Making your own Long Distance Riding Seat Board
The first seat board was a piece of a picket fence I picked up along the road in the early 1970s. I was coming home from Daytona, as I recall. I slipped it under my thighs as close to the gas tank as I could. IIt instantly took the weight from under my butt. It was pretty good. Today, if you simply found a 1 x 3 or a 1 x 4 two feet long, and slip it under your thighs, your butt would stop hurting. you can start and stop here.

However, you might want to make a really good seat board...

Over the years, I played with the shape to improve it. Below is the optimum shape for the Suzuki 750 and Honda 750 of 30 years ago. Because motorcycles are so much bigger - along with their riders - the optimum shape may be a little different today:

The above are 1" squares superimposed over a seat board. You are going to transfer this shape to a piece of paper so you can trace around it onto a piece of plywood. You are going to trace one side. The easiest source for a 12" x 12" piece of paper is from a big paper bag. Open it up, tape it down and draw parallel lines an inch apart. Copying the left side only, put marks where the seat board intersects the grid. Connect the marks by pencil line with the curves of the board. Draw the centerline. Cut this paper template down the centerline and around your pencil line.

From a plywood blank 12" x 24", draw the centerline. Lay your paper pattern up against the centerline and trace around it. Flip it over and trace around it to get the other side.

Cut it out with a band saw. Radius all the edges.

You are done.

Use this as a starting point for re designing the one that works best for you.

Hints on being a good seat board designer:

The best magic Seat Boards were thin. But thin means they might be weak. Imagine it supporting your entire weight without snapping.

Use very high quality 1/2" hardwood, plywood. If you don't use high quality plywood, make it 5/8". Round all the edges so it won't hurt your bottom or the motorcycle upholstery.

Do not be "precious" in making this. If you have followed my progress as a designer elsewhere on my web page, you will see that it is most important to get the big parts right first. Don't be afraid do experiment. You will probably make many shapes until you are happy. You can make it smooth and shiney after you get it right.

Send me pics of the shapes that work best for you

Designing is fun.

The most technically advanced Seat Board:
Seat Board optimized for the passenger

This 1984 picture is of a Passenger Seat Board on a GL. It was pretty advanced. It was made of a composite of two sheets of aluminum bonded to either side of a 1/4" sheet of ABS. They called it Alucobond.

It was very strong stuff. I am glad the company is still around.

Page updated Aug 20, 2010