Reshaping the seat 2
From the desk of rmi03
I'm not sure what changed, but after 25,000 miles on my bike (many of those with a BeadRider pad) my butt sure started to hurt. The tank-ward slope of the Ninja's seat became unbearable, making me sit too close to the tank. I would slide onto my "soft tissue" area too much, and it also put too much pressure on my legs. So, I figured it was time to reshape the seat. First, remove the cover.
I envisioned making the seat shape close to the banana seat of an older UJM: flat and smooth. I wanted to flatten the seat so that I would (a) not slide forward and (b) be able to sit a little more rearward on the seat (so my legs were not bent at such an acute angle). I used my pregnant wife, a level, and a blue sharpie to identify the area to remove.
This procedure did not use advanced weaponry. Proper tools, like in IanJ's FAQ article, would have been great to use. Since I didn't have an electric carving knife or a grinder, I improvised.
This is the rough cut, before detailing and sanding. Don't count on getting it right the first time. I didn't remove any foam from the lowest point of the seat.
I draped the vinyl back over the seat and went for a five minute ride. Brilliant! I stapled the vinyl back on and went for an hour ride. Brilliant! It felt amazing and looked pretty good. I'll need to add a couple staples to the vinyl and pull it tighter in a couple places. As you can see, the vinyl still looks much like it did before removing foam.
The seat is now quite a bit flatter. I have fallen in love again with my Ninja. This is a great comfort mod for having spent no money and about two hours in the yard. With the foam nearly level (when the bike is standing upright) I don't have the same "falling on the bicycle frame" sensation that I once did.
This modification allows me to sit 2-3 inches rearward and without much forward slide (that puts more strain on the legs and man bits). I am getting more "leg room" without raising my center of gravity or being exposed to any more wind.
I rode on the BeadRider for about 30 miles. Eh, not as comfortable as just sitting on the newly-shaved seat by itself. I took it off mid-ride.
I did not feel any of the small imperfections in my "carving," though a grinder would be nice for this project. It still amazes me how the cockpit feels less cramped when you are not constantly sliding forward. Although my butt now resides closer to the pillion seat, I don't know if this mod would have any noticeable effect on passenger comfort. I would probably just slide a TINY bit forward if I had a passenger.
I did cut quite a bit of foam, but there still seems to be be plenty underneath my butt. My backup plan was to add foam to the seat once I got the flat shape I needed, if necessary. If you decide to do this, it would require a new piece of vinyl to cover the seat. It is AMAZING how flattening the seat adds to the comfort on the bike for someone my height. No, there isn't as much leg room as a V-Strom, but now my legs aren't constantly fighting the forward slide.