Rich's Custom Seats Redo

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Rich’s Custom Seats

Your butt is one ferry ride away from happiness

Since stock seats don’t fit any body, getting a custom seat has meant the difference between hours of painful riding and thousands of miles of pleasurable riding for customers of Rich’s Custom Seats.

The company operated out of an underground upholstery shop on Aurora Avenue in Seattle for more than two decades. But that’s all changed for the better.

Last spring Rich O’Conner  (left) and his wife/business partner Landra, purchased a piece of property and a building one mile west of the Kingston Ferry dock northwest of Seattle. Then Rich hatched his plan to create the ultimate environment in which to get a custom seat built.

If you’ve never had a custom seat built before, the process, when done properly, is about a day-long event where the customer and Rich’s team work together to build a fitted motorcycle seat much like a saddleman would do for a horseback rider. See our previous story for more information about the process itself.

Often this means hanging around the shop waiting for foam to be added, shaping and grinding to occur. Throughout the day the customer is called on to sit upon the bike and ultimately test drive the finished product before the seat is recovered. Hanging out on Aurora Avenue wasn’t exactly the way customers wanted to spend their day. Food options and ways to entertain oneself throughout the day were limited. But with the move to Kingston that’s all changed.

What O’Conner has done is built a state-of-the-art facility in which to get your custom seat built and offers added amenities that make the trip to Kingston well worth the time.

Downstairs you’ll find the seat shop outfitted with twice as many grinding rooms and sewing machines as were in the old Seattle shop. Instead of one there are five rollup doors, making it easy to move a bike into the shop and ride out another door when the test ride comes around. The front entry and lounge are all new and well laid out. Of course, internet access is available so bring your laptop if you'd like.

Many customers take the ferry to get to Rich's today.
Much nicer than the ride down Aurora Avenue!

Just around the corner is a strip center featuring several restaurants and a full service grocery store. When lunch time rolls around you can dine at any of the three establishments, or pick up groceries, return to the shop and utilize the upstairs kitchen to fix your own meal. Want to barbeque? Go right ahead as the outdoor patio features a full sized barbeque.

A number of Rich’s customers come from far away. In the past, this meant getting a motel or hotel room for one or two nights. But now O’Conner has built a two bedroom apartment with full kitchen and living facilities (at left) over the shop. Customers can use the facilities and pay a simple cleaning fee that is far less than what it costs to stay in a motel. Don’t want to stay in the apartment? No problem, there are several RV hookups and a lovely lawn suitable for camping. For campers and RVers, there’s a separate restroom and shower facility that rivals that of any top-grade private campground or state park.

Wanna take the ultimate test ride? The shop is near the Olympic Peninsula. Plan an extra day and take a 350 mile ride around the Olympic Peninsula. Looking for something a little shorter – ride the 150 mile Hood Canal Loop. Spend an extra night at the shop and in the morning fine-tune your seat before heading home. Don’t have an extra day? Ask for directions about taking a 30-minute test ride on Big Valley Road.

The camping area complete with two picnic table pads.

In comparison to what other custom seat makers offer, Rich’s takes the cake. It’s no wonder a few of us refer to the new location as Rich’s Custom Seats and Country Club.

TM/Spring 09, 360-881-0881

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