Seat Shaving Foam Removal How To DIY with OEM look (pics intensive) - Suzuki SV650 Forum: SV650, SV1000, Gladius Forums
 
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:51 PM   #1
GSXF
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Seat Shaving Foam Removal How To DIY with OEM look (pics intensive)

This is a step by step walk thru on how I shaved my GSXR’s seat. First I would need to give credits and sincere Thanks to all whom had posted their work online on how to shave a motorcycle seat.

I have a hard time sitting on that so called seat pad for over half hour, and it was either shell out a few hundred dollars for a custom seat, or put an additional ugly seat pad on top of the OEM one. Also, shaving the seat I would also lower the seating height; effectively lowered the bike as I am not a tall person.

Items Needed:
Flat Head Screw Driver
Sharp Utility Knife
3M Adhesive Spray
Masking Tape
Staple Gun
A clean and uninterrupted environment
And of course, the Seat!

The method I developed is potentially reversible, in event things got messed up. I op for shaving the bottom of the seat, instead of trimming the top. This way I will retain the original appearance.

The most important pointer I want to say is that be patient and take your time. Walk thru the whole process in the mind first. As you will see from the photos’ background, I took 3 separate sessions to come up with the initial finished seat for trial. Then I went back again and shaved addition foams to making final adjustment.

As you will see, the final result is that I am able to retain the original appearance of the seat after the process.

First use a pen or pencil to trace an outline around where the fabric meets the plastic seat pan.

In the next step, all you really need is the seat and a flat head screwdriver. Here you see that the staples are removed on only three sided. Don’t throw the removed staples away yet, keep them and you will see why later.


Carefully pry the staple out. Don’t force it or your risk the chance of ripping the seat fabric. Take you time in doing this. Some people will also use a needle head pliers to pull out the staple AFTER they have loosen it with the screw driver.


Look closely I have left the bottom staples intact, so it would be easier to remount the seat fabric afterward. It will be your choice to remove the seat cover or not.


This is how the seat look like after I removed the staples and peel back the cover. (notice the background floor had change as I took a break and then when to another location to start the process again.)


The seating foam is glued to the plastic seat pan all around the edges. Here again you have to be careful with patient, as to slowly “peeeeeeeeel” back the foam to separate it from the seat pan. If you go too fast you risk ripping the foam and having chunks still glued to the plastic seat pan.
Best to start from the back area of the seat and work your way towards the front. I cannot emphasis enough on being slow and patient doing this part.


Ok, after what seems like eons I finally have the seat form separate from the plastic pan. So far so good.


Closed up of the bottom of the foam I am going to work on. Notice the rise and indentations where the foam meet the plastic pan. Also notice that glue was only applied to the perimeter of the foam.


More picture of the seat foam from different angles. This is where I took my time to study that shape and areas of the seat, so I can determine where I need to remove foam. Depend on the design different bike can have different shape and different thickness. Therefore study the seat thoroughly to determined areas that need to be trimmed.










I measured the foam’s front area’s thickness. As the edges wraps around the plastic pan, the 2004 GSXR 600 seat foam have approximately between 2 inches to 2.5 inches of maximum thickness. I determined that I will initially cut ½ to of testing depth. If that is not sufficient then I will remove additional ¼ inches, making it a total of ¾ inches of foam removed if needed.


After I measured and marked the desire depth of the foam to be remove, I used a ball point pen and make an outline. From the top the first outline is at ½ inches depth, while the second outline is at ¾ inches of depth. I angled the ends off as to be inline with the seat’s side.


Here I outlined the foam area when I will need to remove on the bottom. I basically took the midpoint of the seat and cut a line across, as the tail area is tapered off and much skinnier than the front. I also want to retain some area of the seat where it meets the plastic seat pan so the mold can settle back in correctly.
The dotted line marks where it need to be angled cut.


This is what the completed outline look like, where I need to remove:
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:53 PM   #2
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Re: Seat Shaving Foam Removal How To DIY with OEM look (pics intensive)

Now this is another important step, I drawn a grid on the foam area where I need to remove. This will be the BLUEPRINT where I can take off “SMALL BOXES” of foam at a time. This way there is less mess of lose foam to clean. Also, like Lego I can put the removed foam boxes back if needed.






Now I take out the utility knife and extend the blade a bit over ½ inches to cut the other perimeter of the outline. I am doing this to avoid cutting too deep on the edges. If you are good with manual control on cutting the depth you don’t have to do it this way.


So I decided the cut across to remove the foam in long boxes shape, and here’s the result:




The key in cutting foam, even if only cutting ½ inches of thickness, is to have a very sharp blade and use your other hand to peel back the foam as you cut it. By pulling back the foam you add tension to the otherwise elastic foam so the blade can cut effectively.


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Old 04-25-2009, 08:54 PM   #3
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Re: Seat Shaving Foam Removal How To DIY with OEM look (pics intensive)

Aha! Here’s the photo of the foam boxes I created/removed:








Here I started to angle cut the side:




And here the initial finished product, ready to be put back on the seat pan for trial:








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Old 04-25-2009, 08:55 PM   #4
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Re: Seat Shaving Foam Removal How To DIY with OEM look (pics intensive)

Here I started to put the foam back onto the seat pan, and then carefully pull back the fabric cover on:




Here I use the removed staple and put them back thru the original holes on the fabric and the plastic seat pan. I don’t want to staple new holes at this point yet as I want to test out the new seat before making anything permanent.




And here’s the seat with foam shaved while retained OEM look!




Now I put the newly shaved seat back on the bike, took it out for a test run. Upon conclusion of the initial run, I found the work to be a success! I rode for an hour non stop without ill effect. The shaved seat feels wonderful, and I also able to flat foot much better, even I only removed ½ inches of foam but gained close to another inch or more of flat footing.
The only complaint I have is that the rear area of the seat is still a bit firm for my bony behind. So I will make another attempt to remove another line of foam in an attempt to make it better for my need.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here I am at my final adjustment to make the seat even more comfortable for me. (We all have different built so you might not need to go any further after the previous steps.)
This time around I used a tape to hold and line up the order of the staples I am removing, so I know I will be using the same staple back to the same place after the work.


This photo shows where additional foam I want to remove. This is the most I would do as the rear foam does tapers off and it can get too thin if I cut any further.


Here is the final product, once again more neat foam boxes that I can put back if needed.


And finally after another round of test run, I declare the process a total success!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back at the base. here I used transparent tape and paper (out of masking tape) to mask off the center of the seat pan prior to spraying the 3M Spray Adhesive around the perimeter only. You need to mask off the center so the glue does not contact the seat foam area where you shaved the foam off.


Total time it took me from start to finish was around 4 to 5 hours, including time test riding. You might be able to do it in less time but just please don’t rush. It is a lot more work if you need to redo steps.

I love my new seat now as it is like an air ride. I was planning to get a gel pad next but I don’t think it is necessary at this point.

Hope this write up will help those of you whom are planning to shave your seat

GSX-Fighter Pilot
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:50 PM   #5
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Re: Seat Shaving Foam Removal How To DIY with OEM look (pics intensive)

Good writeup! Glad it worked out for you
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:39 PM   #6
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Re: Seat Shaving Foam Removal How To DIY with OEM look (pics intensive)

Great job GSXF!! That's and awesome way to shave down the seat and still keep the stock look. I shaved my SV seat this weekend because it was all cracked and nasty.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:56 PM   #7
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Re: Seat Shaving Foam Removal How To DIY with OEM look (pics intensive)

Props for DIY!
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:11 PM   #8
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Re: Seat Shaving Foam Removal How To DIY with OEM look (pics intensive)

Nice work, GSXF. Among the best workmanship I've seen on this site.

Congrats!
... Gregg
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:07 PM   #9
GSXF
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Re: Seat Shaving Foam Removal How To DIY with OEM look (pics intensive)

Thanks everyone for the positive comments. I hope this will help everyone that want to "lower" their bike without have to install a lowering link.

Much of the work was in planning and researching. Of course I took hundreds of photos and have to sort them out afterward. Fortunately we are in the digital age else it be such a hassle with the old 35mm camera, lol
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:32 PM   #10
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Re: Seat Shaving Foam Removal How To DIY with OEM look (pics intensive)

Nice write up. I'm going to have to try it myself.
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