How to Recover a Motorcycle Seat


Motorcycle seats vary in size and shape. Some are longer than others, and some are higher than others, providing back support or a shape that adheres to the riding position. It is very common for seats to rip and tear over time due to normal wear and tear or exposure to sunlight. These rips and tears can leave a seat unstable and sometimes dangerous. Re-covering a motorcycle seat can be fairly easy with the right knowledge and tools.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 length vinyl fabric/upholstery
  • Box cutter
  • 1 can multiuse foam & fabric adhesive spray
  • Remove the motorcycle seat and remove the old vinyl covering, but leaving the foam intact. Place the seat on the backside of your sheet of vinyl fabric/upholstery on a flat, open surface. Have at least 8 to 9 inches of excess length extending out from each side of the seat. Any less will not allow the entire seat to be securely covered. Adjust this extension amount according the height of the seat -- the higher the seat, the more excess length you will need.

  • Take each end of the fabric/upholstery and pull it tight around each side of the seat one at a time. Make sure that each side comes up past the height of the seat by at least 4 to 5 inches so that those overlapping lengths can be tucked down into the inside walls of the seat. Once this is confirmed, take the box cutter and cut diagonal slits into each corner of the fabric/upholstery toward the center. Stop the slit/cut at the height of the seat. Do not go past the height of the seat or the inside foam will be exposed. The reason for the cuts is to allow the fabric/upholstery to snugly form to the shape of the seat without wrinkles, ensuring its hold.

  • Set the seat aside. Spray an entire layer of the adhesive spray across the backside of the fabric/upholstery. Spray the entire top and sides of the foam on the seat. Take the seat and correctly position it on the backside of the fabric/upholstery. First attach the top side of the seat to the fabric/upholstery; pressing down on it firmly while rubbing out any wrinkles. Next, begin overlapping each side and pressing each area of excess length against the inside walls of the seat. Hold each side into place for several seconds to allow drying. Do one side and then repeat. Rub out any wrinkles before allowing to dry.

  • Leave the seat to sit overnight. Do not put back onto the motorcycle frame until the seat has dried.

Tips & Warnings

  • After you attach the top part of the seat to the fabric/upholstery, you may need to add another layer of adhesive to all sides if they have already begun to dry.
  • If you cut your slits beyond the height of the seat, you may have to buy an entirely new length of fabric/upholstery. If you don't rub out the wrinkles, the seat will look misshaped and unappealing.

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