It didn't take long to make it real clear, a custom motorcycle seat would be the first change I had to make to my Roadstar Raider.
Shortly after I bought my Raider, we took a Sunday morning Breakfast ride from Nunn on up to Cheyenne and back.
Herself hadn't gone 25 miles before she started squirming on that Vinyl covered 2X6 most manufacturers, including STAR, put on the back fender of a cruiser, and call a seat.
Yeah... well... for most folks... those
just show where a seat should go... what comes from the factory...
generally can't be used as a motorcycle seat!
I got to searching around, and it didn't take long to get referred to and locate the Bitchin' Stitchin, custom seat shop in Lakewood, Colorado.
The bikers that run that shop, and have for a whole lot of years, are Bikers that build a Custom Motorcycle seat for Bikers.
And Custom is the word in that shop. There's no "Line" of seats and no 'standard' that they modify. You run your bike up in their shop, and they go to tearing YOUR seat apart, to rebuild it from the seat pan up...
If you want something totally different, totally custom... they can also start from the frame up forming a custom seat pan from scratch.
I wanted something in the middle. The idea I had for a custom motorcycle seat had three parts...
First, make that back pillion seat, a functional seat, and not a torture board...
Second, rework the drivers seat, to push me forward, shortening the distance to the bars slightly, and also, the distance my lil' runty butt has to reach to the pegs and foot controls.
and Third, build me a custom motorcycle seat in a way that shows some artistic class and style.
The guys at Bitchin' Stitchin' hit the marks on all three requirements... and added a fourth, to be honest. The comfort of both seats was greatly enhanced with the addition of special seating gel pads, inlaid into the seat foam.
When I rode the bike into the shop they had the seats off and the fender taped for protection, before I shut my mouth off long enough to turn my camera on!
These Motorcycle Seat Artists at Bitchin' Stitchin' truly build a seat to fit the wingnut that's gonna sit on it! They tailor the thing... right to YOUR butt!
You can see in the following pic the lines where they added width and length to the factory pillion
Then... once that's all been worked out and shaped, they cut the recess to inlay the special seat gel they use to give your motorcycle a baby soft throne for your sensitive lil' kiester!
Finally, once all the foundation of your custom motorcycle seat has been formed, they wrap the whole caboodle ina thin foam to tie it all together...
At that point the real fun starts... You get to sit there with 'em tossin' ideas around 'bout what you want for the cover. They sketch it onto the foam with sharpies... until it's all been calculated and Visualized...
Dan has a few hundred photos on his laptop, of the seats he's built
over the years... You'll have no shortage of samples to look at to come
up with what you want... from plain and simple... to fancy and wild.While
the foam padding was planned out, shaped and fitted in a couple hours,
as we waited in the shop to be available for the "Test Fits'. The covers
generally take a couple weeks waiting in line, once the foundtion is
complete. These guys stay busy!
On my Raider, to add visible art to the function they'd already created, which is no less an art, they covered the seats as well as the pad on the brand new Yamaha backrest with a faux Ostrich patterned vinyl, with some stitching to mimic the paint on the tank.
The panels were laid out to follow and blend in to the lines of the bike.
As you watch them move about the shop, the skills of Dan and Brian, the craftsmen of Bitchin' Stitchin' become quickly apparent. It's fairly amazing how surely they work, and how quickly they can lead you to choose the lines for your new custom motorcycle seat.
... and... how well those lines, fit your bike.
So... The seats were built. The money changed hands.... any regrets?
Well... they ain't cheap... but their prices aren't obscene either, and some might say, "You get what you pay for."
But, most of all, proven to me by the 9000 miles I sat on that seat just a couple months later, as I rode that Bitchin' Stitchin' seat to Alaska and back, bolted to my Raider...
They build a custom motorcycle seat... that Looks Fine... Endures well, through thousands of miles of lousy, wet weather... and... kept my sensitive nether parts, comfortable on 700 mile days, splitting the wind on the Alaskan Highway!