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Various email providing BMW motorcycle seat information

by Duane Ausherman
I have done some editing to the spelling, grammar and punctuation.  I also removed some personal content, but not seat info.

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. 

Best regards,


Installing the solo seat covers

Hello Duane,

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 inches. 

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 dry.  


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 singles.

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 aftermarket adaptation.

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 counterpart?

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 different.

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, Richard

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!

Regards, Dean

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 camera (yet). 

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.  http://www.culayer.com/Joes_tools.htm

The kit is not listed on the site. 

Jim Franzen


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. 

regards, Eric. 

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". 


Rich (Merlin)

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: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roundel/sets/350616/ 

Allan Atherton


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