Recovering my seat, material suggestions.

Discussion in 'General VFR Discussions' started by DeeBee, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. DeeBee

    DeeBee New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Fort Ooglethorpe , Ga
    My seat cover is about done for , it had developed two or three small cracks lately , one which is goes through to show seat foam. I plan to recover it myself as I have done in the past with other seats.
    It would be nice to get the Corbin in the classified section, but with Christmas around the corner and presents to buy still that is simply not an option.

    I found a couple options on eBay various colors or two tone marine vinyl foe around $25, and leather in 2 tone with similar color options for $75, both are precut.
    I am not really concerned with whether it is recut or not .

    I am looking to buy a yard of a good covering material, long lasting with maybe a bit more grip than stock. I like the perforated look.
    I really don't know what or where to get as far as a cover.
    Also need a thin piece of foam to put over the factory foam and help give the seat a smooth new look.
    I don't know what or where to get foam for this either.
    Hoping someone here has some experience with this and knows where to find a selection of covering and foam. In the past I have ordered the EBay covers which are fine, just looking to go with different / better materials for this one.

    Thanks
    Db
     
  2. zoom-zoom

    zoom-zoom Member

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,447
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Kelowna, BC, Canada
    Map
    I've used a local upholstery company to recover a Sargent seat that I purchased off eBay and they used a product called 4 way stretch vinyl. It is a marine grade product and is very comfortable. The cover looks very close to leather and is just sticky enough to hold me in place during riding and cornering but not so sticky as to stop me from shifting around during cornering. If you're not sure who to use, check with maybe a local auto dealer or motorcycle dealer and ask who they use to do leather/vinyl repairs. Google works as well, but personally I like to ask around.
     
  3. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    13,660
    Likes Received:
    1,512
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Chilliwack, BC Canada
    Map
    I was searching for some foam to refinish some dining room chairs several years back and was going to just buy some from the local upholstery shop in town. But they had packed up and gone. Wife told me you can get some kinds of foam at fabric stores. True enough, they had all sorts of foam there. And it was cheap.

    Best thing to cut that stuff with is an electric carving knife. Works like a hot damned and if you are carving contours, even better.
     
  4. DeeBee

    DeeBee New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Fort Ooglethorpe , Ga
    Awesome , I trimmed my seat pad down about an inch early on so I could flat foot hold up and maneuver the bike easier as it seemed ever time I would get the least bit away from straight up and down I would drop it. Now that I have got used to it and learned how to use steering, brakes ,even engine power to help hold it upright at nearly a standstill or when backing up I would rather have the extra padding back , as it also put a bit of a wrinkle in my old seat cover it took a set shape long ago and would need a pull in the center to fit smoothly in the tailbone cup I dug out. Oops thought it would still fit.

    I did find some semi- perforated marine vinyl upholstery online that I liked the look of (didn't mention 4 way stretch) for about $13 a yard shipped.
    Also well as some nice heavy leather for $7-8 per square foot. Takes a 24"X36" or 6 square foot section to cut a cover for my seat .
    Gonna check into the 4 way stretch stuff looks like it might be easier to use.

    Haven't looked for foam yet we do have a couple fabric stores near , I think I even have an old 2 inch thick memory foam mattress cover that might work to fill out the pilots seat.
    I guess just any 1/4 or 1/2" soft foam sheet to finish off the top and mask any imperfections in the foam or my work will do the trick.

    I didn't have an electric knife when I shaped my seat so I used a hack saw blade with a nice black tape handle on one end to carve with it was a bit hard to control the angle and depth of the cut I can see where a electric knife would help ......Honey what's left in my tool budget this year??? What went over back in June.....have to put it on next year's then. Need a bigger tool budget:stung:

    Anyhow it's a work in progress and it probably will end up waiting to after the first of the year as I didn't even have a scooter budget this year been dipping into this that and the other to fund the bike, then putting it back from unused gas money each week.
    So far saved gas alone has offset all but the original purchase.

    I am considering a pre-made 2 tone vinyl cover black on top and matching burgundy red on the sides, depends on how a sample of the semi-perforated stuff feels.

    Sounds like the 4 way stretch vinyl worked well for zoom-zoom probably should try to get my hands (or rather cheeks) on a same of it as well.
     
  5. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    13,660
    Likes Received:
    1,512
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Chilliwack, BC Canada
    Map
    A serrated carving knife might make a good second choice. I think it may carve smoother and easier than the hacksaw blade but don't know for sure.
     
  6. Badbilly

    Badbilly Official VFRWorld Troll Of The Year!

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    15,047
    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    48
  7. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    13,660
    Likes Received:
    1,512
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Chilliwack, BC Canada
    Map
    My seat is in need of recovering soon too. The piping is worn through on a fairly long portion. If I am going to fit that, I may as well get the whole thing covered. I am seriously thinking about spending a couple days down in Seattle and getting Rich's to do it for me. Going to have to save a couple loonies to cover that though. I saw him or one of his cronies (not sure which) at a local MC show a few years back. They had a couple examples of their work. It looked mighty fine.

    I have been saying I am going to do this for a couple years now. I should just get at it.
     
  8. Lint

    Lint Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    4,805
    Likes Received:
    948
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Simi Valley, Ca.
    Map
    Has anyone made their seat higher? I need to raise my butt to raise my shoulders so my wrists are at a flat plane when I ride. As it is right now, they are somewhat bent and it gets sore after a long day riding, especially if it's a long day in the canyons. If I raise my seat, then it will give me the correct position.
     
  9. duccmann

    duccmann Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Messages:
    9,214
    Likes Received:
    910
    Trophy Points:
    143
    Location:
    SoCal
    Map
    I got the guy for you Mervin, here in Simi--- shaved my seat and just recovered my lighting seat.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. A.M

    A.M Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2015
    Messages:
    2,840
    Likes Received:
    525
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Definitely buy electric carving knife if a seat has to be shaved. 10 bux, best buy for doing my seat.

    Anyway, for new cover, zoom-zoom-zoom's idea intrigues me. I recovered mine with original and had good luck so far. I just staple-gunned mine back. I'll need a redo eventually and will keep this in mind.

    Could you get ahold of the 4-way stretch vinyl and staple it yourself?
     
  11. Badbilly

    Badbilly Official VFRWorld Troll Of The Year!

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    15,047
    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    48
    One tip on the many pages of DIY seat upholstery is heating the new vinyl covering in a clothes dryer. Keeping the old cover as a pattern is a good idea. Tossing a piece of leather in a clothes dryer in not a good idea.

    Excess foam can be ground away with a sanding disc on a buffer.

    Having a heavy duty stapler is a must. Some seats have a steel pan so usually the new cover is put in place with adhesive and secured with pop rivets,
     
  12. GreginDenver

    GreginDenver New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    185
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    Map
    You should have a look at what LuiMoto has available for the VFR. They sell nice pre-made covers for lots of different motorcycle seats. Prices not so bad, like about $90 plus tax for a VFR seat cover I think.
     
  13. Badbilly

    Badbilly Official VFRWorld Troll Of The Year!

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    15,047
    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Great vid on a how to install on that site.
     
  14. DeeBee

    DeeBee New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Fort Ooglethorpe , Ga
    At work now , did order some material . Will catch up and post details this evening.

    Ended up doing some reading on covering materials , from my very basic understanding
    Outdoor/ Marine Vinyl covering is available in almost infinite patterns mimicking nearly any kind of leather as well as carbon fiber and a ton of unique patterns. This kind is also used for motorcycle seats and is rated by almost as many measures and standards:

    Fade resistance rated in simulated sun exposure Hours. 200+ hours with 0 fade seems to be a general minimum quality standard for marine and outdoor vinyl. Up to 1000+ hours were noticed on higher quality material.

    Scuff resistance in # of rubs with duck cloth or cotton 10,000- 100,000 are a range I noticed.

    Cold cracking resistance is just what is sounds like better more pliable materials resist cracking down to -60℃ with around -10℃ being a minimum standard for outdoor material.

    Weight in ounces or pounds per linear yard 36" X 54" (or the width of the roll)
    Around 30 oz. per yard seems to be average for outdoor seating. Thicker is better as long as other standards are met.

    Stretch ability wasn't mentioned much but materials labeled as 100% stretchable, 2 way or 4 way stretch seem to be suitable to pull around corners and using mostly a solid piece seat cover as seen in most basic factory covers. Less stretchy materials will probably require a top piece stitched to side pieces as well as separate pieces for sharp angles and compound shapes. this can often been seen in leather cruiser seats and those with complicated shapes. Never really found a way to know if a material will stretch enough. For vinyl heat guns can help with less compliant materials.

    mildew resistance or mention of mildew resistant coatings are another feature to note . Not sure what the standard is for this.

    There are also a bunch of different number/letter named specs which one could look up to get an idea if a material is suitable. It might well be easier to get a sample, reccomendation from a friend, or read reviews than wade through the various coded standards.

    FOAM:

    Foam is rated by density or the amount of weight in pounds it takes to compress it 25%.

    It is also measured by weight per linear yard it is often sold by the pound.

    I ended up buying the materials below I do already have some 2" egg crate memory foam (super soft by seating standards).

    http://m.ebay.com/itm/High-Density-Seat-Foam-Cushion-Replacement-Upholstery-Foam-Per-Sheet-24-quot-x-72-quot-/162047248258?varId=461014453310&txnId=1493301028006

    http://m.ebay.com/itm/BLACK-MARINE-...Y-38-quot-W-/252203614368?txnId=1970304471015

    I obviously went for less expensive materials although the vinyl itself was heavier 33.6 ounces /yd than some of the more expensive stuff.
    Hopefully my frugality doesn't bite me in the butt as it sometimes can. I have more often paid a premium just to find out I had got only average quality material. YMMV.

    Anyhow above is just what I noted while looking for my own materials hopefully it will help others in their search.
    The you tube search link (above) also has lots of good info on covering methods and tips.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  15. DeeBee

    DeeBee New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Fort Ooglethorpe , Ga
    I am about to raise my seat, although only back to stockish height after lowering it. In my limited experience pre-made seat covers usually have an extra inch or so of material all the way around. You should be able to cut and shape a sheet of 1" or maybe even 2" thick high density ( not weight per size, but weight to compress it 25%) foam to fit smoothly across the top.
    it should fit under a standard cover and certainly will fit under a custom cover look nice and be a little taller.
    For me an inch (shorter) made a big difference.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2016
  16. DeeBee

    DeeBee New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Fort Ooglethorpe , Ga
    Got my materials in the mail today. The foam is softer than expected. Should be nice for a smoothing top layer. But doesn't seem like thicker pieces (up to 6") would be firm enough to use as the main seat pad.

    The covering material didn't have the pattern I expected. Has an extra waterproof bottom layer, rather than the white cottony looking stuff, and is a bit stretchier than the inexpensive pre-made covers I have used in the past. It doesn't seem quite as stiff, but is just as thick. Gonna recover my seat during break, will know more then.
    My only concern is that it will be as tough as the stiffer feeling covers.
     
  17. Badbilly

    Badbilly Official VFRWorld Troll Of The Year!

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    15,047
    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Have you considered the various colors available in Astro Turf? That would probably be a first that could go viral.
     
  18. kennybobby

    kennybobby New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Heart of Dixie Georgia Boys mighta been usin' dat
    Map
    i was considering a high-density foam such as used under carpet, or in exercise mats or camping pads, to build up thickness, then cover with the thin soft foam for comfort and compliance. Or to fill in space for a firm base, use expanding foam in a plastic bag to form a mold and cut and trim to fit with a handsaw or carving knife, then cover and trim with the soft low-density foam, etc.

    Buying a thick piece of low-density foam won't give you the firmness that you need, neither will any sort of magic memory foam, which is just cheap regular foam soaked and infused with silicone to add damping.
     
Related Topics

Share This Page