Subject:RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Original Lightweight Seat Date:Sat Jan 16 00:23:44 2016
Response to:20953
I have had Royalite seats for Big Twins Both solo and buddy, and I have a Royalite seat that came standard on my '55 KHK. As far as "inferior material" goes I don't think for the time it was any worse than other options. Early vinyl seats in cars cracked and vinyl tops peeled off, it was all just a learning curve.

Backyard Bob,

The few neurons that are still firing in my brain tell me that Harley switched from leather to Royalite (vinyl plastic) on all their models, not just the lightweights, during the later-1950s.

The Royalite ones would shrink and then split, and the split would just continue to get worse until the it cracked clean across the seat, and then the owner would either toss it in the trash and buy a new one, or have it recovered in leather.

It was just an inferior material, and you seldom see any today, as they all just self-destructed. The leather ones might get old, faded, and cracked, but they would stay in one piece - so you could keep using them, and hence you still do see them today.

I spoke to Jim Garrett on the phone this evening, and I was telling him the story about the Harmony meet, and the almost-perfect seat for my 1949 Indian Scout (the vertical-twin "Torque-Two" type Scout).

At the Harmony banquet, I struck up a conversation with the guy sitting next to me, and we started comparing the motorcycles each of us owned. When I told him I had a 1949 Scout, he said he had a perfect seat for one which he would sell for $200 (a lot of money ten years ago). He didn't have it with him, but he lived locally, he was going home for the night, and would bring it with him in the morning.

These seats had a fatal design flaw - the seat pan would crack and break in two just behind the front mounting bracket. So they all got thrown away and replaced with Bates solo seats or something similar. You can't find them today because they all broke, and 99% of them just got thrown away.

The next day, I met the guy, and he told me he had changed his mind - the seat was not for sale. Bummer!

Two or three years later, this guy comes up to me at Harmony, and asks if I have a 1949 Scout. I didn't recognize him at all, until he told me that he was the guy who changed his mind about the seat a couple of years ago. But now it was for sale again, and if I was still willing to pay $200, he had it in the trunk of his car... I whipped out the money faster than Quick-Draw McGraw, and purchased it before he could change his mind again.

This was a design failure similar to the Royalite seats - they all broke, they all got thrown away, and consequently, you can rarely find one today.

Harmony was a pretty cool meet. Doc Patt let me ride the "Torque Four" (prototype overhead valve Indian Four) at that meet. But that's a story for another day...

--- "The beers are kicking in"

Hey, tonight I scored a six-pack of Lagunitas Maximus IPA for $7.99 where most similar beer is going for $8.99 or $9.99 . Lagunitas is brewed in Dean Hummer's home town of Petaluma, CA

The Maximus IPA is 8.2% alcohol, so you only have to drink a couple before it starts "kicking in".

You remember More's Law, don't you?
If more is better, then
Too much is about right.


This only goes to prove that a manufacturing process that
was considered 'affordable for a light weight' (read
small profit) motorcycle at the time has become a lost
Lost art? Hey, let's build a pyramid in Egypt. Sorry
guys, just teasing. The beers are kicking in.