Q: Can you remove the rear tail cowl to access the undersideof the seat tray area?
A: Yes you can.
Q: Why would you need to do this?
A: Because your seat latch has gone into what you believe to be failure mode.
While prepping the bike for a possible run out to SouthDakota in July I have done some routine maintenance, new tires, dump the oil, general inspection etc. So as the oil drains from the sump, “ lets top up the Scott Oiler while I wait” thinks me. I turn the key to release the seat and do not hear the normal “snick” of the seat latch releasing. In fact the feel of the key in the seat release lock even feels weird. What the heck! I try a few times jiggling the key and put way to much force on it,…but back off before doing damage. Hm…what now, I can’t get under the seat. I turn the key one last time while attempting to lift the seat/pry the seat up,…but still no go.
Well the next move is removal of the rear cowl to attempt to give me some access to the seat latch area so I can see what’s going on. Can that even be done? Well yes it can as I found out. As I’m running the factory Honda panniers system my cowl removal is somewhat more involved because I need to remove all the related brackets to that pannier system. (For stock machines it will simply mean removal of the rear grab handle and a couple hold down bolts at the sides of the cowl) Lucky for me everything comes off and no underseat access is required while doing this,..even though there are two lock nuts in use for the main attachment bolts..but these nuts simply thread out from there locations without issue.
With this done you can carefully spread the cowl away from the chassis and move it rearward and with only a bit of finessing it comes free while the seat remains firmly latched in place.
There is enough space to remove the items I carry in the rear area of the seat cowl..tire plug kit, cargo net, damp cloth in a plastic baggy(don’t know why I carry that?). I can then see the latch assembly and its cable drive. At first glance all looks normal when I attempt the key release again…but something becomes rather obvious as I watch. The whole latch assembly moves…away from the seat. I discover that the single 8mm bolt that holds the latch assembly to the underside of the tail frame cross brace has come loose. The action of turning the key moves the assembly and not the actual latching mechanism. With a small 8mm wrench I tighten the bolt and presto…it’s still doesn’t work…why? Well..the latch assembly has moved enough to now allow the cable drive end of the latch to lodge in a access hole in the cross brace effectively jamming it in a non-functioning position. I loosen the 8mm bolt and again, reposition the cable end and tighten the bolt…and now all is good! In fact it worksbetter than ever. I remove the 8mm bolt one last time and dose it with someLoc-Tite 242 (blue) and put it back in place again.
So….when your next under the seat, check that 8mm bolt so you don’t run into this issue. If you notice the seat catch and release action has not been as nice as it once was, this may be an indicator that the latch is loose from the cross brace. I did in fact notice this symptom. The seat would not latch down without some force applied, beyond what was once normal pressure. This is because the latch in fact moves away from the seat as the 8mm bolt comes loose. When giving the latch a simple causal glance you most likely will not notice it being loose so give it a close look. The attachment below shows a) my finger b) the cable drive latch connector and the cross brace hole that it can foul on and c) the 8mm bolt that holds the latch unit to the underside of the cross brace.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programing.