BMW motorcycle seat information for the /2 and earlier
I've been following the "Seat" thread on the /2 chat group which led me once
again to your wonderful web site. As I was looking at your /2 "bench seats"
page, I noticed your request for the dimensions of the "wide" seat. I dug out
the example I have and made the following measurements:
--Width of seat at widest point is 13" (33cm) which tapers to 12" (30.5cm)
for the pillion.
--Width from piping to piping while following the contour of the seat is
14.5" (36.9cm) at the widest point, tapering to 14" (35.6cm) for the pillion.
The seat is from an Earles fork R50 that left the factory on Feb 28, 1967. It
has the aluminum trim along the bottom, chrome grab handles and a strap that
extends completely around the seat and fastens underneath. The rear displays a
metal tag imprinted with "Original Schorsch Meier, Made by Denfeld, West
Germany". It has not been recovered and I am almost 100% certain that
this dual seat is the one that came with the bike.
Your site has saved me much anguish as I have worked to restore my R50/2.
I appreciate all of the time and effort you've put into assembling the web pages
and look forward to your contributions to the chat group.
Installing the solo seat covers
Yes, there is an easy way to stretch them out. You will need at least two
nylon straps or motorcycle 'tie downs', and a work bench or something to fasten
the outer ends of the straps to. (I like dangling prepositions). Using some sort
of lubricant, such as dish liquid detergent, slop some of it around inside the
rubber saddle cover. Insert the rear curved tube with the two studs inside the
rubber cover and force it inside close to where it will be when under tension. The two studs should now be sticking down through the rear holes of the saddle
rubber. Devise a way to fasten one of the straps to those two studs. Next, force
the front part of the seat frame in place until the stud is sticking down
through the hole (if you have a Pagusa, there will be two tabs on the wire frame
that will pivot around underneath the bottom front of the saddle top through
which two bolts go). Either way, fasten the remaining strap to the front bolt(s)
with the outer end fastened to something that won't move, like the other end of
your work bench. If you have ratchet straps, begin ratcheting. If ordinary
straps, fasten in such a way that there will be a loop through which to slip a
two foot long stick (60cm for our European friends) about half way between the
loop and begin turning. The tension will draw the two parts of the seat frame
apart so that you can slip the wire frame into the rear tubing. If you intend to
replace more than one of these, suggest you make up a pair of steel plates about
4 or 5 mm thick, drill holes to align with the studs on the seat frame, bolt the
pieces to the studs and fasten the straps to the plates. These plates will
aid in stabilizing the two parts of the seat frame when drawing them apart.
Hope that helps.
The rear rack should be stamped steel, it has 3 holes in it. the original
racks had nuts welded under the rack for bolt mounting of the solo seat. The
repro racks do not have the nuts welded under them, but they can be added.
The solo seats with the mounting arms were for the larger pre war racks.
Well, I finished restoring my SM (Schorsch Meier) narrow bench seat and it is
a beauty! One thing I discovered doing it is that the Denfeld felt padding and
the SM molded foam have the exact same padding contour even though when
reupholstered the SM is 12 inches at the widest and the Denfeld is (I forget) 11
The frames for the Denfeld and the SM are identical in every respect and are
therefore interchangeable (An SM with a molded rubber seat base however is
different) The Denfeld has coil springs while the SM has crushed springs front
to back. What makes the SM wider at mid section and wider all around is the fact
that SM has 2 metal strips on which the flat springs clip on and cause them to
spread wider to the exterior. Both Model SM's I have share the same foam
padding and have the same vinyl upholstering...everything else is differently
except maybe the 2 suspension coil springs on each side.
Both Model SM's I have, have a rear tag mentioning only Schorsch Meier. However they were made by Denfeld. The problems with all these seats is the
deterioration of the molded foam padding and or the rubber seat pad. All foam
that is exposed just dries up/oxidizes/crumbles. Any foam not exposed but in
contact with metal springs also deteriorates big time. Even if you were lucky
enough to find an NOS I am sure the foam and rubber would be in poor shape. On
the Schorsh Meier with rubber padding, the foam is almost all under cover....in
this case the foam is, remarkably, in great shape but the rubber is cracked and
The Steiger is an Asian reproduction of the Denfeld/Pagusa seats. The only
difference is the rubber top, which is too thin and therefore uncomfortable. You
can buy a Denfeld rubber top and put it on the Steiger frame, but it is
physically challenging to do this. It requires warming and lubing the
rubber, and applying some leverage.
One recommendation involved two people in a hot soapy tub. Another
recommendation from a newsgroup back in 2001 was: "Start in a good location with
a concrete. Insert both the front and rear pieces of the frame into the
saddle w/o attempting to connect them. Fold the front 1/2 back over the
rear with the saddle up. Place the assembly on the floor and put all your
weight on the rear bar. Then force the front half over. Do this with
some precision and the front 1/2 will line up with the holes in the rear part of
the frame. Once they are lined up (this is the tricky part), give it a
final push and the frame will snap together. If you failed to line them
up, take it apart and try again. Soaking the saddle in hot water will make
it cooperate a little."
Mark Huggett, Huggett Forum, Sept 2000:
All pillion rubber seats were Pagusa, and that is why we only sell Pagusa. Even when an R50 or R60 was shipped from the factory with a "Denfeld" or "Franke"
drivers saddle, only the Pagusa was offered for the pillion. The only Denfeld
products that were fitted and sold by BMW until 1969 were the dual bench seat,
the rubber drivers saddle cover mounted only on the boxer Earles fork models,
the pillion cushion to be fitted on the rear rack, and the foldable briefcase
carrier. All other rubber saddles were only the original Pagusa (PAtent GUmmi
SAttel). Other makes were pure license agreements. The whole issue about
American customers thinking that Denfeld is original for all models is simply
because the US importer Butler & Smith did a great job of importing and selling
Denfeld products in the USA. Mark Huggett, Msg 30576, Slash 2 Group, June 2004:
The Denfeld is a licensed production of the PAGUSA saddle cover, as was also
Franke; SFS, Leper etc. PAGUSA is the original patented rubber saddle from 1935. The name PAGUSA is derived from "PAtent GUmmi SAttel". BMW drew off saddle
covers from PAGUSA; SFS; FRANKE and DENFELD. Oddly enough, SFS; FRANKE and
DENFELD was specified on most export models of the R50 to R69S models as well as
the R27 were as European models preferred PAGUSA . All other models also had
PAGUSA. The fitted PAGUSA and Denfeld seats have identical dimensions and inner
frame. Fact is today that the rubber of the PAGUSA covers are a better
quality and last longer than the Denfeld. SFS FRANKE have disappeared into oblivion.
Leper (Holland) still make great leather bicycle saddles but no rubber saddles.
In the early 60's BMW had a small falling out with Denfeld (so I have heard)
At that time they couldn't get any silent blocks, so they made up a rather nice
coil spring arrangement that worked well. I have one I use on one of my bikes
and I have only seen one other, but they are out there. They tended to make the
seat a bit lower. I did duplicate a similar set up using a coil rear spring cut
down to the correct length and I made a bracket to attach it to where the silent
block bolted. I think I still have a parts book that shows the set up and may be
able to scan it to show what it looked like. Just a thought.
Dale Monson, MI
Huggett indicates that the solo seat with the horizontal chrome spring only
fits pre-1955 twins, and all the singles: 52 51 7 002 009 Pagusa drivers seat
complete R25/2-R27; R51/2-R68
On page 133 in "How To Restore Your BMW", Slabon similarly says that the
horizontal spring was used for 1950-1954 twins and for the later R26 and R27
The single vertical spring seat in your picture is not shown in Slabon's
book. Your filename says "55seat" implying 1955 - if so perhaps the spring is an
Hi Gang, Denfeld, Franke, Wittkopp and several other companies made saddles
under license from Pagusa, which was the name of the saddle, not the company who
made them. Today, Pagusa is owned by Wolfgang Ahrendt, GmbH Before the swing arm
models came out, and after the introduction of the plunger framed series, Pagusa
was the name that appeared on most, but not all saddles mounted on BMWs. If you
have an original 1950's Pagusa saddle top, you can find the name of the company
who manufactured and owned the patents to that design. Offhand, I don't remember
it. Now here's an interesting thought: If Pagusa saddles are still being
manufactured by the company who owns the patents, and you install one on your
restored bike, is it an original or a reproduction? Cheers, Richard
Is the R26-27 driver solo seat frame exactly the same as the R51/3-68
52 51 7 002 115 Seat carrier, R25/2; R51/2 - R68; 8mmŲ 105.00 52 51 7 002 116
Seat carrier, R25/3 - R27; 10mmŲ 105.00 From Huggett's Site. Apparently
Confirmed: diameter 8 mm on my R 51/2 seat.
Steve, The seat carrier bolt hole diameter is the only difference I know of.
You could easily drop collars in each side of the pivot point of the saddle yoke
if you are installing a later yoke on and older frame. In 1954, the factory
changed the seat post on the frame to accommodate for a silent block, or rubber
sleeve. At this time, they increased the diameter of the saddle carrier bolt to
10mm. Not counting the bikes that were returned to the factory for the new model
upgrade, the full hub R51/3 and R25/3 models were made with the larger silent
block for the seat carrier. The factory continued with this set-up on the R67/3,
R26 and R27. The silent block replacement inserts are still available. Cheers,
Tips on how to make a solo pad for the BMW motorcycle luggage rack
Sorry, but I do not have any dimensions. I would like to add that in
making the seat. Use high density foam with a top layer 1/2" thick medium
density foam. Before you slip the cover over make sure you use a small piece of
plastic thin film and wrap up the top and sides of the foam pieces leaving an
opening on the bottom to breath. The plastic is to keep the foam dry as moisture
does and will penetrate through stitching. As for stitching use csb 69 UV thread
for years of use. Also use a heat gun to heat the seat cover when installing as
this will make it more pliable. DO NOT install it to tight as this will tend to
look bad over time. Use 1/2"-3/4 " treated plywood, painted or marine plywood to
protect against moisture. Drill two 1/2" holes in the plywood to allow
decompression of the seat when it's under pressure! For mounting, install 4,
1/4" T-Nuts in the plywood before assembly, and use stainless fasteners to
mount. Note: I usually staple a piece of plastic cut from a pop bottle over the
top backside of each T-Nut so they do not pop out when installing the fasteners.
USE Stainless steal STAPLES!!!!!! Go for it. I have seen these seats (homemade)
that were almost identical to original.
Expect to spend $30-$50 and no more than two hours labor...Not bad!
BMW motorcycle seats for the /5 and later
I've just found your site and you asked for feedback re: another way. BTW, I
have a /7, but the seat looks more /6 with the "rodeo" bar on the back. It is
not the same as the seat pan you show and the front hinge was riveted. It's a bitsa and I'm not too well versed in Beemers so....?
I'd always been frustrated with having to remove my right saddlebag to get
under the seat. I decided to do something about it. It's somewhat the reverse of
your method. After scribing a location on the bottom of my seat through the sub
frame hole. I removed the hinges and installed a 1 1/4 X 1/2" bolt *upwards*
through the subframe hole with a *thin* nut on top. After drilling a hole in the
pan, it took very little dressing w/ a Dremel tool to get it working just right. This is great for me though my S.O. thinks the seat "lifts" a little under
braking without the rear hinge. I'd show you but don't have a digital
Anyway my 2c.
Jim Urrata in Stamford, CT. ABC# 4876
I used the replacement cover from www.eurotechmotorsports.com and recall
paying under $50 for it. My foam was, amazingly, just fine after 29 years (I did
this a couple of years back). You can re-use the aluminum strips, just be very
careful when you take them apart if you plan to reuse the screws and nuts that
secure them. Eurotech sells (or sold at the time) the screws and nuts for these
strips too - probably a worthwhile purchase. I bought some spray-on fast tack
adhesive which made the job MUCH easier than if I didn't have it. You'll want to
work from one end to the other, carefully eliminating any wrinkles and being
sure to have the cover pulled TIGHT down against the foam - really TIGHT if you
want it to stay looking good. You can see my seat as recovered in some of the
pictures at: http://www.pbase.com/bmw_falcon/clean_r75 John Falconer
There is a guy local to me that sells a set hinge fix kit. He's an
airhead mechanic apart from his day job as a machinist.
The kit is not listed on the site.
Here are some shots of the sport seat. i believe it is a reproduction of a "guillare
bump stop"??? Ordered it from Hans Lowe, "Hucky", down in Florida who
imports all kinds of stuff from Germany. have only put a few hundred miles on it
but seems more comfy than the stock seat as it is a little wider and more flat. metal pan and well made. haven't modified it yet to pull straight up but did do
my wife's SWB by using a 90 degree piece of stock mounted to the right shock
bolt inside the frame and fixed a pin to it with a corresponding hole in the
seat. works great! let me know if you would like more specific photos and
thanks again for all you do.
What I did is really simple and if it failed I have the option to go back and
revert to BMW's original configuration (hinges). So far I like it this way
if the hole in the fiber glass elongates and becomes unacceptable I have the
option to glue in a metal bushing or fill in the hole and move elsewhere.
The only tricky part in my simple installation is when the stud (bolt) is in
place is to mark a witness on the top. By witness I used some nail polish and
pressed the seat in place to transfer a mark on where I should drill my hole in
the fiber glass seat. This is really a no brainier but often the simple
tricks are overlooked.
If pictures do not work or you have questions feel free to "rattle my chain".
QSL Meant :Quality Service Longevity QSL They were also named The 1000 mile
(meaning 1000 miles in one day and comfortable) Teutonic solo saddle The
original price was $100.00 for everything the guy made, His name was Gary?????,
he hand made each solo seat, the riders one ,had a long nose, the passenger, had
a short nose ,so it would fit behind the riders. The riders came with a bracket
to fit /5 /6 /7 BMWs the passengers seat was to be mounted to a rack, there were
2 types of racks, the pick up rack, and the extra long cargo rack. each item was
to sell for $100.00. This Gary whatever made these seats for some time, He had
an accident, fell out of a tree and passed away. Someone else continued to make
these seats and racks for a few years, you could tell the copies from the
originals because the copies had a chrome trim around the bottom of the seat. NO
they haven't been made for years!!! I had one and both types of racks as well,
sold the seat as I found a Harley Davidson Police solo saddle to be much more
comfortable and you don't need anything to install it on a BMW either
I have a QSL on my 68 R-60 sidecar conversion rig. Very comfy, great for the
long ride. I'd buy another in a flash. I think all were originally made for /5
bikes. My mounting bracket is homemade, but works well.
BMW made several versions of solo seats. There were different ones for the
/5, the /6, and the /7. As far as I know, there was only one /5 solo seat that
fit both long and short frames. The difference in the sub-frames is in the rear
portion. The front section by the tank is the same. I had a SWB normal sized
seat on a LWB for a while and it fit fine at the tank. It was short at the rear,
allowing the sub-frame tube to show. A real /5 solo seat will have white piping
and fluting that runs front to rear, just like the full size version. It
actually resembles a shrunk down version of a full seat. The /6 and /7 solo
seats have black piping and fluting that runs across the cover, again just like
shrunk down versions of these full size ones. The /6 solo seat will fit right at
the tank on a /5 because these models used the same style tanks. The /7 solo
seat won't fit correctly (there will be a gap) because the /7s used the newer
R90S style tanks. These were longer at the rear and their seats had to be
shortened at the front to accommodate this. From your description, it
appears you may have a /7 solo seat.
I bought the Siebenrock repro seat for my SWB. As Phil and others pointed out
to me at Seneca Rocks, the piping on the forward edge isn't correct and the twin
passenger handles are a bit longer than the originals, but unless you are
looking for those details it's fine. Feels like an OEM seat, which is OK with
me, has a metal pan and it fits well. Because it is a repro part it doesn't have
the roundel screened on the back. The seat used to be the worst part on the bike
and now the rest of it looks shabby. All for something like $250, shipped from
Germany. As a seating surface, the pillion saddle is no doubt comfortable. But
my wife found it unsettling, to make a pun. She likened it to being on a bucking
bronco. It was too far back for her to hang on to me, the rubber handle was limp
(probably for crotch protection) and offered no stability, and the spring
suspension worked too well. She said the seat bounced her up and down on the
springs, while the least acceleration and braking jerked her back and forth,
while she hung onto the strap. So I sold the pillion saddle and began adapting a
rigid cushion seat. Sold about 15 so far and people seem to like it: