Seats......?

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Seats......?

Postby Shedman » 26 Apr 2020, 18:05

The seat on my Zephyr 750C1 is, to be honest, crap! It was also crap on my C4, just plain boring crap, no character. These bikes were supposed to be "Retro" as in harking back to the 70's Glory Days of the old Zeds so why on Earth did Kawasaki come up with that Godawful seat design for a supposedly Retro bike?
None of the old Zeds had a seat like my Zephyr, at least none that I remember, everything else is ok, a 4 into 4 exhaust would have been better but you can't have everything.
So here's my question, has anyone done anything to their standard Zephyr seat to give it that 70's look? Had a new cover made with stitch detail or panel lines sewn in?
I've seen those fancy seat covers on e.bay with ZEPHYR embroidered in at the back of the riders part but that to me is fancy and not really retro.
If you have done something to "Retro-ize" (made up word :roll: ) your seat can you please post a pic as the more I sit here and look at my bike the more I am convinced that the seat needs something, but I'm not sure what.
Shedman
 
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Re: Seats......?

Postby Freddy » 28 Apr 2020, 02:53

Shedman wrote:The seat on my Zephyr 750C1 is, to be honest, crap! It was also crap on my C4, just plain boring crap, no character. These bikes were supposed to be "Retro" as in harking back to the 70's Glory Days of the old Zeds so why on Earth did Kawasaki come up with that Godawful seat design for a supposedly Retro bike?
None of the old Zeds had a seat like my Zephyr, at least none that I remember, everything else is ok, a 4 into 4 exhaust would have been better but you can't have everything.
So here's my question, has anyone done anything to their standard Zephyr seat to give it that 70's look? Had a new cover made with stitch detail or panel lines sewn in?
I've seen those fancy seat covers on e.bay with ZEPHYR embroidered in at the back of the riders part but that to me is fancy and not really retro.
If you have done something to "Retro-ize" (made up word :roll: ) your seat can you please post a pic as the more I sit here and look at my bike the more I am convinced that the seat needs something, but I'm not sure what.


What I did was take some pictures of an 1100 seat, and took them and the seat to a quality car upholstery place. He copied the pattern exactly, stitching the quilting into the cover using a thin layer of foam underneath to get the puff effect, added the piping trim etc. Not only does it look good, its actually more comfortable due to the thin extra foam to get the quilting effect. Made it using a very dark charcoal color marine grade vinyl, but with a jet black trim to highlight it. Was done a few years ago and cost something like $150 as I recall.
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Re: Seats......?

Postby Shedman » 28 Apr 2020, 10:17

Thanks Freddy, off to check out 1100 seats!
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Re: Seats......?

Postby Freddy » 28 Apr 2020, 11:06

The upholsterer told me the pattern on the original seat like below is done using ?????? can't recall the name but its sort of heat melted into the cover. He couldn't replicate that method so used stitching going through a thin form backing on the inside to get the quilt effect. You'd have to be an upholstery worker to notice the difference. As he told me it isn't waterproof like the original because of the stitch holes, whereas the original lines are just sealed patterns. But as the bike is always garaged not a problem

Image
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Re: Seats......?

Postby Shedman » 28 Apr 2020, 14:17

Thanks Freddy, unfortunately I have already noticed the difference with the melted vinyl pattern stitches and real stitching but not on my Zephyr.
The seat on my SOHC Nighthawk has split along those melted in stitch marks and there is absolutely zero chance of finding a replacement seat cover with the original pattern, even if a decent secondhand seat could be found in the UK how long will it be before the 38 year old vinyl on that seat splits?
nighthawk seat 005.JPG

So after checking out my limited options of Importing a Nighthawk seat from the US, with a postage cost and Import Duty at roughly 4-5 times the price of the seat only to have the ancient vinyl split once it gets a taste of the lovely English climate :roll: or having a seat cover made for the cost of £100 with £50 fitting + postage for the seat to and from the fitter, around £200 all in.
Seeing as I have four old Honda's with knackered seats and a Zephyr with a seat that needs some retro style it must be time for another option methinks :idea:
I have bought an old 1960's Singer sewing machine, a walking foot attachment for stitching thick slidey material (vinyl, leather etc.), some leather needles, some V92 polyester UV resistant thread, some 8mm foam scrim used to get the quilt effect, some vinyl spray glue, 1.5m x 1.5m decent quality stretch vinyl material which is enough to do four seats, some lesser quality vinyl material for sewing practice, an air stapler and 2000 6mm staples all for less than the cost of having one seat cover made and fitted.
All I'm waiting for is the cheaper quality vinyl to arrive then I'll be learning how a sewing machine works, I've had a play with it and they aren't really that intimidating after I took it apart and serviced it, at least I'll have plenty of time to fool around with this Lockdown business being extended in the UK.
By the time I've finished messing about with these Honda seats, replicating their fancy old melted in stitch patterns, putting some retro into a Zephyr seat shouldn't be too much of a problem :lol:
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Re: Seats......?

Postby Freddy » 29 Apr 2020, 02:56

When I first picked mine up I was slightly disappointed at the color he'd used, being a very dark charcoal rather then the jet black I was expecting. But as soon as I put in on the bike, and the seat matched the tire color and the molding that runs around the top pillion edge and down behind the riders legs being jet black so it stood out as a highlight against the dark charcoal I was rapped.
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Re: Seats......?

Postby Shedman » 29 Apr 2020, 08:40

Freddy wrote:When I first picked mine up I was slightly disappointed at the color he'd used, being a very dark charcoal rather then the jet black I was expecting. But as soon as I put in on the bike, and the seat matched the tire color and the molding that runs around the top pillion edge and down behind the riders legs being jet black so it stood out as a highlight against the dark charcoal I was rapped.

That sounds nice :) The quality vinyl that I've got is proper black but its not shiny like in my picture, it is supposed to be anti slip and is designed for bike seats . I'm still waiting on the cheaper stuff to be delivered so I can't comment on that yet, it looked black in the ebay picture and that is it really. I'm itching to get stuck in.
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Re: Seats......?

Postby David Richard » 29 Apr 2020, 20:45

hi shedman a good point they are pretty plain i had one re covered at a up holster place a few years ago and matched close to the original ,the reason why i got them to raise the height up by adding extra foam on the base i think about 20 mm went in which is more comfortable ,i sit more on it ,than in it.,but as you say it has to be good quality .when you look back at bike from the 70 they were quite detailed and had more style ,david
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Re: Seats......?

Postby Freddy » 29 Apr 2020, 23:28

Shedman wrote:That sounds nice :) The quality vinyl that I've got is proper black but its not shiny like in my picture, it is supposed to be anti slip and is designed for bike seats .


Just some thoughts of 'slip' for the sake of the discussion. I move around on a bike in a corner. When I wear my fully Kevlar lined jeans the seat slippage is perfect just as it is. I no longer wear 'textile' gear, it being the slipperiest on vinyl after a few studies showing it doesn't hold up very well at all in crashes. That was also my observation from some of the crashes in group rides I go on. Textile fabric worn right through and lots of burst seams.

When I wear my leather pants, the grip on the clean vinyl seat is excessive. The leather and vinyl just seem to stick together, and it is necessary to lift your arse nearly right off he seat first before moving across, gets a bit tedious quite quickly. So after tying some slippy stuff on the leather pants with only limited success, believe it or not, I actually spray the seat with Armorall to make it as slippery as possible whenever I wear leather.
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Re: Seats......?

Postby Silverkap » 06 May 2020, 08:53

This is my new one, higher and with real cover leather.
Attachments
IMG_3311.JPG
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