I could do with this one.......... One could do other things to say look like a Laam, but you'd need a new cover. If I had another Corbin, the shape is OK but lack padding... I'd just unrivet the cover, put a 1/2" or so layer of foam in it, blend and rivet the cover back on.










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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-29-2020, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red View Post
RedRockFJRider,

You did not give any location for your base of operations, but I'm guessing it's desert country, USA. One frequent complaint against any gel seat is that they get very hot in sunlight, and they hold that burning heat for a long while. I'm all in favor of your mod, so I would suggest making an aluminized fabric cover for the seat, to be used when you are parking your ride in direct sunlight. Bungee cords would hold it in place, until you remove the cover to ride. I think any kind of white or shiny cover would be better than nothing, for when you park in the sunlight.

I have dark glass T-tops on my car, and you can not hold your hand on that glass in the summer sun. The car interior can become an oven. I fixed that problem using the (RC planes) chrome-silver mylar MonoCote which I iron-on the glass each summer, and peel off each winter. Even in the summer sunlight, the "chromed" glass tops are barely warm, so I can tell ya truly how much difference it makes to reflect the sunlight away, rather than absorb it. HTH.
.
Hey Red - yep Vegas, hot as **** here 3-4 months out of the year. So hot in fact, that I doubt I will ever get the bike out during daylight hours during the summer, so not concerned about the gel heat retention (I had seen that when researching online before doing the mod). Basically our riding season is inverted from those living in cold climes. The only thing that sucks is the brutal winds we get out here, which can make a 650 lb FJR feel like a bicycle at speed when one of those gusts hit you sideways!

I've put the high end (read "expensive") ceramic tint on all of my cars, including almost clear on the windshield, and it makes a HUGE difference - before the tint, even with the A/C at max, the car would be stifling hot in traffic on the 115 plus degree days, now the car interior gets cool and when driving I usually am able to turn the A/C down to 50-75% fan speed even on the hottest days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Way8lifter View Post
I have posted before about my Seat Concepts up grade .. for me on all seats it is my hips that hurt ( years of weightlifting have done some damage )
and the seat concepts plus a Purple Pad works much much much better than the Sargent Seat that was there .. yet I am sure when I travel from Seattle to Orlando next year I will also bring my air hawk to mix it up
I will say keep the Purple Pad in mind if you think you need a bit more comfort
Had never heard of Seat Concepts - seems like a legit reasonable upgrade.

I hear you on the joints, I think the elbow pain I get on rides is from years of overuse, (lifting, sports, work, etc). No lower body issues as I was the type to skip the lower body workout (chicken legs, lol).



Quote:
Originally Posted by RaYzerman View Post
This was a mod to flatten the seat of my CBF1000.... most seats have a crown in the middle. FJR seat certainly does... This one had a gel pad, which I'm not a fan of. Angle grinder works good to shape foam. Best I could do with this one.......... One could do other things to say look like a Laam, but you'd need a new cover. If I had another Corbin, the shape is OK but lack padding... I'd just unrivet the cover, put a 1/2" or so layer of foam in it, blend and rivet the cover back on.



[/IMG]






As always, good info RaYzerman.

I actually tweaked the seat yesterday, and after reading descriptions of the Sargent seats being flatter and even concave relative to the factory seat, that is what I aimed for as I shaped the foam.

The angle grinder looks to be much more efficient than the sander that I used, but I don't have one, so had to make due and take more time.

2014 FJR1300A

Burning it up in the Desert Southwest

'82 Honda CR250
'83 Honda XL250R
'82 Yamaha Seca 750
'82 Honda V45 Sabre
'90 Suzuki Katana 750
'89 Yamaha FJ1200

Last edited by RedRockFJRider14; 11-29-2020 at 03:24 PM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-29-2020, 06:29 PM
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Tried out the comfort seat today for about an hour. If I were reworking a seat I would try memory foam. My new seat had much more contact with my butt, and is night/day better than my stock. Did not do any highway riding as it was in the 40's. I think the more contact the better. It will be while before I try a long ride. In addition I set my suspension to -3 soft and ill effects. So far so good.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-29-2020, 06:31 PM
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The softer suspension showed no ill effects.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-29-2020, 09:12 PM
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Had never heard of Seat Concepts - seems like a legit reasonable upgrade.

I hear you on the joints, I think the elbow pain I get on rides is from years of overuse, (lifting, sports, work, etc). No lower body issues as I was the type to skip the lower body workout (chicken legs, lol).


HA! maybe I should have too
My firast trip across the country I determined if I made it to Sioux Falls SD I was half way there so no need to turn back ...I did make it but had a few days of serious concern .
The FJR will be easier on me than my Bandit 1200 was ..So much easier in fact I am kicking around doing a 1000 miles in 1 day next spring

2010 FJR 1300 2003 Suzuki bandit 1200
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