(1.)The seat pan is made of fiberglass in a clamshell-type mold and when completed, the pan cured for at least an hour before the seat could be built.
(2.)Once the seat pan was ready to be built, a specially formulated gel pad was inserted on top of the pan.
(3.)The seat pan and gel insert were then put into the two-piece foam mold and clamped shut.
(4.)The liquid seat pad foam material was pumped into the mold, where it set up into a solid within 15 minutes.
(5.)After the foam set up, the pan was pulled from the mold and checked for quality control.
(6.)Victor started his part of the build by smoothing the sides of the seat where remnants of foam were built up.
(7.)The inlay material was sewn to the underside of the cover material, then cut to the Short Hop 2-Up seat's pattern.
(8.)Victor cut "windows" along certain parts of the embroidery to reveal the gator skin inlay.
(9.)The rest of the seat top was sewn together with care.
(11.)A high-tack upholstery glue was sprayed onto the seat allowing it to tack-up for a few minutes.
(12.)The bottom of the cover was also sprayed with glue and allowed to tack-up.
(13.)Victor then stretched the top cover over the seat and pulled it into place.
(14.)Once the cover was in its correct location, Victor permanently riveted it to the seat pan.
(15.)The front and rear seat mounts were put into place with heavy-duty rivets.
(16.)The underside of the seat was covered in a felt-type material that both hides the pan and keeps fender and frame abrasions to a minimum.
(17.)More glue was sprayed to the underside of the seat and allowed to tack-up.
(18.)The material was laid into place and pressed down to promote adhesion.
(19.)For the last step of the process, Victor used a heat gun to straighten out the miniscule wrinkles in the cover of the seat.
The anatomy of a motorcycle seat is a very complex thing. Slight differences in a seat's shape or the materials used can make or break it. Nothing but good old trial and error is the key to making a successful seat and Danny Gray, being one of the longest running custom seat manufacturers in the bagger game, knows how to do it.
Danny Gray uses the knowledge gained from over 20 years in the business to formulate its custom-mixed foam and gel padding amongst other tricks of the trade.
Wanting to see just how the company built its seats, we contacted Danny Gray and after much coaxing, were lucky enough to have them succumb to the idea of building a seat and sharing the process with our readers.
Under the company's direction, we first went to Danny Gray's website looking for a seat for our '97 Road King. Seeing the myriad of designs on the site and mulling it over for hours, we finally opted for the company's custom program, and used the intuitive site to design the seat. Online we were able to pick out the style of seat, which was a Short Hop 2-Up, a black leather cover material, a black alligator skin inlay material, and a pinstripe influenced stitching pattern in black. Once the order was placed online, we received an immediate confirmation via email.
The next day we headed down to Danny Gray's headquarters and followed the assembly of our seat. When we arrived, we took a tour of the facility and then we were introduced to Victor Lopez, a 10-year veteran of Danny Gray's build team who put together this custom-designed seat together like a skilled artisan. Follow along as we show you how. B
Short Hop 2-up $501.95 (As Built)