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Seat repair/re-covering

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by Bravus, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. (wasn't sure whether this belonged here or in Maintenance and Appearance - perhaps a kind mod can move it if the coin came down wrong)

    Got the GSXF checked for a roadworthy today, and among other things got knocked back for this rip in the seat:


    They quoted $120 to re-cover the seat. Since that's about 4% of the sale price, and there are other bits that together add up to about 20% of the sale price, it'd be great if I could find a cheaper alternative. I assume duct tape won't cut it. Is there a kind of repair that's legal, or how tough is it to re-cover a seat myself? Or should I just suck it up?
  2. On searching, I'd love to be able to send it to you, typhoon - the price is right and the work looks great. But I have a buyer on the line right now and probably don't have the time to mail it out and back... and with the postage it wouldn't end up *that* much cheaper than just getting these guys to do it.

    I already have a pretty serious stapler, so maybe the $8 Clark Rubber vinyl is the go...
  3. What puzzles me is how on earth a fag burn in the seat cover is a RWC issue. Sure they're not BSing you?
  4. :shock:
    arent you married Bravus? i think Pat is being rude! :p :p :bolt:
  5. Selling the bike? Screed some black RTV silicone into it! :LOL: :shock: :p

    I didn't tell you that either.

    Regards, Andrew.
  6. LOL - no fags on this here seat - not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Pat, yeah, it seems crazy, but I believe it is part of the rules.

    So, does this mean Andrew (typhoon) is a 're-covering alcoholic'? ;)

    Gonna go pull the seat off now and have a proper look underneath to see how daunting a re-cover will be.

    There will be pics, oh yes...
  7. Vinyl welding ...
    a job that small shouldn't cost you more than 20 bucks
  8. Thanx guys. Will look into the vinyl welding thingy and see what can be found around here.

    If I do end up having to cover it, the bit I'm stuck on is how to get the stapler back behind the inside of the seat (if that makes sense to anyone) to fold over the ends of the staples. Or is there metal behind the plastic that does that?

    Here's a photo:

  9. Those sort of staples don't fold over like your stationary kind. They simply go straight in - well that's what I've always thought :?
  10. Thanx.

    I'll call for a vinyl welding quote tomorrow and see what they reckon.
  11. You are correct, teh staples just fire straight in and the plastic hods them in place via friction.
    Don't use staples more than 4mm long, or you can cut your legs badly!

    If you're going to have a go, stretch the vinyl along teh sat front to back, and tack it at each end in teh middle with 3 or 4 staples, then move along to just below the ridge in teh seat (the lower side, where you sit) and stretch teh vinyl evenly fron side to side at this point. This is the critical part of teh seat, get it as flat and tight as you can here. Then work your way back, a little at a time, pulling one side, then the other, back and forth. Just tack a few spots, then go back and fill in teh gaps later.
    At the rear corners, pull the vinyl very firmly over the corner, bisecting the angle, then staple in teh middle of teh corner. Then work your way out from teh corner, a staple at a time, letting the material pleat itself under the seat base.
    Some heat may make life easier for you, so lay teh cover in teh sun (or use a heat gun sparingly, you can get the vinyl up to about 80 degrees c without any damage, that is hot tap water temp, so use your hand to judge it) every so often to make it easier to stretch the vinyl. If you look at the old cover once it's off the job, you will see where and how it was stretched into place, and it'll give you an idea of what you're trying to do.
    The front may be a bugger to do, if it has a seam in it now, you will probably not get away without putting another seam in it. If it doesn't, just take your timestretch a bit, then cut a slit JUST BELOW THE STAPLE LINE (on the waste side of teh staple line), to allow the material to stretch around teh curve.

    I can't cover it all, but this, and some thinking about what you're trying to achieve, should get you a more than passable result.

    Vinly welding won't workk long term in this situation, the material is too stressed in the location of teh tear. Save your money.

    Regards, Andrew.
  12. Thanx very much for that, much appreciated. That will be invaluable if I do try to re-cover it.

    I'll probably still talk to the vinyl welding guys, because this particular job doesn't really have to last the long term (from my point of view): the bike is being sold to a young bloke out at Mt Isa for whom it's his first bike, and I suspect it'll be getting thrashed pretty mightily. I could be wrong, but I suspect a small hole reappearing in the seat might be the least of its problems. And as I said, re-covering is a pretty significant proportion of the sale cost, so...

    We'll see, nut thanx once again.
  13. Fair enough. It is over here too, for cars, the rationale being that, with damaged upholstery, various sharp and dangerous bits of metal can become exposed. Which is reasonable. For the seat construction used in a car.

    It just seems to be a bit anal to apply it to bikes. By that reasoning, I'd probably never owned a roadworthy bike up until a couple of years ago.
  14. I was recently pulled up for tears in the seat of the R65 when I took it for RWC. I was told that all they need is to NOT be able to see the holes, and tape WOULD do. I couldn't work out what was sillier - the failure because of the tear, or the compliance with that repair.

    Seriously, covering seats is not that big a deal - just don't get too carried away pulling it tight. If it doesn't want to take a shape without huge tension a little heat or sunshine will help.
  15. Cool - chatted to the guy again this morning when I dropped it in to get the steering head bearings fixed, asked about cheaper solutions, told him where the bike's headed and so on, and he said a decent tape repair would be fine. Much stress about nothing, in the end. But now I know what needs to be done if a seat gets seriously ripped (send it to typhoon!)
  16. I cover my own with "Kangaroo Hide" not as resilient to the wet as Vinyl, but damn easier to re-cover, easier to stretch and nice to sit on as well!
    I always use a good contact adhesive first and then staple once glued in position, always works nice easy way to do em!