Everything I know about upholstery work was gleaned from youtube or bugging friends for tips. I'm not a pro, but I know my way around a sewing machine. I decided I'd like a black and gray seat for my TW because I don't like the blue one. I guess I prefer a boring looking bike.. I may experiment with this seat for comfort reasons as well. New foam inserts or additional padding on top.
I ebayed a whole 1987 seat because I wanted to make my own seat cover. The seat I have is nice enough I didn't want to mess with it.
I carefully removed the staples from the pan to remove the cover.
Apart, the pan and foam are in great shape.
Time to cut it up (carefully) for pattern making purposes
Patterns being used
New marine vinyl pieces are cut out
I bought a Consew walking foot sewing machine off of an AM radio call-in classifieds show last fall. I'm glad I'm finally using it to make useful things. I double stitched the seams for durability and a good look.
The final step after this is going to be finding a shallow set of staples and carefully applying my new cover to the seat. I'm going to make a new grab strap as well.
great looking! did you make it a bit bigger for added cushioning?
1994 TW226- 6spd. 10w-40 synthetic, XTHidden Content , XT225 stainless header, +2" Joemama swingarm, lizrd cooler, +20% fork springs, +25% rear spring, 2001 speedo w/ trip odo, pro taper atv bars, bark busters, shinko 241 front tire, front fender w/ mr bracket bracket, Hidden Content , o-ring chain, ricochet skid plate, Hidden Content , XT225 rear brake cam lever, folding-tip shifter, cycle rack, kolpin 1.5 aux tank & 1450 pelican case. Hidden Content or Hidden Content
It's the same size as the old seat cover, so it'll probably stretch more. The secret trick is a steamer to soften it to work with.
Tonight I got out the steamer to soften the vinyl and gave it the stretch and staple treatment. I was using 1/4" staples in an Aarow T50 staple gun. It was barely powerful to penetrate the seat pan. I assume since it's a 1987 seat that the plastic has hardened a bit. Anyway, I'm happy with the results. Here's some decent photos I took before the sun set.
I wrapped a nylon strap in vinyl for the grab strap. Then I used metal grommets to ensure they are durable at the fix points under the seat.
Old versus new
Detail of the double reinforced seams. I did this throughout just because I thought it looked nice.
Symmetry is pretty decent given this is the first time I've done this.
A couple of shots of the bike with the seat. The plan is to ditch the blue gaiters on the forks and get black ones. I just want a non-descript bike with no logos or anything.
You did a really nice job on the seat. Really improves the look. Funny, my stock seat looks similar to the one you have and I used vinyl paint to cover up the silver or white section to make the seat all black. Course the silver cover in mine didn't go well with tan. Last photo is pretty cool too!
Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?
Impressive sir! looks great.
Only a fool would attempt it, and God help me, I am that fool!
Wow, you did an incredible job, especially for your first time. Your seat looks very nice, like a professional with years of experience did it. I'm also going to do some work on my TW's seat, but I'm confident it won't end up looking that good. Nice job!
My handle is B-dub, I ride a T-dub, and drive a V-dub.
OK. I don't know what you do for a living "BUT" quit that job and start making seats........ That looks waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay good... OMM.
I have had a passing interest in doing my own upholstery for years though. Last autumn I dragged this guy home, much to my wife's chagrin:
It's really the unsung hero of the whole operation. A walking foot (compound foot) sewing machine is what allows you to control your work and lay down seams where they should be. Before I had that machine, everything I did around the house got fed through a Singer I bought at GoodWill.
And though the singer is gear driven and it's a simple workhorse to make clothing or curtains, it can't handle punching through five or more layers of vinyl. It also uses too small of a thread to hold vinyl together well.
Some of my 'old work' with the Singer includes a Yamaha XS650 bobber thing I was dinking around with a few years back. I did a tuck and roll seat with sparkle vinyl.
And my cafe CB350 last summer was also made with the Singer machine and turned out decent. However before this winter, I had never really sat down to teach myself some of the patterning techniques and sewing tricks so that the seams look nice. Also someone in the biz told me to start using a steamer to heat the vinyl up and make it much more stretchy so you can pull it into place and center it on your seat properly. He also told me to not be afraid to pull staples and start over
Here's my CB350 from last summer. That seat was fun because I made it out of wood and used the back half of a motorcycle helmet for the back of the seat. Also it snapped on and off of the pan, so I had my registration and insurance papers under the cover.