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Leather breathes better (cooler), leather absorbs water. Good thick leather is a lot tougher than any vinyl, but thin leather tears just as easy.
 

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Wayward Son
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I think leather takes more care to hold up in the weather rain cold heat......
^^This^^
Had the factory seat from my 83 FXWG recovered in a piece left over from a re-do of a Mercedes-Benz interior.
Had one small vein mark in it so it was not used in the car.
It did need a regular application of a quality leather product to keep it in good condition. But the difference in comfort was night and day IMO.
Guesstimating I put 70k+ on that seat in all sorts of weather. Garage stored when not on the road. Still in great condition when I sold it.

But as stated. They have come a long way in faux leather these days.
 

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I have an actual Leather seat, from a 2011 ultra that I bought last year, in April.......
After I bought it, We took it to Gulf Port, AND LOVED IT........Now at the house The left side shows a small year. I am sort of upset, but, what do I do?
I am wanting to buy on EBAY, a Good looking seat cover, that I need to bring to a leather specialist to install..........What the heck??
Any thoughts about what I should do? i CAN BUY A SEAT COVER that staples onto the seat frame, same as the original.........
 

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I have an actual Leather seat, from a 2011 ultra that I bought last year, in April.......
After I bought it, We took it to Gulf Port, AND LOVED IT........Now at the house The left side shows a small year. I am sort of upset, but, what do I do?
I am wanting to buy on EBAY, a Good looking seat cover, that I need to bring to a leather specialist to install..........What the heck??
Any thoughts about what I should do? i CAN BUY A SEAT COVER that staples onto the seat frame, same as the original.........
A good upholsterer will have the materials to make you a seat cover that will fit better than a pre made seat cover.
 
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Smiles. A lot!
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Im looking around finding a upholsterer to re-cover my seat... I have gotten 2 quotes recently... one was 225 and the other was 150. I'm going with the vinyl so that it stays water resistant and matches what it already on the bike such as the drivers. Back rest and the passenger back rest...


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Glad to be anywhere
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4,335 Posts
Obenauf's products will keep it water resistant

also mink oil (probably in Obenauf's) Home Page

From the manufacturer:
Bikers Love Obenauf’s!

Motorcyclists have a significant investment in Leathers, which are constantly subjected to wind, sun bleach, dehydration (cracking), road film, salt, body acids and constant wet/dry conditions. All break down the integrity of leather. These leathers need waterproofing and the protection of a preservative to restore and extend the service life.

Jackets, chaps, gloves and vests can be waterproofed and protected with Obenauf’s Leather Oil. However, seats, saddle bags and boots need heavier protection against chemicals in deicers, road film, salt, body acids, heat and a lot more water. Heavy Duty LP provides industrial strength protection against these severe conditions, and will restore dried out, neglected leather.

Fabric riding gear can be waterproofed with Obenauf’s Water Shield.
 

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"Ain't quite right"™
2008 VRSCDX 2019 FXDR
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Which one hinders swamp ass? Swamp ass is kinda nice if you walk into an air conditioned environment immediately after...nice and cold around the boys...
 

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At several dealers, I've seen a number of used HD's that have what appear to be stock LEATHER seats....I'm wondering if at some point HD decided to use a synthetic seat cover material. Does anyone know IF they ever made HD's (touring models) with stock leather seats?
 

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I'm coming into this question kind of late but I've had leather in the past, and I had nothing but negative results! For touring bike vinyl still works best at least in my book, far easier to maintain doesn't breed bacteria like leather does in other words your ass doesn't itch so much after a long ride. Also get leather wet and it takes days to dry out correctly. Far too much maintenance!
 

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Any seat you get whether vinyl or leather requires care! The better you take care of it the better it lasts! Treat either with a good conditioner and it will stay water resistant and weather resistant. Apply a good conditioner REGULARLY!!! I treat mine at least every week!! Never had a problem!!
 

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On the loose
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Mustang Seats describes seat covers pretty well , I'm vary impressed with the finish and feel of the vinyl cover on my Mustang seat.

Most stock seats are covered with molded vinyl. The good news is that this prevents water from seeping inside. The bad news is that stock covers don’t provide a perfect fit when it comes to the contours of the foam mold or cushion. That means any discrepancies will result in wrinkles or bulges.

As with a custom suit or the upholstered cover on your couch, well-designed covers on aftermarket seats must be meticulously pieced together and sewn to fit tight contours for a true custom-looking seat. The best aftermarket seat covers are individually hand-sewn, not mass-produced.

Keep in mind that, unlike the molded vinyl cover on a stock seat, the process of stitching the covers of aftermarket seats creates tiny holes. While these can be filled with a waxy substance, water can still seep through. On a quality seat, water will not deteriorate the foam; it will just drip out through a hole designed for that specific purpose in the baseplate. To avoid damp rear ends, riders may fill the stitch holes with Pledge or another clear waxy substance. A note of caution here: Never apply wax to the entire seat — you do not want to be sliding right off the seat when going around a tight corner!

The most popular seat cover materials are leather or vinyl and there is a range of quality within each of these categories. Riders should choose the material that best meets their needs, preferences and budget.

Leather is more likely to be used by a smaller custom seat builder. It is premium priced and can be dyed in a variety of colors. Consider the type of riding you will be doing, where the bike will be stored, how long you want the seat to last and how much time you will devote to maintaining the leather on your seat. Many of us have leather jackets, gloves, purses, briefcases or leather seats in our cars, but few people leave these leather items outside, exposed to the elements.

Many major aftermarket manufacturers build seats with a vinyl cover. Depending on the grade, vinyl can be surprisingly similar to leather. The highest-quality expanded vinyl has the appearance of leather but has the durability and resistance to the elements that exceed original equipment standards for motorcycle seats. Maintenance shouldn’t ever be an issue with a premium vinyl — no fading, no treating or oiling. Just wipe it clean when you wash your bike. Unlike leather, top-grade vinyl will not dry out and crack, nor do you need to worry about it getting wet. It doesn’t fade and it requires practically no maintenance.

Whether made of leather or vinyl, look for the following features on the cover of a quality seat:

All seams should be sewn twice for strength.
The bottom edge under the seat that is attached to the baseplate should be hemmed.
The edges of seats with skirts should be finished with braid.
Pillow top seats should be tufted with covered buttons, which are double-tied with four cords, not two, so as to not lose their buttons.
The cover and stitch pattern for each model and style should complement and enhance the shape of the seat and the flow of the motorcycle.
Stitching should be evenly spaced, uniform and tight.

While some riders like seats that are plain, others prefer the look of decorative studs and Conchos on their seats. The best studs to use are chrome-plated brass that won’t rust. Top-quality Conchos are made of heavy die-cast zinc (not a thin stamping) and are hand tied with genuine leather straps.
 
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