When I got the 1983 R100RS, aka “Cookie Monster”, the seat cover had a tear in it. Since it’s over 35 years old with 83,000+ miles it’s time to get it recovered. If I’m going to do that, I might as well get it reupholstered so it’s a custom fit for me and my wife.
Bitchn Stitchn-Fine Motorcycle Seats
I’ve heard good things about a local company, Bitchn Stitchn, in metro-Denver, Colorado, who rebuilds and makes custom seats. Dan Ballard and Paul Brown were there when I dropped by with my seat. I talked about the style I wanted and we set an appointment for me to come with the bike and seat so they can do the fitting.
The shop is filled with vintage motorcycle black and white photos donated by customers. And, there is some vintage signage in the shop. It’s a genuine motorcycle enthusiasts company inhabited by craftsmen. 🙂
At 9:00, my wife and I arrived for the initial fitting. I took the seat cowl off before arriving so it would be easy to remove the seat. I also brought the seat from my 1977 RS so I could slip it on and ride home as the project was going to take about a week to complete.
Paul, who did the work, reviewed some of the options for the seat shape including the idea of substituting a seat had as the starting point. We decided to use my existing seat.
I also brought a used Reynolds grab rail with luggage rack I bought that at one time had a seat back on it, but it had gone missing. I brought another grab rail with a seat back on another Reynolds rack I picked up to use as a template for fabricating a new seat back.
Paul stripped off the seat cover and used a steamer to steam the old foam to rejuvenate it and get it soft again. In his opinion, the original foam did not need to be replaced as there was no water damage or deterioration of the foam, it just to be rejuvenated with steam. While he did that we ran off for an hour to do some errands. When we returned he was ready for the initial fitting.
I sat on the seat where I would be a comfortable distance from the fairing lowers and handlebars. Paul traced contour lines around my butt so he can sculpt the seat and widen it under my thighs for best support. Then Rochelle sat on the seat. She was too close to me since the rear of the seat has a sloping edge that pushed her forward. Paul said he can built up the rear of the seat so she can slide farther back to a more comfortable position and with the back rest, she would not be in danger of sliding off the seat when I did “stop light drag races” with her on board. 🙂
At this point, we went away for about 30 minutes and did other errands while Paul built up the seat with new foam glued to the old foam and roughed out the shape. When we came back, he had us sit on the seat again and laid out some lines for sculpting the fit. Then he used the old seat back foam on my Reynolds rack and figured out how thick it should be to support my wife comfortably.
He continued to sculpt the seat and 30 minutes later, he had me sit on the seat again for the final adjustments. He made a few changes to remove some pressure points and I sat down on the seat again. Perfect.
It was now 12:00 and Paul had all he needed to complete the project. He was going to clean up the seat pan to remove some rust, paint it and try to save the Denfeld decal, but he couldn’t save the large orange decal. I told him that was not a problem as I have one from Heritage Stickers.
Reupholstered Seat and Back Rest
Five days later I went down to pick up the finished seat and grab rail with seat back. Before I mounted the seat onto the seat cowl and then the seat assembly on Cookie Monster, I used an alcohol pad on the repainted seat pan and attached the orange decal.
I mounted the seat assemble on Cookie Monster. It looks awesome and is very comfortable.