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How to repair a small tear in a motorcycle seat

Updated February 21, 2017

Motorcycle seat covers are made from vinyl or leather. The type of vinyl used has a fabric backing that can tear along a thread line. Leather seat covers typically wear thin before they tear, leaving the area around the torn opening frayed and inconsistent. Tears in leather motorcycle seats are next to impossible to patch with any degree of reliability. Installing backing is a sure way to repair small tears in a motorcycle seat.

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  1. Lift one edge of the tear just enough to insert the round end of a wooden ice cream stick below the seat covering. Work the stick flat between the seat covering and the foam padding to separate the adhesive bond that holds the covering to the padding. Create a 1-inch void the width of the tear.

  2. Lift the other edge of the tear and use the same method to create a 1-inch void the width of the tear between the seat covering and padding on that side of the tear.

  3. Cut a piece of random vinyl fabric as backing. Cut the piece 2 inches long and the width of the tear using scissors.

  4. Use the stick to insert the piece of backing into the voids between the seat covering and the padding on each side of the tear. Make sure the fabric side of the backing is facing up so it will contact the fabric lining on the underside of the vinyl seat covering. Smooth the piece of backing so it is uniformly in place.

  5. Lift one edge of the tear and apply vinyl fabric glue atop the backing. Spread the glue on the surface of the backing using the wooden stick. Repeat this and apply glue to the backing on the other side of the tear.

  6. Cut a 6-inch-long piece of masking tape. Adhere half the piece to the motorcycle seat on one side of the tear. Push down on the seat next to the tear to create an indentation that joins the edges of the tear. Press the other end of the masking tape into place across the tear.

  7. Fill a plastic shopping bag with sand and tie the top of the bag closed. Place the sand bag on top of the seat repair. Allow the repair to sit overnight. Remove the sand bag and masking tape from the seat.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wooden ice cream stick
  • Vinyl fabric
  • Scissors
  • Vinyl fabric glue
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic shopping bag
  • Sand

About the Author

William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, road racing and sport fishing. He studied architecture at Taft Junior College.

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