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Focus: Chopper Seats

 

If choppers are sundaes, seats are the icing on the cake. That's a mixed metaphor, but you catch our drift. Tooled and stitched leather are the preferred media for first-class seating on most custom motorcycles. Fortunately, there's a thriving cottage industry of garage tanners and leathermen who are dedicated to this craft. If you prefer stitched vinyl or more supple fabrics, both furniture and automotive upholsterers have been known to ply their craft for backstreet builders. When applied with heart and skill, even an old bandana can be great upholstery for a hand-built deathtrap.

Seat pans come in many shapes and sizes, and nearly as wide a range of materials. We've seen great seats built on tin, fiberglass and steel bases, and more than a couple guys out there have constructed perfectly good seat pans with stolen street signs. There's no end to the creativity, and sometimes, no accounting for individual taste.

 

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Brown naughahyde with nickel snaps

 

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The classic cobra king-and-queen with sky-high sissy bar backrest

 

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a simplified take on the classic cobra solo seat

 

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Kitchy or cool? You decide. Whichever you choose, the color and craftsmanship on this Bates-style spring-mounted solo seat is unassailable

 

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Rich patina is something you can't counterfeit

 

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Another vinyl-covered solo seat, this time with a tasteful diamond stitched pattern

 

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When you use your illusion, anything is possible. The black leather solo seat on Gilby Clarke's chop simply rocks

 

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Anatomically proportioned for his riding pleasure

 

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The throne on this tasteful panhead looks mighty inviting

 

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He's a cowboy, on a steel horse he rides

 

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Would you still have a smile on your face if you had to stare at sweaty biker ass all day?

 

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This recessed seat nestles into the rear stays of the frame and looks good doing it

 

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Solo seats look best when the springs are properly aligned and mounted on the frame. Leather washers beneath the coils reduce squeeking

 

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Two bucks at Farm and Fleet and still going strong

 

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Practically perfect in every way

 

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Wild John has a plan, and it includes whip stitching and plenty of hand-hammered rivets. Nice work, brother

 

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They call them tractor seats, but this oversized solo looks anything but agricultural

 

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Brown is the new black. Or is upholstery the new hand tooling? Where's our DicE magazine style guide when we need it?

 

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Would you trust a strange caligrapher to write exactly what you want to say? My back tat was supposed to say "Money, Power & Respect," but a Japanese friend told me it says, "blows goats for dinner."

 

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A tooled seat as finely crafted as the rest of the bike is a thing of beauty and a joy forever

 

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A mid-sized cobra still has plenty of bite when it's mounted on the right machine. This set-up seems to be saying, "I want to be free to ride my machine without being hassled by The Man!"

 

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Don't you dare call this bike a chopper. It's a bobber, and it says so right on the oil bag


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Comment with Chopcult (25)

Commented on 12-23-2009 At 09:03 am
 

I like the seat with the 61 and double race flags, although the lime green seat really caught my eye. Cool pic line up.

Commented on 12-23-2009 At 09:13 am
 

dammit... now i hate my seat.

Commented on 12-23-2009 At 10:18 am
 

really makes me glad im going to try to make my own, nice write up!

Commented on 12-23-2009 At 10:53 am
 

I like how in the tractor seat pic, the guy mounted a cigar tube to the frame. Paper work I'm guessing.

Commented on 12-23-2009 At 11:12 am
 

that mini cobra seat is great

Commented on 12-23-2009 At 11:58 am
 

Nice collection of beautifull seats. Maybe someones interested in some hand made custom seats. They re all on off and i make them one by one.
Check my pics here on chop cult or visit www.mbleathers.com or mbleathers.blogspot.com.
put your ass on some class
L and R Mario@MBLeathers

Commented on 12-23-2009 At 12:34 pm
 

whooooooo tractor seats! ive got a bunch of ols steel and cast iron tractor seats. im gonna figure out a way to put on on my scoot.

Commented on 12-23-2009 At 01:22 pm
 

It should say: Rich, patina is something you can't counterfeit...

Commented on 12-23-2009 At 03:34 pm
 

My favorite seats are always the ones that have the "miles ridden" patina... like an old saddle. Great photos. Thanks.

Commented on 12-23-2009 At 09:31 pm
 

Sweet Pics and excellent write up this site just keeps gettin better
Nice Job Bro!

Commented on 12-23-2009 At 09:33 pm
 

I dig the old west eagle diamond stitch on mine.... But some nice stitched leather would be cool.

Commented on 12-23-2009 At 10:34 pm
 

I dig all the seats, wish i could all of them.

Commented on 12-23-2009 At 11:51 pm
 

Great selection. Thanks for the article.

Commented on 12-24-2009 At 08:56 am
 

Motorcycle seats smell like ball sweat. Ball sweat is cool as long as it's yours.

Commented on 12-24-2009 At 09:36 am
 

Awesome collection; people's taste in seats vary more than paint sometimes...hey, what about the first picture shown that introduces the post? Is that leather? What kind of finish is that?

Commented on 12-24-2009 At 02:33 pm
 

i think the first one is naugahyde

Commented on 12-25-2009 At 10:34 am
 

These news feeds are the shit. Content is awesome and updated all the time.
Best thing on the site! Thx

Commented on 12-25-2009 At 01:28 pm
 

great write up. now i want a new seat! i've been meaning to make a new one. already have the leather for it.

Commented on 12-29-2009 At 03:24 am
 

I always liked the solo spring seats, the one with no fuzz and blings, just plain clean...

Commented on 12-29-2009 At 12:00 pm
 

Nice collection. Check out Shirl's work at badassseats.com
She does nice work too!

Commented on 12-31-2009 At 10:11 am
 

nicely done. Also, that seat that's for "HIS" pleasure..I guess that'd work for HER pleasure as well.

Commented on 1-10-2010 At 01:13 pm
 

i wish i was good with leatherworks.

Commented on 1-12-2010 At 12:58 am
 

i made both the seats for my bike stock seats are lame as fuck even aftermarket seats are lame as fuck i suggest everyone to make there own its way fun

Commented on 1-12-2010 At 12:58 am
 

i made both the seats for my bike stock seats are lame as fuck even aftermarket seats are lame as fuck i suggest everyone to make there own its way fun

Commented on 8-21-2010 At 02:41 pm
 

Gave me a lot of great ideas for my sled.

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