Adding a Volvo seat back to an AN400K3
I've posted a load of pictures to Flickr of my attempt at adding a Volvo seat. Click on each picture and you'll see lots of annotations describing the detail.
After much hacksawing, cursing and abuse of power tools, I now have a Volvo seat
mounted on my Burger400K3. Lessons I've learnt:-
- I'm crap at this metalwork stuff
- I should have listened to Royce, the Volvo 340 seat is the best. I was seduced by the fake leatherette of the seat from a bigger model but it doesn't work so well in this application. The problem is the mounting mechanisms on both sides are a good 4 to 5cms lower relative to the seat.
- At Uni they told me not to design mechanisms when what you want is rigidity. But I'm still doing it and relying on doing the nuts up really tight. The seat has a metal frame inside it. I've made angled plate brackets that pick up screw holes into the frame and support the plastic seat sides from underneath and inside. But the Volvo brackets are an inch or so outboard of these with long bolts and spacers. The adjustment side really needs a much longer square tube running back down the seat and another angled bracket to stop all the flex. I think it's ok at the moment as a test but one too many road bumps and London potholes and it's going to bend something.
- Measure twice, cut once. But a round file comes in handy when you don't.
- Dumpster diving round the local industrial estates is fun. You can find all sorts of scrap bits.
- As if I didn't know already, adding a seat back and positively locating your lower back changes everything. When you can't move your body weight around and have something to push against you're much more positive with counter steering while at the same time more relaxed. The whole feel of the machine improves
- The Burger suffers from the same problem as all the megascoots with this type of conversion. You end up with cramped legs, back too upright, and bars too far away. And the seat is still too high. This can be solved as on the C-Max but only by cutting up or discarding a lot of the bodywork and building new structures. Hence the title of this email. If you're 5'8" and built like a monkey with short legs
and long arms, it's almost possible.
- With the seat back in the right place there's no longer room for my trusty top box behind it. Late last night I thought I'd remove the original pillion backrest only to find that it's also the seat catch mechanism and supports the side rails. So I can't neatly attach the top box to the seat and either adjust the backrest lean or open the top box.
- If I remove the seat completely and build a new lower seat, Volvo seat back support structure, luggage cover, faired top box. It's still going to be a struggle to fit my legs in and I can't work out in my head how to integrate the luggage area and top box so it's as convenient as my first hack. And see the first
comment. I'm not confident in my ability to do all that.
- I've used up every mm of room and I just can't get the base of the seat back any further back. And even if I did, the reach to the bars would then be too much or the seat would be too upright.
So if it's not raining on Sunday and I make it up to Monty's I'll leave the bike as it is now so people can see it. But after that I think it's all coming off again for a rethink. Perhaps via one of Colin F's TMax conversions.