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Ugly Handlebar Risers

 

Although the seat on the FZ6 is lower than the GSX-650F, it's still a lot higher than my old GPZ500S and a bit too awkward to park etc as I'm on tip-toes. I decided that instead of paying hundreds for the lowered seat, I'd try lowering mine first as I'd either be selling mine once I bought the new one. I'm very pleased with how it turns out and actually think it looks better than the stock one. And all it cost me was about a fiver for some new heavy duty staples (of which I still have 90% of the packet). BARGAIN!

I wanted:-


Personally, I think I've achieved all of the above now. Read on to see what I did.


Here is how the stock seat looked:-


Here you can see my normal seating position. I like to sit far back:-


The first step is to remove the staples for half the seat using a small flat-head screwdriver and a pair of needlenose pliers. Then you peel back the cover covering the part of the seat you're going to modify. Don't take off the whole thing:-


Here you can see the original staple layout:-


These staples all need removing carefully:-


Notive the way that the cover flips over here to protect the tank from the staples:-


I roughly planned out which bits to cut off. I used the marks left by the seat cover to help me. I decided I needed to reduce the width on the sides, leave a hump in the centre at the front, cut out some of the foam further back to let me sit further back in the seat and reduce the height of the seat further back:-


Here you can see the first cut. I used a serrated knife I had in the garage I bought from Tescos ages ago for about £1:-


Here you can see the knife and the cutting method. The trick is to move the knife back and forwards a lot and let the serrations do the work for you. Don't force the knife down:-


Here I've taken out very roughly the shape I want on one side:-

You can see the reduced height and the extra space at the rear of the seat:-


And from another angle:-


Here is the first draft. As long as you don't take out too much, it's easy to improve by shaving more off:-


It's not looking very smooth yet, but wait and see:-


Lots of foam taken out of the rear of the seat here:-


The most important part is the sanding if you don't want it to look like crap. This isn't finished. I found a sanding block was easiest. Use it in one direction in long strokes:-


This is about a third of all the foam I removed in the end. I've got a carrier bag full of the stuff somewhere:-


These are the tools needed to get the cover back on. You need a heavy duty stapler and heavy duty staples. The original ones I had were the Tacwise 13/6mm staples I had already. These were a good height but too weak. The other staples are the ones I ended up using for good. They were much more heavy duty but 10mm is too long. I couldn't use them all over:-


After my first version, I just pulled the cover over it and rode around for a few days to see how it was. The cover didn't fit well due to the hump I left in the middle at the front:-

Here you can see what I rode around on:-


The edges etc still weren't sanded perfectly, but this was just to see if the shape was good enough:-


I realised that the hump was causing pain to my nads instead of the tank. The hump is a bit easier to see here:-


I cut off the hump completely and spent ages sanding down the entire front half of the seat until it was smooth and curvey all over. I'm talking a good hours sanding! Also, don't sand it on the bike. Just put in on occasionally to check it looks okay. I managed to scratch my side plastics a bit where I was careless! Then I just put the cover back on it loosely and rode for a few more days until I was happy it was perfect for me.

When I was happy, I stretched the seat cover out over it and started to staple it down. I ended up doing this twice as the first set of staples I used weren't good enough. Nearly all of them bent and wouldn't go in far enough and only 1 in 10 was good enough to leave in.

I took all the crap staples out and bought some hardcore ones. These went straight in with no problems. First I stretched the cover quite tightly at the front and put about 5 staples in to hold it in place at the point where the seat meets the tank. Then I started working my way forwards from the back. I stretched the cover until it was tight and did right-side, left-side, right, left etc all the way forwards. This got rid of any wrinkles and kept it all symmetrical.

I found that 10mm staples were too long to use where I had sanded the foam extra thin (where my legs go when pushing the bike around) - so I had to leave that area until the end and use the rubbish staples. If I had to do this again, I would look for 6mm heavy duty staples and if I could not find any, I'd use 8mm. 10mm is just too much.

When I was finally happy, I had this:-


Here you can see my staple job. Not as good as stock but solid:-


Again, I made sure that the material protected the tank from the front staples by folding it over and using a couple of staples at the edges to make sure it stayed folded over:-


Here the stock seat is on the bike. In that picture, it's obvious there's a lot taken off the back, but the reduced height isn't as obvious. You can see that the cover is stretched down more though and the edges are rounded:-


Here is me sat on my new seat:-

Here's a view of it looking damn nice:-


From the front:-


From the back:-



This is a mod I'm VERY glad I did. I can flat-foot at lights now with no problems (I'm 5 foot 8) and I feel much more secure when riding. It's not as good as the GPZ, but I feel more like I'm sat "in" the bike rather than perched on top of it. I think it actually looks nicer than stock too! :) I'd recommend it to anyone. For anyone thinking of doing this, there are loads of sites and videos on the Internet about how to do it. This site is especially good. It's hard to really screw it up and you can always just glue on any foam you take off that you wish you hadn't (although I would recommend just taking off smaller bits at a time and doing loads of sanding.

 

 

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