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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that the painting is almost done, it is time to properly upholster the seat.
I have this old black leather jacket that once was some guy's racing leathers back in the 50's. It is old and beat up a bit too worn out to still make a good bike jacket, but it still has a ton of character and lots of good leather on it -- in fact it has exactly enough to make a seat cover!

So I am currently using this really cool old jacket. The leather is so nice, and it has some serious mojo. It is thick in a way that they just don't make jackets any more, plus it has this amazing authentic old jacket patina going on. I can't wait to see it finished.

So here are some pictures of the progress. You can click em for a bigger view.

Conveniently the thickest and longest patches of leather are along the arms. This is a picture of me experimenting with discovering how the pieces that I had would fit to cover the seat. The green tape represents markers. I have a line marking the front of the seat, a line along the back, one along each side and one marking center. And then I am letting them overlap as I try to imagine a pattern before I cut and sew -- this is real important because I only get one chance at cutting all this. It's also a bit tricky because the leather is already broken in and stretched in some places more so than others.

I just cut my patterns from the sleeves.

My mother-in-law's old sewing machine which is mine on long-term-loan. I put an old Honda CB750 side-cover insignia on there back when I sewed-up my first leather seat; I'll probably have to clean it up and take that off if she ever wants her machine back.. It had been broken. I even paid a shop to fix it, but they gave me my $$ back and said that they could not figure out the problem. I am proud to say that I stayed up until 2:00am last night and I fixed the darn thing! I just sewed a little, looked at the stitches a long time, and then fiddled with it... and did this for hours on end until I finally got it right. I felt like a super-hero.

Here is what I've got so far.

And Here it is on the bike. I totally dig that chevron pattern in the leather. I could have done it without that, but it adds some classy style. I already have the foam built up, and I hammered the seat pan so it fits my above-average derière. I guess the seat upholstering is about 80% done, and I don't think the rest will be too hard. (The trick is using the odd shapes pieces I already have.) You can see this is a "bump" style solo seat. I made it out of fiberglass, build up off of the stock seat pan, and the bump is an enclosed little storage area. So the seat cover is also going to double as the latch for this compartment. Nothing fancy. Probably just a few snaps. I'll post more pics when I finish.

I was hoping I would be completely finished by this evening (Nov 27th), but now it looks like I wont be meeting that deadline. I have to go out of town tomorrow morning, so the bike will be stuck waiting for me for almost two weeks before the final finishing touches are completed. But that is OK because it will give me something to look forward to while I am away.

Peace and grease


'70 Suzuki T350
Download The Fang.mp3 HERE

148 Posts
good work! a buddy of mine has this decked out harley he has devoted a lot of time and money into (20k and up) and after being dissappointed repeatedly w/ these custom seat manufacturer's he did just as u. and old jacket w/ some history and some nice leater dye and he has a great seat. wish he'd learned it would work earlier!! but he paid to have it done! hahahaha

03 rsv Tuono (STARF8R)
75 cl360 ("Chupa"thingy)
2000 Ninja 250r ("chibi")
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