When looking at a Vespa 300 series you don’t realize how tall it actually is compared to other motorcycles. It looks like a scooter in a scooter looks like something small that everyone can drive. But when you really look at a Vespa no notice that the seat is quite high and the body quite wide. In fact the top of the seat to the street is over 33 inches which is quite high for most motorcycles. For example a low rider Harley, Yamaha or other type of bikes are between 27 to 29 inches high. The normal bike is between 30 to 33 inches high. Most women with shorter legs would choose a low rider bike with a seat height around 29 inches. My poor wife struggles at low speeds or parking the Vespa because she’s on her tip toes while sitting on the Vespa 300.
So it is time that we solve this problem and solving it we did. The first thing we did was to research and find safe yet high platform motorcycle boots. We searched high and low and only found one model that was actually made in Canada that would add approximately 2 inches height. For those of you interested they are made by RoadKrome and they offer two models (Cascade and Amber). So we ordered these boots and they got us about halfway there. Her feet are still not flat on the ground but she has the top part of her foot touching the ground which helps quite a bit.
I’m not a fan of half fixes so our research continued until we came across a company called Pirate Upholstery.These people specialize in rebuilding, recovering and customization of motorcycle seats. They actually had experience lowering the Vespa seats and even had pictures and the explanation of how and measurements of the final result.
They offered us two options:
We can lower your stock GTS seat in two ways:
Low GTS seat which is approximately 2″ lower and 1/2 the rain cover bin is removed – this seat is very firm as we are removing the stock foam in the rider’s area and replacing it with a firm gel pad. Gel pads are great for absorbing road impacts, however, when not coupled with foam, they are very firm.
X-Low GTS seat which is approximately 3″ lower and we cut into the plastic seat pan to create a metal shelf. This metal shelf then protrudes into the under-seat storage compartment by about 2″. The X-Low is more comfortable then the Low as we are able to add an inch of foam on top of the gel pad. The rain cover bin is removed. There is a “step” between rider and passenger area on the X-Low. I’ve attached a picture for your reference of a seat with the “step”.
Since we are changing the shape of the seat, the original cover will not longer fit, so we need to make a new cover. We have a variety of vinyl’s and leather to choose from – the original cover is vinyl. I will email you a quote for both in separate emails. Piping, designs, channelling are all an additional cost. Alternate color top-stitching is available at no extra charge.
We choose the X-Low option that provides the full 3 inches and is the most comfortable. We also did not want to modify the seat we had in case we eventually needed to sell the GTS. So we shopped around and my friend Keith Laborde from Atlanta had found someone selling one in Texas and one thing led to another and finally we purchased the seat for $ 65.00 including the shipping to Pirate Upholsteries in Kingston New York. So the seat arrived yesterday at Pirate Upholsteries and now we will wait for them to complete their magic. So, we figure that with the boots and the seat, that it will provide a 5 inch difference that will effectively change the seat height from 33 inches to 28 Which! inches which should do the trick.
The Final Result was a Success!