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What’s All the Fuss About Foam?

2 Mar

Ever really think about what’s inside your office chair, couch or motorcycle seat?

In most cases it’s foam, and that’s the subject of this 4th chapter in our continuing series “Motorcycle Seats 101.”

For a seat to be comfortable, “it’s what’s inside that counts”. The most important component of comfort no matter what type of seat you are sitting on is the seat foam–both the quality of the foam itself and its shape.

Not all foam padding is created equal. There are essentially two ways to make a “seat shape” out of foam. You can take a large cube of foam and then whittle and grind it down to the shape you want (a relatively cheap and easy process) or you can create the foam in the density and the exact shape you need…all from scratch.

Mustang has perfected a “controlled density” polyurethane formula with the perfect mixture of open and closed foam cells to provide all day comfort for riders. For example, an open cell foam can be easily squeezed or flattened (like a kitchen sponge) while closed cell foam is extremely firm and can barely be compressed (such as a firm life preserver).

Before the foam is mixed, however, a heavy-duty fiberglass mold must be created to perfectly match the seat shape that was designed in Mustang’s R&D department. Once the mold is perfected, the liquid foam solution is poured into the mold.

The lid of the mold must be quickly and securely closed to withstand the force as, within minutes, the chemicals react and the liquid is solidified within the mold–a process similar to a giant waffle maker.

As soon as the foam has cured, the lid is opened and the foam mold is extracted and ready to be hand-built into a Mustang seat—but that’s a later chapter.

Mustang’s high quality foam usually feels firmer than stock but is less firm than other aftermarket seats. It will compress enough to mold itself to your body shape within about 15 minutes of riding time–every time you ride. You do not need a “break-in” period to be comfortable. Your 100th ride will be equal to your 10,000th mile.

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!

Motorcycle Seats 101: Chapter 2, Assessing Your Needs

27 Jan

This is the second chapter in our ongoing “Motorcycle Seats 101” blog series.  “Assessing Your Needs” (no pun intended) is intended to help motorcyclists who are thinking about buying a replacement seat.

There has been a huge influx of motorcycle seats available for bike models in the past decade or so — available in a range of styles and prices. Take the time to think about the type of riding you do, the style you want for your bike and what it is specifically that you hope to achieve by making the investment in a new seat.

The type of seat you purchase usually depends on the type of riding you do or a certain look you are trying to achieve. Ask yourself the following questions:
• Do you mostly ride around town or do you take long trips?
• Honestly assess your height vis-à-vis your bike model.  Does your seat help you to put your feet flat on the ground for safety and control at stops?
• What percentage of the time do you carry a passenger?
• Is your bike stored outside during the riding season or is it always under cover?
• Are you looking for a comfortable touring seat or a one-of-a-kind custom seat for your show bike?
• Will you need a sissy bar for either passenger back support or to secure luggage on long trips?

With few exceptions, we ride for the fun and thrill of it.  Before purchasing a replacement seat, spend some time to select perfect seat that will enhance the look of your bike while making riding enjoyable for both the driver and passenger.

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

9 Dec

Every driver and passenger rides on one but just how often do you think about what you are sitting on during your rides?  We’ll bet your response depends largely on how happy (comfortable) your bottom and your back are at the end of a day’s ride!

We are introducing a five-part series “Motorcycle Seats 101.”  This brief but comprehensive overview is designed to help you make an informed decision when buying a motorcycle seat–whether you’re looking for a seat or saddle made of the highest quality materials, attractively styled, designed for comfort, reasonably priced or all of the above!

As you know, replacement motorcycle seats can be purchased from the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), such as Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Victory, Honda and Harley-Davidson. Replacement saddles are also available from aftermarket seat companies whose main business is the production of seats, not motorcycles. These businesses include C&C, Corbin, LePera, Mustang and Saddlemen, and a multitude of smaller, custom seat builders.

If you simply want to change your seat style or you need to replace a worn-out seat — and improved comfort is not an issue — buying a seat from your OEM might just be the ticket.  Truth is, most motorcycle manufacturers (OEMs) concentrate most of their time and money researching the bike engine and aerodynamic design of their bikes, rather than putting a lot of effort into their seats.

Aftermarket seat companies place all of their focus and effort into providing an array of seat styles and features because that’s usually their primary business.  These aftermarket manufacturers sell their brand of seats directly to OEMs, offer them through a distribution channel to dealers or directly to dealers, or they market the seats directly to the riding public.

Small-scale custom seat builders often work directly with the individual rider, building a seat using the original baseplate and the original form. Custom builders may offer a unique selection of baseplates, materials and stitch patterns.

Check back next week for first of five chapters that Mustang Motorcycle Seats has compiled to bring you up to speed on motorcycle seat basics:
• Chapter 1: Seat Fitment 101
• Chapter 2: Assessing Your Needs
• Chapter 3: What Makes a Seat Great?
• Chapter 4: Seat Features
• Chapter 5: The “Bottom Line”

Meanwhile, feel free to post any seat questions or comments here and we’ll address them below or in our next blog.

Thanks and Happy Holidays from all of us at Mustang Seats!

Mustang Offers Up an Encyclopedia of Info on Motorcycle Seats

30 Jul

The very fact that you’re visiting this blog site tells us you’ve got an interest in motorcycle seats and boy, did you stumble upon the best spot on the Internet for that information!

Hands down, Mustang Motorcycle Seats is among the premier makers of quality seats for your ride. So, whether a friend referred you to our blog or you arrived here through an act of God, you’re in luck. In fact, maybe you should scoot out sometime today and buy a lottery ticket.

Our website – MustangSeats.com – features a half-dozen articles under the heading “Motorcycle Seats 101” that are designed to help you make an informed decision when buying a motorcycle seat. We’ve researched and written sections that cover everything from seat fitment to the important questions you should be asking anyone who’s trying to sell you a motorcycle seat.

These sections of our website go deep into the construction of a good motorcycle seat — the materials that work and the ones that just look pretty but fall into ruin faster than a Las Vegas wedding.

In this brief series, the hard-working folks here at Mustang Motorcycle Seats bring you up to speed on motorcycle seat basics. For instance, in Seat Fitment 101, we talk about (more…)

A Motorcycle Seat for Tall Riders: Mustang Super Touring Comfort for FL

5 May

Motorcycle riders come in all shapes and sizes, including tall. If you stand 5’ 11” or above and want to sit a little farther back when cruising, check out our new one-piece Super Touring seat. Not only does the driver have a deeply pocketed, 19–inch-wide front bucket, but the Super Touring seat moves the driver 1.75-inches farther back than the stock seat on 2008 to 2010 Harley-Davidson FL model bikes. Another added benefit for taller riders: The Super Touring seat is lower than stock, which allows you to firmly plant your feet firmly on the ground!

Never forgetting your passenger, we made sure the Super Touring seat is 14–inches wide and fully supported by our unique internal support wings that eliminate sagging at the edges. A matching wrap-around passenger backrest with thicker, extended arms for only $279 ensures all-day comfort for your passenger. The backrest translates into fewer passenger complaints — and let’s face it… that makes everyone happy.

Our one-piece Super Touring seat features an optional, fully adjustable driver backrest that folds flat for ease in getting on and off the motorcycle. It can be removed easily without tools, and lists for only $719 retail with chrome studs. Or the seat can be purchased with black, pearl-centered studs or without studs.