Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Technical Section => Make / Model Specific Discussions => Suzuki DR & DRZ => Topic started by: IanTheTooth on October 07, 2013, 02:32:39 pm

Title: Comfortable Seat and Screen on DR
Post by: IanTheTooth on October 07, 2013, 02:32:39 pm
Suzuki DR650 Seat and screen.

The DR650 is a great compromise but it does fall down on two issues, bottom comfort and rider protection. Both are easily solved.


This seat is like the seat on my enduro bikes. Thin & hard. Thatís OK if you are standing and your range is only  100km.  Iíve tried things on top like the Seat Saint which does help but moves around but the basic problem is the seat is too narrow and too hard. Not all seats are miserable and some are just divine, take as an example the seat on your average ATV. Now, when an ATV goes to heaven, the part which gets left behind is the seat.  Bike breakers, Chinese bike shops are full of them. The one in the picture below I got from Taz Motors in Umbilo Rd for R150.

(http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd405/WalterHogg/Seat1.jpg) (http://s1218.photobucket.com/user/WalterHogg/media/Seat1.jpg.html)

The Holy Grail is to find a complete DR seat and base to practice on. That wonít happen. I removed the O/E seat from its base and set the ATV foam on top. I usually recover my enduro bike seat covers myself with vinyl from the Waste Center as they are soon torn again but as this was a bit tricky I took it to an upholsterer.  The one I used was Johnny/Shay at Mike Treasure Motors, 130 Crompton St, Pinetown, 031 701 7370. He charged me R250 and he also gave me another similar seat that a customer hadnít collected. Bonus! At the end of this you should have a nice wide seat like you see below which will support the larger bum for a long period of time without discomfort. A couple of weeks ago I did a 320km morning ride without being aware of my bum at all. At first it was a bit weird to have the seat pressing on your inside leg when you stop and put your feet down at traffic lights but I soon got used to the feeling.

 (http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd405/WalterHogg/Seat2.jpg) (http://s1218.photobucket.com/user/WalterHogg/media/Seat2.jpg.html)


The next issue is weather protection. For getting somewhere on tar or just for snotty weather your life is made much easier with something in front of you. It is also handy to be able to take it off when you are doing the nice stuff & put it in your backpack. You can do all these things with a screen mounted on the headlamp fairing. I made 4 holes which can be used with a plastic number plate bolt or a cable tie. I also used some 20mm conduit tubing to stabilize it on the handlebars but you donít really have to. When I first started doing these I used acrylic/Perspex as it was cheap and easy to bend with a hairdryer. However, it will break and Iím told it can shatter into some really sharp shards.  Now I use polycarbonate as it is the same price and wonít shatter or craze. However, it is much more difficult to work as its plastic temperature is in the low 150ísC and the water content bubbles up causing white patches. The answer is to heat the whole thing up in your oven to 150C then increase in increments until you can lift it like pastry. Use gloves. A former helps. For the DR something simple like in the picture below left is all you need. I made it by mixing up a mud pie in the garden, pushing the headlamp surround into it and the pouring a mix of cement & sand into the indentation. The road bike one on the right is a bit more complicated, to line up existing screw holes you need to put screws with rawl plugs into the mounting holes of your sample and then pour upside down with wire strengtheners inserted into the body. There are some quite big stresses and polycarbonate shrinks quite a few percent on cooling so take it off when it is cold. Hint: use wood rawl plugs, the nylon ones melt!  To start with I just took the sheet out the oven like a wet towel and draped it over the former and whatever kitchen pots looked the right shape. Now I use the metal plate you see in the picture bent to the curvature I want on the screen and do the whole thing in the oven.  It is easier to cut the shape with a jig saw while the sheet is flat. Remember for the complicated road bike ones to measure on the OUTSIDE of the curvature. 

(http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd405/WalterHogg/Screen1.jpg) (http://s1218.photobucket.com/user/WalterHogg/media/Screen1.jpg.html)

Once you have done this you should finish up with screens like you see below. The DR screen is made from 550x420x3mm poly carbonate sheet from Maizey plastics in Pinetown or Springfield Park and will cost about R60. Iím sure the next question on your lips is 1) why are they in two parts and 2) whatís the stupid bit on the top for! Answers are 1) that is how big the oven is and 2) when you ride you need screens at different heights. You always want to see over the screen but when you are on tar you look at the vanishing point/horizon while on a dirt road you also want to scan the road about 20m ahead. The removable piece allows you to have the best of both and the road bike screen will slide up and down in increments as required.  A small difference in size or shape can have an enormous difference in the buffeting and wind noise in your helmet so it is worthwhile trying a few shapes and sizes. Cardboard will do as a test sheet. Remember when you put on a pillion that your bike will sag slightly making your perfect screen too tall!

(http://i1218.photobucket.com/albums/dd405/WalterHogg/Screen2.jpg) (http://s1218.photobucket.com/user/WalterHogg/media/Screen2.jpg.html)

Title: Re: Comfortable Seat and Screen on DR
Post by: lecap on October 08, 2013, 08:33:57 pm
If you want a sofa and a screen why not simply buy a KLR? :evil6:
Title: Re: Comfortable Seat and Screen on DR
Post by: IanTheTooth on October 09, 2013, 08:27:12 am
Touche. I have to say it was my wife who vetoed the the KLR (to slack) the 650Dakar (to wishy washy) and the GS1150 (to heavy) but I'm glad she did as the DR has become the favourite in my garage! Ian
Title: Re: Comfortable Seat and Screen on DR
Post by: lecap on October 09, 2013, 09:13:00 am
I found that just adding a layer of soft foam and wearing cycling shorts sorts out all the seat problems.
A sheepskin rug works wonders too and IMHO looks wild & cool.

I don't ride on highways and national roads if by any means avoidable and do dirt where ever I can thus never saw need for a screen. Also don't like the aerodynamic and bike handling features of screens especially when steering and not frame mounted.
Title: Re: Comfortable Seat and Screen on DR
Post by: chopperpilot on September 08, 2015, 09:42:47 pm
Thanks for sharing your upgrade on the DR Ian!

The more interesting the ride, the less the seat bothers one!

I've once did 500kms on it, but it wasn't boring tar!

I'll definately be improving the seat!

Have also given the cycling pants some thought!

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Title: Re: Comfortable Seat and Screen on DR
Post by: Alphat on September 09, 2015, 08:29:28 am
A comfortable seat on a DR; that's the dream.
Thanks for the info Ian. It couldn't have come at a better time as I have trip planned for the end of the month and really want to get this sorted before then. Else I think my riding mates might get a little annoyed having to stop every  hour so I can massage some feeling back into my rear  ;D
Title: Re: Comfortable Seat and Screen on DR
Post by: Ri on September 09, 2015, 07:57:47 pm
+1 for a wife with good taste 😊

I've been vetoed from having a screen until I stop dropping my DR; also I don't have an oven 😔

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Title: Re: Comfortable Seat and Screen on DR
Post by: Kykdaar on September 09, 2015, 08:35:34 pm
I once did a 880 odd km day on my DR. Was pure torture. If I could sleep standing up I would have.

Must also consider doing this, but then again I havent done such trips for a long time so maybe not required.