Not as easy as it sounds!

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CONTENTS -

Re-cov­er­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle’s seat is one of those jobs that, for most of us, can be a royal pain. Os­ten­si­bly it should be an as­sign­ment that’s easy to ac­com­plish but when you get deeper into it you re­alise just why it’s very of­ten a spe­cial­ist task. You find your­self need­ing more arms than an oc­to­pus and the pa­tience of sev­eral ma­jor saints along with at least half a dozen im­ple­ments you’d never imag­ine would be of use. The job be­comes a multi-di­men­sional puz­zle which seems to morph shape ev­ery time you look away or blink. Even when you’re adamant that ev­ery­thing is cor­rect the end re­sult can turn out look­ing noth­ing like you’d hoped for. I don’t claim to be an ex­pert on seat re-cov­er­ing, far from it in fact as you’ll see, but I’d done sev­eral some years ago and I’d been rather pleased with the out­comes. In one in­stance I’d man­aged to buy a gen­uine seat cover from the lo­cal dealer and fit­ting it proved to be a pleas­ant af­ter­noon’s work in the sun­shine. The next cover was a pat­tern item and not quite so eas­ily sorted but in the end I was happy with the job and so was my mate who’d asked me to help him. So with some knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing but not a great deal of ex­per­tise I had a pass­able level of con­fi­dence when tak­ing on the seat of my RD350. Fol­low­ing my shock ab­sorber up­grade ear­lier in the year it was ap­par­ent that the seat’s foam was rather lack­ing in com­fort and ef­fec­tively went flat dur­ing a ride. Although it would sub­se­quently re­cover its shape the ride qual­ity was still sub­stan­tially less than ideal. As our open­ing shot shows the orig­i­nal cover was on crooked with the maker’s name se­verely ‘on the wonk’. It was also ex­hibit­ing signs of rip­pling and sag­ging typ­i­cal of a de­cay­ing foam, plus it’d started to de­tach it­self from the base. At the time I com­mit­ted to sort this all out no one in the UK was mak­ing seat foams for round tanked RD250/350S so I ended up look­ing state­side via ebay. Even­tu­ally I found some­one who had good feed­back and had gone to the ex­pense of mak­ing a mould for my model for Yamaha. Cour­tesy of my long suf­fer­ing pal the foam was ac­quired and, good egg that he is, Si­mon brought it over as hand lug­gage dur­ing one of his vis­its to the UK. What fol­lowed turned out to be a night­mare that was only re­triev­able via an ex­pert.

1 1/ Easy win this; strip off all the fix­ture and fit­tings from the seat base. With them all off the seat can be laid flat, ready to be worked on.

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