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DCC Tech-Tip: Installing a Cafe Racer seat (No Welding!)

Posted on December 1, 2011.

One of the most common questions we receive via email and the phone is "What is the best way to install my Cafe Racer seat without welding or fabrication?" Well, until now, there really wasn't a good answer or solution. Like all the other problems you guys present to us, we prevailed on this one too though! We hooked up with our newest Boutique Manufacturer, Legendary Motorcycles who builds some of the best Cafe Racer seats and fuel tanks on the market and put together this How-to for installing a fiberglass, ABS plastic or sheet metal seat pan.

The FAQ is brand agnostic and although every install will be a little different, it gives you the idea of what you need to do to get the job done! It requires no major tools and the kit is available through Dime City care of Legendary. How easy is that? Just [CLICK HERE] to purchase the kit and read the instructions below and you'll be off chasing the TON in no time, bub!

Figure 1: Test the baseplate in the kit for general fitment. If you need to trim the sides to fit your frame rails better or the curve in the back, now is the time to mark and cut those areas.

Figure 2: Once you've trimmed (if needed) your base plate fit your actual Cafe Racer seat on top to ensure everything fits and lines up accordingly. If you need to trim the overhang or make any modifications to the actual seat, do so now.

Figure 3: Keeping them slightly loose so you can move them around, position the clamping blocks on the frame rails. Take note that the large block needs to be on the top side of the frame rails. Position the mounting base plate where it looks and fits best (ignoring the height.)

Figures 4 and 4-2: This is where you will set the actual height and pitch of the seat. Measure the space between the bottom edge of the seat pan and the top of your frame rails. This is the distance you will be cutting out of the clamping blocks in the following steps.

Figure 5: After placing the top clamping block in a vice and using a straight edge to mark a clean line, use a saw of your choice to trim the block. In this case, because the blocks cut so easy, it's best to use a hand saw. Using a cut-off wheel on a grinder is an option, however it will kick hot plastic back which isn't fun when it hits you in the arm!

Figures 6 and 7: Position the upper and lower clamping blocks together around your frame rails and measure the distance between the bottom of the rail and lowest portion in the valley of the lower clamping block. Divide this number by 2 and take that amount off of both sides of the peaks on the upper and lower clamping blocks. This will ensure a tight and secure fit.

Figure 8: Now that we've trimmed the mounting clamps we'll need to trim the mounting bolts to eliminate the excess. Place the bolt through a finished and trimmed set of mounting blocks, add the washer and thread the nut on until threads come through the nut. We like to leave 1 thread showing above the head of the nut.

Figure 9 and 9-2: After taking the measurement of excess between to head of the bolt and the top of the top mounting block, mark it with a sharpie (taking it off of the bottom of the bolt) and then cut the excess off. In this case, an angle grinder with a cut-off wheel does work best. Once you've cut off the excess, roll the bolt on a belt sander to help clean off the burrs. If a belt sander isn't available a file or hand sand paper will work as well.

Figure 10 and 10-2: In order to allow you to adjust the upper clamp blocks to fit into the seat you will need to trim them. Place the upper clamp blocks and the mounting base plate on to the frame rails and then mark any excess that needs to be trimmed away.

Figure 11: Trim the upper clamp blocks making sure you don't cut off any of the surface where the upper and lower blocks meet.

Figure 12: With the blocks now trimmed properly and fitting inside the seat you'll need to mark and drill the holes in the mounting base plate. Label each block for front and back with left and right designations to keep things lined up.

Figure 13: Using a 3" piece of masking tape placed sticky side away from the upper clamp blocks adhering one edge to the side of the block, loop the tape over the block with the sticky side out.

Figure 14: Fold the edge under and adhear it to the other side of the block.

Figures 15 and 15-2: Tighten the loop flat against block and then mark the postion of the hole on the sticky side of the tape.

Figures 16 and 16-2: Set the clamping blocks loosely on the frame with the tape facing up.

Figure 17: Position the base plate on top of the tape and press so the tape and the blocks stick to one another then lift it off slowly ensuring the blocks stay in position.

Figure 18: Peel the tape from the blocks while leaving it adhered to the mounting base plate. This will transfer the position of the holes which need to be drilled into the base plate.

Figures 19, 20, 20-2: Drill the newly marked holes and trim the blocks accordingly using a scroll saw if one is available. If one is not, you could use a jig saw, Dremel or grinding wheel flap disk.

Figures 21, 22 and 22-2: Assemble the front and back clamps and the mounting base and tap the bolt heads with a hammer to seat them into the mounting base plate. Make a mental note for when tightening the bolts, be sure not to over tighten then. They are carriage bolts but given the softer nature of the mounting blocks, they could strip out the anchor point created when hammering them into the base plate.

Figures 23, 24 and 24-2: Tighten the mounting bolts and drill pilot holes for the mounting screws to ensure accurate fitment.

Figures 25 and 25-2: In most cases you're going to want to cut an access hole to get to your battery, wiring or anything else you might have stashed under your seat. Simply mark the area you need to cut for the window drilling four holes, one at each corner and then use a jig saw (take the mounting base back off the bike before cutting) to cut out the window.

Figure 26: Position your seat pan on top of the newly mounted base, drill pilot holes and then screw the pan to the mounting base plate and viola, you're done! Install your foam and cover if using a snap style or, use industrial strength velcro if you've created a secondary pan with a custom cushion and that's it!

We'd like to thank our good friends over at Legendary Motorcycles for taking to the time to work on this install with us and know that whether you're using a Legend's, Roccity, other or custom built seat there isn't an easier way to install it with the universal seat kit. And the best part, there's no welding or cutting the bike which is great should you ever want or need to go back to a stock style seat.

Ride Fast. Live Well.

The DCC Crew

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