Can You Reupholster Your Motorcycle Yourself?

If you are a bike rider, you may have searched the market for an upholstered seat cover some time or the other. In this piece, we will talk about the entire reupholstering procedure step by step.

We will also discuss certain materials bike riders will need to ensure their motorcycle seats are ready for upholstering. So without further ado, let us get started.

Why You Need to Reupholster a Motorcycle Seat

There are many reasons you would need to reupholster a motorcycle seat and in most cases the issue is discomfort.

Seat Foam Hasn’t Broken In

You might be surprised to know that your bike seat isn’t supposed to be comfortable when you just buy it. It will start to feel comfortable after 1000 to 1500 miles.

However, if your seat foam feels too firm and discomforting even after so many miles, it might be time for you to replace it completely.

You Need an Upholstered Seat Cover

Sometimes, due to medical conditions or other reasons, you might need your motorcycle seat to be more comfortable than it already is.

Perhaps, you travel a lot on your motorcycle. In that case, a regular seat will not do the job for you. If you were just commuting on it and your total ride time in a day was between 30 minutes and 45 minutes, it wouldn’t be a problem.

However, if you travel to far-away places on your motorcycle, you might consider installing more foam or going for an upholstered seat cover instead.

There are some other reasons your motorcycle seat might feel uncomfortable.

  • Its design is bad
  • Its shape isn’t according to your body
  • You don’t shift too often
  • Your suspensions are worn out
  • You have other medical conditions

Whatever the reason is, you can always solve the problem through reupholstering because you can always have a seat that adjusts perfectly to your body size.

A little bit of DIY work might be required in most cases, but that’s what I am here for. I can tell you how you can fix things.

How to Reupholster a Motorcycle Seat a Comprehensive Guide

Reupholstering is essentially the process of replacing fabric from upholstered furniture or seat cover options. People reupholster their item for a variety of reasons, which may include changing the look of their seat cover or to address wear and tear caused to fabric in certain parts of motorcycle seats.

If you want to reupholster any new seat or piece of furniture, you must make sure to start by removing the old material first. After that, you will need to staple or glue the new piece of fabric in place.

More often than not, bike riders get new fabric from a variety of places, which include online retailers or fabric stores.

Even when it comes to fabric, make sure you pick the one that suits your specific requirements. If you can’t sit on fake leather, don’t go for it.

The process of reupholstering is relatively straightforward and just requires you to learn certain DIY skills. That said, it is vital to be careful when removing old fabric, especially from vintage bikes.

If you have been a motorcycle owner for a long time, you will be well aware that seat foam tends to get damaged quite easily, so it would be best to practice some caution.

Once you place the new material on your seat foam properly, make sure to add some batting and padding to make sure the finish is durable and most importantly, comfortable.

Materials for Reupholstering Your Bike Seat

While reupholstering a bike seat may not be too difficult, it definitely requires some particular materials. To start, you will need to select new covers for your seat foam.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of new covers available in the market and you will easily be able to replace your old cover quickly.

Some people opt for vinyl covers while others prefer other options. After making a decision on the material, you must make sure that you have enough of it to cover your motorcycle properly.

How to Get Your Motorcycle Seat Ready for Upholstering

Once you have chosen the right material to cover your motorcycle seat, you will need to find a high quality sewing machine needle, staple gun, electric carving knife and an upholstery thread.

After that, you will need a reliable foam cushion that is particularly designed for the upholstery of your bike. These are essentially all of the items you will need to upholster the seat of your motorcycle.

Attaching New Fabric to Your Bike Seat

When removing your old cover and replacing it with a new one, you will need unscrew any bolts or screws that hold the old fabric on your motorcycle seat.

After removing the old cover, attach the new cover after choosing your preferred custom dimensions.

Start by stapling the fabric properly to make sure that it does not fly away when you are riding your bike. After attaching both sides, you can either bolt or screw the new cover and do away with the damaged seat of your motorcycle.

Making the Right Adjustments to your Motorcycle Seat Cover

Depending on the shape and size of your bike, you will need to make some changes to the seat cover. In case the motorcycle seat is small, it would be best to get some extra fabric.

On the other hand, if the motorcycle seat is bigger in size, you may need to do away with some of the extra material. At any cost, keep the cover taut because a loose cover will cause scrubbing and chafing, and it will soon start to come off.

After making the required adjustments, bike riders can put the motorcycle seat cover in place and enjoy their rides. I do recommend that you take your bike for a test ride.

There is no way you can be sure that your seat is comfortable until you take for a test ride for as many minutes or hours as you usually travel on it in a day. This will be the real test of your new seat.

Common Questions Asked About Reupholstering Motorcycle Seat Options

If you are a bike rider, you may have some questions regarding reupholstering a motorcycle seat. Well, mentioned below is a list of some common questions asked by thousands of bike riding enthusiasts.

How Much Does Reupholstering a Seat Pan Cost?

The price to reupholster a bike seat can greatly vary, depending on the shape and size of the motorcycle seat. According to many online and offline owner’s manual booklets, the material you choose for your motorcycle seat also makes a massive difference.

Generally, however, you will need to pay around one to three hundred Dollars to get a seat pan that offers you a comfortable ride.

How Much Time is Required to Reupholster a Motorcycle Seat?

Once again, reupholstering a motorcycle seat generally depends on the complexity and size of your bikes seat pan. In most cases, it only takes a half or full hour to reupholster a motorcycle seat.

However, if you reupholster a complex seat form, you may need to wait for a couple of days.

Which Material is Best for Reupholstering a New Seat?

As mentioned initially, there are a wide range of materials people can choose to upholster their seat pan. This includes fabric, vinyl and leather. Consider choosing a motorcycle cover that is easy to maintain and most importantly, durable.

While some materials may be on the expensive side, others are quite affordable.

To ensure you choose the right option, it would be best to look at multiple covers for motorcycle seats before making your final decision.

Can I Reupholster My Bike’s Seat Pan Myself?

If you have some sewing skills, you can definitely reupholster the seat of your bike without any issues. Before you do so, however, make sure that you are aware of the original dimensions of your seat and follow instructions to a T.

Is it Important to Remove Old Fabric from Your Motorcycle Seat before Reupholstering it?

Yes, you must remove old fabric from your motorcycle prior to fitting a new material. It would be best to get an expert’s help with this in case you are doing it for the first time. Removing the old upholstery makes sure that you can attach the new material without any issues.