Harley Seat Modification

Harley-Davidson riders normally enjoy spending a lot of time on the road, but often cringe at the thought of an extended stay on their motorcycle’s saddle. While Harley-Davidson designs the seats to maximize the rider’s comfort, they are made to fit as broad a range of body types as possible, and often may not fit you perfectly. A few miles on an ill-fitting seat can create painful pressure points between the bottom of your spinal cord and your pelvic bones. However, a few modifications can be made to your Harley’s seat to alleviate this condition.


1. Park your Harley-Davidson on its side stand, then sit on it in your usual riding position. Do your buttocks feel supported on the seat or does the seat force you to place too much weight forward and against the handlebars? Take note of any immediate discomfort that you may feel from the seat, then go for a long ride to determine the seat’s long-term effects on your comfort. Make mental notes of any discomfort around your buttocks, tail bone or wrists as you ride. Write your findings on a notepad when you return home.

2. Remove the seat from your Harley-Davidson. Unfasten its rear mounting bolt, which is on a metal bracket at the end of the seat, using a Phillips-head screwdriver. Lift the seat up, then pull it away from the catch below the gas tank.

3. Flip the seat over and remove the cover. Use a small pry bar or staple remover to pull the seat cover staples from the bottom of the plastic seat pan. Gently peel the seat cover away from the bottom of the seat pan until it is completely removed.

4. Flip the seat over with the top facing up. Refer to your notes to determine what changes need to be made to the seat’s foam cushion. If you have been sitting too far forward, indicated by aching wrists, the seat’s pitch, or slope from the rear to the front, must be built up slightly. Alternatively, discomfort around your tail bone and buttocks is an indication that the seat is not cradling your underside sufficiently. Mark the areas of the seat that need modification using a permanent marker.

5. Reduce the pitch of the seat by shaving away a small portion of material from the top of the seat’s foam cushion with an angle grinder. Only remove enough material to level the top of the cushion.

6. Cut away some of the foam cushion material with your angle grinder to create a scooped-out area to improve the seat’s ability to cradle your buttocks. This section runs across the width of the seat cushion.

7. Use scissors to cut several pieces of high-density foam into the rough shapes needed to fill in the shaved seat foam. Create a wide piece of foam to fill in the section that runs across the seat cushion, extending slightly over its sides. Also cut a slightly triangular section of foam to create a nose at the front of the seat, using several layers of high-density foam.

8. Spray the bottom of the high-density foam pieces and the top of the shaved sections with spray adhesive. Allow the adhesive to set for 20 seconds, then place the foam pieces on the cushion.

9. Shape the new foam sections with your angle grinder until they are contoured to the shape of the seat.

10. Spray the top of the seat with adhesive, then place the cover over the seat. Pull the edges of the seat cover tightly around the bottom of the plastic seat pan and staple it in place with an electric staple gun.

11. Reinstall the seat on your Harley-Davidson, slipping the metal tongue under the nose of the seat into the catch below the gas tank. Lower the seat onto the rear fender, then fasten its mounting bolt in place with a Phillips-head screwdriver.