I am leaving the story about my "wild ride" in at the end because so many have read it, and wanted me to leave it in. Meanwhile, finally, here is the write up on the seat mod. (since I did it, several others have had them done at the same place and others) Maybe some of them will share their versions.
Here is a picture of the underneath of the original seat. Notice the part above the hardware.
Here is the seat, same view, after it came back from Mean City Cycles in Maiden, NC. Mine was the first they had done for an EN500, so we both kind of winged it. I drew a line where I wanted it cut off (to make it a solo seat) and they did their (Wonderful!) memory foam thing, and made a custom cover for it. It would add up, dollar wise, after the cover, costing as much as any Mustang seat made! But, then it was a one-up project, and that always gets expensive. I know they have done more now, and hopefully the price is down.
You notice the back part is gone! MCC left the back kind of rounded, because we didn't know how we would hide the large gap at the back, that cutting off the pillion part made. Essentially we figured it would be so big you would be able to look right under the whole seat.With the rounded part left on and padded, the gap wasn't bad at all. You can see the mounting bolts for the "hooked" hardware that goes through the small welded loops on the frame, to hold the seat in place. I had to trim a little cover material for them to be in the open and had some problem bolting the hardware back on. The problem was it originally sat against the plastic, and now had to go over the covering. There wasn't room to fasten the covering tight enough, if fastened back far enough to trim the material to allow the hardware to fit against the plastic again, so the hardware had to realy be cinched down..
Here are two pictures of it just sitting on the bike with no support to see how it would look. Unfortunately, this led to "curiosity" about how it would feel! (story of THAT follows mod!)
I decided the decals would look pretty bad if left in place, so I used a heat gun to loosen the adhesive and remove them. (I actually kept them like new, as always!)
Ok, I read them! Their gone!
Now starts the "Re" modification of the previous stop light flasher mod! The seat now sat lower into the frame area (which is one of the things I asked MCC to make it do), but rubbed too hard on the top of the Backoff module where I had placed it. Obviously you can't see exactly where it was hitting well, so I used some yellow tempura water paint to cover the plastic bottom of the seat, put it in place, and sat on it! (240 pounds of "imprint") That transfer of paint to the module showed exactly where the impedence was. You can see this in these four pictures that show the module before the seat change, and where the yellow paint transferred to the top edge of the module. (not to mention tearing away part of the module's label when I sat on it and gave it a "real fit" check!
You can easily see where the problems where! I would end up moving the module down to the left (in this picture aspect) of the interface box, amongst all the wiring harnesses. That fixed the seat fit problem, so now to make a set of mounts.
The mounts had to be so the original hardware (I didn't want to make anything I didn't have to) would still hook into the loops. (story at end tells WHY)
I wanted the mounts to fasten to the large bolt that holds the shock and frame components together for the most strenghth,
so I used a thin 1/8" piece of aluminum strap to fit and bend to what I needed.
Then I used a 1/4" thick piece of aircraft grade aluminum to bend the final mounts from, polished and installed per the pictures below.
Now they are basically done, and with a little sanding and polishing, and they will be ready to install.
Here I am using a wrench to twist the end of the mount to align properly with the frame piece.
This is where the final adjustment comes in, as shown above. It will align the mount properly.
Fastening the mount end to the chrome frame piece, I used a tough rubber fender washer between the pieces to prevent damage to the original finish. (I AM consistant!) Trimming with a razor blade removes any unsightly rubber showing around the mount.
And here are some pictures of the finished, comfortable (though I seem to be one of the few that thought the original was too) and SINGLE seat! It sits quite a bit lower, is wider in back (for ma butt), narrower in front to more easily hugs the tank with your legs, and has a definate BACK to fit into rather than "riding up" onto the pillion every time you pop the clutch a little! Along with the handlebar risers, the lowering kit (or should I say "oil pan cover removal kit"), it makes the bike fit as perfect as I can imagine. Any better and I would fall asleep riding!
Bag rails since replaced with hard bags and "Ghost Brackets" that are removeable. VERY NICE!!!!
And here she is with hard bags, lowering kit, Dyna pipes, and eveything BUT the ignition kit, which IS done (see the mod)
And now, the story behinf the "mounts"
OK, story time!! Break out the cookies!!
I AM working on mounting hardware for my new single seat done by Mean City Cycles, from an original extra I bought on eBay. EXPENSIVE (the rebuild and covering) but beautiful, and worth it! Memory Foam inside! MMMM!! Comfy!!
I haven't had time to finish it, and have had a number of email requests as to when it will be done. Back to work shortly! In the meantime I thought that you folks that actually waste time coming on here (when you could be RIDING!) would enjoy the story about the seat I posted on the Beartooth Kawasaki Forum. ( http://www.kawasakimotorcycle.org/forum/register.php)
Well, here's a new story from the old grump! My wife is (I think) betting I won't tell on myself, but.... I might as well, before temptation hurts her!!!
Old Mr Safety Advice and YEARS of experience had another accident , this time in traffic. (at least, first one of THOSE in 20 years)
Had a crash with a cage, all due to inattention (MINE) and an large overestimation of capabilities! (MINE and the wannabeabigbike's!)
I was trying on the new seat I had cut down from a dual to a single saddle. And NO, I DIDN'T get around to making the mounting hardware! THAT is partly what this is about.
I put the new seat on with the hardware from the original, but had no way to fasten it on, it just sort of sat there. I wanted to see what it looked like. NICE!! Of course, then I got to wondering what it felt like. Ok, sit on it. Wonder how it feels like on the road. OK, ride around the block, carefully, of course!! (remember I used to teach motorcycle safety, and we would NEVER (sic) do anything we taught others not to, right? Uhuh!
Got down the road, and got to thinking (well, obviously, not really) how nice a day it was, and I hadn't rode for 2 weeks. Just a careful spin around town. (fastener hardware thoughts now replaced by sheer pleasure ones! RIDING AGAIN !!! OR Alzheimer's is early)
Went all around town, and was almost to where I turn off to go home. Haven't been on the bike in weeks, but feels great! Going along with traffic, and start to lean left to enter a left turn lane that heads home at the next intersection. Light changes, see it kind of out of the corner of my eye, after all I am looking where I AM GOING TO GO IN THE TURN!! Just like the books say!
Now, all of a sudden I realize that light change has also changed several other parameters like:
1. I see a white blur of a truck hood on my left, about to occupy the same space as me!
2. I am leaning WAY over in the turn and it doesn't require it! Just hot-dogging.
3. I am a LOT closer to the car ahead than I realize, after all I was about to go AROUND her, why worry about spacing!
4. I ain't gonna be able to do #2! (NO, not that! The #2 on this list!! Nasty minded bikers!)
5. Doo-doo is deep, and I am entering puddle quickly!
6. BIKES DO NOT STOP AS QUICK AS CAGES WITH 4 WHEELS PROVIDING TRACTION!!!!! I DON'T CARE WHAT EXPERT SAYS DIFFERENT!!!
7. ALL training, thoughts, reactions, etc. are MISSING. WHAT do I do now?? ( I SHOULD be able to think of it, I have at LEAST 2 microseconds!!!)
8. Braking like I am, will lay me down UNDER the car ahead! (this is NOT a good thing!)
So, vastly experienced old rider goes ROOKIE instantly!!
I DID automatically yank bike upright where brakes work best (AND is out of the way of white truck hood!), but.... WAY too close to car ahead, and guess who locked up both wheels into a textbook classic skid, not totally upright yet? Oh. you missed that one! It was me!
Braking properly, bikes usually DO stop in less length than most cages. Two SKIDDING wheels DO NOT!!! Four tires on cages, even skidding, have more adhesion than two! Front tire (thanks for the short front fender, Kawi !!) slams (yep, that's an UNDERstatement) into rear bumper of car ahead hard enough to MOVE car about a foot forward! (only 500 lb bike, remember!) I still have control though!! Almost upright, clamped down and gonna stay in control!! Oh, that hardware that WASN'T holding the seat on... Yup, seat AND me go AWAY (backward, at a pretty good speed I must say) from said car bumper and bike!! But I am still in control, because I have a firm grip on the bars! Which grip causes me to become a large, ugly, airborne, (all the WAY!) 250+ pound bungee cord! What goes back, must ... you know the rest. I am now speeding FORWARD again! (isn't physics wonderful?) But now, somehow the bars (which I still have a firm grip on!) are all the way left. That precise alignment allows the mirror (VERY strong material, that) to precisely line up with my two top, left ribs! Ah, but I AM wearing my leather jacket, being safety conscious and smart. Now we impact. Surprise! I am NOT as hard as I either once was, NOR as I still thought I was! Mirror IS! After saying quick thank you to my beloved deity for not being run over by the truck behind, I fight off the young lady from the car I hit, who has jumped out, and who is scared I am hurt, (don't remember what I mumbled after her "Oh, you poor old man , are you hurt?") and trying to pick me up! I quickly, mustering way more dignity than I feel, YANK up bike, PUT SEAT BACK ON, and reassure everyone I am fine. ( I lie sometimes) She hasn't a mark on the car (again, Kawi, thanks! Only rubber hit her bumper!) so she doesn't want a report. I don't, and am pretty sure my insurance company doesn't either. (right, hello new rates) so I CAREFULLY pull away, holding the seat on with my leg's death grip on the tank! I pulled into a friends garage just around the corner to check for damage. One bent clutch lever (curled up in almost a circle), two broken mirrors (one down inside my jacket where it went after breaking ON ME) and otherwise, NOT A SCRATCH on the bike! I had just peeled the emblems off and was sure the tank would be scraped, but nada! Deity thank you timeout again. I go inside to tell my friend what happened and all of a sudden there are ambulances, fire trucks and cop cars everywhere! They are circling through parking lots and up and down the street looking for (I am sure) a bent and broken bike and rider! Someone was QUICK on their cell phone! Now, I don't want a report or higher rates, AND my son is an officer (off duty then, another thank you sent upwards!) with the PD and he will NEVER let me live it down if he finds out!! (he did afterwards, and I will now have to get something on him just for protection!) After they all quit chasing their tails, I hop on bike (which was right in plain sight of them all the time) and go home. That was two days ago. This morning I stretched hard when I woke up, and probably woke up everyone in the neighborhood at the same time. I THOUGHT all along I probably had broken a rib, now I KNOW I have! (hate to say it, but a familiar feeling) Not that big a deal, nothing you can do but wait for it to heal.
Wife hears me (would have to have been dead NOT to!) then beats me, and then I go to Doctor as instructed. X-ray's show top rib broken (clean snap at least) and the next one with a large, long chip out of it, which I refused to explain to the radiologist.
So, there! Story told. Guilt almost unloaded. EMBARRASSMENT TOTAL!!
Value to children who do NOT respect Daddy: Priceless!!!
It actually gets worse! 5 weeks later I am about healed and am cutting some heavy bolts with a BIG bolt cutter. My 17 YO grandson is helping by holding up an old bumper I am cutting the bolts out of. LAST BOLT!! Apply cutters, and can't squeeze hard enough. I AM getting older, after all. Shift one handle to chest (right where I have an incision from a 5 way bypass 3 years ago) and put both hands on other handle to really apply pressure! Just as I start to pull, THE handle (otherwise known as the one on my manly chest) slips down a ways, but dummy is already squeezing as hard as possible. SNAP! Grandson asks, "Pop-pop (where DOES that name come from?? Do I want to know??) was that the bolt breaking?" I reply, in a sort of low level voice, "No". "Oh", he says, "that explains that funny noise you just made! Do you want me to carry you anywhere?" (17 years old and DELIGHTS in resting his CHIN on TOP of my head!)
As someone used to say, "the rest of the story" is I broke the top rib on the OTHER side! (darned near a matched set at least!) Doctor fails to find humor in this, just mutters something about "justice", and sends me home.
I have come to the conclusion that at least one of my kids is right. I either need a keeper, or I am finally getting older faster than I can pretend I am not!. I refuse to pin down any one selection. The vote (mine) is still out!
So there, you have been entertained while patiently waiting for the seat mod. Keep it up, I will get it eventually!
Paul (ROMAD on Kawasaki, Old_Romad on Yahoo EN500 group) AND "grumpy OLD FART at home!