How To Protect Leather Motorcycle Seats: Step-By-Step Guide

How To Protect Leather Motorcycle Seats

Leather motorcycle seats are a hot commodity for bike enthusiasts, but they can be difficult to keep clean and maintain due to their constant exposure to the elements.

In this article, I will share with you a step-by-step guide on how to protect your leather motorcycle seat and keep it in good condition for years to come.

To summarize the process on how to protect leather motorcycle seats;

  • Step 1: You need a good leather cleaner to get the leather motorcycle seat clean.
  • Step 2: You need to condition your leather motorcycle seat to keep it hydrated.
  • Step 3 (optional): You can steam clean your motorcycle seats with a good steam cleaner to disinfect and remove any stains.
  • Step 4: You need a good quality leather protector that will not fail to guard your motorcycle seats in the rain or in extreme weather conditions.

For the rest of this article, let’s take a closer look at each of these steps in detail. But before we get into that let me tell you a little bit about the benefits of protecting your leather motorcycle seats.

Benefits Of Protecting Your Motorcycle Seats

It is important to learn the benefits of protecting your motorcycle seats because the importance of this step cannot be stressed enough. There are lots of benefits that will come with protecting your leather motorcycle seats, here is just a small list:

Prevents Cracking And Peeling

As I mentioned before motorcycles are exposed to extreme elements every day which can cause cracking and peeling over time if the seats are not protected.

Once the leather starts to crack and peel, it becomes weak and is more prone to tearing and other types of damage.

Protecting your motorcycle seats helps to prevent cracks and peels of your leather from the elements.

Prevents Leather Motorcycle Seats From Discoloring

Motorcycles are exposed to direct sunlight on a daily basis which is why it’s important that you protect your leather motorcycle seats from the sun, otherwise they will discolor over time and look quite unsightly in comparison to brand new seats.

With proper protection, you can avoid this from happening and keep your motorcycle seats the same color they were when you first bought them.

Keeps Your Leather Motorcycle Seats Hydrated

Leather is a natural material and as such, needs to be hydrated on a regular basis to prevent it from drying out and becoming brittle.

If leather dries out it can become quite stiff, start to crack, and be difficult to maintain.

By protecting your motorcycle seats you will keep them hydrated which makes the leather more flexible and easier to work with.

Protecting Motorcycle Seats Secures The Leather Pores

Motorcycles are exposed to extreme elements every day which can cause the pores in your leather motorcycle seats to open up.

If left unsheltered, these pores will become weakened and more prone to cracking over time.

Leather protectors prevent this from happening because it essentially fills the seat with protective ingredients that prevent damage from dirt, environmental elements, keep out moisture and other harmful elements.

This way the motorcycle seat remains strong and its pores remain intact which makes it easier to maintain in the future.

Protecting The Motorcycle Seat Creates A Thing Protective Film

The best part about motorcycle seat protectors is that once they are applied, they create a thin protective film over the leather which acts as a shield against the extreme elements.

This means that your seats will be shielded from rain, snow, wind, and other harsh weather conditions which can cause serious damage over time.

How To Protect Leather Motorcycle Seats

Now that you know all of these benefits, let’s take a closer look at each step on how to protect your motorcycle seats.

Step 1: Cleaning The Leather Motorcycle Seats

Every good leather motorcycle seat protection process starts with a very good cleaning process.

This is because dirt, oil, grime, and other harmful particles will prevent the leather protector from adhering to your motorcycle seats.

To clean or get rid of all these elements there are two main cleaning alternatives you can go with; either mild dish soap or a leather cleaner like saddle soap or you can use a steam cleaner.

You should clean your leather motorcycle seats by following the steps below;

  • Start by wiping off any dirt, dust, or debris from the surface of the leather motorcycle seats using a rag or brush.
  • Mix a mild detergent such as dish soap with water and apply it to a soft cloth.
  • Rub the cloth in a circular motion all over the surface of the leather motorcycle seats until they are clean.
  • Rinse off any remaining soap residue using cool water and allow the seats to air dry.

Step 2: Condition Your Leather Motorcycle Seat

The next practice when protecting your motorcycle seats is to condition them. Conditioning your motorcycle seats is important because it helps to restore some of the natural oils your leather motorcycle seats have lost over time.

Also, it nourishes the fibers of the leather and keeps it supple and strong. Lastly, conditioning your leather motorcycle seats prevents them from drying and cracking in the future.

There are a few different conditioners you can use such as neatsfoot oil, mink oil, or leather conditioner.

However, I recommend using a leather conditioner that is specifically designed for motorcycle seats to get the best results.

You would want the leather conditioner you pick out for your leather motorcycle seats to offer UV protection, non-sticky, water-resistant, and gives your leather deep conditioning your leather seats.

Condition your leather motorcycle seats by following these steps;

  • To condition your motorcycle seats, start by putting some conditioner on a microfiber cloth.
  • Apply the conditioner to the leather motorcycle seats in a circular motion.
  • Let the conditioner soak into the leather for about 15 minutes.
  • Wipe off any excess conditioner with a clean microfiber cloth and allow the seats to air dry.
  • You can apply another layer of conditioner if you want to make sure your motorcycle seats are properly conditioned.

Step 3: Applying A Leather Protector

After you have cleaned and conditioned your leather motorcycle seats, it is now time to apply a protector.

As mentioned before a protector will help to keep the leather protected from dirt, dust, grime, oil, and other environmental elements.

It also helps to prevent the leather from becoming dry or cracked in the future. There are a variety of leather protectors you can choose from such as a spray, creams, etc.

It is important to note that most conditioners will be made up of oils and protectors will be made up of waxes so do not confuse the two and mistake doing one in place of the other.

Also, do not use the same applicator or rag you used to apply the conditioner for the protector because it will undo all of your hard work. Apply a leather protector to your motorcycle seats by following these steps;

  • Start by shaking the can or bottle of leather protector well before use.
  • Spray the leather protector onto a clean microfiber cloth.
  • Rub the cloth in a circular motion all over the leather motorcycle surface until it is fully covered.
  • Allow the leather protector to dry for about 15 minutes before applying a second coat.
  • You can apply as many coats of leather protector as you want, but I recommend no more than three coats.

Care And Maintenance Tips For Leather Motorcycle Seats

  • Clean, condition, and protect your leather motorcycle seats regularly due to the hardwearing nature of the seats.
  • Do not use harsh chemicals or solvents to clean your leather motorcycle seats as it can damage the surface and fibers of the leather.
  • If you live in a hot climate, avoid leaving your motorcycle in direct sunlight for long periods of time as it can cause the leather to fade and crack.
  • When storing your motorcycle during the winter months, it is important to cover it or insulate it. This will help protect your leather motorcycle seats from harsh elements such as rain and snow.
  • Apply a coat of leather protector every three to six months if you live in harsher climates like desert areas where there are large amounts of sand particles which can damage the surface of the seats.
  • In order to prevent your leather motorcycle seats from drying and cracking in the future, make sure you condition them regularly which helps restore moisture back into the fibers of the leather.
  • Lastly, always remember that a little bit of care goes a long way when it comes to protecting your leather motorcycle seat for years to come!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, keeping your leather motorcycle seats clean, conditioned, and protected is not as difficult as it sounds.

All it takes are a few different products, some time to do the work, and patience throughout the whole process.

After following these three easy steps, your leather motorcycle seats will be well protected and last longer! Happy riding!


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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