Blue Collar Motorcycle Bobber Build – Part 2

Seat Time

By Steve Lita

If you caught last month’s installment of our Blue Collar Bobber Honda Shadow build, you’ll remember that it was more of a removal than an install, as right off the bat I chopped the rear frame rails. After all, that’s what you’re supposed to do on a bobber, right? I did that to make access for the rear fender installation and to get that ugly hunk of factory frame metal out of the way. But in actuality, the frame chop was performed in a particular place on the frame to accommodate the parts I’m installing this month: Blue Collar Bobber small spring seat kit. 

While the Blue Collar instructional DVD indicates that you can chop the rear frame section with a hacksaw, I opted for the speed and smooth cut of a cordless reciprocating saw. Once the rear frame section was tossed, I dressed any jagged edges with a hand file, and dabbed some gloss black touch-up paint on the bare metal to prevent it from rusting. Now that the paint is dry, it’s time for this month’s bobber parts install.

The mounting brackets in the Blue Collar kit are precision-cut, machined, and powdercoated gloss black to match the bike’s frame. The rear signal light mounting holes are located in the seat brackets, and there’s a channel cut to help route the wires. Best of all, there’s no welding required and everything fits like a glove.

The seat is on a 10-gauge steel pan and is curved just right to keep you in place. This isn’t some imported junk seat; it’s made in Sandy, Utah, to Blue Collar specs. Cushioning comes from 1″-1-1/2″ top-of-the-line foam under the plain or laser-engraved leather cover. Our bike’s owner, Tyler, specified the “black boot cross” style. At 10-1/2″ wide, the small seat is still quite comfortable, but there’s also a large format seat available. It’s a good idea to protect your leather seat from the elements, so Blue Collar even includes a tin of leather balm with the kit.

Let’s pick up where we left off last month; body parts are out for paint and the front pivot point of the spring seat kit bolts to the rear gas tank mount. Not a problem, as the factory Honda tank uses a steel T bushing at that bolt point, and mocking up the seat install with the use of that T bushing will be the same as if the tank were in place.

1. All the brackets and springs are powdercoated gloss black. The kit even includes a drill bit of the proper size.

2. This is how we left the Blue Collar Bobber last month. The rear fender is out for paint, and the rear frame rails have been bobbed off. I touched up the frame where I cut through with some gloss black spray paint.

3. The two rear frame caps and crossmember from Blue Collar are loosely assembled.

4. The frame caps slip right into the cut Honda frame.

5. I hold the frame cap firmly in place while I drill the mounting hole through the frame and frame cap.

6. Nylock nuts and bolts hold the frame cap in place.

7. A long T-handle hex key comes in handy for installing the seat springs.

8. Slide the curved spring crossmember plate through the frame caps and install the two coil springs. The arch in the spring crossmember plate allows room for rear fender clearance.

9. Once all the parts are aligned, tighten the two set screws on the top rail of the frame caps to secure the spring crossmember plate.

10. The seat frame pan is installed next with the large round steel spacer under the front mounting point. It rests on top of the gas tank mounting bushing.

11. Loosen the front seat bracket prior to installation to allow for adjustment.

12. Mount the seat to the bike and loosely attach it with the two rear spring bolts. Then line the front bracket up with the front seat mounting bracket installed in step 11. Don’t forget to add a few drops of oil on the pivot. Then tighten the two front bracket bolts under the seat.

13. Don’t fully tighten the front pivot bolt. Leave it loose about a half turn. The seat will pivot on this bolt.

14. The completed seat looks great and is surprisingly comfortable for long rides.

Hard Data:

Blue Collar Bobbers

Small Spring Seat Kit, $329



Originally printed in RoadBike motorcycle magazine, December 2010