How to Make Custom Motorcycle Seats

a decorated Motorcycle Seat
  • 10-25 hours
  • Advanced
  • 200-1,000
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Paper and pencil
Computer design software for furniture
Metal cutting torch and safety equipment
Piece of sheet steel 1/8 inch thick
Metal-headed and rubber mallets
Metal edge curler
Steel press
Steel roller
Leather skin at least 4 feet by 4 feet
High-density 2-inch upholstery foam, 36-inch square
Double sided tape
Upholstery glue
Rivet gun

When customizing your motorcycle, don't settle for standard motorcycle seats. Make one of top quality leather, with dense foam padding, that will keep you riding comfortably for hours. Follow the guidelines below to make a custom motorcycle seat fitted to your specific motorcycle.

Step 1: Draw an Exact Plan of the Seat Shape

Measure precisely the length, width and depth of the custom seat you want to make. Measure your body's hip and rear width to ensure the seat is the right size. The seat will be uncomfortable if it is too wide or too narrow. Include the depth of the seat pan, the concave shape that helps you stay on your motorbike as you lean into turns. Your seat should also look like it belongs on your motorbike. Use paper and pencil or computer design software for your seat plan.

Step 2: Cut the Metal Frame of the Seat

Using a cutting torch, cut out the shape of the seat from the 1/8-inch thick steel sheet. Leave a border of an extra 1/2 inch around the whole shape to be rolled under for a smooth, defined seat rim.

Step 3: Contour the Seat

Sketch on the steel seat shape where the concave seat pan will be. Turn over the steel seat onto a mallet bag or metal shaping form. Strike the steel repeatedly with first a metal-headed mallet, then a rubber mallet to form the concave seat pan. Test it for fit by sitting on it from time to time as you shape it.

Step 4: Curl the Seat Edge Under

Once you have the seat pan in the precise shape you want, use the hot steel roller to curl under the steel edges of the seat, as smoothly as possible.

Step 5: Measure and Attach Foam

Measure the foam you will need to cover the width and length of the seat, plus 1 inch all the way around. This foam will curl under the seat and be covered by the leather upholstery. Attach the foam to the steel seat base with double-sided tape to check for correct size and fit. Remove the foam and apply upholstery glue all over the top of the steel seat base, and under the seat edge. Align the foam over the seat exactly as in your test fit. Allow this first layer of foam to dry thoroughly, and apply a second layer.

Step 6: Add Leather Upholstery

Measure the leather upholstery, adding 3 inches to the entire edge for your rough cut. Fit the leather onto the seat snugly over the foam. Rivet the leather into the steel seat base. Trim off excess leather after you finish riveting.

Step 7: Attach the Seat to the Motorcycle

Attach the seat hardware onto the new seat with rivets, and mount the seat on the motorcycle's seat bracket.