DIY seat mod......
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Gilera Fuoco 500
Joined: 05 Jul 2013
Posts: 237
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:00 am quote
Lived with seat for seven months now and got fed up trying to contact someone here to do the job. Not many in Ireland and mighty expensive. So took the bull by the horns and decided to do it myself……….

My problem was that, 1. I always felt as though I was going to slide off seat under breaking, 2. Felt squashed, and 3. Just a bloody awful seat………..

I did raise front about an inch, which did help a bit, but then felt I was stretching to reach ground, and I am not short legged, (33” inseam), but just did not feel comfortable when stopping. Also, fitted foot pegs, which again helped a bit, but I then felt even more sure I was going to slide off front if I had to break hard……

So, what I wanted was to reduce height and move the passenger “hump” back.

I removed seat first, simple enough. Four allen bolts. Don’t forget to remove plastic cover and disconnect seat sensor.

Removing cover was easy, just lift centre of staples and pull out with a pliers, like pulling teeth!!!!!

As can be seen in photo, cover is held stretched by a piece of stiff plastic that fits through centre of seat sponge, just fold it and push back through.

What I wasn’t expecting was the cut-out in the seat with the black strip in it. This by the way was covered with a piece of light sponge to cover it and fill in the groove. (I, unfortunately, forgot to get a pic of it). The black strip is the seat sensor. I do not really know why, but I was not expecting the sensor to be like this, I thought it would be more of a mechanical mechanism of some sort. So I just left it alone.

Because of the sensor I could not really lower the seat on that part, so what I did was to place a piece of 1” foam on the front hump to rise up the front of the seat. I did trim a little off the rear.

Now the passengers “hump”. I got a hack saw and started cutting, (I tell you, I was nervous, because once you start there is no turning back……). You can see the piece I removed.

I also did a fair bit of final trimming and fitting, placing pad on seat and checking all was ok, and re-adjusting several times. To do the trimming and smooth off the pad I found an angle grinder the best tool. Just be careful not to dig into foam and leave score marks. Just gently, as flat as possible, move it from side to side or just pull it towards you. Take off small amounts at a time as you cannot add back………….

I also removed about a 1/4 “ off the height of the passenger seat so the “hump” would be lower as well as flatter because of the piece I cut off.

Once happy, I then re-stretched cover and stapled it back on.

You can see a bit of difference in the “before/after” photo, looks subtle, but feels hugely different.

Is it better? Well, not gone for a long ride yet, but on going a few miles felt less inclined to slide forward, could sit further back and therefore get my feet in front of my knees, felt better using foot pegs and also, as I had removed front seat risers and just fitted a pad there, was actually sitting lower on bike and the screen gave better wind protection. Also, because of this, could get feet better on ground. So overall, yes happy enough, (still not as comfortable as my Harley Softail was though).

Would like to get rid of passenger “hump” altogether, but that would mean a total re-covering of seat, maybe at a later date………

Sorry about some of the bad photos..........


















Moderatus Rana
MP3 250 (sold) MP3 500 (current)
Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Posts: 21610
Location: Nashville, Indiana
Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:36 am quote
First of all thanks for the seat tutorial. I have never had the cover off and it is nice to see the seat guts and where everything is.

So you can slide a little further back and your sit bones drop a little lower in the seat?

Finished product looks good.
Molto Verboso
MP3 500
Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 1422
Location: Arlington, Republic of Texas
Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:44 pm quote
I resolved this a different way.

got spacers at ACE hardware made of nylon and put in longer screws (bolts).

raised the nose of the seat up maybe 3/4" .. felt now like a bucket seat and no sliding forward when braking.

I know our SEARCH feature here is a little slow at finding results.

But that was just the way I fixed my problem, with seat.

Or you could have just looked here, maybe this will help with future MODs.

Last edited by FunkyMonkey on Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
Gilera Fuoco 500
Joined: 05 Jul 2013
Posts: 237
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:31 pm quote

Thanks stickyfrog.
That's right. Because I got a little off height of seat and pushing hump back, it is definitely a bit lower, also partly because of my reply to FunkyMonkey below. But I reckon I can sit about 2 to 3 inches further back which helps considerably as it gives me more leg strech.


I had done that, ie, raised front of seat about 3/4". But I feel as seat is raised, and seemed to bend up from base of passenger hump, by inserting foam in front of seat, all it does is make front higher without disturbing rest of seat, so it remains a bit lower, plus the bit I cut out.
Another advantage I found, which I did see in the thread you mentioned is rain getting in. Someone said in the thread that it was not an issue, but I can tell you that with the Irish weather we have had, water did get in on more than one occasion, so I will have eliminated that issue also.............

Also, aside from anything else I hated that passenger hump sticking into the base of my spine as I was trying to get as much space as possible, so that is eliminated a lot.

After a longer run over Easter will let you know how it is.
Molto Verboso
MP3 500
Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 1422
Location: Arlington, Republic of Texas
Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:47 pm quote

what works for some, may not work for others.
Molto Verboso
Piaggio mp3 500
Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 1295
Location: Longview,Texas 75604
Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:59 pm quote
Nice job bravely done!! Thanks for the tutorial!! Add it to the wiki. A lot of us have wondered what the inside of the seat structure is>
Bracketmeister Emeritus (retired)
Joined: 03 Jun 2009
Posts: 2519
Location: New Jersey
Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:32 pm quote
I was one of the early adopters of the screw-raising mod mentioned above, invented by MV member Awareness, but it just didn't do it for me.

I had pondered doing exactly this, ripping the seat open and sculpting some material out, but I couldn't figure out how to re-staple it back (I think some more details on exactly how you did that would be in order) so like so many others here I opted for the expensive seat rework route.

Great mod, great tutorial, and while it doesn't do everything a professional reupholsterer will do (which is somewhat limited by the stock seat pan anyway) I am sure you will wind up making many people happy and saving them $500+ to boot.

Great job and you get a well-deserved thumbs up.
2009 MP3 250
Joined: 13 Feb 2013
Posts: 166
Location: Ormond Beach, Florida
Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:17 pm quote
Nice modification. The result looks professionally done.

Just to cut the foam, but did not tailor the seat cover? If you did not trim the cover itself how were you able to reinstall it without sags or loose spots?
MP3 400 LT 2009
Joined: 14 Jul 2012
Posts: 290
Location: Luxembourg, Europe
Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:09 am quote
Wow, you dare…..
It looks really very good.
As a pro almost.

Please let us know also your riding on it experience.
Now you are probably going to call your MP3 ¨BraveHeart¨

Gilera Fuoco 500
Joined: 05 Jul 2013
Posts: 237
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:04 am quote
To answer a few questions first.

Yes, just stretched the cover tightly over cut seat pad. When I removed it at start of job, left cover connected at front and when seat pad was modified, just pulled it to the rear and fixed it there and then worked slowly from front to rear stretching as I went. Also, to get it a bit more tight and get rid of of the saggy bits, did heat it a bit with an electric paint stripper as I stretched it.....

Used a normal hand-held stapler which is available in most stores. I have to admit that it was not powerful enough to fix staples fully in, but certainly enough to hold the cover with no problems.

Don't know how to add it to the wiki!!!!!!!

Ok. Did about 120 mile trip to day and have to say that, yes, it is a lot better. Sitting slightly lower which has reduced wind buffeting. Not sliding forward as much, except under hard breaking. And generally just feels more relaxed and comfortable.

Not perfect by any means, but all asses are different!!!!!! Would like a more "sit in" rather than "sit on" position, so might try and remove some padding from underside of pad as it is difficult to remove from top due to seat sensor. Would also like the passenger hump lower. But overall I am glad that I did it and am feel it was worth it and not afraid of seats now!!!!!!!!!!


Vespa MP3 500
Joined: 28 Dec 2019
Posts: 1
Location: Tehachapi, CA
Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:04 am quote
Vespa seat mod.
Thank you for the info on the seat. I have the same problem and an anxious to try it. Looks pretty straightforward from your explanation. Thank you again.
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