Build a custom seat pan for your Harley.
The project of building a seat pan begins the day the design is chosen. From this point forward, it’s time to gather the materials and start the two-day project. Having a bit of knowledge about custom work, shaping and tools will enrich the project. However, being patient with the materials and working at a steady pace will garner the best overall results regardless of your prior custom work knowledge.
Design, Shape and Mount a Motorcycle Seat Pan
1. Wrap the frame with paint masking tape to create a base.
2. Apply cardboard over large open spaces to smooth out the bottom.
3. Finish taping off all sections where the seat pan will go. If it is not a project bike, tape off all exposed paint to protect it during the fiberglass stages to come.
4. Add sheets of cardboard to flatten out the area around the fender bolts. Tape over the masking tape carefully with duct tape.
5. Cover the entire bike with plastic, leaving the duct tape exposed. Be safe, not sorry, and wrap the bike to protect it from resin splatter.
6. Put on gloves and wax the area with four coats of mold release wax. The more wax added, the easier removal will be.
7. Put on gloves, mask and eye protection, then mix the resin according to directions. Do this in the shade because resin is highly flammable.
8. Apply the resin onto the tape using a 2-inch brush spreading an evenly thin coat.
9. Set one layer of fiberglass mat down then apply a thin even coat of resin over the top. Use the 2-inch brush to move excessive resin and/or air bubbles to the side. Add a second layer of fiberglass mat and another thin, even coat of resin. Repeat two more times.
10. Add a layer of cotton, fiber, fleece or wool to add durability and strength to the seat pan. Once the layers of fiberglass and roving have been set. Let it dry overnight.
11. Put on thick gloves, then pull up one end carefully lifting the pan off the sub-frame.
12. Mark the pan with a black felt pen to know where you want to trim.
13. Using the band saw, begin slowly trimming the pan. Once trimmed, install on the frame. If the pan is not the shape you want on the frame, then trim again. Repeat until you have the desired pan shape on the frame.
14. Check the fit on the frame and try getting it as symmetrical as possible. When you are happy with how it conforms to the frame, sand all edges until they are smooth.
15. Add fasteners to do a dry run, making sure the fastening system works before getting the seat upholstered.
16. Take the seat pan to an upholstering shop. Upon its return, attach it to the bike frame using fasteners.