Tech Tips: Installing a Seat Cover 3

Video file
Tech Tips

Looking for some extra traction between your bike? Then a new seat cover may just be the answer to your problems. Click play to get some helpful tips on how to speed up your next seat cover installation.

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Transcribed version:

"Michael Lindsay: Hey, this is Michael Lindsay from Vital MX, we're at Chaparral Motorsports today and we're gonna have Jeff from SDG give us a few tips on how to change your seat cover. 

Jeff from SDG: A couple of key tools you need: staple remover, to get all the old staples outta the seat, a straight edge cutter to trim the seat cover once you got it installed, and an air or electric staple gun. First step is you're gonna need to remove all the staples from the old cover in the seat base. And I like to use this tool, it's a staple remover. You can also achieve the same result with a straight edge screwdriver and needle-nose pliers.

At this point we have all the staples removed, now we wanna remove the OEM cover, and any loose staples, and inspect the base and the foam for any sorta damage. Now that we got a clean foam, we're gonna install an SDG six-rib gripper cover on this KX-F seat. First thing you wanna start with is the nose pocket and slide that over the nose of the seat, ensure that it's centered, and that the seams are pulled down not to distort the foam in any way once the seat is stapled down. Now that we have the nose secure, we're gonna wanna secure the tail and make sure that we get the right tension on the seat cover so that we won't have wrinkles once we install the rest of the staples. Again, just like the front, center the seams on the seat, and you're looking for medium tension, not too tight, not so that it will distort the seat in any way when you press it down. This point in time, you wanna take and place a few staples in the rear of the cover. You wanna draw your attention to the center of the seat, bringing the center down and ensuring that the center patch of the seat cover is lined up with the center patch of the seat foam. Then you can take...reach over each side of that seat and place a few staples to secure it into place.

Helpful hint, when installing the cover, prior to putting the cover into place and stapling it, is to leave it in the sun or in a warm place so that the gripper material will actually become a little more flexible and help with your install. Once you've moved past the side portions here where we have stapled it into place, we're gonna wanna work backwards, back to the sides of these logos and work the material back so that we can take some of those wrinkles out and secure that. Now that we've worked towards the back section and secured the cover by the side logos, we're gonna work our way forward and take out any of wrinkles that are here in the center section by pulling them forward to the nose of the seat. You'll want to secure each one of these sides prior to moving on to the next side. After securing the seat cover and a few key spots around the base, you wanna massage the rest of the wrinkles out and pay special attention to the center section here where it will wanna bunch up and cause wrinkles. Simply just work the gripper material over the edge, keeping in line with the seat foam in center of the section and lines of the seat seams. Every time you've achieved a nice pull and tension on the cover, you'll wanna place a few staples in there to hold it into place. Remember always to work from one side to the other in the same location of the seat. At this point in time, we have to work around the brackets. On some models, the brackets are removable, if that is the case with your seat, remove the brackets, it will make your install around the tail section of the seat much easier, but if that's not the case, simply take a razor or a straight edge and cut that section of gripper cover out so that you can tuck it in behind there and make the necessary staples to tighten up the cover.

What you wanna do is finish up all of the rest of the areas of the seat cover that do not have staples in 'em, still making sure that you pull and put tension on it so that you can get an even tension throughout the cover and keep any of the wrinkles from showing up once you put it on the bike. We need to work on the tail and the nose of the seat. This is we have to pay special attention to so that when we wrap it, we don't cause any wrinkles that show up on the outside of the seat and cause any sort of bunching on the seat cover. When installing the cover on the tail, I like to use the seam as my first staple point, as it is the strongest portion of the cover, and then from there work my way out and around, pulling the cover back, small sections at a time to achieve a smooth fit around the top portion of the seat. Pay special attention to make sure that the seam stays in place on the nose of the seat and doesn't fold forward. Using the same technique as the back, pull small portions of the seat, placing staples to ensure that it doesn't bunch up on the front and cause any sort of wrinkles or eyesores. 

Now that we have completed stapling the cover, your install is finished, at least from the cover side of it. All we have now is cleanup work, which we'll use our straight edge to trim back any of the material to give it a clean look and to discard any of the excess gripper material so that you can do a clean install once it's ready for the bike. When you get to the nose section, pay special attention as there is a button slot. Make sure that you don't cut around the staples too closely so that the cover comes loose once the cover is in operation on the motorcycle. Now that you finished your install of the SDG gripper cover, you're ready to put that bad boy back on your machine and take full advantage of that six-rib performance and get this bike back out on the track."

Credit: Joe Carlino

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