Photographed by denovich

The stock seat on my CBR1100XX, is pretty good… but clearly could be improved.

First, the pillion's seat is angled forward a bit too much. This makes it difficult for the passenger (Deb) to keep from sliding forward when braking, or over bumps.

The other significant problem is that the “ledge”, the backedge of the rider's seat/ leading edge of the pillon's is too far back. This leaves a significant gap between my rear and this ledge. When Deb slides forward she get's stuck sitting on this ledge. When I'm riding solo and I goose the throttle, I feel like I'm going to slide off the rear. Moving the ledge forward would give me a more positive backstop.

A replacement seat from Corbin (the biggest name in aftermarket seats) is north of $350, and while it makes it more comfy for the passenger, it's wider shorter, and harder than the stock seat for the rider (had a Corbin on my FZ600… hated it for exactly those reasons.) Other shops that modify the stock seat have long lead times, aren't cheap, and I'd be out of commission for at least a week or two, unless I bought a spare seat.

So I dicided DIY was the answer. Although, it was with great anxiety that I started removing the staples that affixed the cover to the seat. I was sure I was going to ruin it. Just about everything on the bike is perfect, so my usual half-assed work wasn't going to be good enough.

I started by working on the passenger seat, using an angle grinder to carve away foam. I was able to angle the seat area back a bit, which also resulted in a lip near the front to help hold the passenger in place. Initial fitting suggests the shape is a bit more comfortable too.

To move the ledge forward I had to add foam. I couldn't think of where to easily find the appropriate foam… fabric and crafting stores had foam that was too soft. In a moment of inspriration I checked the garden department of the local home store. There I found sheets of foam used for gardening knee pads. I used a saw to cut the pad to shape, and affixed it to the seat with spray contact adhesive. I used a 80 grit pad on a sander to form this piece into a compromise shape… one that fit me, but also one that I hoped wouldn't pose fitting problems when I put the cover back on. It took about 2 hours to get things how I wanted them. All that was left was to re-cover.

My stapler had a hard time fully seating the staples when I reattached the cover, but it got the job done. The end result looks pretty much stock. I'm very pleased.

Now to go test my handywork…