How to Choose Motorcycle Seat Material

Written by susan dorling Google
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How to Choose Motorcycle Seat Material
Choose the perfect motorcycle seat material for your style of riding. (the big road black motorcycle. image by Yuri Bizgaimer from

Your motorcycle makes a uniquely personal statement about you. Individualise your bike with a custom saddle for a subtle or boldly dramatic style modification. Available in a range of traditional or exotic materials, custom motorcycle seats are in high demand as more and more riders modify their stock motorcycles. Choosing a material for your motorcycle seat is easy if you make the decision based not only on your aesthetic preferences, but also on your riding lifestyle and the weather conditions of the regions where you live and ride.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Determine the style of motorcycle seat you like. Sketch your design on paper if you are thinking about hand-tooled leather or vinyl. Compare each of the materials used to make motorcycle seats, such as leather, exotic skins, fabric, velour and different kinds of vinyl. Consider how the different fabrics wear in different weather and climate conditions. Determine which material would be best suited to the design you have in mind, your aesthetic preferences and functionality.

  2. 2

    View photo galleries on custom seat builder's websites to find the look you are trying to achieve. Pay careful attention to how different materials look when they are embossed with a design or lettering, if applicable.

  3. 3

    Consider the weather conditions you ride in and your riding lifestyle. Do you travel long distances? Are you often riding in the rain or do you leave your bike parked in the baking sun? Consider purchasing a seat cover to protect your investment if a particular material is not appropriate for your lifestyle and weather conditions; or choose a more durable material.

  4. 4

    Find a motorcycle seat manufacturer or small custom shop in your area. Visit the facility and check out the various materials first hand. Be guided by how appealing the material is to your eye, your touch and your artistic vision--if it is to be hand-tooled or be embossed with a design or lettering. Ask the shop owner about the breathability of the material you are interested in and how well it wears. Ask to see samples of the builder's work. Ask for testimonials or references from his clients. Sit on sample seats, if available, during your visit to gauge for yourself how comfortable the material will be on your new customised seat.

Tips and warnings

  • Make notes about the custom seat-builders you like and the materials that interest you.
  • Search for information about seat materials on the Internet using keywords such as custom motorcycle seats, custom motorcycle seat builders, custom seats for motorcycles, leather motorcycle seats, velour motorcycle seats, and vinyl motorcycle seats.
  • Visit custom seat builder shops to view materials first hand.

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