Hunting down a replacement seat for a vintage motorcycle can turn into a wild goose chase. When one of our customers came up empty-handed in his quest for a Honda Twin Star seat, he called us. We offered to fabricate a custom seat from scratch, but the biker had an offbeat idea. Instead of spending hundreds on a brand new steel and fiberglass seat frame, he suggested building the seat on an inexpensive skateboard deck.
We scratched our heads for a few minutes, then gave it a go.
After confirming the skateboard fit the motorcycle seat plate, the bike owner yanked the skateboard’s wheels and drilled mounting holes in its deck. With the board prepped, we went to work.
The owner preferred a low profile seat, so we kept it simple and minimized the foam depth. We used a durable marine-grade vinyl for the cover. The lateral dorsal pleats are stylish, but they also serve a purpose; a pleated seat cover is ‘tackier’ than a seat with a plain surface. Finally, we turned the flared end of the old skateboard around to allow plenty of space for the tail light.
Turned out that building a motorcycle seat on a skateboard deck was not as crazy as it sounded.
The Honda CB400F, commonly know as the Honda 400 Four, is a rare bike. It was only built for three years: from 1975 to 1977. The 400 Four has an air-cooled, transverse mounted 408 CC inline four cylinder engine.
It was only a matter of time before a bike this old needed a new seat cover.
The owner wanted to maintain the bike’s original look, so he purchased a 400 Four seat cover and had Mac’s install it. There was some rust on the seat pan, but aside from that, everything was in good shape. Even the foam was still okay!
If you have an old bike, such as a Honda 400 Four, there are plenty of ways to recover the seat; go for an original looking cover, or have the seat redesigned to fit your body.
After an unsuccessful attempt to recover the original seat on his Honda, the bike’s owner finally raised the white flag and brought it to us. You’d think replacing the seat cover for a street bike would be a piece of cake, but that’s not always the case.
It’s pretty common for a motorcycle seat to lose its shape over time. This one needed to be rebuilt — sections of foam were damaged and badly compressed. No wonder the owner was having so much trouble installing a replacement cover!
In addition to rebuilding and beveling the foam, the owner wanted to make a few changes in the look. Not a problem if you have the right tools and plenty of experience.