How to install gel pads on motorcycle seats

Written by jerry romick Google
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How to install gel pads on motorcycle seats
Adding a gel insert to your motorcycle seat can make your ride more comfortable. (motorcycles image by Artur Blaszak from

Long motorcycle rides often result in saddle discomfort. Jamie Elvidge, in the February 1999 edition of "Motorcycle Cruiser" magazine, says, "Butt ache is a universal problem among motorcyclists. In any form it can reach debilitation levels and override the more pleasurable sensations of riding." To address seat discomfort, motorcyclists sometimes install gel pads on seats, but how well they work varies from person to person.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 section of gel padding
  • 1 section of 1-inch thick open cell foam
  • Electric grinder or sander
  • Fine (120 grit) sanding disc
  • Carving tool or utility knife
  • Electric or pneumatic stapler
  • Spray adhesive
  • Chalk
  • Tack or staple puller or pliers
  • Respirator or dust mask
  • Eye protection

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  1. 1

    Take the seat off the motorcycle. Mark the seat cover and the seat pan with chalk to make it easier to put the seat cover back on.

  2. 2

    Take the cover off the seat using the tack puller or pliers to remove the staples. If your seat is one piece and includes a passenger section, you can leave the cover attached at the rear of the seat pan, but pull it back completely out of the way of the driver's section.

  3. 3

    Place the gel pad on the seat and trace around it with the chalk. Cut around the outline with the utility knife to a depth equal to the depth of the gel pad.

  4. 4

    Sand down the stock foam inside the border you've cut. Apply light pressure when sanding to avoid removing too much foam.

  5. 5

    Apply adhesive to the bottom and sides of the gel pad and place the pad into the area you've sanded.

  6. 6

    Measure and cut the open-cell foam to a size to cover the entire seat. Apply adhesive to the foam and secure it to the seat.

  7. 7

    Reinstall the seat cover using the electric stapler to attach it to the seat pan.

  8. 8

    Put the modified seat back on the motorcycle.

Tips and warnings

  • When removing the seat cover use caution not to tear or mar the cover.
  • Occasionally run your hands over the stock foam as you sand it to ensure there are no extremely high or low spots.
  • Gel pads that can be attached to the top of your motorcycle seat are available, and are a good way to test how comfortable gel is for you before making permanent modifications to your seat.
  • Aftermarket gel seats are also available for most motorcycles, but they tend to be fairly expensive.
  • Always wear a dust mask and eye protection when sanding and using the spray adhesive.

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