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Chief style seat - restore or abandon?

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Chief style seat - restore or abandon?
Started at 07:48am on the 9th November, 2018 by Clement
Clement Subject: Chief style seat - restore or abandon?
My Bullet has a Chief style seat (see Hitchcock's 2018/19 Royal Enfield Bullet catalogue page 114) It has a pressed steel base with cowhide strung across the top. The leather is folded over the edge of the base and fixed (underneath) with what appears to be some sort of flattish rivet - sorry, I am not an upholsterer. The steel base has rust as have the rivets. I can easily get the rust off the outside but suspects that there is more under the leather and not accessible unless I drill these "rivets" out, remove the leather, then prime and paint the steel and string and attach the hide back one way or another. Has somebody done this before and is it worthwhile trying or does it amount to refurnishing deck chairs on the Titanic? Many thanks. Clement
Posted: 07:48am 9th November, 2018
Mark M Subject: Chief style seat - restore or abandon?
Clement, that is not a cheap seat! I'd try and repair it, you have nothing to lose. I've recovered plenty of saddles of all makes over the years with no real problems. If you take your time during the dismantling process you'll see how the cover was attached in the first place and will be able to replicate it when you re-fit. The leather will have shaped itself by now so should fit back nicely. Chances are it's only a repaint needed but still worth doing as rust wreaks havoc inside a seat and you can't see it until too late! Measure the rivets and buy replacements at your local DIY place although you'll probably need something with a larger head to spread the load, you'll find these on Ebay or get some small washers which is what I do.

REgards, Mark
Posted: 03:39pm 9th November, 2018
stinkwheel Subject: Chief style seat - restore or abandon?
As above, It's a £180 saddle so worth having a crack at. Covers are usually held on with pop-rivets, which seems to be the case here, with a washer under them. That'll be fun. 30 to drill out, using an electric drill, often defined as a device for spinning pop-rivets at 5,000 rpm. I've also used short self-tapping screws in the past too.

You could also take the opportunity to add some more/better padding while you're in there. You can get pieces of gel padding pretty inexpensively on the internet and recess it into the seat foam for extra comfort. I've put a piece of it between the cover and springs on my lycett style seat and it's really made a difference.
Posted: 03:53pm 9th November, 2018

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