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Discussion Starter #1
My dad said he wants these seats re-upholstered for Christmas. He said this one week after last Christmas. So instead of waiting another 12 months, I decided to do it for him for his birthday which is in March.

I brought them (we have a pair but only the yellow one is pictured) out of the shed yesterday to check them out. Just doing a little preparation and pricing.







I've found that there are some replacement seats on eBay and even though they look pretty cheap and easy to replace I don't think they are going to work for me because I want to keep it looking as close to original as possible.

I think that means I'm going to have to do some foam repair.

One thing I like and I'm trying to keep is the little piece of chrome trim that outlines the bottom.

I've found a seat kit on eBay that looks pretty good but I'm not sure if the kit will include the chrome trim.


Does anyone have any experience with the eBay seller gumtwo32 or any other seller?
Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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I have a '77 Ct-90 myself. You can find most of the parts you need for those bikes from "The Doctor", Doctor ATV in
Nebraska, also known as Beatrice Cycle.
Check out "dratv.com".
He supports all the small Hondas from that era, especially the CT series.
He probably has the seat cover too.
 

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P.S. PM me and I'll tell you where to get a LOT more help!
 

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Do you have automotive upholsterers in Japan? They should be able to do it for you, and retain the chrome trim as well. The seat tray is in good condition, so it shouldn't be a problem.

The seat kit on e-Bay will probably be Chinese. I doubt if it will have the chrome trim strip.

You could also try http://www.econohonda.co.nz/ . Takes all cards, ships worldwide.

Good luck.
 

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To my eyes, an incorrect seat cover always looks wrong and draws attention to itself. It's a surprisingly difficult part to get right- there's a lot more to it than buying a cheap Chinese or Thai cover on eBay. They're never correct- something always gets lost in translation, so to speak. The vinyl will always be the wrong appearance, texture, weight, and feel. They usually get the font wrong on the names, and the stitching is not the same, the passenger strap different, the piping not right. It always looks and feels wrong, because it's different in all ways, other than being black.

And don't even think about taking your vintage motorcycle seat to an automotive upholsterer if this is important to you. They'll always say they can do the job cheaply, but the results always, always look wrong for a vintage motorcycle.

Check out this site, you really should have a look- it's a highly experienced Honda seat restoration specialist who gets it.
Lots of interesting advice and information on restoring seat pans, rivets, hardware, foam etc. The details that no automotive upholsterer has direct experience in or access to.

I do see a 1969 CT90 seat cover down the list, but it may not be absolutely correct for your year as it has white piping.
Let us know how you proceed!
http://www.coolretrobikes.com/seatcovers.htm
 

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Upholstery

Might be different in your area, but an auto upholsterer is the place to go.
In correct English an upholsterer works on furniture. It is an auto trimmer that works on cars, bikes, boats, and generally anything except furniture.
Furniture upholsterers usually do not sew. Auto trimmers always so their own stuff. but the above could vary.
Take original brochures with you. Find another bike with an original seat. Some original seats used heat to press in the forms or pleats. That system is usually not available at most shops.

I thought about what you said about the skills required. When Wade wrote the piece about carb work, I was thinking I could write a piece about how to make a new cover for your seats. I could also tell you how to throw darts, but I bet it would be a month of Sundays before you hit double 5. Same with upholstery.

I am not stuck on original, I am stuck on practical. I worked at upholstery, of all kinds, in three different countries, including the US. And I do have a Certificate of completion of apprenticeship.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Did you check out the Honda seat restoration site? Did you see all of the specialized hardware, fasteners, edge strips offered? Read about the care and attention to detail necessary to get the seat as factory original and correct as possible? http://www.coolretrobikes.com/seatcovers.htm

We'll disagree, then. I absolutely stand by my opinion that no automotive trimmer has the access to materials and experience needed to restore a vintage motorcycle seat correctly- they always look funky and wrong, can be spotted a mile away, no matter how cheaply and quickly they get the job out the door.
 

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Seat

We'll disagree, then. I absolutely stand by my opinion that no automotive trimmer has the access to materials and experience needed to restore a vintage motorcycle seat correctly- they always look funky and wrong, can be spotted a mile away, no matter how cheaply and quickly they get the job out the door.[/QUOTE]

Original materials may be hard to come by. If it is not made anymore, it is not made. It is possible a trimmer has not made a cover for a bike. But then it is possible to find a guy who has made many seat covers, for many old bikes, and even made covers when those bikes were fairly new. I am thinking 60s Triumphs here. Who would have more experience, than a guy who has served a 5 year apprenticeship, who has worked on plenty of seats, and who has worked at the trade for many years. Same guy might be pleased to show samples of his work.
It is almost as if you are saying a qualified motorcycle mechanic, of many years experience, does not have the experience to work on a bike.

And then if you do get an original looking cover, how will you fix the damage to the foam, and how will you fit it on, with zero experience?

If that is the case, I suggest a call to the local sales guy at Toyota.

Many years ago, we had a gig seat to repair and recover. Was horse hair padding, covered with leather, and diamond tufted. We found the type of guy who I have described above. The gig is in the Auckland Museum of Transport and Technology. At Western Springs near the speedway track.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Material

Sometime in the sixties, the upholstery material got stretchy.
The Honda seat has the older style non stretchy material. That material would have zero stretch up the roll, a teensy bit across the roll, and a bit more on the bias. Sitting here on my Island I have no idea if it is still available.
The Triumphs of the sixties used a similar material. It works well with fairly firm padding. About the same time, sixties, the padding changed. Earlier it used to be foam rubber, usually light grey in colour. Then foam was invented, usually light yellow in colour. Later still many densities of foam became available. The firm stuff is blue. IMO, the earlier rubber is best, but I have not seen it anywhere, for a long time.
The stretchy material was usually referred to as naugahyde sp? in the US.
There are many different varieties of the stretchy material. It has stretch up the roll, and sometimes too much stretch across the roll. Some of it can be real crappy material. It can be easier to work with for some applications. Also easier on the hands. I would prefer the non stretchy material, as original, for a bike seat, if you are wanting to stay near original.
Did not mention: original colours were usually black or grey. The new stuff comes in multiple colours. My XS400 is purple with a blue seat.

Unkle Crusty
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great leads

Thanks everyone for your input. You've shown me some really great websites that I know I'll be visiting well beyond the repair of this seat.

As for the cover, I'm going to start with one available an ebay. It's from Canada and for $40 bucks and refund guarantee, I'm going to give it a shot.

I'm going to get the foam from www.dratv.com



Mr. Young, I no longer live in Japan. I'm in the SF Bay Area in the USA now. I've updated my profile. Thank you for pointing that out. Also, thanks for the website. The product list is a little, how should I say, primitive. But looks like there is some good stuff. So, it's going to take a little digging.

I'll keep you guys posted with the progress.
 

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Cover

The cover looks good, and this time I will agree with Sandman.
You will not get an upholstery shop to make a cover for that price, especially with the Honda logo.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Discussion Starter #12
New Pics

My seats are in!!!

I ordered the seat cover from eBay for $40. It's not that bad. The quality of the material seems pretty good, the workmanship seems solid, and stenciling looks sharp. My only gripe is that it looks like the cover was folded over for a while and one is able to slightly see stress in the material if they look close enough. I only bought one so I will be ordering another one from him.

The seat foam came from dratv.com. I bought two to save on shipping so it cost a grand total of $100. These look pretty good, too. I compared the shape to one of the original seats and looks like a match.

I slung the cover over one of the foams and it is a liiiiitle tight. I'm going to heat the cover up with some hot air to make it more maliable and then try it again. Of course, the real test will be getting it on to the seat clips!!!

I just wanted to give you guys an update and say thanks again for the recommendations! Will post again soon once I got them mounted.

Pics
1) new foam next to new foam w/ new cover
2) profile view of new foam w/ new cover
3) stenciling on new cover
4) very little excess material of new cover on new foam


 
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