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Discussion Starter #1
Given that I've owned the same bike for 21 years, I've replaced the seat on it twice because the vinyl started to crack. I'm tired of doing this since it's expensive and Suzuki makes it somewhat of a pain to take off and install the seat, especially since I replaced the stock 2 piece seat with a 1 piece seat. That's why I'm hunting for a vinyl conditioner that will save my bike's seat from ever cracking/ripping again. From what I've seen on the internet a lot of people recommend 303 and Poor Boys. I saw one person recommend carnauba wax and another baby oil. What's my best bet with a motorcycle that I keep garaged here in Chicagoland?
 

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Nothing.

Unlike leather, vinyl does not absorb liquids, so anything you put on can only prevent air, water and sunshine from touching it.
Keep it clean, as dirt may have baddies in it. Keep it out of the sun.
Keep it covered in the rain. Rain will creep through the seems, and the material will slowly degrade next to the seems. There is a stitch sealer that can help prevent that, but a cover would be better.

The original seat on my 1980 XS1100 is in excellent condition. The reason: it has been in a garage with a cover on it for the past 20 years.

The upholsterers need $$ too.

Unkle Krusty*
 

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21 years and only 2 seats? I wouldn't complain. Is it the years or miles ridden though and how you store the bike? Keeping it covered and out of the sun should help. But like Krusty says it's plastic and not much can be done except exposure to the elements reduced. If you plan on keeping it forever you might go with leather so you can at least keep oils on it but the stitching will still be the weak point.
 

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Keep it out of the sun. Keep it covered in the rain. Rain will creep through the seams, and the material will slowly degrade next to the seams. Unkle Krusty*
^^^^^

After 40 years of trying to keep auto dashboards and motorcycle seats intact, I'm convinced UV damage (and consequent heating by the sun) is #1, and that all the Armor-All in the world won't prevent it.

So a cover, a garbage bag, your jacket, whatever...
 

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I suggest 303 Aerospace protectant.

I've only started using this on my bike but it's served me very well for years on all sorts of plastic, vinyl, and rubber products, I learned about it from protecting delicate latex rubber kayaking dry suit seals from ozone and UV, it doubles their life at least. It works very well for just about everything.

http://www.goldeagle.com/product/303-aerospace-protectant

It's kind of like water based Armor-all, but not nearly as slippery on a seat and safe for contacting just about anything, I can vouch for it being safe on plastic, leather, rubber, tires, latex rubber, and no doubt just about anything else.

It's available all over, Ace Hardware, Amazon, etc
 

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It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye
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I used Armor-All on my seat once...

After almost sliding past the fuel cap at a stop sign, I decided I'd just let it age naturally.:eek:
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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303 or Poor Boys vinyl care and protectant
 

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Forgot

Forgot to mention. Do not sit on it. That puts pressure on the material.

On a side note. Unprotected leather will slowly dry and crack, especially if it gets wet then dry. Deer skin seems to survive the best at this. Is why it is used for gloves.
Different areas of the country will have different sun radiation affects.

Unkle Krusty*
 

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My vinyl seat had a small tear, right on a "seam". I fixed it with Permatex Ultra, the one that comes with a heat curing tool. Not sure how it will hold up, but it looks OK. Hopefully better than buying a new seat
 
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