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Over the years I have tried various seating options on the GS, including getting the original seat rebuilt by Custom Motorcycle Seats in Coventry, and using either an Airhawk or a sheepskin (or both). I have also tried a few different heating options, including heated inner gloves, several heated waistcoats (Klan, BMW and Keis) amd my curent combination of Keis heated inner jacket and heated insoles. But I had never tried a bike with a heated seat. I saw a kit on ebay from The Online Parts Shop and since it was only around £20 thought I would give it a try.
The kit includes a fabric like element (the white sheet), connected to a socket which in turn connects to a three position switch (high, low, off) and via a fuse to the bike's battery.
The hardest part of fitting the kit was taking the cover off the bike's seat, however I am guessing it would have been harder if I was trying to take the original BMW cover off. I am not sure if this was secured in the same way but mine was held in by a myriad of long staples most of which were pretty rusty.
This is what a seat looks like with the cover removed:
Fitting the heated element was simply a matter of taking the backing paper off the element and laying it on top of the seat, after making sure the cable exited far enough back not to cause any discomfort when I would be sat on the bike. I also added some duct tape to secure the edges in place.
Putting the cover back on was slightly tricky and I needed Stacey's help to get it started holding it in place while I started re-stapling the cover from the front. I borrowed a board stapler from work which uses extra long staples to secure the cover and after about a hundred staples it eventually looked like this again:
The wire exits from underneath the rear of the seat, with the connector making it easy to remove the seat form the bike (although I do now need to remember to attach it before putting the seat back on, and make sure the cable is not caught anywhere). I routed the power lead and earth into the auxiliary fusebox I have fitted on the GS and found a space in the dash where I could drill a 1cm round hole just big enough to take the switch.
So how does it work - the switch is slightly fiddly to get at, making it difficult to operate while riding. This would not be so much of a problem if it did not work so well on the high setting, since it is so effective that I find I need to turn it down after 15 minutes or so. Low setting is most useful since it keeps me warm but not so hot that I cannot leave it on for long periods of time. The gretaest benefit is not just to your backside either since heating blood flow so close to your core means that your whole body keeps warmer, and I find that in conjunction with a heated jacket and heated grips I am toasty however cold it has been. After a year and 10000 miles it is still working fine (and the GS lives outside all the time) so I can recommend the kit as a real bargain for the gains you receive from it (and certainly compared to the costs of some other heated elements and seats I have seen!