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 Making a Custom Mini Chopper Seat (for cheap!)

On my first bike, I used a pre-fabbed seat. It worked fine, but the problem was that I had to design the other parts of the bike (frame, fender, tank, etc) around the seat. For my second bike, I wanted to build the bike, and then create a custom seat to fit the space. Following are the steps I took the build the new seat. To complete the job, you will need some metal flat stock for a bracket, a piece of aluminum plate the size of your seat, some leather or vinyl to cover it, some foam for a cushion, and a few various bolts, nuts and screws.


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Picture of the frame with a bracket welded in. Depending on the size of your seat, you may need more than one bracket. The rear of my seat will rest on the fender, so I got by with one bracket. Use a piece of stiff paper to cut a pattern for the seat base. My seat will lay flat on the frame and roll up in the back to follow the form of the fender. Once the pattern is perfect, trace it onto a piece of flat aluminum. I used an old advertising sign that I bought at the metal recycler for about $10. The thickness is .063"
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 The metal can be cut easily with a jig-saw and 70 tpi blade. Be careful, as the aluminum slivers are sharp. Wear eye eye protection and clean the work bench afterwards.  

Since my seat will follow the curve of the fender, I had to make a bend near the back. Here I am using a plumbers torch to help the metal bend easier. DO NOT heat the material to "red hot" - the aluminum will melt before you ever see a glow. Just work the torch over the area for a few seconds to assist the bend. 

  The bending process is fairly straight forward. I used a stiff rubber hammer. This was a very simple bend and took only a few minutes. Other more complicated bends will require more work and more heat. Just take your time until you get it right. 
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I  welded a T-shaped bracket to help make the seat sturdy and to hold the mounting studs. I glued a narrow vinyl strip along the edge to protect the covering. There are many other ways to do this, but just make sure the sharp edges are covered so they do not harm your upholstery. I cut a piece of foam to the exact shape of the seat. I used a very dense foam on the bottom and then covered it with a softer layer. I used spray adhesive to hold each layer. 
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Mark out your covering larger than the seat and then cut on the line. As a covering, I used an old leather jacket that I bought at a thrift store for $12. They have a ton of colors. The one I used had stitching on the back, which added something to the plain seat. Begin drawing the material around the seat. Play with it for a while until you get a good idea of how it will best wrap around the seat pan. I fastened the material using short stainless steel self-tapping screws and fender washers. I used a screw-gun to set the screws. Here is the finished seat.
It is not the greatest seat in the world, but it does have the distinction of 
"I made it!" and it only cost about $15-$20


Back to Rawge's Mini Chopper Project

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