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2003 K1200RS Seat Project

k547

Member
The original seat on my 2003 K1200RS is in good condition but the foam is 20 years old. Using the original BMW seat cover over new foam is not an option because BMW is extremly thorough about completly glueing the the entire inner surface of the seat cover to the foam.
After purchasing the bike I disposed of the Sargent seat that the previous owner was using when I purchased the bike and re-installed the original and set the seat locking assembly back onto it's original position after removing the luggage mounts.
I like to keep all the BMW factory original parts for the day when the bike is sold but meanwhile I wanted to have a seat with new multi density foam in it.

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I purchased a inexpensive trashed seat from a '03 K1200RS at a motorcycle salvage yard after checking that the base was clean and undamaged.

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The base was in good shape and cleaned up quickly.

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Today I dropped off my good, original seat (to use as a reference) and the salvage yard seat base with it's old foam at Legendary Best Motorcycle Seats in Ventura California.
Adrian will shave off and use the molded rectangular foam shapes on the bottom of the old foam to insert and glue into the channels in the molded plastic seat base to provide him a smooth surface to build on.
With his advice I picked out some multi density (3 layer) foam and an untextured black cover material. Adrain explained how making the cover out of multiple pieces with 2 seams instead of pulling a 1 piece cover into place (like the factory seat cover) would allow the new foam to bear my weight without the seat cover pulling at and trying to "bow" and bend the base.
 
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I got the seat back and it looks good, waiting on the two rubber bumpers that mount on the rear of the seat base which I ordered from A&S Motorcycles in Roseville CA. They offer free shipping on all parts which is really nice when ordering small inexpensive stuff. Buying a $1.50 O Ring or a $3.00 speciality fastener and paying $8.00 shipping raises my blood pressure.....
One of the rubber pads was missing and the other one was pretty hardened considering it is 20 years old. For some reason I'm not finding the pics of the under side of the seat. It looks equal to the factory seat. The covering is straight and even and the staples are evenly spaced and in a straight line. Price was $375 out the door for the finished seat, foam, cover and labor.

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Yes, it looks really good, and good job documenting and sharing the process. Looking good!
 
I don't care for how either of the two seats sit up so high and clear of the bodywork at their very rear end.
Looking at the bike from the rear the plastic seat pan is clearly exposed. It looks "unfinished" or like something is missing.
This is a function of those two rubber pads that support the weighted seat on the base of the grab bar. I'm going to experiment with different heights of rubber pads and see how much I can lower the rear of the seat without putting any weight onto the seat latch mechanism or 'grounding" out any other portion of the seat base.
 
First of all- great thread, very well documented!

I just had my '03 K1200RS seat recovered also (Grateful Threads in Buda TX...... excellent workmanship at about the same price you noted) and I had them add another 3/4" of closed cell foam on the top to slightly elevate my seating position. I would caution you to proceed very carefully with differing heights on the rear seat "landing" pads. The spacing is already fairly tight in that area and going even just a tad too far can get expensive quickly. Let me know what you finally settle on. Viejo
 
@VIEJO

Here's a pic of what I dislike at the rear of the seat, both my original factory seat and the new/old rebuilt seat both expose the seat base and staples at the rear of the seat when looking at the bike from behind. Seems odd (and kinda tacky) that a bike at this price point (when new in 2003) would expose the unfinished seat base...after looking at the way the seat mounts and especially how it "latches/locks" at the rear I realized that lowering the rear of the seat is not an option.

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There is also too lage a gap at the front of the rebuilt seat to the fairing shrouding the fuel cell.

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I purchased some EPDM Foam "rope" from McMaster Carr (EPDM is very resilient and long-lasting and does not break down quickly) and took the seat back to the shop and Adrian sandwiched the foam in seat cover material and mounted it to the front of the seat (no charge)
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I used a larger diameter of EPDM to fill the unsightly gap at the rear of the seat and now I'm satisfied with it's appearence as well at the seating feel and comfort.

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I'll post some better pics showing more of an overall view of the bike with finished seat installed soon.
 
Puzzling, to be sure.......

I have two seats for my 2003 K1200RS, one stock seat and one Russell Daylong Touring seat (built on a stock 2003 BMW K1200RS seat pan) and the only way I could get either one of them to duplicate the gap shown in your post(s) was for the seat(s) to not be securely latched onto the rear locking bar. In that unlatched configuration they both showed exactly the same gap, front and rear, as shown in your post(s).

Excellent images, they really make the post complete.

Viejo
 
Puzzling, to be sure.......

I have two seats for my 2003 K1200RS, one stock seat and one Russell Daylong Touring seat (built on a stock 2003 BMW K1200RS seat pan) and the only way I could get either one of them to duplicate the gap shown in your post(s) was for the seat(s) to not be securely latched onto the rear locking bar. In that unlatched configuration they both showed exactly the same gap, front and rear, as shown in your post(s).

Excellent images, they really make the post complete.

Viejo
That was my experience on my K1200GT as well. Same seat and bodywork, I never saw that level of gapping.

best,
DeVern
 
Interesting to hear that from both of you......
I put small dabs of soft putty on the 2 rubber bumpers at the rear underside of the seat that should be in firm contact with the "pads" on the rear grab rail and bearing any weight on the seat and after sitting on the latched seat the putty was fully displaced so the seat is firmly resting where it should be.
And my cheap ebay "endoscope" inspection camera (for about $70 these things are incredibly useful if not entertaining as well!) showed that the bar bolted to the seat was centered (fully locked in place) in it's latch and not bearing any weight which is also correct. Both seats exhibit no play or looseness when installed on the bike.
I have no explanation for the rear seat gap.
I'd be really curious to hear from other 2003 (my bike has an October 2002 build date) U.S. Spec K1200RS owner's how their seats fit at the rear.
Thanks for your comments it's good to get feedback here.

P.S. I'm just passing this along, it's anectodal, and I have no idea if it's accurate and I don't mean to imply that this has anything to do with the gap at the rear of my seat. I was told this when I returned to have the gap at the front of the newly recovered seat filled. The recovered seat's front gap was much larger than the front gap of my original seat.
Adrian, who recovered the seat does a LOT of BMW seats, in fact from the steady stream of BMW's coming and going when I am there I think that BMW's make up the large majority of his work followed by a much lesser number of Harley's. He apprenticed under Bill Mayer Saddles before taking over the business.
When Adrian was installing the "filler" for the gap at the front of my seat he told me that BMW's of this era are prone to having the plastic seat pans actually shrink, primarily in length, over years of time and that the large 1 piece, full length seat base like the one on my bike could, in the worst case, end up as much as an inch shorter than it was when new. He stated that with seemingly identical seat bases some of them shrink and some don't......
That seems pretty strange to me, I always considered modern plastics to be a pretty inert material.

 
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