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How To Install The Biltwell Banana Seat or Cafe Seat

The Biltwell Banana Seat and Biltwell Cafe Seat will fit your 1986 through 2003 Harley-Davidson Sportster perfectly. We strongly advise doing a'dry fit' BEFORE punching a hole in your fender. If the seat rests flat against or very slightly above the fender and/or frame rails, it’s safe to mark and drill your fender. The photo for STEP 5 clearly illustrates correct fitment before final installation.

STEP 1: Organize your tools. You’ll need one 9/16” and one ½” box-end wrench, a punch, a pen, a drill bit and some Lock-Tite. Also required but not shown: a drill motor and a hammer. If you’re concerned about the paint finish beneath the seat after installation, get some scissors and an old inner tube.

STEP 2: Remove the old seat. We haven’t shown this process because we don’t know what seat model is on your current model. If there’s a bird’s nest of wires hiding beneath your old seat, tidy up this space before proceeding to step 3. Failure to do proper housekeeping with custom electricals can result in a pinched or severed wire between the seat pan and the frame rails.

STEP 3: Locate the steel plate riveted to the bottom of your Banana seat pan. This plate fits underneath the welded metal tongue at the Y-juncture of your stock Sportster's subframe and backbone.

STEP 4: Lower the seat onto the subframe and fender, then slide the seat forward until the tongue engages with the pan plate. Test engagement by pulling upward on the nose of the seat. When properly engaged, the seat’s nose will remain flush to frame behind the gas tank. If the nose lifts off the backbone, slide the seat pan backwards and try again. This step constitutes the “dry fit” mentioned earlier in these instructions.

STEP 5: While applying gentle forward pressure on the seat to keep the tongue and pan plate engaged, draw a dot inside the rear seat bracket with a Sharpie.

STEP 6: Remove the Banana seat. Mark the center of your fender hole with a punch and hammer.

STEP 7: Drill a hole in your fender no bigger than 3/8” I.D. Take care not drill into your rear tire. If you are concerned about marring the paint beneath your banana seat pan, cut a 3” wide x 5” long piece of rubber from an old motorcycle inner tube and center this rubber patch 1” forward of the center of your fender hole. Hold this rubber patch in place and repeat step 4 to make sure your rubber patch is hidden beneath the seat pan after installation. If the rubber patch shows, move it accordingly to create a cushion between the fender and the rivets that secure the stainless steel bracket. Reinstall the seat.

STEP 8: Assemble the 5/16”-18 bolt and fender washer supplied with the Banana seat and put a few drops of Lock-Tite on the threads.

STEP 9: Insert the bolt/washer assembly into the hole on the fender from the underside and screw on the supplied 9/16” acorn nut. If the supplied 5/16”-18 bolt is too short, re-check the dry fit of your Banana seat. If there is more than a ¼” gap between the top of the fender and the bottom of the stainless steel bracket, install washers to take up this space. When installed on a stock XL fender, the space between the fender and the bracket is generally less than 3/16”. Depending on the straightness of your frame and the style and condition of your rear fender, these specs may vary. Try to avoid applying unnecessary stress on the rivets that secure the stainless steel bracket to the plastic pan. Shoring up the gap between the bracket and the fender will mitigate this dilemma.

STEP 10: As this photo shows, no washers between the fender top and the stainless steel seat bracket were needed. Tighten the nut and bolt snugly and you are finished.

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