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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 inevitably endure wear and tear over time. Constant pressure from the rider, and exposure to rain, sun, and other elements can lead to fading, cracking, and tearing. However, the good news is that repairing or reupholstering an ATV seat is a manageable task.

Before proceeding, you’ll need to make a decision: should you opt for a complete reupholstering of the seat or seek a more cost-effective and time-efficient solution? The choice is yours. For minor tears, a quick fix involving stitching and a quality seat cover can often suffice. This approach is easier and more budget-friendly. On the other hand, if your seat is extensively damaged with significant tears, cracks, fading, or requires new padding, reupholstering is the recommended route to take.

Now that we’ve explored your options, let’s dive into the process of fixing and reupholstering your ATV seat, ensuring that it remains comfortable and visually appealing for your future rides. Read on to learn more!

How Can I Fix My ATV Seat Tear?

To fix a tear in your ATV seat, you have a few options depending on the severity of the damage.

1. 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 if 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 just put some duct tape over the damaged area. It works just fine for the most part, and since you’re covering it up anyway, 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, that an exact replacement will cost more than a universal seat cover.

2. Reupholster ATV Seat

If your ATV seat is just too 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 screwdriver or socket wrench to remove the bolts holding the seat to the quad. On some machines, 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 well 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 a 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 well for this step.

Step 6:

Measure and cut the new piece of seat fabric you are using to reupholster the seat. 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, that 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 into the plastic seat frame though. The air-powered staple gun works like a charm.

3. Keep The Seat Protected

Now that you’ve reupholstered your seat or done 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.

Take Away!

Assess the damage: Start by examining the tear to determine its size and location. This will help you decide on the best course of action.

Small tears: For minor tears, you can use a strong adhesive specifically designed for upholstery repair. Apply the adhesive to both sides of the tear and press them together firmly. Allow the adhesive to dry completely before using the seat.

Medium-sized tears: If the tear is larger or more significant, stitching may be necessary. Use a heavy-duty thread and a curved upholstery needle to sew the torn edges together. Make sure to secure the stitches tightly and evenly along the tear to prevent further damage.

Large tears or extensive damage: If your seat has extensive tears, cracks, or requires new padding, reupholstering is the recommended solution. This process involves removing the existing upholstery, replacing the foam padding if needed, and installing new upholstery fabric. It may require more time and effort, but it will result in a fully restored and comfortable seat.

Seat covers: Another option to consider, especially for minor tears or to prevent further damage, is using a seat cover. These covers are designed to fit over your existing seat and provide added protection and aesthetics. They are relatively easy to install and come in various styles and materials.

Remember to consult your ATV’s manufacturer or a professional upholstery service for specific guidance and recommendations based on your seat’s make and model. Additionally, always follow safety precautions and use appropriate tools and materials when attempting any repairs.

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 quad 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.

Thanks so much for reading to the end!

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