Seat surgery
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Molto Verboso
SYM HD200, Vespa GT200
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 1673
Location: San Jose, CA
Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:07 am quote
Everyone knows that the stock seat on most motorcycles/scooters doesn't quite fit our rear ends, which is why we have the aftermarket companies. Sometimes, however, all that is required is the addition or removal of the foam padding in a few strategic places to resolve a problem.
This is how I removed an annoying ridge on my GTS's seat, but the procedure is basically the same for any modification.
First of all the seat is removed by unscrewing the 2 10mm bolts in front by the hinge. The seat is then placed upside-down on a towel or other soft surface and the staples holding the cover on are removed by prising them up with a thin, flat-bladed screwdriver, then pulling them out with a pair of needle-nosed pliers. On the GTS there are 2 plastic pieces on either side that take the place of the seat strap mounting points of the GT seat. These are removed with a Phillips screwdriver. The cover can now be carefully removed exposing the foam padding. With the seat right-side up, using a Sharpie marker, draw a centerline and other reference lines to ensure symmetry when cutting the foam.
Now for the fun part, shaping the foam! I find that an electric carving knife does a great job of slicing through the foam, although I have had reasonable success using a bread knife or hacksaw blade. Carefully slice away the foam, keeping both sides symmetrical, until nearing the desired shape, then use a Stanley Surform plane, a rasp or rough file, followed by rough sandpaper to smooth out the foam. The foam lends itself surprisingly well to carving and small imperfections are usually hidden by the cover, so don't be nervous about this! At this point it is advisable to place the seat back on the bike and sit on it to test whether you've achieved the desired effect. Better now than after everything is buttoned up!
Once satisfied, the cover can be replaced and restapled. Be sure that the cover is on straight and aligned properly. This can take some pulling and pushing. Turn the seat upsidedown and starting from the back, using 3/16" staples in a stapler, insert a staple in the center. (See photo below for correct position and sequence). Pull the cover towards the front and rolling the material over the edge, insert another staple. Having an assistant to help hold the material, while you use the stapler will make this go a lot easier. Proceed placing staples on either side while ensuring that the cover remains correctly lined up and tight. Once anchored down by the front, back and side staples, the remaining spaces can be filled in. This procedure is not as tricky as it sounds, but it does require strong fingers and hands. An electric or air-operated stapler would make the task a lot easier.
All that's left is to bolt the seat back on the scooter and go riding. Your butt will thank you for it!

1 tools.JPG
Tools used

2 bolts.JPG
Seat bolts

3 pulling staples 2.JPG
Removing staples

6 carving knife.JPG
Carving foam with electric carving knife

9 sanding.JPG
Final smoothing out with sandpaper

13 seat mod arrows.JPG
Stapling sequence

Petty Tyrant
GTS250 GTS300 MP3 500
Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 29652
Location: Bay Area, California
Fri Mar 30, 2007 10:47 am quote
We want to see the finished product!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Reprehensible Misinformant
Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 7566
Location: Winchester, California
Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:48 am quote
Seat
Now you have a strapless GT200L seat, with textured vinyl.
How is it now? More comfy?
Molto Verboso
SYM HD200, Vespa GT200
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 1673
Location: San Jose, CA
Fri Mar 30, 2007 1:59 pm quote
jess wrote:
We want to see the finished product!
Sorry, Jess, I guess I should have included before and after pics, but the truth is, the finished product doesn't look much different from the original. My butt knows the difference, though!

Cheers,

Bob

modified seat.JPG
Finished product

Molto Verboso
SYM HD200, Vespa GT200
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 1673
Location: San Jose, CA
Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:04 pm quote
Re: Seat
mattgordon wrote:
Now you have a strapless GT200L seat, with textured vinyl.
How is it now? More comfy?
That's right Matt, it's exactly what I wanted. My old GT's seat was great and I did remove its silly strap. I still don't care for the GTS's cover material, but I think I can live with it. It was the raised portion that bugged me.

Cheers,

Bob
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Reprehensible Misinformant
Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 7566
Location: Winchester, California
Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:15 pm quote
Re: Seat
Burgerbob wrote:
mattgordon wrote:
Now you have a strapless GT200L seat, with textured vinyl.
How is it now? More comfy?
That's right Matt, it's exactly what I wanted. My old GT's seat was great and I did remove its silly strap. I still don't care for the GTS's cover material, but I think I can live with it. It was the raised portion that bugged me.

Cheers,

Bob
I too have a GT200 seat on my GTS.
Molto Verboso
SYM HD200, Vespa GT200
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 1673
Location: San Jose, CA
Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:53 pm quote
It had occured to me to ask the dealer to swap my trade-in GT's seat for the GTS's, but I had read that it wouldn't fit properly.

Cheers,

Bob
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Reprehensible Misinformant
Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 7566
Location: Winchester, California
Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:18 pm quote
Seat
Burgerbob wrote:
It had occured to me to ask the dealer to swap my trade-in GT's seat for the GTS's, but I had read that it wouldn't fit properly.

Cheers,

Bob
They fit fine, WITH the swap of the gas tank bezel, and rack.....
view my set-up on this thread (near the bottom)
http://www.modernvespa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8905&highlight=video+mule
(I prefer the GT rack too....)
Molto Verboso
GT200
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 1208

Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:28 pm quote
Looks good Bob!

I've got a yard of new seat leather downstairs. I'm going to finally change my seat color from brown to black.

I'll try to take pics of the sewing process.
Molto Verboso
SYM HD200, Vespa GT200
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 1673
Location: San Jose, CA
Sat Mar 31, 2007 10:30 am quote
Re: Seat
mattgordon wrote:
Burgerbob wrote:
It had occured to me to ask the dealer to swap my trade-in GT's seat for the GTS's, but I had read that it wouldn't fit properly.

Cheers,

Bob
They fit fine, WITH the swap of the gas tank bezel, and rack.....
view my set-up on this thread (near the bottom)
http://www.modernvespa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8905&highlight=video+mule
(I prefer the GT rack too....)
I like that setup, Matt, but I doubt whether the dealer would have been prepared to swapuot all those parts!

Cheers,

Bob
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Reprehensible Misinformant
Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 7566
Location: Winchester, California
Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:23 pm quote
Re: Seat
Burgerbob wrote:
mattgordon wrote:
Burgerbob wrote:
It had occured to me to ask the dealer to swap my trade-in GT's seat for the GTS's, but I had read that it wouldn't fit properly.

Cheers,

Bob
They fit fine, WITH the swap of the gas tank bezel, and rack.....
view my set-up on this thread (near the bottom)
http://www.modernvespa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8905&highlight=video+mule
(I prefer the GT rack too....)
I like that setup, Matt, but I doubt whether the dealer would have been prepared to swapuot all those parts!

Cheers,

Bob
The dealer didn't, I had to "sell" my wife on it....her GT200 was the donor, and recipient of my GTS seat/rack. Everybody involved is happy too, btw.
Molto Verboso
GT200
Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 1208

Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:49 am quote
Burgerbob,

Did you find that the hand stapler that you show pictured had enough power to drive the staples into the seat pan well enough?

Is a pneumatic stapler overkill for this kinda of project.

The stapler that I had laying around was underpowered and couldn't puncture the seat pan, so I need to find another way.

Sending a PM
Molto Verboso
SYM HD200, Vespa GT200
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 1673
Location: San Jose, CA
Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:47 pm quote
Replied to your pm.
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