'Fitted' Vintage British Style Sprung Seat - Triumph Bobber Forum
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post #1 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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'Fitted' Vintage British Style Sprung Seat

Hi Chaps,

I've long wanted to fit a sprung seat to my Bobber as I love this classic look. I have been mulling over the concept all winter and gone back and forth on various ideas of how I can accomplish this in a way that would give me the 'look' I want. I've taken a different and unique direction with this project and wanted to share it with you all. Now I know it's not going to be to everyones taste, especially all you 'floating seat' fan boys but that's not the point. So what follows is a modest write up on how I have accomplished this. I have not 'lived' with this as yet so maybe an update after a little more riding time but I just finished fitting it and didn't want to wait to share it.

First off the seat. This was an inexpensive purchase off of ebay and is a reproduction of the classic 'Lycette' style of seat found on vintage British bikes. It's well made and I thought the style would be an interesting option for that classic British look. This is the large version of the seat. There is a smaller version (think BSA Bantam) that if one were thinking of a vintage bobber look, I think would work really well but for my project I chose the larger seat.

The front pivot bracket was made to my design by a local custom bike guy, then powder coated along with the springs. It's the first iteration of this, so may make changes down the road.

The rear spring mounts along with the springs were ebay purchases.

Due to the size of the seat I had to mount the springs on the rear sub-frame/swinging arm. Not my first choice or perhaps ideal but I was limited to location due to the size of the seat. However this has worked out rather well and looks pretty clean. I did have to remove the chain guard but didn't like it in the first place so no big loss. To date I have had no issues with the seat impacting the rear fending. Long term I may have mountings welded to the swing arm to help line up the springs more correctly and give an overall cleaner look but for now this will help me try the concept out.

I'm loving the overall 'unique' and vintage look of this set up. I love looking to the past for inspiration and this mod fits in well with my overall vision. From a comfort perspective; a spring constructed seat (as apposed to foam/gel), an under sprung seat and my new Wilbers shock which should be here soon, I'm hoping the ride will be pretty comfortable but will of course update you all a little further down the road.

So just to clarify; this project has just been finished and I wanted to share it straight away. I will have to get a few rides in to see how it really works and will update in a few days with more details. At the moment it's a proof of concept, so I'm expecting some 'tweaking' here and there.

The test ride went well and it seems to work really well. I gave it a ride over some deep bumps and the seat soaked up those really well. Can't wait now for the Wilbers, I think the combination will be superb.

Cheerio,

Roy
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Last edited by Roy; 06-01-2019 at 11:13 PM.
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post #2 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 11:54 PM
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If it's comfortable and you like it then its perfect!
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post #3 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 12:31 AM
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Iím in the floating seat camp.
However, I must say that youíve done an absolutely first class job!
I really enjoy reading (and respect) the passion and dedication it takes to make ideas like that become reality - no matter how big, small or springy
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post #4 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 04:12 AM
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Looks good but as the seat coil springs are attached to the rear wheel cage does this not compress the seat springs when your rear wheel hits a bump or pothole and act like a ejector seat ?
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post #5 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eisen77 View Post
Iím in the floating seat camp.
However, I must say that youíve done an absolutely first class job!
I really enjoy reading (and respect) the passion and dedication it takes to make ideas like that become reality - no matter how big, small or springy
Well said Eisen perfectly put

Roy I love what you do but I do worry about the wisdom of putting all that extra weight 80kg+ on the Bobber's swing arm? I would think it's a bit like putting a super heavy back wheel on your bike, how's your rear shock suppose to cope?
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post #6 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 10:54 AM
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Certainly hope this one gives you a safe and comfortable ride, Roy. Once again, your mods and the execution of your vision continue to amaze me. Off course, at this point I have absolutely no idea of what bike you started with

Last edited by jerrman; 06-02-2019 at 10:58 AM.
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post #7 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 11:48 AM
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Iím not crazy about the setup, but I must say, it definitely flows with the theme of your bike.
Kudos!

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Ď12 Kawasaki Z1000
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post #8 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Gent's,

Thank you so much for all your comments. I'm open to feedback from all perspectives, as this helps and opens up ideas I had not considered. So a couple of points:

This is a proof of concept and thus far it's been successful. I am already considering the next version of this, as I want the seat just a little more forward and lower. This will require new mounts which I'm in the process of working out.

As far as the ride goes, I'm pleased to say (it's early days) but I have felt no issue at all, only a positive change. Even over really deep ruts that bottom out the stock suspension, I hear it bottoming out but actually feel almost nothing (a huge change) the springs supporting the seat and sprung construction (as apposed to foam) really soak all this up, much more than I had thought it would.

I sill have the Wilbers on the way, so looking forward to that.

More comments to follow as I ride it more and as I work on this project. Although I have not quite got the aesthetics perfect the ride is substantially improved with no adverse affects.

Cheerio,

Roy
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post #9 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Post Test Ride Thoughts

So this morning I took a longer test ride to try out this new concept I'm working on. The one think I'm realizing is that I need to look at this from a number of perspectives.

First Off ….The Seat:
This is going to get some getting used to. It's a reproduction of the classic Lycette style seat used from around the 1920's on and on many different types of bike. Unlike later foam filled seats this is constructed using 21 small springs under a light padding. When one first sites on it, it doesn't feel all that comfortable, no soft foam to 'sink' into, so this feels a little odd. The design comes into it's own thought when riding and hitting bumps. As the bike roles over a bump, pothole or dip, your rear sinks into the seat a little. The springs clearly designing to absorb any impact. It's worth remembering that these seats were originally fitted to ridged framed bikes, so this makes sense. So when fitted to a bike that already has suspension, it works really rather well and is not an unpleasant feeling at all.

Springs Mounted To The Swing-arm & Affects On Suspension:
This has taken me somewhat by surprise, as I feel mounting the springs to the swing-arm has actually improved the rear suspension quite significantly. On my ride this morning I headed for a dreaded wash channel, that always bottomed out my suspension (if I forgot it was there) requiring me to significantly slow down to avoid this. At any speed other than a crawl the stock suspension would always totally bottom out, sound a sharp 'bang' to the frame and send a jarring shock through my body. The morning I went over this a few times not reducing my speed at all (around 35mph) and to my surprise the suspension not only did 'not' bottom out but felt no more than a small comfortable little bump. I can only assume that as the swing-arm got pushed up, the weight of my pushing back retarded this affect. The construction of the small under seat-springs and pair of mounted springs soaking up the difference. I'm thinking this has to be better for the bike and me!

Issues:
My main issues are two fold; seat position and aesthetics. For my preference the seat position needs to be just a little lower and more forward. If I move the seat as mentioned this will alter the pair of springs and I know I won't like the look of that.

The Plan:
As mentioned this as a proof of concept and although I have to 'live' with this for a while, initially I'm pleased with the concept and feel it has potential. To that end, I'm going to consider a new front bracket (to move the seat position) and to have spring brackets welded to the swing-arm to fascinate a cleaner more aesthetically pleasing design.

So for now chaps I'm calling this a success but with a little reservation as I need more time in the saddle and have further details to iron out. Also, I still have my other seat which I really like, so at any point if I don't like where this is going, I can change back.

Cheerio,

Roy
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Last edited by Roy; 06-02-2019 at 02:44 PM.
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post #10 of 72 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Some Small Adjustments

Difficult to tell from the photos but today I made some small adjustments.

I moved the seat forward by around half an inch. I also rotated the pair of under-seat seat springs by 180 degrees. The springs fit a lot better like this and the seat being a little more forward made a difference too.

Went for a second test ride and I'm still surprised at how this setup is really soaking up the bumps, large and small.

Thus far no negative affects at all with this set up. I would still like to lower the seat just a little but this is going to involve some bigger adjustments, so will likely look into this down the road.

Cheerio,

Roy
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