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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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My seat project

Well finally managed to acquire a stock seat that was in pretty bad shape. Surprisingly i was able to snag it for $27.00 and free shipping off of ebay. Still waiting for it to get here, but as soon as it does I am going to disassemble it and make a pattern and save it in case anyone else needs/wants it. I am thinking of maybe just re-covering with new vinyl and I might even tweak the foam a little. Trust me, once I start I will take tons of photos and maybe even make a nice walk-through.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 06:50 PM
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Awesome! I hope it goes well for you! I recently did mine but didn't use anything stock- I went with the seat from a Harley Heritage and it looks/feels GREAT!

If you haven't already, check out my blog post as it highlights the process. Not sure how useful it will be since you're using the stock pan, but wanted to put my 2 cents in

NIL ILLEGITIMUS CARBORUNDUM

Phil aka Art
"Vanessa"
1995 VN 750 (bought as 2nd owner 11/2008)
26,440 miles
MF Battery
Stator replaced (55 Days!)
V&H Cruisers
Relocate rear turn signals
Highwayman Saddlemen bags
Wingerline Highway bars
Ear Shave
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HD Heritage seat
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To Do:
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Paint Job- should I do it myself?
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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that looks like it is going to turn out great. I would love to do something like that but I do like the stock seat maybe just a little tweak like I said.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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W00T I just picked up my seat today and got started. I have decided to post pics after I get a little further, as right now i am just finishing making the pattern. I am sure all of you can figure out how to take the old cover off and separate the seams.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-14-2010, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M_Angell View Post
W00T I just picked up my seat today and got started. I have decided to post pics after I get a little further, as right now i am just finishing making the pattern. I am sure all of you can figure out how to take the old cover off and separate the seams.
If I were doing it I would use denser foam and lose the (rain catching)upholstery buttons.


Anxious to see what your version will be.


Jim
'95 Kawasaki Concours

Sold my Vulcan




I do LOTS of dumb stuff. Riding is only one of them.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 09:25 AM
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Take Jims advice on this one, lose those butt hammers. You can pick up some nice Marine grade vinyl at your local Jo-Anns or whatever clothing hobby store that you may have near you for about $10 a yard. A yard will be all you need and with a heat gun and electric stapler your new seat cover will be the catsass.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 01:22 PM
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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.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 02:20 PM
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Nice write up clok

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2010, 09:41 AM
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Clock has smoe good points.. I would add to his foam.. the best thing I have found for foam for a motorcycle seat is the blue sleeping mat from wal-mart... its only 1/8" thick but can be layered using 3M Automotive Headliner Adhesive. I run 3 layers of the sleeping mat fallowed by one layer of 1/8" thick yoga mat (also can be found at wal-mart), and then topped off with a piece of foam batting (found in the bedding section of wal-mart)... total cost to do the foam on one king/queen seat is roughly 30 bucks. You ask about comfort... well, as Clock said, you don't want the seat too hard or two soft, and I feel that this is the best mixture of getting the best of both worlds... I have ridden several 400+ mile trips with my custom solo seat with out any complaints form my rear.
for more information on seat building and modifying, check out DIYMotorcycleSeat.com to make your own fiberglass seat pan check out Jeffery Phipps Seat Pans Also you can find more info on my scribd pages, just fallow my sig link.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2010, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info. Don't worry, the first thought in my mind when I came up with this idea was to get rid of those damned buttons. I hate them as well, every time I wash the bike I have to spend precious time that I could be riding soaking up all the water that has pooled. Really no complaints as far as comfort (even the buttons don't cause discomfort) of the seat, I just want it a hair firmer so my butt doesn't go numb. Yes, I agree that the seat needs to have some support, but at the same time has to not cause pressure points or be too soft. I am thinking of some high density urethane foam maybe 1/2" thick over a slightly reshaped stock base foam. I have sat on it and IMO it's just the feel i want. As far as covering goes, I have some black marine grade vinyl and I am going to do a grey vinyl inlay. to match my saddlebags. I know it's going to be a bitch to sew but some flame designs are in the works. All seams will be at least double stitched and I might do some piping(haven't decided, depends on how straight my lines are when done). The seat pan is a stock one which as I have said is one I am pretty happy with. I mean it's like it was made for this bike. Sorry bad jokes aside, I like the shape and I feel it is very distinct as far as seats go.

Again, thanks for the info and keep some suggestions coming. I look forward to reading what you have to say.
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