Title:
Detachable passenger seat for a motorcycle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of assembling a passenger seat for a motorcycle is provided. The method includes providing a base configured to be positioned on a fender of the motorcycle, wherein the base has a first end and a second end. The method also includes fabricating the base with a first attachment member configured to facilitate coupling the base to a main rider seat of the motorcycle.



Inventors:
Galati, Daniel A. (Chesterfield, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/373945
Publication Date:
09/13/2007
Filing Date:
03/13/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRANMER, LAURIE K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATRICK W. RASCHE (ST. LOUIS, MO, US)
Claims:
1. A method of assembling a passenger seat for a motorcycle, said method comprising: providing a unitary base configured to be positioned on a fender of the motorcycle, wherein the base has a first end and a second end; and configuring the unitary base to facilitate coupling the unitary base to a pre-existing pin or bolt of a main rider seat of the motorcycle.

2. A method in accordance with claim 1 wherein configuring the unitary base comprises: configuring the unitary base to have an aperture therethrough; and configuring the aperture to receive the pre-existing pin or bolt of the main rider seat of the motorcycle therethrough.

3. A method in accordance with claim 1 further comprising coupling a plurality of suction devices to the base, the suction devices configured to couple the base substantially flush on the fender.

4. A method in accordance with claim 1 further comprising coupling a backrest to the base.

5. A method in accordance with claim 1 further comprising: coupling at least one telescopic member to the base; and coupling a backrest to the at least one telescopic member such that the at least one telescopic member facilitates adjusting a height of the backrest.

6. A method in accordance with claim 1 further comprising configuring a unitary base to facilitate coupling the base to the fender of the motorcycle.

7. A method in accordance with claim 1 further comprising attaching a cushion to the base.

8. A detachable passenger seat for a motorcycle, said seat comprising a unitary base configured to be positioned on a fender of the motorcycle and coupled to a pre-existing pin or bolt of a main rider seat of the motorcycle, said base having a first end and a second end.

9. A seat in accordance with claim 8 wherein said unitary base comprises an aperture therethrough.

10. A seat in accordance with claim 8 further comprising a plurality of suction devices coupled to said base and configured to couple said base substantially flush to the fender.

11. A seat in accordance with claim 8 further comprising a backrest extending from said second end of said base.

12. A seat in accordance with claim 11 wherein said backrest further comprises at least one telescopic member configured to adjust a height of said backrest.

13. A seat in accordance with claim 11 further comprising at least one light coupled to said backrest.

14. A seat in accordance with claim 8 wherein said unitary base is further configured to couple said base to the fender of the motorcycle.

15. A seat in accordance with claim 8 further comprising a cushion attached to said base.

16. A detachable passenger seat for a vehicle, said seat comprising a unitary base configured to be positioned substantially flush on a fender of the vehicle, said base having an aperture therethrough, a first end, a second end, and a backrest extending from said second end.

17. A seat in accordance with claim 16 further comprising a plurality of suction devices coupled to said base and configured to couple said base to the vehicle fender.

18. A seat in accordance with claim 16 wherein said unitary base is configured to couple to the vehicle fender.

19. (canceled)

20. A seat in accordance with claim 16 wherein said unitary base is configured to couple said base to a seat of the vehicle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to passenger seats for a vehicle, and more particularly, to methods and apparatus for providing a passenger seat for a motorcycle.

Passenger seats for motorcycles are used widely in the United States and the rest of the world. The seat is generally designed to rest on a rear fender of the motorcycle. A primary objective in attaching a seat to the fender is ensuring that the seat does not move or become removed from the fender when the motorcycle is in motion. One approach is to bolt the seat to the fender. However, a seat attached with several bolts is not easily removable. Furthermore, bolting the seat to the fender requires holes to be drilled into the fender, often taking away from the overall look of the motorcycle.

A second approach is to attach the seat by suction cups. Suction cups allow the seat to be easily removable. They further prevent the need to drill any holes in the fender of the motorcycle. However, suction cups make the passenger seat easily susceptible to theft. Furthermore, suction cups do not provide as much stability as bolts.

Additionally, due to the thrust of motorcycles, the passengers may be pushed back into the seat during acceleration. At least some known motorcycle passenger seats include a backrest attached to the seat. Generally, however, there is difficulty in providing a backrest that provides comfort to the passenger and maintains an aesthetic appeal of the motorcycle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect, a method of assembling a passenger seat for a motorcycle is provided. The method includes providing a base configured to be positioned on a fender of the motorcycle, wherein the base has a first end and a second end. The method also includes fabricating the base with a first attachment member configured to facilitate coupling the base to a main rider seat of the motorcycle.

In another aspect, a detachable passenger seat for a motorcycle is provided. The seat includes a base configured to be positioned on a fender of the motorcycle, wherein the base has a first end and a second end. The seat also includes a first attachment member extending from the first end of the base and configured to couple the base to a main rider seat of the motorcycle.

In a further aspect, a detachable passenger seat for a vehicle is provided. The seat includes a base configured to be positioned substantially flush on a fender of the vehicle, wherein the base has a first end and a second end. The seat also includes a first attachment member extending from the first end of the base and having an aperture therethrough.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a passenger seat for a motorcycle.

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the base of the seat shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the seat shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a side view of an alternative embodiment of the seat shown in FIG. 1 having a telescopic backrest.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the seat shown in FIG. 1 further including a cushion.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of the seat shown in FIG. 1 further including cushion.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a passenger seat 10 for a motorcycle. Passenger seat 10 includes a unitary base 12 configured to couple to a fender of the motorcycle. Base 12, in one embodiment, is fabricated from any one of, but not limited to, aluminum, stainless steel, and lexan plastic. Base 12 has a width 14 that may vary to accommodate both narrow and wide motorcycle fenders. Base 12 also includes a plurality of apertures 16 configured to receive and retain suction devices (described in detail in FIG. 2). The exemplary embodiment illustrates six apertures 16 in base 12. However, alternative embodiments are not limited to six apertures 16, and may include more or less than six apertures 16.

Base 12 has a first end 18 and a second end 20. A front attachment member 22 is positioned at first end 18. Front attachment member 22 is configured to couple base 12 to a main rider seat of the motorcycle. In the exemplary embodiment, front attachment member 22 includes a flange 24 extending from first end 18 and having an aperture 26 therethrough. Aperture 26 is configured to receive a preexisting pin or bolt attached to the main rider seat of the motorcycle. Because front attachment member 22 is adapted to couple to a pre-existing pin or bolt, additional openings are not required to be drilled in the fender. In an alternative embodiment, front attachment member 22 is one of a strap and a hook.

The exemplary embodiment also includes a rear attachment member 28 extending from second end 20 of base 12. In the exemplary embodiment, rear attachment member 28 includes a flange 30 having an aperture 32 configured to receive a bolt therethrough. As such, rear attachment member 28 requires a hole to be drilled in the fender so that base 12 is bolted to the fender via aperture 32. In an alternative embodiment, base 12 does not include a rear attachment member 28. In a further embodiment, base 12 includes a plurality of rear attachment members 28.

Base 12 also includes a backrest 34 extending from second end 20. Backrest 34 is configured to provide support to a passenger located on seat 10 while maintaining the aesthetic appeal of the motorcycle. Backrest 34 is fabricated from at least one of, but not limited to, chrome, aluminum, stainless steel, and polished, powder coated, and painted metal. In one embodiment, backrest 34 is custom designed and/or painted to match a design of any particular motorcycle. Moreover, in an alternative embodiment backrest 34 includes a cushion, gel, and/or pad.

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of base 12 of seat 10 shown in FIG. 1. Base 12 includes a plurality of suction devices 36 configured to insert into apertures 16 (shown in FIG. 1) such that suction devices 36 extend from a bottom surface 38 of base 12. In the exemplary embodiment base 12 includes six suction devices 36. However, base 12 is not limited to six suction devices 36 and may include more or less suction devices 36.

In the exemplary embodiment, aperture 26 of front attachment member 22 is configured to extend through flange 24 such that a bolt may be inserted therethrough. Furthermore, aperture 32 of rear attachment member 28 is configured to extend through flange 30 such that a second bolt may be inserted therethrough.

FIG. 3 is a side view of seat 10 shown in FIG. 1. Base 12 includes a curvature 40 configured to correspond to the curvature of the motorcycle fender. Curvature 40 will vary depending on a design of the motorcycle fender. Front attachment member 22 is configured to extend from first end 18 of base 12 such that it can couple to the main rider seat of the motorcycle. Furthermore, rear attachment member 28 is configured to extend from second end 20 of base 12 such that it can secure base 12 to the fender. The configuration of both front attachment member 22 and rear attachment member 28 varies depending on the design of the fender. As such, seat 10 can be custom designed to couple substantially flush to any motorcycle fender.

Backrest 34 extends from second end 20 of base 12. Backrest 34 has a predetermined height 42 configured to retain a passenger on seat 10. Backrest 34 is further configured to maintain a streamlined, elongated look of the motorcycle. In one embodiment, backrest 34 is custom designed depending on the design of the motorcycle. The custom design may include, but is not limited to, flames, arrows, and arches. In the exemplary embodiment, seat 10 also includes at least one light 44 coupled to backrest 34. In the exemplary embodiment, light 44 is a light emitting diode custom designed to match the design of the motorcycle. Furthermore, light 44 may be battery operated or configured to electronically couple to a motorcycle power source.

FIG. 4 is a side view of an alternative embodiment of seat 10 shown in FIG. 1 having a telescopic backrest 46. Telescopic backrest 46 includes at least one fixed member 48 and at least one corresponding telescopic member 50. Fixed member 48 extends from second end 20 of base 12. Fixed member 48 includes an opening corresponding to a hollow portion extending through fixed member 48. Telescopic member 50 is configured to insert into the opening and slidably move within fixed member 48. Back support 52 is coupled to telescopic member 50 such that slidably moving telescopic member 50 within fixed member 48 facilitates extending or retracting back support 52. A friction and/or locking mechanism within fixed member 48 facilitates maintaining telescopic member 50 in a relatively fixed position. To extend or retract back support 52, pressure greater than the friction is applied to back support 52 and/or the locking mechanism is unlocked to allow movement of telescopic member 50. Furthermore, backrest 46 may be custom designed to accommodate the design of the motorcycle.

FIG. 5 is a side view of seat 10 shown in FIG. 1 further including a cushion 54, and FIG. 6 is a plan view of seat 10 shown in FIG. 1 further including cushion 54. Cushion 54 is configured to couple substantially flush to base 12. Cushion 54 has a width 56 substantially equal to base width 14, and a length 58 such that cushion 54 extends from first end 18 of base 12 to backrest 34 positioned at base second end 20. Backrest 34 extends from base 12 along a rear surface 60 of cushion 54. Cushion 54 substantially covers base 12. However, front attachment member 22 and rear attachment member 28 extend from base 12 such that they are exposed. In one embodiment, cushion 54 is fabricated from at least one of foam rubber, a non-vibration pad, an inflatable bladder, and a gel. In one embodiment, cushion 54 is wrapped in a cover such as leather or vinyl. Moreover, cushion 54 is dyed to match the color and/or design of the motorcycle.

To attach seat 10 to the motorcycle, seat 10 is positioned such that front attachment member 22 extends toward a preexisting bolt, extending through the main rider seat, and aperture 26 is aligned with the bolt. The bolt is removed from the main rider seat and inserted into aperture 26 such that the bolt extends through aperture 26 and is reinserted through the main rider seat. The bolt is tightened both to facilitate securing seat 10 to the main rider seat and to secure the main rider seat to the motorcycle. Pressure is applied to seat 10 to further secure seat 10 to the fender via suction devices 36.

In an alternative embodiment, front attachment member 22 is a strap or a hook. In such embodiment seat 10 is aligned with the preexisting bolt such that the strap or hook is positioned around the bolt. Seat 10 is moved away from the bolt to create tension on the strap or hook. Seat 10 is then positioned on the fender and secured to the fender by applying pressure to seat 10 such that suction devices 36 couple to the fender.

The exemplary embodiment also includes a rear attachment member 28 extending from second end 20 of base 12. Rear attachment member 28 includes a flange 30 having an aperture 32 configured to receive a bolt therethrough. To secure rear attachment member 28 to the fender, a hole, aligned with aperture 32, is drilled into the fender. A second bolt is inserted through aperture 32 such that it extends through the hole in the fender and is fastened to secure seat 10 to the fender. Rear attachment member 28 extends from base 12 such that the bolt is accessible to facilitate both insertion and removal. Because rear attachment member 28 requires as few as one bolt, the design and structural integrity of the fender can be maintained. In an alternative embodiment, base 12 does not include a rear attachment member 28. In a further embodiment, base 12 includes a plurality of rear attachment members 28.

Accordingly, seat 10 is secured to the fender via suction devices 36, front attachment member 22 and rear attachment member 28. As such, seat 10 is firmly attached to the motorcycle and configured to support a passenger. When seat 10 is not in use, front attachment member 22 and rear attachment member 28 can be detached by removing both the main rider seat bolt and the second bolt. Applying force to the seat detaches suction devices 36 such that seat 10 is removed for storage and/or cleaning.

In one embodiment, backrest 34 has a predetermined height 42 to facilitate providing support to the passenger while maintaining a streamlined, elongated look of the motorcycle. In another embodiment, backrest 46 is telescopic such that backrest 46 extends to provide additional support to the passenger while the motorcycle is in operation. When the motorcycle is not in operation, backrest 46 is retracted to maintain the streamlined, elongated look. Specifically, a friction and/or locking mechanism within fixed member 48 facilitates maintaining telescopic member 50 in a relatively fixed position. To extend or retract back support 52, pressure greater than the friction is applied to back support 52 and/or the locking mechanism is unlocked to allow movement of telescopic member 50.

Cushion 54 provides a comfortable seat for the passenger and may also be custom designed to suit the comfort needs of a particular passenger. For additional comfort, seat 10 is fabricated to include a cushion or pad on the backrest. Furthermore, a light may be added to the backrest to indicate to other motorists the presence of the passenger or to provide additional lighting for the motorcycle.

The above-described apparatus and methods facilitate providing a comfortable and safe passenger seat for a motorcycle, while maintaining the streamlined, elongated look of the motorcycle. Specifically, three attachment apparatuses are provided, the suction devices, the front attachment member, and the rear attachment member. As such, the seat is prevented from becoming detached during operation of the motorcycle. Furthermore, the backrest provides extra stability to the passenger. Moreover, the seat is designed to maintain the look and style of the motorcycle. The seat may further be custom designed for use with any motorcycle. In addition, the seat is easily removable for storage and/or cleaning.

As used herein, an element or step recited in the singular and proceeded with the word “a” or “an” should be understood as not excluding plural said elements or steps, unless such exclusion is explicitly recited. Furthermore, references to “one embodiment” of the present invention are not intended to be interpreted as excluding the existence of additional embodiments that also incorporate the recited features.

Although apparatus and methods described herein are described in the context of a detachable seat for a motorcycle, it is understood that the apparatus and methods are not limited to passenger seats for a motorcycle. Likewise, the passenger seat components illustrated are not limited to the specific embodiments described herein, but rather, components of the passenger seat can be utilized independently and separately from other components described herein.

While the invention has been described in terms of various specific embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention can be practiced with modification within the spirit and scope of the claims.





 
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