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Building a motorcycle seat from scratch Answered

Being an insatiable tinkerer, I an planning an exensive remodel on a '92 Honda 100. It's one of those all-plastic dirtbikes, and frankly, I'm too big for it in its current configuration. Not a problem I have often, but man is it annoying! The price was right, and I needed a functional sled, so here we are. I'm in the midst of designing/modifying and buiding a tank for it that is bigger and metal. As such, the current seat has to go. I don't want to hack up the seat because I'd like to have the option to return to stock. I would like to put a seat on it that is reminiscent of 70s Hondas, just new and on the cheap. Does anyone have any experience/ideas with building a seat like this? I've got a lot of foam (but probably not the "right" sort), and a masters degree in duct tape upholstery. I've made all-metal seatpans before, but these were aways solo saddles. Any tips/tricks/technquies that might make my life easier in this endeavor?


any one know anythig about re doeing leather on seats?

The best way to approach it is slow and cautious. Some spots can be patched to look good as new,(there are kits for that). On others you can replace a single panel. Worst case, you'll have to make a whole new cover. I'd take the old one apart and use it as a template. Remember, measure twice, cut once! Or, cut it a little big, and trim it once you have it partially assembled.

ok well i only have a couple of gashes and it looks like a dog got at it bec there a lot of smaller holes

A little. If the foam's intact and it's not a terribly wacky shape, it's pretty easy.

If you're going for ease-of-construction, a plywood-pan will work. Screw brackets onto the bottom. Cut foam to fit. Cover with vinyl and staple it down. Otherwise, fibreglass and metal are your best options. If your foam is really dense, you can glue it to the pan and skip the cover all-together.

My foam is not incredibly dense--I've got carpet padding, and egg-crate style foam designed as a mattress topper. I suspect that I might need some sort of internal structure to the seat for it to work, not simply a flat pan, no?

Yeah, if the foam's not real stout, a flat pan might not be best. Post a pic of the bike. I might have something that'll work. If it'll fit, I'll just give it to you.

I suppose I'll yank the seat off and try a prototype plywood and carpet padding seat. If that works, I'll toss my larger tank on, modify the fender struts to hold a bench seat properly, and get the final draft sorted. Of course, that's if my first design works! Anyway, here's a couple of pictures of the seat in question. I'll probably be tossing a proper teardrop tank on soon, though, so I don't know about compatibility, especially around the very front of the seat--I need to move my rear end back almost a foot for proper leg clearances.


If you think this seat will help, just let me know.


I'll try to send you a pic and measurements of the seat I have (in a day or two). It's off an old smallish (175cc?) Honda. It wouldn't go well with the stock seat, but might be fine with the teardrop one. It's not ripped and has "Honda" on the back. If you think it'll fit, I'll ship it to you next week. I've had it for like 7 years and still don't have a bike to put it on, so you can just have it.


9 years ago

I don't have much help to offer, other than check out web references (who's the guy who made those custom leather seats for Indian Larry? ...R.I.P.... His name escapes me...)

But I would like to see the finished product (and the 'ible....)