Past week and a half have been dedicated to my seat shave and the upholstery gods... I wasn't liking the bulkiness of the seat on this bike, wanted to slim everything down, so took the seat off, removed the upholstery and foam, then I did my best to make a symmetrical line around where I wanted to cut the pan.
Its looking good and skinny, so off to home depot, bought some 3 inch foam, and layered it on there with some spray adhesive. Then cut around the edges with a long exacto blade, but a good serrated knife would have been clutch.
Started sketching out the line I want it to follow, once I had that all the way around I cut off more big chunks with the exacto, then moved onto filing and rasping the edges and smoothing it all out.
Looking like a seat, but not quite. Got some marine grade vinyl and tried to stretch it around then was greeted with the reality of compound curves. At that point I was pretty torn between giving up and cutting this down to a solo seat, or going full on and making a pattern to sew. I teach sewing at my student job so I had a feeling I could do it, but that it would be a pain. I started researching how to make patterns for cycle seats and ended up going for it. Covered the whole seat in masking tape, then marked with a sharpie around the top edge. then cut along the mark with a razor blade and removed the masking tape in sections. Laid those out on my vinyl, gave a 5/8 seam allowance and cut out the pattern.
I had a top panel and two sides, if I utilized the material better I would have liked to have one long side piece to eliminate an extra seam. So far, not as complicated as I feared, and a pretty fun way to end finals week. Got to sewing after the pattern was cut, I pinned everything up (right sides together), compound curves and all, Its pretty cool how everything starts to take shape. Then sewed it, this was kind of a pain in some spots and really had to manipulate the fabric to get it to feed through flat. I definitely created some puckers and imperfections in this step as you'll see, but I don't think anything about this build is gonna be perfect.
Its actually fitting okay, so last thing is to actually upholster the seat. Stretched the fabric around and stapled it, simple, just wish I had a better staple gun, don't cheap out on the craft ones if you do this project, get a real industrial one. Its worth it. And not even more expensive, I just bought mine where I got my fabric instead of driving to home depot.
Not perfect by any means, we got some puckers, it looks a little off center, and some ripples here and there too, but I made it myself and it was a cool process.
Here it is on the bike, I like how it sits on the frame now instead of covering the rails. Not very comfy at all lol, but that issue is 100% the foam, not the slimmer profile. If I did this again (which I wont) I would find some way firmer stuff, I'm just sinking straight through this one to the seat pan. So might not have been worth it to go through all this trouble anyway. Lol I do like how it turned out though and was happy I didn't just go to the solo seat. Thats mainly because the next step is a new sissy bar, going to make some cardboard models later and hopefully end up with something that fits the new seat a little tighter, holds a new tail light and license plate, and can handle some luggage. Some motocamping is the goal this summer...