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O.K. Guys here it is…



This is a side by side seat comparison of two seats offered by JC Whitney in the US. The company website is http://www.jcwhitney.com .



The two seats I will be comparing will be for my 1982 GL1100 Aspencade specifically. I will show you pictures, modifications made, what to expect and what my end results are.



I will be comparing the Double Bucket Touring Seat “KIT” (which I will refer to as the “Regular”) located at http://tinyurl.com/nze5br and the Deluxe Touring Seat “KIT” (which I will refer to as the “Deluxe”) located at http://tinyurl.com/n8bbgt .



Regular pricing at the time was $128.00USD and $159.00 USD respectively. I did get both a discount and free shipping due to various promotions they had on the go at the time. These were purchased on May 24[suP]th[/suP] 2009 and May 25[suP]th[/suP] 2009. Originally, I had ordered in the wrong one and then realized it too late to cancel the order so I placed a second order. The second one can be returned if I need to or I can sell it. I will be selling it and it will probably be gone this weekend as I have had quite a bit of interest in it locally. But, as a bonus, it allows me to do this little review for you guys.



The first thing I can say is that (and I am going to shout this…) “DON”T GO BY THE PICTURES THAT JC WHITNEY HAS ON THEIR WEBSITE” They are WRONG!!! I am sure that it has caused more that one wrong order. Actually, the picture the Deluxe Seat is incorrect. The regular seat is the proper picture. Oh yes, they are BOTH Saddlemen seats.



Here are the two seats side by side. Both seats are the same size. They may look a bit different due to the camera angle and the “cost effective” camera I was using. It’s and old one I keep in the bike for when we are out for a little drive and see something interesting. As well, both seats are the same dark black color. Good quality vinyl was used in them.



 

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Picture 2
 

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Both seats are made from a very high density injected foam. I think this foam will outlive the rest of the bike. It is very dense and easily supports my weight and the weight of my wife. I’ll say it politely… “We’re not medium weight” and both over 250 pounds. There… I’ve said it. Whew!!



Both seats have a turned up front where they meet the false tank. The seat that I just replaced did not. This goes a long way in preventing you from sliding forward. I must admit, if you can excuse the crudeness, I do not suffer from a bad case of “Numb Nuts” as I did before. We are both looking forward to a long trip to see what happens. I do know that there is no hint of it happening now. Both seats will keep the drivers back nice and straight. It will help prevent slouching which is the leading cause of a sore back, at least in my case. I like that. Although the seats are very firm, and some would describe them as “hard”, they (or us) just need to be broken in.



Anyway, the Deluxe will give you more room of you need it and the Regular will snugly fit you if you don’t. We chose the Deluxe seat. If you are smaller (average size if there is such a thing) and the pillion is smaller, the Regular seat is for you. Both seats seem to be of very good quality. The major difference here is that the Deluxe is much wider and that there is no little back rest cupping the pillion as there is on the Regular seat.



If you don’t need “wider” then it will get in your way. I use to have my feet flat on the ground when stopped. Now I am on my tippy toes! The seat adds a solid 2+ inches to my seat height. I do have a better view over my windshield. And boy, does that 2+ inches translate into a new learning curve in low speed handling. At both high and low speed, you do feel like your on a different bike altogether.



With that being said, there is one modification I had to make to my seat pan in order to install the Deluxe version. If you look at the pictures below, you will see what the seat looks like underneath. At the pillion end, one seat (the Regular one has an indent where the seat pan goes up and supports the mini back rest. The Deluxe does not. It’s flat. My seat pan had that “hump” and I had to remove it to allow my Deluxe seat to fit my seat pan. I did this after very carefully considering and testing the weight load factors so the modified seat pan would not act as a die and cut into the foam with the pillion sitting on it. I am VERY reasonable sure that all will be O.K. Please check your seat pan to see if it is flat or has the indent on it. I am not sure why there are two types of pans but there is.
 

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Picture 4
 

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Here is a picture of the “hump” I removed.



 

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One of the big and scary things that I have read about was the “kit” issue. Yes, it would have been nice (if I had the money) to by an all inclusive seat and just bolt it on. Where would the fun be there? A lot of people are scared to try the upholstering. I have never done it before… the closes I ever got to it was making my own bandage with electrical tape and a wad of tissue after an unfortunate drill accident. Now that was a piece of genius! This wasn’t.



I now have a new tool! I purchased a pneumatic upholstery stapler. Great little thing. Very precise. If you don’t have one then get one for this project or take it to a proper upholster. One of those “click” manual staple guns WILL NOT WORK HERE!!! Once you have a single staple hole in the seat they will not take it back. Period! Just make sure that the staple gun is on a low impact setting so the staples do not go through the material.


Basically I started with the front…. placed 4 staples here… then my son rested his knee on the seat pan to compress the foam a bit and then I stapled the rear 4 or 5 times. I moved to the sides and staggered it back and forth, left and right slowly dissecting the project, always keeping in check the wrinkles on the seating side. Check often. My son’s knee was invaluable help. Just staple things in groups and keep tugging and stretching the fabric evenly. Don’t rip into it. Don’t put all your might into it. Use common sense. You just need to have it snug. The stitching seam was a great help with this acting like a gauge.
 

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Keep things neat and the staples even. All will be O.K. Don’t over staple and keep a good clean line of staples. Take your time and everything comes out fine. It was quite easy, fun, gives you a sense of accomplishment and in my case I have a new tool!

 

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Here is a picture of the completed seat on the bike. Please excuse the rain. The pillion back rest has been replaced with a temporary one made with my fancy new tool and I have added 2 cheap $5.00 camera bags from Walmart. I have to figure a way to reupholster the back rest. That “pan” is metal and as good as my new tool is, I doubt it would push a staple through the steel. My old “goodie” bags that were to the left and right of the back rest were totally rotten. I’ll come across the proper ones at some point.



One thing to note though, if you had any other color seat then black, it will be an adjustment to your eyes to see the bike changed so much. It’s like I have a new bike when I look at it. I can’t wait to get the back rest done. That temporary one bugs the crap out of me.



Anyhow guys, that’s how it looks to me. If you have questions, please ask. Let me know what you think.



Tim.
 

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Picture 9
 

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what a great report, thanks i have looked at those kits and always thought no way would i mess with a kit but after reading your review here i will reconsider the kit idea, thanks again

chuck
 

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verynice

is the seat taller now or a little lower than stock. I had an upholstrer remove 1" of foam from my seat, the diffrence in control,comfort that 1' made is amazing.

old sarge
 

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Thanks for the great write up. I will bring this thread to the attention of the "finance controller" when I can talk her into spending some money on a seat. It is interesting that you chose the deluxe as I know my wife will want the regular.
I use a "slaptacker" and a rubber hammer for stapling the vinyl to the base when I've made repairs.

Nice job, good pics. Thank you.
 

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Hey Old Sarge,



Well, my bike already had a "kit" on it when I got it. I have no idea how old it was, just that is was poorly put on and that the foam had lost all of its firmness so I can't tell you how this compares to an original seat in height.



However, I do know there was an amazing difference from what I had to what is on there now. 2+ inches is probably closer or a bit more than 3 inches from what I had before. Other peoples seats will vary.



I feel strangely taller and important as I drive! :cool:

Tim.
 

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k1W1t1m,



You will need a precision stapler to do this job I can't see how you could do it with out one. It's precision work while you are wrangling the new material around.



Tim.
 

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Thank you very much for this timely info. I have a deluxe cover sitting here and I have taken my seat apart and decided it will not fit my seat pan. I was leary of cutting the foam but your option seems to make more sense. I guess you decided to do away with the chrome strips that are on the original seat. How much will a pneumatic stapler cost? I have the compressor so that is no problem. Once again thanks very much for the informative post.
Greg
 

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Hi Greg,



My goal was to NOT cut into the foam in any way at all. If you were to cut into it to fit that "bump" in the seat pan, the pillion would end up feeling it and would probably be quite uncomfortable.



I made sure that when I cut the seat pan, I smoothed out the edges and rounded them off so it would not cut into the foam. I am quite sure that their is enough foam in the seat to quite easily dissipate the weight of the pillion.



I purchaseda staplerproduced by Paslode at The Home Depot - http://tinyurl.com/mkou5t . The cost was about $80.00. I already had the compressor as well.


One thing to note here that I did not mention above, I really do not think that an electric stapler would have the guts to drive staples home through the plastic. You would have to drive them home with a hammer. That would mess up a otherwise good mechanical joint.


As far as the Chrome strip... what chrome strip??? That was long gone before I got the bike. Probably when the last seat cover was put on.



Tim.
 

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When my buddy and I did my seat with this kit, we did indeed used an electric stapler and it worked fine. I trimmed the excess foam with an electric carving knife. It was a bit of a wrestling match ,but if you take your time , yoiu should get a good result.
 

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An unexpected e-mail: It would seem that quite a few people follow the Steve Saunders forums. haha



I received this e-mail late this afternoon from JC Whitney:



“JC Whitney’s president read this recent review and loved reading about the experience described.”



…”we just wanted to share that our team enjoyed the great description of your installation experience. And because of your comments on the pictures our merchant responsible for purchasing motorcycle seats is taking new photographs for our website.”



It’s nice to be noticed.



Tim.
 

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Great report.

I looked at doing this to my '82 last year. instead I shied away from the kit and sent it out to be done professionally. I am pleased with the results.

However, I now have a project bike underway. Another '82. I have work to do yet before I get to the seat, but I think I am going to have to do something with it. After reading your report I will certainly consider the JC Whitney option.



Your seat looks great!



Thank again for sharing this. Good Job!!
 

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Thanks for the excellent post, Mr Magic Fingers.
I just installed the Premium seat cover with gel packs on my pan and also had to cut the hump on the rear off. I must say that the new cover makes my bike feel totally strange with the extra height and width! However, my knee's are now at a much more comfortable angle and my forearms are also a little bit lower on the grips. I have yet to take her on a long ride but I'm sure that the firmness and extra width/height will allow much longer runs between breaks for both the misses and I.
 
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