Hi there everybody!
As I normally only ask questions on this site, I thought I would offer up some information as to my experience with ordering and installing the Utopia back rest here in Vienna
1. Ordering and delivery time: As the company hand build the backrests to order, I knew I would be in for a long wait. I think I ordered in the first week of October and the quoted completion/despatch date was helpfully quoted as October 31st. I then estimated that postage to Austria would take at least 2 weeks, which turned out to me right on the money! It arrived on November 14th. Talking of money, the total cost including postage was €195, BUT (thanks to MikeO for this info), I had to hand over an additional €50 before the package was handed over to me on my doorstep. This was for custom/input taxes, and to be honest I thought it might be more than it actually was. I should also add that Bob at Utopia was very helpful and responded immediately to my email asking when the package had been sent. Three days earlier than quoted as it turned out.
2. Installation: There does seem to be an ambiguity in the instructions, as there is a bold statement on the first page that says "Can be installed without removing stock seat!". The first instruction on page 2 however, starts by saying, "Remove stock seat!"
) Not really an issue for me though, as there was no way I was going to attempt this job in the freezing temperatures we're experiencing without a heated garage in Vienna right now! To be honest, I would imagine that installing the backrest without removing the seat would be practically impossible anyway, even on a warm summer's day! So, I read the instructions through 2 or 3 times, borrowed a drill, and gathered together a series of knives, scissors, and other things I thought I might need, and took a deep breath! By the way, A big thank you to our Romanian friend who replied to my last posting about removing the seat and support rod, which turned out to be fairly straight forward, although it still took me a full 30 minutes just to get the stock off my SW and into my warm flat
Now I had exactly 2 hours to complete the job before having to head off to my next student (I teach guitar and piano), on my bike. I was quite pleased with myself that I did remember to remove the underseat bulb before running indoors with my precious cargo, as I guess I would have never made that next lesson! As it was, I did have to call the student to inform them that I would be half an hour late, as my ambition to complete the installation in 2 hours was wildly optimistic!
Even with the additional 30 minutes, it soon became clear that I was not going to complete the job, even though things were going pretty smoothly for a complete amateur like myself
So, I rushed out into the street with my much heavier seat (the installed steel bars really add to the weight!), and my guitar on my back, to quickly rebolt it back on - just 2 of the 4 bolts due to the rush! - and just made it in time for my student's lesson. When I got back home it was very dark, cold and damp, but at least I now had time on my side
I undid the 2 bolts and carried my seat back into the warm where I put on some Steely Dan music and set about completing the job. Would you believe it took another 2.5 hours to complete! But boy did I feel proud! The seat was solid and perfectly set up. I finally rebolted the seat (all 4 bolts this time!) back onto my SW at gone midnight, and it looks and feels great!
So, that's my story ................
Oh, and my full face helmet does just about still fit under the front section of the seat - which is a bonus!
Next job is to work out how to keep the seat up when loading and unloading, as the stock strut certainly cannot cope with the additional weight. How did you solve this problem MikeO? Or anyone else who has The Utopia for that matter.
I am happy to answer any specific questions to anyone considering the purchase of this backrest which is a beautifully made item!