DIY 101: Biltwell Banana Seat Installation Tips

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Our Banana seat for ’86 to ’03 Harley-Davidson Sportsters was our first pure bolt-on butt rest for stock bikes, and even it required a little drilling on the stock fender to make it fit. While that fact alone enough to send some home customizers back to the Google for a plug-and-play alternative, most gung-ho chopper freaks grabbed the Black and Decker and let her rip.

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Once mounted, our Banana seat cleans up the chubby lines on a stock XL to give the whole bike a leaner, meaner dirt-track style. There’s a little room for a ladyfriend on the back of the Banana seat, but not much—boo better be a spinner.

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As the photos show, the steel bracket on the back of the Banana seat aligns in the middle of the stock fender where no hole for mounting exists. If the thought of drilling a hole in your fresh fender gives you the creeps, consider our Mongoose or HB seat—both models are two-up style, and their mounting bracket aligns with the back hole on stock fenders.

The following tips and tricks for mounting a Banana seat on your stock Sporty also apply to our Café seat. How? Because although both models have very difference shapes, they use the same vacuum-formed ABS plastic pan and associated mounting hardware.

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Step 1: Remove the old seat by unscrewing the bolt that holds the rear bracket on the threaded insert in the fender.

Step 2: Align the metal bracket in the nose of your Banana seat with the tab behind the gas tank on the subframe and lower the seat into position, using firm forward and downward pressure to hold the seat in place. If you are concerned about scratching your fender, put masking tape over the paint where the drill bit and metal bracket will rest before you install the seat.

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Step 3: Using the hole in the metal bracket on the back of the Banana seat as your guide, drill one 5/16-inch hole into the center of the rear fender. If your bike has been lowered, put a piece of scrap wood on top of the rear tire so the drill bit doesn’t puncture the tire.

Step 4: Insert the fender washer and hex bolt supplied with the Banana seat into the hole on the underside of the rear fender. Depending on the it might be necessary to unbolt both shocks where they attach to the swingarm so you can get your hand and hardware into this space.

While our Banana seat does require some drilling on the fender to make it fit, most gung-ho chopper freaks grab the Black and Decker and let her rip.

Step 5: Put a few drops of blue Loc-Tite onto the threads of the supplied acorn nut and screw it onto the bolt through the fender and seat bracket. If you’re concerned about damaging the paint underneath the metal seat bracket, install a rubber or leather washer between the bracket and the fender top before you insert the bolt.

Finishing up: If you had to drop the swingarm to make room for your hand underneath the fender, reinstall the shocks at this time. Use Loc-Tite and tighten the shock bolts to Harley’s specified 45-50 ft. lb. of torque.

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The slim, narrow profile of our Banana seat for ’86-’03 Sportsters follows the frame and fender lines on stock XL’s to give these popular machines a leaner, cleaner look.