Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

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flyguy
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Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

Post by flyguy » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:41 am

Curious to see if this has happened to anyone else ...

I was giving rides to kids for a Toys for Tots event taking giggling youngsters across a bumpy grass field when I felt my Retro M70 stock seal start to get loose. The bike is a 2013 model with only 25k on it. When I pulled the bike "offline" for the day, I found that the vertical component of the attach plate had peeled off the main plate like a zipper, almost failing completely. There was rust on the separation line, so it looks like this has been brewing for a while.

The bike is always garaged, and I even put a large trash bag around the seat environment when I w@$# it, so this surprised me a bit. This attach plate is full of attach bolts, and is rock solid in terms of attachment to the bike itself, but the rather thin metal vertical portion of the attach plate seems to be a vulnerable bit? Have ordered a replacement and will keep a better eye on it. Might have to consider reinforcing it or redesigning it, or just biting the bullet to convert to HD police seat for ultimate comfort.

Just an FYI to those with Retros, as this part design seems to be unique to the Retro!

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Re: Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

Post by harryball » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:50 am

Common problem, I've seen that tear on 3 different plates now. Got one still in my shop, someone wanted to see if it could be welded. Can't, not enough meat there, would need reinforcement. I made my own Harley seat bracket and don't use the original.
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2017 - cT - "Georgia" My wife's rig.
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Re: Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

Post by SidecarDan » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:10 am

It's not unique to Retro's, I have a 2012 Gear-Up and I have broken my second one now.
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Re: Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

Post by Mr Wazzock » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:53 am

This is compounded by the fact that that one stem has to support the whole seat, because the springing is done by a rubber block also supported on the same stem. It badly needs springs at the back down to the frame to take the main load, then the stem becomes only a front pivot anchor point. This is what I did with a Lycette pattern solo seat, there are also Harley saddle equivalents etc., but all having the same basic feature of springing at the back.


-
Solo Saddle_2758.JPG
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Re: Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

Post by wooden nickel » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:02 pm

Flyguy,
The retro seat mount is an oddball. Also it has no support under the rear of the mount. I think this is what allows excessive flexing.
On mine I took 2 pieces of 1" X 3/16" strap steel and welded them under the plate from side to side where the mount bolts pass through. This and welding up the crack has held for about 1 1/2 years. I am a crappy welder and using a Harbor Freight cheapo welder.
Also make sure they send the Reto mount. Mine is totally unlike the CT and Gear Up mounts.
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2014 M70 Retros, the sports car of Urals.

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Re: Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

Post by Obo Scribe » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:39 pm

The same sort of thing happened on my 2003 Dalesman (I think the US call it the Tourist). I welded a couple of brace pieces in and rewelded the crack, and then for good measure welded the whole lot to a 3mm plate because I could see it was starting to flex across the middle anyway. Two years on it is solid, and like Wooden Nickel, I'm also a 'crappy welder', but I work on the principle that function outweighs form every time.
2003 750 Dalesman, 2005 Ural solo, 1975 CB400/4, 2012 DL650, 91 Ducati 750SS, 1970 Raleigh Runabout . Thirty one bikes in the last seven years, my missus thinks I have a bike problem. :boogie: ..
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Re: Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

Post by sKiZo » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:44 pm

Harley police seat with some "donor " brackets cobbled from the junk pile. Seems to work nice and gives me a good height and distance from the bars.

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Re: Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

Post by Tomcatfixer » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:55 pm

Same thing happened to the Mobile Chernobyl, Mike. Ol' gobium welded onto the front upright a reinforcing plate and I haven't had any trouble since.

2019-12-01 20.51.18.jpg
2019-12-01 20.49.04.jpg
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2015 Ural cT "Mobile Chernobyl", 2001 Ural Patrol "Little Red Bear", 1999 Ural Tourist "The RPOC", Mid-Nineties Ural Tourist "The Heap", 1994 Honda VFR750F

Previous rides:
2007 Honda VTR1000 FireStorm (Super Hawk in U.S.)
2001 Buell Blast! - - - - - - - 2005 Yamaha FJR1300
1993 Honda CBR600F2 - -1984 Yamaha FJ1100
Two different 1986 Yamaha FZX700S Fazers

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Re: Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

Post by Snakeoil » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:08 pm

Van's fix is elegant in it's simplicity. I'd expect it to outlast the bike.

I still have to chuckle at your hockey pucks, Chad. Also a simple solution. Althought I'm not sure I could use the word elegant in describing it. :wink:

How'd you like drilling holes thru those pucks? Did you freeze them first? Or did you use an abrasive burr to get thru? I imagine the shop smelled of burned rubber for a bit.
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Re: Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

Post by Tomcatfixer » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:53 pm

Yes, Rob, Van's solution is rock-solid. Once I obtain a welder and develop my skill, I plan to weld a similar plate to the tractor saddle on my '99 Tourist.

The hockey pucks were an $8 fix that brought the seat up to the perfect height for my 36" inseam. I simply drilled them at room temperature with a standard metal bit, going slow and easy. The rubber didn't give me any trouble.
- Chad

Gordonsville, Virginia, USA

Current rides:
2015 Ural cT "Mobile Chernobyl", 2001 Ural Patrol "Little Red Bear", 1999 Ural Tourist "The RPOC", Mid-Nineties Ural Tourist "The Heap", 1994 Honda VFR750F

Previous rides:
2007 Honda VTR1000 FireStorm (Super Hawk in U.S.)
2001 Buell Blast! - - - - - - - 2005 Yamaha FJR1300
1993 Honda CBR600F2 - -1984 Yamaha FJ1100
Two different 1986 Yamaha FZX700S Fazers

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Re: Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

Post by Lmo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:32 pm

And suddenly, Dnepr's front seat pylon makes sense...
Dnepr seat mount.JPG
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Re: Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

Post by Marco » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:44 am

Good to know!
I'll check mine today.
Mr. Wazzock, that looks like a comfortable ride. Any chance you could give some more details on getting it done?
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Re: Retro Seat Attach Plate Weakness

Post by Mr Wazzock » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:26 pm

Marco wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:44 am
Good to know!
I'll check mine today.
Mr. Wazzock, that looks like a comfortable ride. Any chance you could give some more details on getting it done?

It's not that comfortable, but OK. I started with an Enduro dualseat, the bike came with it fitted, which I thought was good. However much later I then noticed the step in the seat base where it curves over the rear fender, creates a hard edge under thinner foam, if you try to sit more back.

The mods were complicated and somewhat expensive. I bought the European single seat from Ural-Shop.com. It was something like 300 Euros, IIRC. Or maybe more. Bear in mind there was also shipping from Austria. Mind you it's quite comprehensive and can't be denied it's well made. It includes a replacement 'A' plate, that bolts to the top of the frame, because it has extensions added to the rear to mount the coil springs on. It was hopeless, hard as a plank. Got put away in the shed in disgust. Moving it backward as far as it would go didn't help. Softer springs didn't help, in fact just made it too soft and "wallowy" which affected the quality of my control over riding the bike. Which wasn't good at all. The Enduro went back on.

More than a year later, I had another go at it, mindful of the money invested. This time I tried a Lycette pattern off eBay. Again the saddle part is as far back as it will go. The 'A' plate had extra holes drilled in it previously to move the stem (the part that the seat hinges on at the front) back nearly 2 inches. The springs are the 3 inches chrome coil ones that again I'd previously got off eBay (I have a box full of different sizes and styles of springs that I tried out), the original Euro single seat ones were always too long for me, at 4 inches, so I always felt too high. The ones that came with the Lycette are hopelessly too long and fit differently to the frame anyway. Other scissor springs (part of the 'collection' – I'm thinking of opening a single saddle spring museum :D ) were too short and/or too weak. The 3 inch long chrome coils are just right at the mo. Firm enough but with some give when the going gets rough. Plenty of rough roads around where I live to give them a initial good test. I have since had to raise the stem base, by adding nuts between it and the 'A' plate, to raise the front of the seat because initially I was always sliding to the front, as there was a definite slope in that direction. Much better now. One crucial detail, the stem pivot eye at the top is 2 inches wide, which matches the corresponding available gap between the two Lycette side plates, which is fortunate.

The Lycette pattern seat was hard initially, which was disappointing, but then the cover stretched so that the springs underneath could do their work. Reckon that took about 9 – 10 hours of riding. That's OK now. I thought I'd got the medium size, 14 inches wide and 12 inches long, but when I came to measure it – I was thinking maybe it could be a bit bigger so was considering getting the large – I found that it was the large size already, at 16 inches wide and 14 inches long. Comfort is not too bad, is arguably slightly poorer than the Enduro, however, whenever I've thought on a trip "I'll give it another 20 minutes then give my butt a break", it goes onto, "OK just another 20 minutes, OK just another 20 minutes" and so on, and then I've arrived at wherever I was making for. Guess it's all about compromises. Best part about it tho is, the 'A' plate with the whole seat still attached is very quick and easy to remove, just 4 screws, to get at the battery and relays etc. underneath, so from that point of view it's worth persevering with. Getting the Enduro off and back on is a total PITA by comparison. Also the Enduro cover leaks, so the (plastic) base is always full of water.

So, long winded and fiddly, lots of trial and error and some heap of money involved. But does look great, in that olde worlde vintage bike way.
-
Mike H
2016 Ural cT, in glorious terracotta
(aka Oranzhevaya Opasnost, "The Orange Peril")

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