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How To Fix An ATV Seat Tear? Reupholster Or Seat Cover

How To Fix An ATV Seat Tear? Reupholster Or Seat Cover

The seat on your ATV will take a beating over time. With the constant pressure of the rider, rain, sun, and other elements, your seat will wear out, fade, crack, and tear eventually. Luckily, it’s not to difficult to repair or reupholster at ATV seat.

But first you have to decide, do you want to reupholster the seat altogether or find a quick fix that won’t cost you much time or money. This is up to you, but for things like a small tear, I find it easier and cheaper to just stitch it up and put a nice seat cover over it. If your seat is just falling apart with big tears, cracking, fading, or could use some new padding, I would go with reupholstering.

Quick ATV Seat Tear Fix

This quick method will work in a pinch and I usually do this for small tears and splits in the seat fabric. But this method will also work for more beat up seats if you don’t want to spend the time or money reupholstering.

You simply stitch up the tear and get a decent seat cover to put over the seat. If you get a good seat cover, you won’t even be able to tell the seat ever had a tear in it. I usually use strong dental floss to stitch the seat with. I know it sounds weird, but any strong thread will work just fine.

Some people, instead of stitching the tear, will actually just put some duck tape over the damaged area. It works just fine for the most part, and since you’re covering it up anyways, why not.

You can find some pretty cheap ATV Seat Covers on Amazon to cover your stitch job. There are universal options out there that work great. But for the best fit, look for a replacement for your specific make and model. Keep in mind, an exact replacement will cost more than a universal seat cover.

Reupholster ATV Seat

If your ATV seat is just to far gone for a quick easy fix, your only other option might be to just reupholster the whole seat. It usually costs more time and money than a stitch and cover, but it’s really not too bad and can get your seat back to looking brand new.

I’ve done this a few times myself for quads and motorcycle seats and you only need a few common tools to get the job done. Here’s a list of the tools required, this might vary a bit depending on what’s needed to remove your seat from the machine:

  • Screw Driver / Socket Set
  • Pliers / Needle Nose Pliers
  • Pencil / Marker
  • Knife / Cutting Blade
  • Foam / Cushion
  • Fabric / New Seat Material

Step 1:

To start, remove the seat from your ATV. You will either use a screw driver or socket wrench to remove the bolts holding the seat to the quad. On some machine you won’t need either because there is a latch at the back of the seat you can pull to pop the seat off.

Step 2:

If you flip the seat over, you will notice staples holding the upholstery to the seat frame.The seat frame is usually a plastic piece holding the foam or seat cushioning. Remove these staples with a pair of pliers. I’ve noticed needle nose pliers work best for gripping the staples.

Step 3:

This step is optional, it’s up to you if you want to remove the seat cushioning material and replace it or not. If just the seat was damaged but your seat was still comfortable, you may not need to do this step.

Cut away the seat foam from the plastic seat frame with a knife or cutting blade. A sheet-rock razor blade works good for this step. The foam will most likely be glued to the plastic frame, so this part can be a bit of a pain.

Step 4:

This step is only required if you did step 3. Cut a new piece of foam or seat cushion for your seat. I find it easiest to place the seat frame on the foam and trace where you will cut with a marker or pencil.

Here is Standard Piece Of Seat Foam found on Amazon to give you an idea. You may need to cut its shape to match your old seat foam.

Step 5:

This step is only needed if you’ve done steps 3 and 4. Glue the seat foam back onto the plastic seat frame. I’ve found cement glue or contact cement works good for this step.

Step 6:

Measure and cut the new piece of seat fabric you are using to reupholster the seat with. Again, I use the seat frame with the foam on it to trace the fabric before I cut it. Or you could use the old piece of seat fabric to trace with for an exact match.

Keep in mind, the fabric needs to wrap around to the underside of the seat frame to be stapled back down.

Here’s a link to a good piece of Wear-Resistant Seat Cover Leather to give you an idea of what you want for a seat fabric.

Step 7:

Wrap the new seat cover around the seat and foam and staple the fabric to the plastic seat frame, like it was originally. This part can be tough to get the staples to hold. I found it best to use a high powered staple gun like one run by an air compressor to avoid problems.

I’ve done it with a standard spring driven staple gun before and it worked just fine, eventually. I spent a lot of time messing with the staples that wouldn’t make it all the way into the plastic seat frame though. The air powered staple gun works like a charm.

Keep The Seat Protected

Now that you’ve reupholstered your seat or did a quick stitch and cover fix, how do you keep your seat protected? You don’t want to be reupholstering the seat over and over and the seat will wear out again over time.

One popular option is to get a seat protector or seat cover that is easily changed out. The seat protectors even add extra cushion for a more comfortable ride. Here is a good option I found for you on Amazon, the MadDog GearComfort Ride Seat Protector.

This will also help cover up existing rips and tears if you decide not to reupholster or stitch and cover. I recommend fixing the seat either way, but this can work if you just don’t care all that much about fixing your ATV seat.

Sum It Up

There are a few options when it comes to ATV seat repair, from quick fixes, to reupholstering, to cover up jobs. Choose the option that works best for you. Reupholstering can get your quads seat looking brand new again. But A cover job or a quick stitch and fix will be cheap and less time consuming.

Either way, it’s a good idea to get a seat protector if you’re someone who likes to keep their machine looking new. To check out some other gear I’ve tried and tested for you, visit the Recommended Gear Section of this site.

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