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Stock Seat Modifications ( ST1100\ST1300 )

Started by KoTAOW, November 06, 2011, 07:26:53 AM

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Contributed by Mark Lawrence.
Original article can be found here:

Mark is the owner of:


Stock Seat Modifications ( ST1100\ST1300 )

Modify your seat for extra comfort. These pictures are of a Suzuki DL650 seat. The basic instructions will work on any bike which has a flat seat (no sculpting), and fairly dense foam. You can repeat this process for your passenger seat, also. This is not a case where more is better - the Tempur® foam is non-supportive in this thickness, it's to relieve pressure. A seat made only of Tempur® foam needs to be at least 3" thick.

What we're going to do is cut out a rectangular section of foam away and replace it with high-density hospital quality Tempur® foam. Tempur foam, also called memory foam, was invented by NASA to improve comfort during liftoff and for fighter pilots. The Tempur foam will slowly mold itself to your shape, forming a perfect custom fit. After you get off the seat, in 2-4 minutes the foam will come back to its original shape. The result is that the pressure is spread very evenly, with no pressure points on your hip bones. If you have trouble finding suitable foam, we sell pieces. You can click to buy them at the end of this page.

You can follow the instructions below, or bring the instructions and Tempur foam to a local auto upholstery shop, where you should have no trouble getting the work done for you for $25 - $40. The entire job takes about 1/2 hour.


  • 1 piece high density Tempur® Foam, 6" x 4" x 1"
  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Felt tip pen
  • Yard stick
  • Electric knife. $10 at Target® for a Toastmaster.
  • 3M® Super 77 spray adhesive. About $5.
  • Heavy-Duty staple gun. I recommend the Stanley® Power Sharp Shooter. About $12.
  • 1/4" (6mm) stainless or galvanized staples, T-50


1.  Remove the seat from the motorcycle.

2.  Remove the original cover from the seat base, plate or pan. With a screwdriver first pry up each staple, then remove it.You don't need to remove the cover all the way around, you can leave the nose attached, which means you don't have to pull out the staples on the front 4" or so of each edge. Center your piece of Tempur foam (green above) in the seat, with the back edge of the Tempur foam against the portion of the seat the raises up in the rear. Trace around the Tempur foam with the felt tip pen.

3.  Set the piece of Tempur foam aside. Using the yardstick as a guide, extend the front and rear lines across the width of the seat. Using your electric knife, make a cut along the forward edge about one inch deep, and extend the cut all the way to one edge of the seat. Now make a cut about one inch deep along the trailing edge, and extend this cut to one edge of the seat.Finally, make cuts about one inch deep along the left and right edges of the Tempur foam trace. Remember, your marks were on the outside of the Tempur foam, so your cuts should be just inside of your marks. Now with the electric knife turned off, sink the blade into the cut on the trailing edge to a depth of one inch. Turn the knife on its side so that the cutting edge of the blade is pointing forwards. Turn the knife on and move it forwards, cutting a rectangular slab out of your seat which is four inches front to rear, one inch deep, and extends from the left edge of the Tempur foam to the right edge of the seat. The foam you cutout will come out in two pieces, as shown above. One piece will be 4" x 6" x 1", and the other piece will be 4" x 1", and one side of this piece will match up with the side of the seat.

4.  Now we're going to re-attach the strange shaped piece we just cut out, leaving a hole in the seat which is 6" x 4" x 1". Spray some adhesive onto the seat where the strange shaped piece fits. Hit the base and the two edges. Spray some adhesive onto the piece itself, hitting the bottom and the two edges. Push the piece into place.

5.  Now we're going to insert the Tempur foam. Spray some adhesive onto the seat, and onto the Tempur foam. The Tempur foam will be held into place by the normal seat foam and the seat cover - we really don't need any adhesive here at all, but we're obsessive about our motorcycles, right?

6.  This is the finished foam seen from the side. On my seat, as you can see, the Tempur foam was not a perfect fit.Because of the shape of the seat, the Tempur form sticks up about 1/8" in a few places. This cannot be felt when you're on the bike, as the Tempur foam reshapes itself to fit you. It also can't be seen, as the seat cover hides these small imperfections.

7.  Turn the seat over (foam side down). With firm, even pressure, pull the seat cover tight and install a few staples in each side.

8.  Turn seat back over and make sure that the seat cover is straight.  Make any adjustments by removing staples and re-installing staples if necessary.

9.  Continue working your way around the seat by applying even pressure and installing staples two inches apart. Periodically turn the seat cover over and check for straightness until entire seat cover is securely installed. This is a temporary attachment of the seat cover, we're not done.

10. Now put in more staples so that there's a staple every ½ to 1 inch (1 to 2cm).

11. Here's the finished seat back on the bike. You can see a couple parallel folds in the seat cover - this is from when I had the seat cover pulled back for a half hour as I did the work and took these pictures. Those creases are gone now, they disappeared in about 15 minutes. You can't see that my seat is other than stock, but you can feel the difference.

~~~ stocks Tempur© foam pieces 6" x 4" x 1" in firm and extra-firm. They recommend extra firm if you weigh over 155 pounds, 70 kilos. You can get two pieces if you would also like to do your passenger seat.

Prices are as follows:

Foam Style  Price
One piece firm  $15.00
One piece Extra-firm  $15.00
Two pieces firm  $25.00
Two pieces Extra-firm  $25.00
Two pieces Mixed  $25.00


Thank You again for your contribution Mark Lawrence