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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After lurking on here for a while I finally have a reason to start a new thread.

I decided to make a flat / brat / tracker style seat for my CX500. I could have just bought one from ebay I suppose but I like the challenge of trying something new so thought I'd give making one from scratch a shot.


I started by measuring up a sheet of marine ply. Somebody is bound to tell me it's a bad idea to use ply for a bike seat but it's too late now!

Wood Wood stain Plywood Hardwood Lumber

After much more measuring I had a base with some sides to fill in the gap made by the zigzag frame.

Table Longboard Wood Skateboard Surfboard

To make this work of course I had to cut off the raised rear seat mount.

Auto part Engine Automotive tire Automotive engine part Vehicle

Motor vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Automotive tire Tire

To stabilise the rear I welded in a thick bar. This also provides a handy mounting point for the seat, rear fender and possibly the rear light (I haven't done that yet...). I've also started to cut off the remaining rear from in this photo and weld the ends closed.

Auto part

I then made a raised mounting at the front of the base to hold the original tank-mounting tongue

Skateboard Longboard Skateboarding Equipment

With the base ready I could start adding foam. I used many layers of camping mat cut to shape and glued together with upholstery adhesive.

Surfboard Skateboard Longboard Table Skateboarding Equipment

After glueing the layers I sanded the edges to shape it.

Furniture Wood Table Wood stain

And finally I covered it in scrim foam to smooth everything out.

Table Furniture Soap dish Auto part

Now it was time to start on the cover. I really wanted diamond pattern vinyl in red so I had to make some. I can use a sewing machine but I've never tackled anything of this scale, so it took quite a few practice
attempts to get the diamond pattern working.

Here are a few of the practice attempts:

Red Orange Peach Furniture Room

Once I was happy with the pattern, the backing material (scrim foam) and the thread I was ready to start sewing the real material.

I chose a medium red vinyl with red thread. A long night spent measuring, marking and sewing and I had this

Red Linens Quilting Textile Tablecloth

Next time to make the pattern and cut the diamond vinyl.

Wood

...but before doing that I made a practice cover (a couple actually) in some purple snakeskin I had lying around (don't ask).

Architecture Furniture Table

Once I was comfortable with the pattern and the seam allowances it was time to cut my precious 'real' vinyl. A very scary moment as if I botched it up I would be back to square one!

Light Architecture

Lighting Lighting accessory Architecture Tints and shades

Continued...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Now I had to sew on the rear skirt, needed otherwise the fabric wouldn't sit nicely on the round seat.

Orange Bag Textile Handbag Leather

Orange Red Yellow Tan Peach

Architecture Fender Chair Furniture Arch

And finally time to attach it to the seat base!

Hardwood

Pink Red Footwear Shoe Carmine

Red Leather Furniture

I'll post some pics of it on the bike when I have the bike in a fit state to be photographed :)

Given it's my first ever upholstery I'm really happy with how it came out and I'm safe in the knowledge that if I get sick of it I can always make another one!

Another bonus of making a seat (and part motivation) was the cost. Here's what I spent:

Plywood - £10 (enough to make 3 seats probably)
Vinyl - £8
Scrim foam - £6.50
Foam - £12
Thread - £8 (a big spool)

Total: £44.50, excluding staples, screws and adhesive which I already had.
 

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Bro.... *round of applause* that's absolutely stunning!!! I have the same bike and desire the same seat!! I'm using this for sure, maybe even with snake skin :) congrats!
 

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Bad idea to use wood.....just kidding!...professional job...kudos on your resolve to tackle this project especially being your first attempt. I would be ashamed to show my first and only seat attempt.
 

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Well done :)
 

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Yes. Looks good! Good work.
 

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Awesome idea to use wood! It is relatively easy to work with and I think more durable than we usually assume - and lightweight, too! The sewing looks professional!
Question, did you use a regular sewing machine? Can I try this on my wife's without getting in trouble?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Question, did you use a regular sewing machine? Can I try this on my wife's without getting in trouble?
Yes - I used my inherited 1960s 'New Home' (Janome) machine with a leather needle and a wide foot (a 'zig zag' foot which came with the machine, a nylon foot would be better but I didn't have one). It depends on which material you use but it had no problem going through 3 layers of vinyl and the scrim foam for the seams.

The only problem I had was when I tried to use the thickest thread (20s) the upholstery shop sold, it would just bunch up and clog the machine. I switched to the next grade down (40s) and it had no problems. This is the stuff I used: Trimming Thread (Bonded Nylon)

Those big bobbins of thread won't fit on a domestic machine usually so I found a good trick of putting the bobbin on the floor and then feeding the thread up and over the back of a chair and into the machine.

Grab an offcut of vinyl and a leather needle and do some practice sewing first, it took a few attempts to get the tension right for the thread and material.
 

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Any pics with this mounted?
 
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