Rebuild A Harley Seat With A Gel Insert

Learn rebuild a Harley seat with a gel insert.

A seat is an important part of a motorcycle because it directly affects the comfort of the rider. Motorcycles meant for long journeys, rather than quick, fast rides, need to have especially comfortable seats. Gel pads are a good way to improve the comfort of your seat without sacrificing the original style of your motorcycle. A polymer gel pad can easily be inserted into your seat where it will be practically invisible without losing its added comfort.


1. Remove the seat from your Harley motorcycle by removing the screw or bolts that secure the seat bracket to the fender.

2. Use a flat head screwdriver to carefully detach the staples from the underside of the seat around its perimeter. Remove the old cover material. Measure the covering that you just removed and purchase the same measurements of new covering material, either in leather or vinyl, available at any Harley dealer.

3. Mark the location on the seat where you want to add gel padding with a felt tip pen

4. Cut a hole for the gel pad in the foam with an electric knife, following the marked outlines. Electric knives are available at most hardware or home improvement stores; these implements facilitate cutting via heat. Make sure the hole is deep enough to hold a new piece of foam since the gel needs to have a smooth surface as a support. Cut a piece of high-density foam in the shape of the hole and place it into the hole so the new foam is slightly lower than the surface of the rest of the seat. Shape the new piece of foam inside the hole with a Dremel tool to make it as smooth as possible.

5. Place the gel pad, available online or at a Harley parts dealer, onto the foam, then cover the gel pad with a thin layer of foam or simply cover the whole seat with a thin upholstery material of your choice. Before covering the seat, use the rotating brush to perfect the shape and the feel of the seat, then spray the entire seat with adhesive spray.

6. Spray the backside of the covering material as well as the seat with adhesive spray to strengthen the connection between the two materials. Start with the top of the seat and wrap the material around the whole seat firmly, working your way around it, slightly stretching and pulling to achieve smoothness. Be sure to press it firmly a few seconds and wait for it to dry. Allow the seat to dry for at least 20 minutes.

7. Use the staple gun to secure the covering in its place to finish the seat.