My Kawasaki Ninja 650R is a 2006 model year that I have owned since September of 2007. I bought it with about a thousand miles on it, and I have put on more than 45,000 additional miles. The bike has been very reliable, and still looks good.
But the seat not so much.
The two-tone seat cover is made that way to simulate a rear cowl, but since it is padded, it acts as a passenger perch too, albeit having a pretty small contact patch. The part for the operator's rump is covered in heavily-textured black vinyl, and the passenger's seat is covered in lightly-leather-grained silver vinyl. I have never carried a passenger -- mostly because there don't seem to be many who would risk life and limb riding with me at the controls -- so I don't have any experience riding two up.
Here is the original:
The silver part of the seat was getting pretty bad looking because I frequently scuff it with my boot when I am mounting and dismounting. Must be my old joints not being as flexible as they once were.
Anyway, the scuffs were unsightly and nothing I used seemed to clean it of the marks.
I came up with a scathingly brilliant idea to make it look better, that cost very little -- my kind of project! Certainly, the cost was much less than a new seat cover from the factory or a custom cover from one of the aftermarket seat purveyors.
I went to the local Hobby Lobby and bought a third of a yard of black vinyl in a grained pattern that matched the silver original, and applied it over the rear portion of the seat. You staple the fabric on the underside of the plastic seat pan just like the original. No adhesives are used.
The front edge of the new piece is covered by the grab strap, so it looks almost like it was supposed to be that way from the factory.
Easy. It took only about half an hour, total. What do you think? Is it an improvement?