How To: Harley Seat Installation

September 5, 2011

All Posts, Cheese Whiz, How To

This is the first in what will probably amount to approximately 300 million How To Harley-Davidson tips for novice riders. I have been advised that people love this stuff.


How do I install a new seat on my Harley Davidson 883 Sportster? Can I do this myself? Will I need special tools?


Sure, you can change out your own seat. If you have at least six fingers and one good eye I don’t see why not.

The only special tools you will need is a set of Allen keys and maybe some Torx drivers and a Phillips head screwdriver. Harley is always changing their fasteners. You can buy a folding set of Allen keys at Pep Boys. The clerk will call them hex keys. Since Harley uses so many Torx fasteners pick up a set of Torx drivers while you are in the store. Get some thread locker. It is like glue for nuts and bolts. If you don’t own a Phillips head screwdriver buy one. Or, don’t come back here and ask anymore questions.

If you have a sissy bar pad on the back of your Sportster remove the pad with, probably, a Phillips head screwdriver. Taking the pad off makes it easy to get to the screw that holds the seat on.

Find the little tab on the back of your seat that attaches your seat to your rear fender. Unscrew the screw and pull it out. Try not to lose the screw. There is a washer under the seat screw. Don’t lose that either.

Pull the back of the seat back and up. The thing will slip right off and will expose your battery, in case you ever need to replace that.

Set the old seat aside. Take the plastic wrap off your new seat. Find the frame bracket just behind your gas tank. The hook on the front of your new seat slips under that.

Do it. Slip the hook on the front of your seat under the frame bracket. The hole in the little tab on your new seat should match up to the hole in your fender. Put the washer between the seat tab and the fender.

Put a drop of thread locker, like Loctite, on the screw you took out and screw the thing back into your rear fender.

Pull up on the front of your seat to make sure it is stuck into the frame bracket. If it comes loose take the seat off and start over. If it is stuck, you are done. Enjoy the adult beverage of your choice.



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48 Responses to “How To: Harley Seat Installation”

  1. Wolfenlover Says:

    Did ya find him, Hippy chic?

  2. Buck Says:

    If you replace the set end on the fender you can use a zip tie to put up through the hole. Then take the plastic clip off. This way you don’t lose everything.

    Makes it easier to install as well.

  3. Hippy chic Says:

    Hi I wonder if anyone has any info on a member back in the early 90 s called hurk real name Steve Iles . He was from south jersey at the time . He was a friend and I lost contact and someone told me to try this site. Hey thanks in advance hippy

  4. Hippy chic Says:

    I’d like some archive info .

  5. Austin Says:

    I’m still thinking about the new Harley owner/rider going down after three miles. In the newspaper report he was described as a guy who despite knowing nothing about ranching or hunting, jumped in and built a career out of both. My guess is that he just jumped in to riding, and probably experienced this;
    There is nothing wrong with jumping into something new, but there is nothing wrong with taking a rider course either.

  6. onikeeg Says:

    :-) thanks guys

  7. sled tramp Says:

    A practical way to travel with alcohol is to carry it in a hydra back such as a Camelback.Motors are designed to transport us from point a to point b in a timely matter.Now I’m no rocket scientist but those that are have determined the most expedient way to do the above is through alcohol fueled motors.It follows therefore, that the more alcohol one consumes in a journey,the faster one will arrive at his or her destination.Thus I would try to figure out some sort of rough gallons per mile table.A sixer per every hundred miles or something.I would get my slide rule and computers out but Spongebob’s on…….do the best you can.

  8. Rebel Says:

    Dear onikeep,

    Get a luggage rack. Get a sissy bar. Get a t-bag. Line the t-bag with a heavy plastic trash bag. Keep two or three bungee cords in your saddlebags in case you lose a t-bag strap. I have had t-bags break on me twice. Once in Amarillo and once in Vegas. They just don’t last forever. I used to carry everything in a gym bag when I would go off to look for America. I used to secure the gym bag with bungee cords. T-bags work better. Do you need me to tell you how to install a sissy bar and luggage rack? Let me know.


  9. onikeeg Says:

    You may want to post up that how to strap luggage without turning your bike into a bagger. I nearly lost my duffel on the way to Daytona, it had the liquor in it too. Suffice to say I got the “dumbass” look from everyone.

    Dumbass rookie

  10. Rashomon Says:

    @Uesque – you need to turn off adblock if you use Firefox or Chrome.

  11. Uesque Says:

    OK, I’d be happy to click the links/ads if I could find them. Am I just dense or am I blind?

    As for Cheese Whiz suggestions, how about “How to install Live to Ride Ride to Live chrome accents on your bike”

  12. YYZ Skinhead Says:

    Incidentally, Rebel, are you taking pre-orders for your book?

    YYZ Skinhead

  13. AVAGOVFFV Says:


    Yep your dead nuts in regards to 12370… Fuckers! So where’s the bail story? Does it include the case of the People v. Saleem?

    Damn I think we all hijacked this thread!


    Viva Los Vagos

  14. Dante Says:

    I had the same thought at one point, as it would be fairly easy to build a spider bot that would click through your site… the only drawback is that it needs to be random enough to avoid detection as a bot.

  15. Square Verbose Doc Says:

    “How is everything in the league of ivy?”

    On the plus side, we don’t have much call for body armor.

    On the downside, like everywhere else, when they stab you in the back, it’s usually over money. But in academia, the amounts involved are laughably small, and of course it’s all done very,very politely.

    Best from Squaresville


  16. Rebel Says:

    Docter Docter!

    Good to see you back! How is everything in the league of ivy?


  17. Rebel Says:

    Dear Rashomon,

    Oh please, send in the bots.


  18. YYZ Skinhead Says:

    A few of those ads actually look useful. That three-wheeled scooter is kinda cool. I wonder if UTI is legit because I would like to know how to build a bike from its component parts.

    YYZ Skinhead

  19. Square Verbose Doc Says:

    “For purposes of this section, ‘body armor’ means any bullet-resistant material intended to provide ballistic and trauma
    protection for the person wearing the body armor” which I interpretet to mean that many of us are legally forbidden to wear motrocycle helmets.”

    Don’t worry, Rebel; I’m sure that in due time, they can come out with DOT tested helmets that are certified not to be bullet resistant.

  20. Rashomon Says:


    I have some robots at my disposal that are more than happy to click through your site in the wee small hours of the morning – how many would you like?

    I’d personally prefer to donate to the site through a paypal account or something similar. Maybe you could have site supporter type accounts or something that get access to new articles 24 hours before everyone else.

    Just a thought. You do good work so making a couple of bucks to support the site is not unreasonable. I expect that most of us would agree.

  21. Phuquehed Says:

    Next cheez whiz for the SAMCRO wannabes – Fuck nitrogen or plain old air in your tires…go helium!!

  22. Rebel Says:


    Yes, it is a pretty stupid law. My favorite passage is paragraph “f:”

    “For purposes of this section, ‘body armor’ means any bullet-resistant material intended to provide ballistic and trauma
    protection for the person wearing the body armor” which I interpretet to mean that many of us are legally forbidden to wear motrocycle helmets.

    Right? Am I right?


  23. Rebel Says:

    Dear Ruffrider,

    With a little fucking luck I will change it into hits and clicks.


  24. ruffrider Says:

    Change the air filter into what?

  25. AVAGOVFFV Says:

    Oh well guess the moderator was sleeping.


    Viva Los Vagos

  26. AVAGOVFFV Says:


    Don’t post this one…

    Whatcha know about penal section 12370(a)? You’ll love this shit.


    Viva Los Vagos

  27. Rebel Says:


    Yeah I have been doing a piss poor job with the cheese whiz. Soon. SAMCRO fan love cheese whiz, I have been told. I must attract more of them. Probably how to lube your clutch cable and how to to change the air filter in a V-Rod like tomorrow. Unless there is actual news. Got a Vagos denied bail story and a piece on the Hermanos to do, too.


  28. AVAGOVFFV Says:


    Okay next piece of cheeeez whiz? What is next?

    How to change a drivebelt on a 84 FXR? Hmmmm that might be a bit much for the newbies.

    Seriously thanks for what you do.

  29. rollinnorth Says:

    Where would we be without the FBI OBTG? Good work, Rebel!

  30. sled tramp Says:

    I got bored,clicked the “FBI’s terminology” thingamajig on the sidebar.These penetrating insights are gonna keep me greatly amused from now on.Keep putting them up,I was LMAO.
    Although I’m steering clear of anyone with an “8 ball patch” …..

  31. sled tramp Says:

    You.Can.Do.It. docB…happy place….happy place…(and if you do it correctly,at no time will your fingers leave your hands).

  32. DocB Says:

    OK …………. I’ve got the battery disconnected and the oil drained. I’m going to change this seat all by myself

  33. @nonymous Says:

    Rebel, i might try that. Im in to that macguyver kinda shit

  34. RVN69 Says:

    And always remember no matter what else you do, always disconnect your battery before you do any work on your motorcycle. The leading legal minds at Harly Davidson Motor Company Inc. have determined that this the necessary first step in any maintenance.

    Honesta Mors, Turpi Vita Potior.

  35. Rebel Says:

    Dear @nonymous,

    To begin, you should perform this task with the bike stopped, the engine turned off and the kickstand down. As you gain experience and confidance, you will soon learn to accomplish this job while you ride your bike in the carpool lane of the 605 Freeway while following a gravel truck using only a number four lead pencil as a tool..


  36. @nonymous Says:

    Ummm… i supposed to change the seat when the bike is stopped? Should the kickdtand be down? This is WAY too hard. Lol . Love it rebel!!! LVDV VFFV

  37. Hose-a 1% Says:

    Dear Rebel,will you post on how to winterize your bike?Like changing the air in your tires and such.Keep em coming love it.As allways F.T.F.
    HOSE-A 1%P.F.F.P.

  38. AVAGOVFFV Says:


    Okay here’s your click…..

  39. Roach Says:

    Bwahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!! I love it!!!! Can the next one be how to carry stuff on your bike WITHOUT having a bagger?? Im sure there are people who need the answer to that one…… (dont woory, I wont give it away)

  40. Phuquehed Says:

    Will you have one of these that tells us how to put my recliner seat on my bike? j/k!

  41. troyez Says:

    I just noticed that this was under the “cheeze whiz,” section. Nice.

  42. Dan the Man Says:

    your right this is retarded. Just so you don’t mis-interpret the statistics, I click the links so hopefully you don’t have to do this anymore.

  43. Cap'n Bill Says:

    I had to read this. At first, I thought it was bullshit, but it turned out to very informative and useful. Thank you so very much! (now, eye have to find someone with a Sporty…!)

  44. AVAGOVFFV Says:

    Oh fricken ducky I can hardly wait Rebel lmao… I do understand the need for working capital though and if it helps the less mechanically inclined that’s cool too.

    Do your thing


  45. Rebel Says:


    All I want, is the money to pay for my server, my document searches and shit like that. And, I am not going to charge anybody to come here and read. never gonna do that, perior. Sons of Anarchy has about five mllion fans. I just want a little piece of the one percent of them that actually own a bike. You’re gonna love my “How to Change the Oil in an FXST,” “How to Change the Air Filter in a VRod,” and “How to Measure Cables.”

    Shit happens.


  46. AVAGOVFFV Says:

    Are ya kidding me? I know you warned everyone about this shit. So where do I click Rebel?

    Peace to you and yours

  47. Snow Says:

    great article, thanks and welcome back Rebel, you were missed…

  48. not-a-hippie Says:

    Brilliant! Keep ’em coming!

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