Most motorcycle enthusiasts get a thrill from tinkering with their bikes. Whether it's giving it a good wash, making sure the brakes work, checking to see if the chain is still intact, or replacing a few parts to make sure it looks and runs like new. Learning how to reupholster motorcycle seats gives you a chance to give your trusted bike a nice facelift.
The process, although somewhat tedious, isn't that complicated. Here are some simple tips on how to reupholster motorcycle seats for your next bike tinkering session.
Steps on How to Reupholster Motorcycle Seats
Reupholstering your motorcycle seats can be a lot of fun. With these steps, you can make quick work of this wholesome project.
Step 1: Gather the Required Tools
You will need:
- A staple gun or glue
- Marine-grade vinyl (6 feet)
- Heat gun
Be careful when using glue. A staple gun is the better option if this is your first time. Should you mess up, undoing glue can be problematic, but not staples.
Step 2: Remove the Old Seat
Removing the old seat should be simple enough. You will either need a special wrench to undo a bolt at the rear of the seat, or you might be able to unlock the seat with your motorcycle key.
Step 3: Undo the Old Seat Fabric
With the seat removed, you need to undo the old fabric to make way for the new one. There's a good chance it's fastened to the seat using clips or staples. Using your pliers, pull out the staples.
You can either pull them out one by one or a few to give you enough room to hold and rip off the fabric along with the rest of the staples, leaving the bare foam.
Step 4: Measure and Cut Out the Marine Vinyl/Fabric of Choice
Using marine vinyl makes sense because it delivers a nice, posh look while being water and generally weather-proof. Either way, cut out the fabric of your choice according to the seat size. Give yourself enough room for error by cutting out more fabric than you need.
Leave the fabric in the sun for about two hours to make it easy to stretch out over the seat—you can do this before you pull out the seat or start the project.
After fastening the fabric on one end using your staple gun, pull it taut to ensure it covers the entire seat, even around the sides. Using your heat gun, hover it over the entire surface of the fabric as you pull it over the seat to ensure that there are no creases and that it fits snuggly on the foam.
Methodically staple the fabric onto the foam as you see fit, making sure you only leave a little space between staples to avoid weak points. Go over it again with the staple gun to get all the necessary edges.
Note: For the best results, the staples need to be placed perpendicular to the direction in which the vinyl is pulled. This allows you to maximize the surface area of the staple's crown, securing the marine vinyl.
If satisfied with the results, put the seat back on your motorcycle until the next reupholstering project.
If, however, you aren’t satisfied with the results or don’t have the time to go through all this, you could simply buy an Air-Flow Seat Cover™ that has been designed to work well in hot climates. These seat covers are easy to use and are ideal for motorcycles, ATVs, and scooters.