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Old 02-18-2019, 05:27 PM   #1
bradlys
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Reupholstering a seat or two

I need to reupholster two of my bikes. One seat is just tearing apart. The other is way too slippery. So, they both need to get redone. I'm trying to find vinyl fabric online (both bikes are parked on the street) but I don't know what to look for. I want some grippy stuff. Anyone done this? Suggestions on resources? I feel like calling up some upholstery shops nearby but I feel like they'd be unhappy to tell me where they buy their fabric because I won't be giving them any business.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:24 PM   #2
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Many auto upholstery shops will sell you material if you ask. Its not their business and they may charge you more for the material, but it is an option.

I've used marine vinyl on the last two street bike seats I did. Google, ebay, or even West Marine locally. Used non slip stuff on dirtbikes and usually get cover precut for application. Factory Effex sells generic sheets of it. Eastex Products makes some non slip PVC material as well. Just some examples of what I have used.

Lots of choices online with a little google searching. Depending on the complexity of the seat shape, you may or may not need to sew a few panels together. For my TLR I had to sew a couple of panels together before stretching and stapling to the pan. While you can staple them with a heavy duty hand operated upholstery stapler if your pan isn't to hard, a pneumatic one is highly recommended.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:53 PM   #3
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You can visit discount fabrics on Cesar Chavez and have a chat with someone who works there. They have a big selection.
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:54 AM   #4
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talk to Mr Stitch in San Mateo
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:29 AM   #5
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Why not just go to Joanns or another fabric store? They seem to be all over the place. Joannes sells automotive upholstery specific materials from waterproof marine to leather and anything in between, all color, all surface textures. They also sell just about anything you can think of to repair fabrics, attach them (staples, glues etc)

Maybe too late here but for others, often you do not need to go to car or motorcycle specific places to get stuff. In fact, other places often sell the very same materials for a lot less money.
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:59 AM   #6
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Why not just go to Joanns or another fabric store? They seem to be all over the place. Joannes sells automotive upholstery specific materials from waterproof marine to leather and anything in between, all color, all surface textures. They also sell just about anything you can think of to repair fabrics, attach them (staples, glues etc)

Maybe too late here but for others, often you do not need to go to car or motorcycle specific places to get stuff. In fact, other places often sell the very same materials for a lot less money.
Joanne's has tons of options. Marine vinyl is what I use and it's cheap there.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:41 AM   #7
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Old thread from Rob, but pictures are gone: Here


And, of course, a web site devoted to the topic:
http://diymotorcycleseat.com/
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:48 AM   #8
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I did a post on the redo of a few seats years ago.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:45 AM   #9
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We use kingcovers here in Fremont. They are good people to deal with, reasonably priced and quick turnaround. Good Luck!
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:46 AM   #10
bradlys
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Originally Posted by Lucytriple View Post
You can visit discount fabrics on Cesar Chavez and have a chat with someone who works there. They have a big selection.
Would not suggest. This ended up being a waste of my time. Person on the phone wasn't helpful and when I came in, the guy was like, "Yeah, let's look but I don't think we have anything like that."

They didn't. It was all pretty smooth stuff.

Called Mr. Stitch but he gave me a few resources but they were basically places that made kits and then he said he could install them. Pretty much no place makes replacement covers for my bikes.

Ordered some vinyl for $13 off Amazon. It was 54" by 18". Not very much material for the price but not high investment either. Would not recommend even though people said it was good for a motorcycle seat. Slippery stuff compared to what was on my SV650S seat. I'm gonna reupholster the seat tonight because I already took off the old stuff. But my stapler I have isn't really doing me a solid. This plastic is *super* hard to get staples into.

Been looking online but most of the stuff is like $35-50 per yard. Which is just... well, a lot compared to what I've seen in stores where vinyl is like $12-20/yard. They're not very clear on total sizing by yard either. (As getting a yard of material could be 36"x44" or 36"x1" - both are a yard) I'm going to try calling this Seattle Fabrics place and see if this stuff is any good for a motorcycle seat: https://www.seattlefabrics.com/Slip-...bric_c_61.html and this https://www.seattlefabrics.com/54-Mo...ard_p_177.html - it's gonna be like $50 to get one yard shipped to me because of shipping and processing fees. $36+4+12 ~= $48.

I really need some grippy stuff but stuff that isn't sandpaper either - lol.

Last edited by bradlys; 06-18-2019 at 11:05 AM..
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Old 06-22-2019, 11:39 AM   #11
bradlys
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Here's the results of my attempt:
https://imgur.com/a/VeHvJ4w

Not great - not the worst. Been riding on it a few times - it's "okay". I'd prefer a much better material though - it's just not super sticky.
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Old 06-22-2019, 02:19 PM   #12
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With all the time spent, wouldn't it be worth it to buy a whole new seat off of ebay?
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:52 AM   #13
bradlys
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Originally Posted by squidworth View Post
With all the time spent, wouldn't it be worth it to buy a whole new seat off of ebay?
Considering the only seats that fit are 10+ years old, I'm at high risk of it immediately tearing once it is used. So, I'd pay $100+ and the seat would be destroyed quickly.

Didn't feel like risking it.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:26 PM   #14
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Corbin seats in Hollister. > $100 though. Mine is about 8 years now, 100k mi.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:44 PM   #15
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Easy. Google “scooter seat repair San Francisco” and click on the first Yelp link. It’ll take you to Yelp’s info “motorcycle repair” - has 5 star with 65 reviews.

Tony does great work for a decent price (he cut down the foam and recovered the seat with near-factory-level vinyl (or even leather) It was $100 after slight haggling (he’s an “old country” style guy). Even did mine while I walked around the Sunset for an hour.

Highly recommended. Phone # is on Yelp.
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