How to Repair a Motorcycle Foam Seat

Written by karen boyd
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How to Repair a Motorcycle Foam Seat
A comfortable seat can make an old motorcycle feel new. (model motorcycle image by Jeff Dalton from

When a motorcycle seat has tears in the cover, overly compacted foam, or pieces missing in the foam, it does not provide the smooth support needed for a comfortable and safe ride. Repairing a foam seat requires some time and effort, but the payoff can be a seat that looks and feels better than even a new stock seat. In addition to repairing the foam, you can customise the fit to make it perfect for you and how you ride.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pliers
  • Foam
  • Spray adhesive
  • Electric Knife
  • File
  • Marker
  • Seat covering fabric or leather
  • Heavy duty scissors or razor knife
  • Heavy-duty stapler

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    Repairing a Motorcycle Foam Seat

  1. 1

    Remove existing cover. Using a pliers carefully pull out the staples that hold the existing motorcycle seat cover in place. If the cover sticks to the foam beneath it, carefully peel it loose.

  2. 2

    Repair and customise the foam seat. Add foam where the seat requires more support. Remove any uneven surfaces with the electric knife and file, then use spray adhesive to add replacement foam. After the adhesive has dried, sit on the seat to determine if any foam needs removal in order to customise the seat to your preferences. Make sure you test the seat while sitting in the same position you ride in, so you can identify lumps or hollow spots.

  3. 3

    Choose the new seat covering. Vinyl and leather both offer durability, and leather has the additional benefit of breathability. Cloth coverings may work for some riding types, where the seat will not get rained on and where durability has less importance than remaining cool in hot temperatures.

  4. 4

    Cut out the new covering. Using the old seat covering as a pattern, trace the shape onto the new covering material. If you made significant changes in the seat, use the original covering as a base, but add material to areas you made larger. You can cut most coverings with a heavy duty scissors, and for thicker material you can use a razor or hobby knife.

  5. 5

    Cover the seat. Starting at the front of the seat staple the covering in place. Pull the covering snug and staple in place moving from side to side and from front to back. If bunches form, remove one or two staples, smooth the covering and reattach.

Tips and warnings

  • Heating the motorcycle seat with a blow dryer for a few minutes may help loosen the glue if the existing covers resists coming loose. Likewise, warm vinyl or leather will stretch into place more easily than cold vinyl or leather.
  • If you have concave areas on the seat, using adhesive only in those areas will hold the covering smoothly in place and will give a more custom finished look.

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