Caution WOT (wall of text)
I did upholstry (mostly boats) for 10 years (loved it, but more money working elsewhere (IT)) did auto body for 4 (also loved it but health reasons made me pick a different carreer before I had any). I (so far, pretty limited seat time just yet) like the original seat, i have a bad back and the tiny backrest puchs inot my lower back just about right to support it. The seat is a bit to soft, but its catch 22 for me, harder and it would be better for butt but worse for back. So right now, the back is #1 comfort area for me, butt #2. Only time will tell. And we all like different stuff, so ....
Things i would suggest, Buttons, as somebody mentioned they can catch rain, you also need to create a hole , both bad. Upside is the way the seat is covered the cloth (vinyl/ fake leather) is lose, the buttons hold it in place. Loose fabric that you can move by sliding on it stresses the seams, the weakest part of the seat. I honestly agree, if you can get by without hem I would, but again, how this seat is made its somewhat tough to do for the average person. Im at work so I cant rember but I think the seat does not have pipeing (the round part where to seams join). I'm not a fan of pipeing either, its great to make edges ridged and lay in place, it hides crooked lines. Basicly its nice for edges if LOOKS are a concern. But its kinda like a PULL spot, it again stresses seams. SO I dont do it unless its needed.
Marine vinyl is good stuff but Snowmobile Vinyl is better (imho) keep in mind it saying its Marine or Snowmobile is all good, but as with ANYTHING there is good stuff and bad stuff. SOME vinyle is stiff and somewhat cardboardy, tough stuff, but VERY HARD to work with. I perefer soft and very stretchy vinyl with a sorta fuzzy back (tell you why later). Most Vinyl has a cloth back and is just fine, but the fuzzy stuff is nicer. Only reason I say snowmoblie "grade" is temps dont effect it, cold and its still soft (well softer then normal vinyl). basicly snowmobile grade has all the UV and outdoor properties of Marine, but also can withstand cold better, Not a huge deal for most motorcycles, but the hardcore can get out there ins some pertty cold stuff.
the fewer seams the better.
Lots said on foam, I'm not going to say to much except:
I used to think soft foam was good. Softer is better when you are sitting on it, RIGHT? nope.. you just sink to the base and they are plastic/metal. Ok soft is bad, so I go hard right? well yes and no. To hard is not good either. Sicne we all weigh different, the foam that is correct for you is hard to judge. Mot places around here that sell foam have scraps, take a scrap, set it on a hard surface and sit on it, do you sink in some, do you sink to base, does it feeel hard, does it feel soft? TEST IT, does it feel right? Much like a bed, 5 minutes wont tell the whole story, but pushing your hands into it (small preasuer points) wont tell you anything. Better to try it so to speak with your BUTT, then to guess and have a soft/hard seat. Closed cell, open, whatever, your call. I like closed as if i do get a rip I'm not sitting on a sponge. but cell types are different for feel.
Thread, dont skimp on it.. ALOT (almost all) upolstery thread has some type of UV protection, but not all of it is for outside use. Most upholstery is in homes, inside cars, weather isnt a concern. You got outside vinyl, get outside thread (if people selling it to you dont go all clueless on ya).
Very last thing, Upholstery inst really that hard when you get the basics down. If you have a bad seat and its not totally stretched out of proportion. Take it off, turn it insdie out, get a pen and mark all the seams (seam goes one way, you mark across it other way, make a "+" sign) and label um A+A (a on each side) make um alot, every 3-6 inchs on every seam. Then take a razor and carefully cut the threads. Now you have a pattern. lay the pattern out on a back of the new vinyl and draw um in.. simple as tracing. ON THE NEW stuff, i recomend something other then a pen, as inck can blead through on lighter colors (shouldnt be any real problem with black). mark all your "+" and letters (only be one side after you cut it all apart). Now when you sew it back toghter you have marks that need to match, makes it alot easier.
The part that goes all around the bottom (the skirt so to speak) you can make it longer on the staple side, its easier to stretch (some seats double or run wires through a hem, you cant do that on those) you can cut off any excess when you are done.
Also there is sime light wispy stuff (forget name) make sit easier to slide and stretch stuff over foam, a good thing to use, and its cheap.
Good luck cant wait to see it.
Oh the fuzzy back side to vinyl, it normally means stretchy vinyl and it alos slides easier ont he foam.
Last edited by clok1966; 04-15-2010 at 01:24 PM.