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Installing A Mustang Seat — Our IT Guy Says “IT” Is Easy!

8 Jan

Back in October I had an opportunity to step out of my normal role of managing  Mustang’s IT infrastructure. Instead of bytes and cyberspace, I had a real world opportunity to help out our art director Julie with a photo shoot. I was a little worried that I might be biting off a little more than I could chew since it has been 16 years since I have ridden anything with two wheels (a reckless driver curtailed my riding days). My only experience “installing” Mustang seats has been helping getting many of the mounting instructions web-ready for publication on mustangseats.com. However I was looking forward to sinking my teeth into this project, so to speak.

We gathered some Mustang seats, assembled some Biker Essentials merchandise and then brought in some friends of mine whose entire family are avid riders. We also had three different bikes to put seats on for the photo shoot: a Yamaha 1100 and two Honda 1800 VTXs. In a matter of a few minutes my buddy, his brother-in-law, and his dad had their stock seats off. Actually seeing the stock Honda and Yamaha seats made me respect the construction of a Mustang seat… from its baseplate to its high-density foam to its synthetic leather cover. The quality and difference is both tactile and visceral. After holding my buddy’s stock VTX1800 passenger seat and then holding the replacement Mustang seat I could instantly tell why Mustang’s tagline says: “what a difference comfort makes!”

With the seats off, the other guys went to get dressed in some of the pretty cool Biker Essentials gear, leaving me to install the seats. Now don’t let the title “IT Guy” fool you, I know which end to hold on a screwdriver. In the less than 10 minutes, I had the Mustang seats installed on each bike. Simply slip the front tongue into the receiving bracket, bolt down the back or side bolts with the provided hardware, and the solo seats were on. Two-up seats are a snap, too. Slip the front bracket into the special slotted nut and bolt down the passenger pad, check to make sure everything is tight and the two-up seats are good to go.

The initial response from our “models” when getting back on the bike was a universal “Wow!” That was satisfying to hear. When their wives and girlfriend got onto the passenger pads and said the same thing again, it really showed that Mustang does it right.

As far as installing a Mustang seat , I can personally say “IT” really is an easy install! In fact, I’m looking forward to helping out again.

Bill Bulman

IT Guy at Mustang

The Perfect Fit: Meet Oscar Medina, Seat Assembler

24 May

When you receive your new Mustang seat, you should know that you have not purchased a motorcycle seat that came off an assembly line.  You are the owner of a seat that was made by one of our Mustang “seat assemblers” at our factory in Three Rivers, MA.  While Mustang has different departments within our factory that create our baseplates, foams and covers, the actual “assembly” of these three seat components are the responsibility of a “seat assembler”.  Oscar Medina takes great pride in assembling all the elements together so that they will become a well made, comfortable and good looking seat.

Oscar came to Mustang with an upholstery background, having worked at his uncle’s company for three years building restaurant booths.  He enjoyed building the restaurant booths and was quite good at it, so building motorcycle seats seemed like a perfect fit for him and Mustang!

 

Oscar is a dedicated family man, who dotes on his one-year old son Oscar, Jr., describing him as a “mini-me”.  Since family is very important to him and his partner Karla, they try to do activities that are family oriented, such as attending church, fishing and other outdoor activities.  Maybe that is why he feels the best thing about Mustang is the people he works with:  everyone is like one big family at the factory.  In fact, Oscar and his family like the quaint New England town of Three Rivers so much that they may move there in the near future.

 

Oscar takes a lot of pride in his work and hopes Mustang customers enjoy riding on their seats as much as he enjoys building them.

 

Motorcycle Seats 101: Seat Construction: Baseplates

10 Feb

This is the third chapter in our ongoing “Motorcycle Seats 101” blog series. “Seat Construction:  Baseplates” is intended to help motorcyclists understand the basic construction of most seats—this is not specific to Mustang.

Motorcycle seats are made up of three essential parts: the baseplate, the foam and the cover (sometimes these are also referred to as the pan, the cushion and the top).

Before describing these three layers of a seat, you should know that some aftermarket or custom seat makers may use one or more parts of the original (stock) seat rather than actually provide you with all-new components. For instance, many custom seat shops simply take your stock seat off your bike and recover it with a different cover, just as an upholstery shop would recover your living room couch in a different fabric. Other custom seat shops might reshape the foam on your original seat and add their own cover.

If you and your passenger are comfortable on your stock seat and just want to change the look of your motorcycle, changing the cover on the stock seat is a reasonable way to go.

But for the large number of riders who do not find their stock seat comfortable, the best solution is a new seat “from the bottom up.” There are a few aftermarket seat manufacturers that create seats from scratch.  The following describes these three basic seat components:

Seats are constructed on a single baseplate (both the driver’s seat and the passenger’s seat are built on the same, single baseplate) or a two-piece baseplate (two distinct seats). Both of the pieces on a two-piece baseplate can be attached for two-up riding or separated to ride as a solo seat.

Most stock seats and a number of less expensive aftermarket seats are built on plastic baseplates which are cheap to build but are far less sturdy than other materials. Higher quality baseplates used by aftermarket manufacturers are constructed of either marine-grade fiberglass, finished with a high-gloss gel-coat, or black, epoxy powder-coated 16-gauge steel.

The baseplate is the starting point in the design of a motorcycle seat. Ideally, the baseplate is designed to mount the motorcycle using the exact same mounting holes or brackets as the stock seat. (Nobody wants to drill new holes in their frame or fender.)

The notion behind creating an aftermarket seat is to make it far better than the original. That requires a good seat designer to roll the motorcycle into their studio, remove the stock seat and set it aside. Then, starting from scratch the designer creates a baseplate as the foundation for a great seat.

One of the best ways to assess the quality of a motorcycle seat is to turn it over and examine the baseplate area or “underbelly.” When you pick up a premium seat, feel the weight and balance. That alone should show you how substantial a custom seat is compared to most stock seats.

It can be difficult to determine whether a baseplate is fiberglass or steel, but it’s pretty easy to tell if the baseplate is plastic. In some cases, you can actually flex a seat made on a plastic baseplate and literally snap it in two with a little effort.

Whether your new custom seat is built on a fiberglass or steel baseplate, be sure to look for the following features:

• All exposed brackets (visible when the seat is mounted on the bike) should be chrome plated.
• Polyurethane rubber bumpers should be strategically located and riveted to the baseplate to protect the paint and minimize vibration. (Bumpers made of polyurethane are ozone protected and will not crack with age.)
• The edge of the cover material should be hemmed, not just cut off and left ragged.
• The cover should be riveted to the baseplate at close intervals around the edges. (Most stock seat covers are merely stapled on.)
• Although not readily visible, if you were able to lift up the cover, you could note whether a steel-reinforced, impact-absorbing vinyl-edge trim had been secured to the edges of the baseplate to protect the seat cover material from wearing.

•    A label specifying what make/model/year of bike the seat is designed to fit should be visible as well as the manufacturer’s name, warranty and contact information.
•    Finally, complete mounting information should be attached to a replacement seat.

In our next segment we will discuss foam.  See you then!

Watch us Design and Build our Latest Seat

20 Jan

We just added a new line of seats and we’ve documented the design and creation on video.

No matter how you pronounce it, Mustang has the final word when it comes to comfort for the Kawasaki Vaquero.

The deeply pocketed driver seat on the one-piece Wide Touring style with Driver Backrest is a full 16.5” wide and sits you at the ideal cruising angle.  The 13” wide passenger seat utilizes Mustang’s unique internal steel support wings.  The optional driver backrest provides superb back support for those longer rides and is fully adjustable and easily removable.

The Vintage style seat is sold as a three-piece set including solo, removable driver backrest and passenger seat with a backrest receiver for $739; the optional passenger backrest (shown) is $200.  Also available with studs and conchos.

Mustang seats for Metric Cruisers and H-D® models are proudly handcrafted in the USA.  For more info, visit MustangSeats.com or call 800-243-1392.

Click to watch the how Mustang designed and built their new line of seats for Vaquero!

Motorcycle Seats 101: Chapter 1, Seat Fitment

22 Dec

Replacing your stock motorcycle seat with a Mustang seat is easy.  Have you ever taken off your stock seat?  If so, you are well on your way to installing a Mustang seat.  If you still have concerns about replacing your original motorcycle seat, rest easy. It’s a relatively simple process and you don’t have to be a trained mechanic.
Mustang is very careful to build seats that use stock mounting points. We try to make the installation as easy as possible.  If different hardware is needed for mounting the new seat, it will be included with the new seat.
Mustang seats come with printed mounting suggestions; we are also creating a library of video mounting instructions.  For example, you may be mounting either a one-piece or a two-piece Mustang seat.

 

As long as you purchase a Mustang seat that is specifically made for the exact make, model and year of your bike, there’s no need to worry about fitment.  Choose your seat style, mount your new seat and ride in comfort and style!Passenger Backrest

Switch Out Your Seat for a New Look, Feel to your Ride

13 Apr

When you think about it, switching motorcycle seats to achieve a different look or to suit a specific purpose makes perfect sense — especially when you consider how simple it is to change out a Mustang seat. There’s really no easier way to dramatically alter the appearance of your bike — or the overall feel of your ride.

We all change our look, don’t we? We’re always switching sunglasses and hats. We wear shoes one day and boots the next. We change from one lane to the other even when the first lane was just fine. Why? Because we can. Like David Byrne sang in Life During Wartime: “I changed my hair style, so many times now, I don’t know what I look like.” We like change. So why not change the overall look and feel of your bike when the mood strikes you?

Say we start off with a two-up wide touring seat (like the one pictured above) with a driver backrest for those longer trips with a partner to Sturgis or Florida. Then we switchy-changy to a low, lean or a solo seat for hopping around town or short day trips with our friends (like the one pictured below).

It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. You can invest in a Harley-Davidson XL 2004-2011 vintage solo with no studs and no Conchos for just over two hundred bucks. Or you can impress your main squeeze on the back of a Yamaha V-Star 1300 by mounting a comfy, 12” wide passenger seat matched to a 17” wide solo with driver backrest—all for a little more than $700. And then the two of you can travel about a million miles without getting butt cramps. Can’t get much more romantic than that!

The best news about all this, of course, is that changing out a seat is (more…)

Mustang Motorcycle Seat Installation, it’s easy peasy. No, really!

8 Jun

Example of Motorcycle Seat Mounting Instructions

Thinking about switching to a more comfortable seat but you’re just a little bit intimidated by the notion? If you’ve got concerns about replacing your original motorcycle seat, not to worry. It’s a piece of cake — even for those who think a Phillips-head screwdriver is vodka and Milk of Magnesia. You can do the switcheroo relatively quickly and without pain. You certainly don’t have to be a trained mechanic to perform the task.

If you’ve ever taken off your stock seat, you already have the know-how to complete this job. You say you’ve never even looked under your original seat?  Again, no biggie. In most cases, it’s a simple matter of unscrewing a rear mounting bolt and disconnecting the nose (front) of the seat that nestles up to the gas tank. As you lift up slightly on the back of the seat, pull the seat toward the back of the bike and off it comes.

Not only are motorcycle seat mounting suggestions available on our website, but all Mustang seats are boxed up with mounting instructions attached to the seat. For example, if you have a one-piece stock seat and you’re replacing it with a two-piece aftermarket seat, the instructions will take you through the process of mounting both seats. As long as you purchase a replacement seat that’s specifically made for the exact make, model and year of your bike, there’s no need to worry about fitment.

Here at Mustang, we’re very careful to build replacement seats that (more…)