Bike seat removal (lock separated) - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1

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    Does anyone know if the seat on a F800GT can be removed without the lock being connected. The catch inside the bike has separated and so the seat is locked on. Can a tool be inserted to pop the lock? Or is there another way?

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    Ouch. The seat latch is cable actuated. There should be a way to get to it from the tail light or from above the tire, but I can only imagine. Even with the seat off, the seat latch mechanism is a bitch to get at.

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    I had a look at my bike this afternoon to see if it's possible to release the seat from underneath. There is a slot in the top of the mudguard (fender) just ahead of the lock mechanism which is accessible in the space above the tyre, but will not be easy. First, you need a preformed tool (think - curved section of flat metal) and be practised in how/where it needs to be pushed and wiggled.

    Also, I couldn't see under the seat of any way through if you removed the rear lamp, but any opening would be more obvious once the lamp was removed so might be the best start.

    Maybe asking in the ST section will get an answer from someone who knows how - or your dealer ?

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.
    Ian
    2014 GT Orange. Just the comfort pack and heated grips - not into gizmos.

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  6. #4
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    I sometimes worry about that seat latch when I am unlocking it with the key. It's never failed, but it doesn't feel very robust. I'll be watching this thread with interest!
    2013 F800GT
    1967 R69S 

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    It feels like the barrel will come out with the key sometimes. Pretty poor quality.

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    you might look at the parts fiche and get some ideas as to how to proceed. Or, call your dealer.
    "I'll bet the time isn't far off when a woman won't know any more than a man" - Will Rogers 

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    On a couple of occasions, my seat has been reluctant to pop loose when I turn the key. I have pressed down hard on the seat while jiggling the key and it has opened. I don't know the symptoms in your case, and this may not be of any use.

    I took my seat off just now to see if I could locate any way of getting access to the latch from the side or below. There are some openings but they are not at all lined up with the lock. The only way I could see would involve drilling a small hole in the black plastic just below where the luggage rack attaches, and then inserting a long, very slim screwdriver (longer and slimmer than the one in the picture) through the hole to get leverage on the locking mechanism in order to pry it open. It's drastic and would involve some blind fiddling, but with enough patience it could work. Then you would have to patch the hole in the bodywork.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    2013 F800GT
    1967 R69S 

  10. #8
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    Not that I'm not up for a good challenge but isn't it under warranty ? Let the dealer mess with it. Let them pay for replacement parts that are damaged in process.
    -2014 BMW F800GT and 1980 Tomos Bullet 

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  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wisconsinkris View Post
    Not that I'm not up for a good challenge but isn't it under warranty ? Let the dealer mess with it. Let them pay for replacement parts that are damaged in process.
    There you go! That's the way to approach it. We have three year warranties in the States, but what about Australia? Or is it Austria?
    2013 F800GT
    1967 R69S 

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    Well OK then...

    I see two options.

    1. Remove the turn signal, stalk and all, nearest the lock and with orthoscopic precision try and either push/pull the barrel or grab the cable.

    2. The indent where the seat latch catches is exactly 1.75 inches dead center from the end of the seat and is not shielded from above. Poke a screwdriver through the vinyl and foam and try to actuat the hook from above. Vinyl seat repair from that point.
    -2014 BMW F800GT and 1980 Tomos Bullet 

  14. #11
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    Here is another option that might work: It *may* be possible to remove the luggage rack with the seat in place. I haven't tested this, but on my bike, it *looks like* the bolts that secure the rack have captive nuts, in which case you should be able to back them out with a Torx bit without having a wrench on the nut. If that is the case, once you get the rack off, there should be a large opening on each side of the bike, just where the colored bodywork meets the black plastic bodywork. Through that opening, you should then be able to pop the seat loose by pressing the latch backwards.

    If this works, it beats the hell out of more violent methods!

    EDIT: After a little more probing, I think this is worth a try. The rack is held on by four large torx bolts that are easily accessible and two smaller ones that are partially covered by the lip of the seat when it's in place. The seat flexes just enough that, if you're careful, it should be possible to get to the smaller bolts and remove them. As the picture shows, with the rack out of the way but the seat still in place, you should have a straight shot at the latch with a long stick.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Barbon; 12-15-15 at 03:26 PM.
    2013 F800GT
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  15. #12

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    Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I rang my local BMW dealer and he said to drop it in. A mechanic in the showroom simply took a long screwdriver and inserted it betwen the gap under the seat and levered the catch back. Seems like a pretty simple way of accessing under the seat - what is the point of a lock. The lesson here is dont rely on the bike seat lock.
    On another note the mechanic advised that the cabl system is pretty flymsy. If the cable ever bends (which seems to happen when you reattach your seat) then the small barrel locator in the lock can detach. WhatI did is wrapped a small cable tie around the wire and up to wire on the lock mechanism (the only locating point) and now it feel much more robust.
    I was in a bit of a panick to fix this as I had installed a LED tail light and one of the resistorsame loose and was melting into the plastic. Combined with the fact that the fuel tank is not fare away then I had to do this quickly.
    Thanks again.......

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  17. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gforce View Post
    Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I rang my local BMW dealer and he said to drop it in. A mechanic in the showroom simply took a long screwdriver and inserted it betwen the gap under the seat and levered the catch back. Seems like a pretty simple way of accessing under the seat - what is the point of a lock.
    That's a good outcome, and it would appear that they had done it before! Can you explain exactly where he inserted the screwdiver? When I was fiddling around with mine, I couldn't see a big enough gap anywhere.
    2013 F800GT
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  18. #14

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    He inserted it on the right hand side (not sure if its the same for left hand bikes in US) The gap seemed large enough for a long blade screwdriver and he seemed to know where the lock was located and just popped it open. I was astounded at how easy it was to break into. I am certainly not hiding my cash and jewelry under my bike seat anymore!!!!

  19. #15
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    That's useful information. I just went out to the garage and, with a strong flashlight, I was able to see how to open it. If you know where that latch is, you can raise the seat slightly and get access to it. I agree that it's a little unsettling once you realize how insecure it really is. My Sargeant seat has a space for a plastic canister that holds the GT "toolkit" (aka screwdriver) and my insurance and registration documents, but I won't put anything valuable in there! The biggest danger is losing the seat itself, so maybe we shouldn't be revealing this!
    Last edited by Barbon; 12-16-15 at 07:12 PM.
    2013 F800GT
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    We ride bikes. How secure can anything be on a bike? Even hard bags are susceptible to being broken into. And, why would anyone think they would gain by prizing into a seat????
    "I'll bet the time isn't far off when a woman won't know any more than a man" - Will Rogers 

  21. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nice Bright Orange! View Post
    And, why would anyone think they would gain by prizing into a seat????
    Well, yes, I take your point, but I would not like to lose the seat itself. There could be something to be gained from ripping that off, though I can't say that I really worry about it.

    (A common complaint on vintage bikes is losing the key to the locking gas cap. That can be a real hassle. I have a locking cap ["period-correct accessory"] but never lock it. No one I know can remember ever having gas stolen.)
    2013 F800GT
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    Great outcome.

    Just don't let that mechanic come near your locked car -- he's bound to find a way in.


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    My F800R seat lock failed (shut) when the cable became disconnected. There's a rubber blanking plug under the tail, pop it out and you can get needle nose pliers in through the 13mm or so hole and pull the cable directly. Worked for me. Very insecure though!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nice Bright Orange! View Post
    We ride bikes. How secure can anything be on a bike? Even hard bags are susceptible to being broken into. And, why would anyone think they would gain by prizing into a seat????
    Why it's the first class second to none tool kit.

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  27. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nice Bright Orange! View Post
    We ride bikes. How secure can anything be on a bike? Even hard bags are susceptible to being broken into. And, why would anyone think they would gain by prizing into a seat????
    Ahhhhh - your helmet? Tool kit? Seat - yep these are all worth money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gforce View Post
    Does anyone know if the seat on a F800GT can be removed without the lock being connected. The catch inside the bike has separated and so the seat is locked on. Can a tool be inserted to pop the lock? Or is there another way?
    Mine did the same, I put the barrel back in the hole and wiggled the key around and got the seat off to install a lead to my truck charging system, put the seat on and took it to local dealer who fixed it as a warranty item

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    For those who think this is not a problem, to take the panel off the faux fuel tank, you have to take the seat off. Otherwise the screws on the rear of the panel are not accessible. May seem like an inconsequential problem but it is real.
    "I'll bet the time isn't far off when a woman won't know any more than a man" - Will Rogers 

  30. #24
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    This thread makes me think about installing a secret hidden auxiliary release cable. Would be handy around the garage anyway.

  31. #25

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    Good idea! Shouldn't take much to do that very cheaply. Think I'll dig through my tackle boxes looking for a long steel leader.
    "I'll bet the time isn't far off when a woman won't know any more than a man" - Will Rogers 

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    Yeah! On the pulling end, would be cool to have a loop with a thin piece of clear tubing to prevent digging into finger, crimped with a metal ferrule to permanently secure it.

  33. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbon View Post
    Well, yes, I take your point, but I would not like to lose the seat itself. There could be something to be gained from ripping that off, though I can't say that I really worry about it.
    Off topic, but had to share. Back in college many moons ago, I was a member of a fraternity (judge away). Another brother had driven down to a convenience store and noticed our pledges inside and their bicycles outside the store. He quickly snatched up their bike seats and took off, forcing them to ride back to campus standing up on the pedals! Ah, the days when hazing was sort of tolerated. Imagine someone pulling that prank on your motorcycle (or just outright stealing it)?? I'm not up for trying to sit with no seat or trying to ride slowly home on the pegs.
    used 2004 R1150RT -> new 2014 F800GT

     

  34. #28
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    This topic brings back memories of a letter to Motorcycle News back in the late 70's.
    A young mans father wrote in about his son's seat being stolen from his Honda 250 super dream ! Whilst not condoning this (obviously) he understood why it happened, the replacement seat from Honda at the time was something like £200 (can't remember exact figures) the cost of the bike was in the region of £1300 new and he did a breakdown of dealer spare part prices and to build a bike from parts price came to something ridiculous like £8000.

    Just goes to show the mark up that we suffered back in the day as judging by the dealer seat price for the GT it doesn't equate to a sixth of a new bike.

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  36. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Futterman View Post
    Yeah! On the pulling end, would be cool to have a loop with a thin piece of clear tubing to prevent digging into finger, crimped with a metal ferrule to permanently secure it.
    Most of my steel fishing leaders are plastic coated, which should be protection enough to not chafe any paintwork.
    "I'll bet the time isn't far off when a woman won't know any more than a man" - Will Rogers 

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  38. #30
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    NBO, what do you think of these? Black seems ideal.

  39. #31

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    Yup, just what I have in mind. Haven't looked at my tackle boxes yet but bet I have some.
    "I'll bet the time isn't far off when a woman won't know any more than a man" - Will Rogers 

  40. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Futterman View Post
    NBO, what do you think of these? Black seems ideal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nice Bright Orange! View Post
    Yup, just what I have in mind. Haven't looked at my tackle boxes yet but bet I have some.
    Come on guys, your suggestion is way too simple. After all, these are BMW motorcycles and you should be engineering something more sophisticated (read that complicated).

    I suggest a remote control actuator with it's own key fob, connected to a solenoid to release the seat latch. But there is more, how about a spring loaded gas strut attached to the frame of the bike and the seat, along with the seat on a hinge.

    When you need access to something under the seat, all gotta do is press the remote control button and 'voila' the seat pops open raising to an open position. See how easy it is. Now if we connect this contraption to the maintenance reminder on the bike, this project would be completed in BMW fashion.



    Sorry, I've got way too much free time on my hands.

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  42. #33

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    Far better to spend thousands on a simple problem than $1.29 as Futterman and I suggest. I now see the error of you ways. Thanks for pointing that out!
    "I'll bet the time isn't far off when a woman won't know any more than a man" - Will Rogers 

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    Found a serviceable way to add a secondary seat release cable. Very discrete and no modification or fabrication required.

    I used two fishing leaders as suggested by NBO and connected them together using the supplied clip. I cut off the spinner fittings as they just add unnecessary clutter. I just clipped around the release cable and routed the fishing leaders forward along the left side. I simply tucked the leader cable down behind the frame near the gas tank.

    A light tug on the cable is all it takes to pop the seat.












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    Hey Fut, me too!
    "I'll bet the time isn't far off when a woman won't know any more than a man" - Will Rogers 

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    CARPe diem. Something about this setup seems fishy to me.... but I guess as long as your line doesn't lose its perch

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    Quote Originally Posted by TelemarkTumalo View Post
    CARPe diem. Something about this setup seems fishy to me.... but I guess as long as your line doesn't lose its perch
    I'm impressed by that string of really bad puns. But you do raise a good point!
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  48. #38
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    I just learned the other day that Carpe Diem doesn't mean Fish of the Day.
    Inertia shouldn't define potential. 

  49. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nice Bright Orange! View Post
    Hey Fut, me too!
    You installed a secondary release as well?

  50. #40
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    I've had the same problem with the seat catch. The cable initially was popping out of the seat catch, and then out of the lock barrel. After "breaking in" to my seat 3 times I came up with this - God bless the inventor of cable ties.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  52. #41
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    Quick fix so it doesn’t happen again.
    I had the same problem. After much deliberation I think I have come up with a way of sorting it out once and for all.
    Step 1: lock the latch cable at the key end with a 5 ml cable tie (make sure you can turn the key ok).
    Step 2: attach a washer that’s just bigger than the disk the cable connects to(I used silicon to fix the washer to the disk).
    This then locks the cable tie on to the disk and prevents it from sliding off.
    Job done,

  53. #42
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    Sounds good.
    Do you have any pictures to post for us visual types?
    Concrete remains undefeated. 

  54. #43
    Banus's Avatar
    Points: 3,334, Level: 37

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    Kev
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    After reading this thread I inspected my lock and behold when I remove the key the barrel slides out of the plastic housing about 5mm. However it comes to a solid stop and doesn't actually come out all the way. After removing the key I just push the barrel back in so its flush with the plastic housing. It seems they're all the same as this is a 2018 model but "Argyll" made the same observation in post #5 above in 2015. Why have I never noticed this before? Now I'm not sure if this is a warranty claim or just normal but I'm sure the barrel should come out as far as it does?

  55. #44
    Points: 18,905, Level: 95

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    Quote Originally Posted by Banus View Post
    After reading this thread I inspected my lock and behold when I remove the key the barrel slides out of the plastic housing about 5mm. However it comes to a solid stop and doesn't actually come out all the way. After removing the key I just push the barrel back in so its flush with the plastic housing. It seems they're all the same as this is a 2018 model but "Argyll" made the same observation in post #5 above in 2015. Why have I never noticed this before? Now I'm not sure if this is a warranty claim or just normal but I'm sure the barrel should come out as far as it does?
    Same thing developed on my 2013 GT about 3 years ago. Never experienced it on my previous ST.
    Before I withdraw the key, I simply place a finger on end of barrel to prevent it moving. Annoying but otherwise functions OK.

  56. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris f View Post
    Same thing developed on my 2013 GT about 3 years ago. Never experienced it on my previous ST.
    Before I withdraw the key, I simply place a finger on end of barrel to prevent it moving. Annoying but otherwise functions OK.
    Mine does this too (2014 GT), and I have also got a loose bowden cable which has detached on one occasion. I simply took a large cable tie, threaded it from one side of the seat to the other at the rear of the seat behind where the catch is, and pulled it with both hands towards the front of the seat, catch released without a problem. Thought the info would useful for the quick fix when needed

  57. #46
    Banus's Avatar
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    Thanks all and thats a sort of a relief. As the mechanism (although wobbly) appears to work OK and I hardly ever need to remove the seat (why would you?), I'll leave well alone and wont even mention it to the dealer as it appears that this really is a genuine case of, "They all do that sir!"

  58. #47
    Right Hand Drive's Avatar
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    Kev, my 2018 bike just had this problem with the lock, but in my case it came out completely. The dealer replaced the lock barrel, and tail housing to solve the problem. Apparently it's not a problem with the lock but with the plastic tail housing that it sits in. The bike has just 1200 miles on the clock so I was a bit miffed to say the least. By contrast, the seat lock on my old 2013 GT performed reliably for all of the 6.5 years that I had the bike.

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