Sunday, February 14, 2010

13. Take a seat.

Today finds the KXproject on it's seat. Unfortunately, I failed to record the 'before' photos that I really wanted. A bit to excited to get started tearing and stapling.

After spending a great deal of time in finding a seat cover for an '89 KX 125, I came to the conclusion that paying over fifty bucks for a piece of vinyl is ludicrous. I said to myself "Self, you can go and buy some vinyl, and make your own seat cover." And that is just what I did.

If you take some time and go back over the pre- tear down photos a few rips and tears can be seen on the seat. One nice open wound on the top rear and a slice along the lower right side. Tears and slices aside, the old cover was just that, old. Faded by the sun, seams letting go, and a dated color scheme all meant it had to go.

A pair of needle nose pliers made short work of yanking out the old rusty staples, once they where removed the cover basically fell off with a few foam crumbs. All in all the foam was in descent shape, no need to replace as of yet. At some point in time one of the rear seat mounts had been broken, I removed both of them and am now fabing up new ones out of some aluminum flat stock. After dismantling the seat it went to the tub for a quick soap and rinse, taking care not to dampen the foam. The foam may have looked to be in good shape, but I didn't want to risk dissolving it at the first sign of moisture.

As I let the cleaned seat dry I googled up some fabric dealers in the area, I was lead to a shop in east Portland where I was able to pick up three yards of black gripper vinyl for $7.00. How elated I was, I eyeballed the three yards, at least fours seat covers were possible, perhaps more. I rolled up my find and headed home. But, before reaching home I stopped off at a few of the local cycle shops and was pleased to find the same material on some of the bikes out on the showroom floors. Fifty dollars for one or seven bucks for four, no question as to which way to go here.

Rain was pouring down the next day, so working outside on the seat was out, into the kitchen I moved. Seat, scissors, staple gun and ammo, vinyl, all was on hand. I began by slicing out a generous swatch of fabric a few inches larger than the seat, the seat is not flat, so I allowed for the bit of rise at the front of the seat. I started tacking in the center of the right side, then pulled the material tight across the seat and tacked the left center. I worked out from the centers, pulling and tacking, tacking and pulling; my fingers started to feel the burn after reaching the slight upturn at the front of the seat. I felt like one of those rock climbers who ascend cliffs with just a few chalky fingertips, because of the upturn the material needed to be stretched even tighter so as not to bubble up.

Finishing the stretching of the canvas, I stepped back to admire my handy work. "Looks like factory to me."

That's a lot of staples.

Don't forget to trim off the excess material.

That's one nice lookin' back side.

Must be a young seat, no wrinkles.

I also built the stand under the seat.

1 comment:

Steve D said...

Very nice job on the seat. Great savings on the cost and I doubt a replacement one would look any better and would be with cheaper parts. Well done!