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Video: Motorcycle Sprung Solo Seat Install How-To: on a Vintage Triumph Chopper

In this step by step how-to video, Tyler shows you how easy it is to install a Lowbrow Customs Solo Seat Hinge / Pivot Bracket. Using our Solo Seat Weld-On Spring Mounts / Perches to secure the new solo seat in place. Todd chose to roll with a Rich Phillips Solo Seat, which has just that classic look for this Triumph chopper project.  Todd also chose to go with our Lowbrow Customs 3" barrels style springs for solo seats. Though none of these options you have to go with for your build, we are just showing you one of the many varieties you can choose from when choosing to install a solo seat. Many of our parts make installation incredibly easy. We also have a wide variety of spring options available, with the countless options of solo seats, and other pivots for different makes, so you can really customize your saddle...  So, fire up those  welders and let's get after it!

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You can read a full transcription of this video below: 

Hey it's Tyler with Lowbrow Customs. Today. we're going to show you how to install a sprung solo seat on this Triumph.

Going over some of the parts you need for the job. This is actually the first product Lowbrow ever made under our own brand. They're weld-on solo seat spring purchase. We've been doing this for over a decade, a long time and have made and sold many of these. These get welded to the cross tube on your bike and they support the seat springs for the seat. These also get a leather washer and come with little cotter pins so your seat can't pop up when you hit a bump but a very simple product and does a great job.

This is a Lowbrow solo seat pivot. We have half a dozen different styles of these, US-made, stainless steel body, three-sixteenths thick, and tumbled. It's a really nice finish. Custom shoulder bolt that's all chrome, chrome hardware. This particular one is made specifically for 1963 to 1970 Triumphs such as this one behind me. It engages to the stock rear tank mount. The nice thing, this will actually work with your stock Triumph gas tank because it will slip right on top of the gas tank mounting tab and then bolt through both or it can be used in a case like this where we're going to have a custom gas tank on the bike.

This pivot's aluminum. We also offer the same pivot with a black body. Then we have both bolt-on and coped weld-on versions. Basically, a C pivot for every type of bike you might need one for. The seat that we're mounting up on Todd's Triumph here is a Rich Phillips solo seat. US-made, really nice quality, leather-covered on top and underneath. They've got a great shape to them with a nice kick in the rear so you're not sliding back when you're hitting the throttle. Excellent seat. We've dealt with Rich Phillips seats for many years. Also there's a set of Lowbrow Customs’ three-inch chrome barrel springs on the seat here we're just going to tighten up ahead of time. We've got these springs in barrel and hairpin style in a variety of lengths and in black as well as chrome.

All right, I'll show you how to get the seat installed. All right, in preparation for getting the seat all mounted, I'm going to go ahead and simply put the pivot bracket in place on the seat. What we're going to do is-- This is a pretty straightforward job especially with this bolt-on front pivot. We're going to bolt the front pivot in place and can use the seat to line up exactly where the seat spring mounts go. These pivots have quite a bit of adjustability in the slots. For right now, I'm going to go ahead drop a pivot on there and put a washer on there and loosely thread the nuts in place. I want to leave it loose enough that I can still slide the bracket and get it located so the springs and seat are all at the right angle.

One thing I want to mention in regards only to this bolt-on Triumph style C-pivot. This is the rear gas tank mount, stock threads in that. Our five-sixteenth 26, which is Whitworth thread. You have two options. You can use a standard Whitworth five-sixteenths 26 Whitworth bolt to mount this or you can do what we've done here, which is simply tap that hole out to a five-sixteenths 24 which is a standard fine thread. That allows you to just go to the hardware store and get a fine thread Allen head bolt and mount it in place. If you don't want to change the threads on that stock mounting point, you can source yourself a Whitworth bolt. Either way works just fine.

I'm going to go ahead and tighten this pivot up. On final assembly, I would throw some blue Loctite on any and all threads you're tightening up but for this purpose, it'll be just fine. Just looking to make sure that the pivot is in line with the backbone of the frame. All right, so you can see our seat is sliding on that pivot nicely. The cope on the seat spring bungs is such that you can basically just set it in place.

One thing worth mentioning on coil style or barrel style seat springs, because they way they're made and their coils are then cut off, if you rotate them it'll index them a little differently simply to make them go a little wider or narrower at the base. Right now looking at this, these springs are a little wide because it's making it so the seat spring purchase would have to be on the outside frame rail, which I don't want to do. I want to keep it on the seat cross tube.

I'm going to go ahead and loosen the nuts that are holding these seat springs in place to allow me to rotate them and see if I can bring them in slightly narrower. This varies, of course, based on what seat you're running, what the spacing is between the studs. There's a lot of variations depending on what brand parts you're using. I'm just showing you one way to do it. Let's see where this gets us. That worked just fine. Again, by rotating those springs and just eyeballing it, I can see that rotating them brought them in very slightly. That will allow these seat spring mounts to sit right there at the edge of the cross member which is where I want them.

The next thing I'm going to do is eyeball where the seat is in relation to the seat pivot front to rear so those springs are vertically aligned. Then I'm going to go ahead and snug up one of the nuts holding the seat pivot to the seat so that won't slide any longer. Then it will be time to prep the tube for welding, mark where these go, and go ahead and tack weld them in place.

Actually, one thing you want to pay attention to as well is how your bike is sitting if it’s on a lift. This on a little Blackjack lift underneath the large lift it's sitting on. You want to make sure that you're keeping that in mind and you don't weld something level and then step back and look back at your bike and realize that the entire bike is not level. In this case, this bracket is going to be basically the seat's going to be all the way to the rear of the adjustment slots and it's looking pretty good.

One thing that is worth mentioning is if you're using a different pivot, a different Lowbrow Customs weld-on or bolt-on pivot or any solo seat pivot for that matter, it's typically going to be easiest if you mount that pivot first. If this was a weld-on pivot, it would be pretty much the same process I've been going through except I would have cleaned the backbone, removed paint if there is any, got it centered so it is right on the centerline of that backbone. Then also determine where that pivot needs to be if it needs to be forward a little or back a little or whatever and give it a few nice good tack welds and then go ahead and move onto mounting the rest of the seat. I say tack welds because you can always come back and finish weld the pivot when you're finished welding the seat spring mounts.

In case you realize you have to move that it's way easier to break two tack welds and move it than to cut the whole dang thing off, which is a mess. Almost no difference. This is very convenient and then it bolts to a existing location but doing a weld-on pivot mount, the overall job is almost the exact same otherwise. Right now, what I'm going to do is flip the seat out of the way and I'm going to prep this tube. I like using Emery tape. This you could find in the plumbing department of your local hardware store. It's nice because it comes in a roll and you can simply rip off whatever piece you need.

Another good reason to have that in place you can just flip the seat out of the way very easily. What I'm going to do is take this and quickly prep this tube to get any scale, rust, grease whatever off of there. It only takes a moment first time. I'll get in here to make sure I get anything from the right near the weld here from this cross member to the frame. Good preparation will make your welds much-

-nicer, make them look better, make them stronger and make it easier to do as well.

Then I'm also going to go ahead and hit the edge of the well and seat spring mounts just to make sure again that there's no machining oil on there, even though we're still going to wipe this all down, no rust if they've been sitting around, no scale. We can also do this with a die grinder, with a little fine Emory on there or Scotch-Brite or whatever. I'm just doing it the manual way since this is what I've already got handy. Then there's two.

I'm going to go ahead and wipe these down so they're clean and then I'm going to go ahead and bring the seat back down and make a simple mark to show where these need to be aligned. Then I will fire up the Lincoln electric TIG welder and get them tacked in place. We'll go ahead and lower the seat back down into position. The main thing I want to do is mark the bungs so they are at the proper width. Also, I want to see where they sit naturally with the springs, but a little more importantly, I want them to be centered on that cross tube because I would personally be very annoyed if they weren't once I was done welding them.

The springs, they'll work, they’ll get over there even if they're not perfectly centered or you have to pull them a slight amount. It's ideal if they're perfectly centered, but depending on the width of your frame, the size of your seat where the studs are located, sometimes you got to work with what you got.

It was pretty easy. What I'm going to do is just make a simple hash mark, a line from a right on the bung right down under the tube. It makes it really easy to match up. It gives you a visual indicator for the side-to-side placement. I'm going to eyeball the bungs, make sure they're sitting vertical when I tack them. If you want, you can make additional marks. This is the way I like to do it. Those are marked. I'm going to go ahead and flip the seat out of the way. Get the welder set up and then go ahead and tack weld these.

One thing I decided to do just to take the extra two or three minutes and get the best fit is I ground the edge on each seat spring mount where it met the weld on the cross member. I did it on a belt sander. You could do that with a flap disc on a handheld grinder, a dremel, whatever you have or whatever you want to use and that just gave a nice tight fit there. I could have welded it on how it was, but I like taking the extra bit of time to get a really nice fit and a really nice weld done there.

Now I'm going to go ahead and line up my marker marks. Eyeball on my-- Personally, I just like to eyeball, make sure this thing’s vertical but you can get as intricate as you want as far as measuring and angle finders or whatever. I would go ahead and put a couple tack, a little fusion tack welds to hold this in place, tack the other one, check my fitment and then finish weld.

Looking good.

Okay. First one looks good, onto the other side. Now, I'm going to want to line these marks up to check the width placement, but then I'm also going to want to get it visually straight, but also obviously I want it to match the same angle as the first mark, just something to keep in mind.

Again, it’s better to check and recheck. Way easier to crack that tack off and move it if I need to now than later on, once I’ve start using fill rod and welding more. Everything looks really good. Cool. Put my second tack on the side.

Now I will flip the seat back and there you go. I'd say that looks great. Looking from the rear, everything in the seat looks centered in line with the backbone. You got to check on everything side to side. Just make sure you don't see anything weird. If something's off, just stop, backtrack a little bit and do it the right way and you'll be happier with the finished product. I'm going to go ahead and finish weld these bungs and the seat will be mounted.

All right, these are all finish welded and ready to go. They're still hot, but you can see our seat is now completely mounted up. The only thing left to do is finish mounting and when these aren't hot, but the leather washers in place, you flip the seat down, put the Cotter pins through, and that’s a wrap.

Until next time, check out lowbrowcustoms.com for parts, tech tips, everything great that's motorcycle-related. If you enjoyed this video, click the subscribe button below. We're always working on great original content for you guys. Thank you.

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