Put A Harley Seat On An Xj Motorcycle

Yamaha’s XJ series motorcycles were produced during the early 1980s in several different body styles. While the majority of the XJ-series were sport-focused machines, the Maxim 550 and 650 models drew heavily upon the cruiser-styling made popular by Harley-Davidson. The Maxims were fitted with a stepped one-piece seat that was large, but looked right at the time. Today’s Maxim owners, however, often prefer something sleeker and more modern, such as a seat from Harley-Davidson’s Sportsters. Both seats use a mounting tab under the nose of the seat, allowing you to mount the seat onto your Maxim with some minor modifications.


1. Unlock your Maxim’s seat latch with the ignition key, then lift the seat up and off of the frame.

2. Set the seat down next to the Sportster seat. Flip both seats upside down and compare the width of the mounting tabs under the front of the seats. Trim the Sportster seat’s tab with a cut-off wheel attached to a rotary tool, if needed, to match the width and length of the Maxim seat’s tab.

3. Place the Sportster seat onto your Maxim‘s frame. Slip the seat’s tab into the catch below your Maxim’s gas tank. Take note of how the seat sits along the frame’s seat rails and fender, then remove the seat. Trim away any mounting posts under the bottom of the seat with your rotary tool, if the seat does not rest against the seat rails.

4. Cover the rear fender with blue Painter’s tape. Reinstall the Sportster seat onto your Maxim. Mark the point that the seat’s rear mounting tab touches the top of the rear fender with a permanent marker. Remove the seat again.

5. Drill a mounting hole through the rear fender at the point marked in the previous step, using a 1/4-inch drill bit and an electric drill. Peel away the Painter’s tape.

6. Reinstall the Sportster seat again. Insert a 1/4-inch bolt and washer through the seat’s rear mounting bracket and the rear fender. Screw a nut onto the bolt’s threads under the fender and tighten it with a socket wrench.