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How to make a motorcycle seat pan. EPISODE 1

In this video Eddie Barrett shows you how to make a motorcycle seat pan on a Harley Davidson Street Glide ” Bagger ” Learn how Atomic Autoworks does it. If you are looking to build a seat pan and have it foamed and wrapped by Atomic this is how we prefer the pan to be built.

What’s up people so today we’re gonna be making a custom seat pan for harley-davidson street glide custom bagger there’s a lot of ways to do things there’s always more than one way to skin a cat the way i like to do it the fiberglass pan or a steel pan i’ve said in the past so a lot of places use epoxy pans and they’ll actually make this really thick paste well the

Problem we find with epoxy pans is one they’re too thick so it’s really hard to get a nice crisp line and also keep the sea pan as low profile as we need it also i don’t know if people mix things wrong but we’ve had a lot of epoxy pans that actually curl off and they kind of do like a else shoe thing where they flare up in the front in the back once that happens

The seat pan sir garbage for about 20 years i’ve been making composite pans with just regular fiberglass we make steel pans aluminum fans carbon fiber pans all that we never have a problem with this for me this is the best way to do it okay so remember if at any time you don’t know what you’re doing hire professional we don’t want this to be like this is how you

Have to do it because there are people who shouldn’t be doing stuff like this this is just kind of showcasing how we do it and it is going to be a step by step how we do it when you’re working with chemicals you’re working with tools and all that you got to be careful you got to know what you’re doing especially with composites and residents if you don’t wear

Goggles and splash in your eyes it could be pretty catastrophic to your site also the chemicals they do smell and we have exhaust fans that we have running we usually wear respirators for this video i’m not going to i’m just going to have the fan kind of running in the background gloves all safety gear super-important which i’m gonna go over to i’m gonna go grab

All my stuff we’re in set up a nice table nice worked areas you can see what we use and then we’re start making a pan before i start working on the bike i’d like to get a table set up with everything i’m gonna need right here ready to roll away from the bike this way i don’t have to worry about anything splashing or spilling or getting near it fun this table i

Have our basket paper which is a better grade masking paper than the stuff that we use for templates and stuff want to make sure that it’s thicker it has a wax coating and if resin gets on it it will drip off you also wrap the entire bike and an auto body wrap plastic for covering cars when you’re painting them i have my resin here ready to roll rubber gloves

Wearing rubber gloves we have our roller to roll out the air bubbles and soaking in lacquer thinner and we have our brush which is very dirty people use it a lot if you keep it in lacquer thinner the lacquer thinner doesn’t evaporate as fast as the acetone the acetone is more aggressive and works better for cutting resins but if you’re looking to just keep your

Stuff clean use lacquer thinner always be careful lacquer thinner is really bad if you want to splashing you it’s not good to breathe same thing with the fiberglass resin we also have our m ek methyl ethyl ketone peroxide which is the hardener for a resin in a squeeze bottle we have our tape that we use for masking off the bike we have our duct tape that we use

For actually making the pan so it’s a little bit thicker and then we have our blue tape which is the first one we put down which is a low tack tape that will not damage the paint and then we have our shipping tape that we use for a releasing agent the reason we use the shipping tape for the releasing agent because when you lay your fiberglass on it it acts as an

Extra barrier just to protect the bike and everything underneath is just one more additive protection so then nothing will drip through a run through any other caves what’s cool about the shipping date is when you pull your fiberglass off of it the bottom of the fiberglass doesn’t sweat we use a polyester resin for our seat pans because it never sees any uv on

Our parts that we make for the motorcycles and for cars we use a vinyl ester polyester blend just because the vinyl ester has some better properties and they’re better for uv and they dry better and you get less print through it’s just a whole different beast with that said we’ll use a general purpose polyester know washed when you pull the pans off sometimes if

You use a releasing agent such as pva or just a mold release wax you’ll pull your pan off and they’ll be a wet sweat underneath it you have to let that dry sometimes you take a lacquer thinner wipe it down let it flash but for some reason with the shipping tape it doesn’t do that so we use that and it’s a lot quicker now before i go through with the blue tape on

To protect the bike from any spills or drips i want to talk about the pans we’re using so this pan here the original seat was an epochal i don’t know what it was it was a maybe a plastic basic pan that came with the kit cpm was very thick very poorly when you put the seat pan on the bike pan actually sat higher than the stretch tank did so even when you grind

It down if you ground it all the way down to sit underneath there so you have a little bit of foam on top so that you could sculpt it and let it flow into the tank there would be a hole just wouldn’t do it so the pan was horrible fitting they almost looked like it curled up which is a problem that we’ve had on the old epoxy band as i’ve said in the past i think

Because there were powdery dust that you mix with epoxy there was no real structure to it so a lot of the people that made those pans made them thick uneven and they would actually bend up which is horrible for a motorcycle spawn this customer also went in and put a lot of epoxy and stuff on here which isn’t gonna affect us right now but we’ll have to try to

Clean some of that off and the hard dull food that was put on there a lot of people the hard snap together velcro that people use people think it’s better because well it is a better has more tension strength to it but when you click them together they kind of lock in those are great however on the pike like especially a harley they move around so much that shears

Those plastic off and then the velcro stops working on a motorcycle you’re gonna use just regular hook style of bellow prep when we make this seat here even though it’s a velcro seat and the reason people do the velcro seats in the bike is they want that seat pan they’ll hug it especially on a custom bike you want the seat to sit really close to the bike no gaps

And have it really even you also don’t want to have a tab and drill holes to your fender so on this one what i’m gonna do is the pan we’re gonna make we’re going to have a location for a tap just in case he ever wants to put an actual tap and there to make the seat stop sliding around i’ll show you how we do that see here has an inverted tongue which we have to

Go under we do have seen fans that already slide in here we have some seat pans that we do for like yaffe tanks that will fit pretty good however this one’s so different it’s already been body work i want to make sure that our pens a lot lower some people that are about to you know they haven’t done the body work on it will actually have a seat ban in there and

The seat foam then wrap or just foam and then they’ll do their body work so you can match up to it that way on this one we actually have the bikes already done so we can’t do it that so we’re nothing may pop down and see flow right into it let’s get taping now you can see here we have a blue tape all over the place it doesn’t stick well but the only reason that we

Have this blue tape on here is to protect the paint finish the reason i choose to use multiple layers and this way to actually use the blue tape the duct tape and then the shipping tape is to one obviously extra protection safer you are the less chances of having anything go wrong with the motorcycle paint or anything else but – as you’re doing this you’re actually

Creating layers which will be about the same thickness as a material that rolls underneath the seat pan if you make a seat pan and say directly on the bike as you technically could pva and do that and then make up your seat pan on here or like a lot of guys do they’ll put like tinfoil all over and then make a seat fan on there and you can do that however you go to

Wrap it you know you have a pan that’s just really close to the tank and flat down here when you were to put your upholstery on it now the seat fan has to go back it has to go up so pretty much everything changes and when it hits the front part of the rear fender this area becomes too small with the material underneath it and then your seat pan doesn’t sit right

By doing this you’re actually making the gap that you really need for your material different materials or different thicknesses some people put different phones on it that wrap around you always have to compensate for what you are doing this just happens a bit way we do it now that i have a blue tape on here i’m going to go through and i’m gonna layer the whole

Seat here with the duct tape i’m gonna do it in different patterns than i did the blue tape this way less of a chance of any other resident ever seeping through seats duct tape if you notice you try to always keep your duct tape before the ending of the blue tape this way the duct tape is not touching the paint or anything else you have less chance of pulling it

Up now because i’m gonna put a provision for having a tab here i just grabbed a piece of aluminum that we use for make some of our brackets and tabs and i’m gonna actually put this where it has to go and then tape on brett so that we have that bump there if the customer chooses not to use that i’ll just i’m just gonna put a tiny bit of foam underneath there so you

Won’t even see us there however if he does decide you wants to use the tab it’ll be able to be bolted on there if you don’t have a loom in or whatever you would use a paint at all long as you buy your tab material at the same width as your paint stick you just want to make sure you take it awfully now i’m just taking regular autobody masking paper going around the

Edge of the bike obviously this is just an extra precautionary measure to make sure that nothing trips through because when you’re rolling out the air on your resin it’s going to run down a little bit we don’t want to get on the chrome or motor or any paint but this to some people seems like overboard because now we’re gonna wrap the whole bike in plastic and then

We’re gonna use our shipping tape to actually seal it one more time and act as a release agent we’ve been doing this for about 20 years and have never had a bike damaged never have a paint damaged so you do it this way on your own bike if you take chances but we don’t the whole bike is taped off now we have the plastic on all the way around it just in case there’s

Any splatter it’s not gonna get on the bike now we’re just gonna take a decent grade shipping tape and cover up over everything what i do is i’ll actually start over on the plastic and go over onto the plastic but now it’s an extra protection through all right so i’m gonna mix up the fiberglass and then we’ll start making the seat band i just got some stuff up

Into smaller pieces like i could actually took to a seat band with the inverted tab put that in there in the fiberglass around if i’m gonna do this based off of you don’t have that and use double use what you have we mix up the fiberglass resin again we are using general purpose polyester resin no wax we put glasses on so that doesn’t splash in your eyeballs when

You mix this up it’s not rocket science but you should always follow whatever your manufacturer’s specifications are it’s usually two to five percent and it depends on the temperature out like if it’s really hot you could use a little less if it’s cold use a little bit more the reason we’re using the novak gps because it’s what we have over here cuz we use it in

Our making your seats when you’re fiberglass and you could wet out the actual place you’re going to do it and then put the mat on it and then wet it out again i don’t like to do that on bike seats because it’s just one extra time that you’re getting resin on the honor around the motorcycle so we’re gonna take some of these pieces these little scissor strips we’re

Just gonna let them out here i’ll wet out both sides these ones i just tore one thing you want to make sure when you’re doing fiberglass you don’t want to have it ending you don’t want two pieces to just end together because you’re gonna build up a hard rich you always want to overlap them and feather them out a little bit i’m gonna do this one and the mat that

I’m using we use a three ounce chopped strand again you could use woven drove in it is for this particular stuff it could be a little bit stronger we just will use one extra layer and we use it all the time because the parts that we make have a less chance of having what they call print through and that’s where because of the woven roman being so thick when you wet

It out it’s gonna dry differently and over time that material is gonna print through on the finished piece you’d actually see that crisscross pattern the chopped strand is lighter and has less of a chance of doing that now that the see fans all wet it out we’re gonna roll it this is our air roller primer less roller takes out on the air you don’t put any pressure

Down when you’re doing this people pressure down they can glue the material just kind of let it do its thing i usually go quick over the first shot and then slow down once you’ve got the area cover because you don’t want the fiberglass a surface drying and not have the air out one thing i do want do a motorcycle seat pans i’ll actually always pick the resin a little

Slower or because i don’t want to overheat five or less of the 10z to get extremely hot and if it does it could actually make the paint on there it might not necessarily ruin the paint but what it could do is get hot enough that it actually reprints the paint so then your clear coat actually has a grain then you’ve got to kind of stand and buffing it rid of it by

Keeping it cool which in the winter it’s not a big deal you just let it slowly cure overnight and this summer it’s a little tougher unless you have ac but you could actually put a fan on it as a fan will keep all the solvents that they released away from it so it kind of cools a little bit slower and keeps the pan from getting too hot you could force try on these

And rush them and get them done quicker but i choose to let them sit cool overnight make sure there’s no damage on the paint for the bikes themselves you really should always want something cures keep it in the mold or let it dry for 24 hours kind of a rule of thumb because even though it’s tried to your touch and it flashes fiberglass with certain rezza specially

General-purpose polyester resins have a tendency to dry a little slower and more uneven so it’s possible that they could actually shrink a little bit or change overnight in that extra 24 hours so just about the unroll in the air out what this tool does is there’s actually air underneath and in between the layers of fiberglass material and resin by running this

Through there it’s actually pushing those air bubbles out you’re actually chasing them to the edge of the seat pan and away from where you need it if you had air bubbles in here timothy lamb it makes it weaker and a lot of this mainly for when you’re making a part if you have a painted park and you gel coat it and there’s air in between the fiberglass and the choko

The actual part will bubble up a blister or key laminate they have a other type of roll or do they’re just the standard steel ones they have plastic ones they have ones they call bubble busters it’s got little teeth in it a lot of people like those okay so the seat pan is dry we’re ready to pull it off like i said we let it dry overnight so that it’ll dry cold and

Slow and wouldn’t cause any damage to any painted surfaces on the motorcycle these ones are a little bit of a pain i always run the fiberglass up here and you’re pulling it off you got to be careful because you do not want to push into the paint and mess up any of the painted area one other thing too is when you have the shipping tape down like we had before you

Put the fiberglass on you can go around with a sharpie and actually mark where you want to trim if you wanted to and then when you pop the seat pan off that’ll actually leave that mark there so you have like a guideline to go by with this i wanted to do something different so i’m going to pop this off i’m going to give it a rough trim pull the masking off the bike

And actually tape it up so that might paint transfers through onto the pan i could use that as a crisp sharp edge on where i want to see pan the ball so now we have a pan okay so not as carefully removed you can area here i put the original seat back on here and the backrest so we know exactly where it is one of the reasons why i chose not to sharpy it on top of

The shipping tape and before we fiberglass is because i had to i wanted to put this on and actually go around and visually look at the seat see exactly where i want to seat to be because we’re gonna make the seat a little bit wider here i’ll if you could see what you can’t they have taped off but underneath here you could actually still see the frame of the bike

Which didn’t look good so we’re gonna have the seat pan come down a little bit wider now the lacs we don’t want a really wide seat but enough to cover up the underneath of the bike also now that we’re making the granby making the rear seat a little bit wider for comfort for the rear passenger i just wanted to make sure we have lined up with the back rest the rear of

The seat comes to a point and i think from what he had shown me what he wanted we’re actually gonna get rid of that point because there’s really no need for it but i did want to kind of mark out where the c ended so i’m gonna put a little line here just to have a basic idea of where this c ended and then i’m gonna actually do a mark where of the backrest and who’s

You don’t want to make the seat too far back because then it’s going to look bad extending past the backrest you also don’t want to make the seat too far forward so that the rear passenger is not really sitting against the background now i’m going to pull this all off and we’re gonna tape it up i’m going to use the tape the blue nonstick tape and then i’m use some

Yellow tape and maybe a green tape just to give me a crisp edge of where i want my fibroblast panic okay so i went ahead and marked my center point on the tank cover also marked my center point rear fender i made a outline of roughly where i’m gonna want the seat to go this is my critical measurement that i’m really trying to get keep – here i wanna i don’t want

The gap between the frame and the side cover i think that doesn’t look good at all basically they’re gonna make sure that i have a quarter inch of seat pan sitting on the edge now you can do this season you could add foam there and keep patting it out problem is if you run really nice fitting seat it’s a little bit easier to have a nice hard pan to actually use as

A guy we’re gonna have that pan perfect around the edge this way we can stand it when we come around the inside of the tank here we give it the exact gap that we need and based off of the seat cover that we’re gonna be putting on there i’m probably gonna do about a eight inch gap all the way around here because that allows the material and for the foam that we’re

Using to go around there okay so i just went through and gave the seat pan a really rough cut no it’s bigger than it should be and that’s kind of how i wanted it i can look underneath it i can see exactly where my tape mark is where i’m gonna want to cut and i’ll follow the straight edge of the tape because the tape when you pull it you can pull it tight and get a

Nice line to it plus the contrast between the yellow green and blue really pops so you can see exactly where you want your pants on to transfer all my centre lines onto this pan i’m gonna take this side get that shape the exact way i want it then i’m gonna snap a line down the middle transfer that over to the other side so we have a symmetrical pan i try to always

Do pan symmetrically and perfect with the bike sometimes on customs it’s really difficult to do okay so now i have the seat pan set up to where i pretty much want it i ended up doing a little bit of a shape in the back just because this bike has a lot of rear pointing stuff on it so this way the seat pan does flow with that just not as extreme as the original see

We had on here i have my gap set up really good like i want covering the frame rails and they’re covering the gap over to the side covers and then i have them about an eighth of an inch over the side covers and that makes any sense so now when you look at it you can’t see underneath there or see the yeah i’m gonna finish sanding this i usually just take a sander

I’ll sand the bottom of the smooth round the edges so there’s no sharp edges and then that’s it it’ll be a seat he’ll be all ready to go if you wanted to put your bracket on here you could actually drill and tap it and have everything set up for your rear tab we have this set up he put one on there if he chose to the front we have to clean this up and you can see

The tab comes to the middle some guys will have this come smooth across here with the tab underneath it like the original seat the problem is the seat will bounce around a lot this will actually keep it in there because the tabs you know fit through the hole there it’s got to stand that down i’m cleaning up well round this all off and make it look good and then we’re gonna foam it up

Transcribed from video
How to make a motorcycle seat pan. EPISODE 1 By Atomic Autoworks