OP
@caschnd1 avatar
UTC

Grumpy Biker
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
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Posts: 5423
Location: Sparks, Nevada, USA
 
Grumpy Biker
@caschnd1 avatar
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5423
Location: Sparks, Nevada, USA
UTC quote
I'm a little out of my wheelhouse when it comes to leather care.

The seats on my old chopper are made of heavy (thick) saddle leather. They used to be a really nice dark/rich looking color (pic #1). Over the years they have lightened a lot (pic #2). Any suggestions on what product to use to get that dark/rich color back? I oil and seal the leather regularly but it doesn't bring back the color.
Original color
Original color
Color after a few years of riding and sun exposure
Color after a few years of riding and sun exposure
@tor2ga avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
Looking for the next one, probably electric
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Posts: 3647
Location: Babcock Ranch, Florida
 
Ossessionato
@tor2ga avatar
Looking for the next one, probably electric
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Posts: 3647
Location: Babcock Ranch, Florida
UTC quote
Keep it oiled and flexible and call the color patina.

Water will darken it, but it's hard to control and will change.

Patina is whatever you say it is.
@paluss avatar
UTC

Hooked
GTS300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 137
Location: Maryland
 
Hooked
@paluss avatar
GTS300
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Posts: 137
Location: Maryland
UTC quote
Mink oil will darken and water proof the leather
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Member
Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 33
Location: Detroit
 
Member
Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 33
Location: Detroit
UTC quote
As a leathersmith I use Neatsfood oil and mink oil depending on the application.

Neatsfood oil is a leather darkening oil, its used for softening and conditioning leather

Mink oil is good for water proofing leather but it tends to dull the finish of the leather over time, but it does not require oiling for a longer time.

If you are going to try switching to neatsfoot try a little on an area that you cant see so you know what your getting into.

You can order neatsfood oil from Tandy Leather or pick it up if theres a Tandy store near you.
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Member
Stella
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Location: Detroit
 
Member
Stella
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Location: Detroit
UTC quote
Oh, also, brown leather takes on a character of its own as it ages.

Depending on how you care for it (or dont care for it) it will fade or darken or pick up mottleing ect.

Part of the reason I love working with brown leather, it takes on a life of its own.
@jess avatar
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Petty Tyrant
0:7 And counting
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Location: Bay Area, California
 
Petty Tyrant
@jess avatar
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Location: Bay Area, California
UTC quote
TheWizard wrote:
As a leathersmith I use Neatsfood oil and mink oil depending on the application.
I don't think we can ask for a better answer than this. Thanks!
OP
@caschnd1 avatar
UTC

Grumpy Biker
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5423
Location: Sparks, Nevada, USA
 
Grumpy Biker
@caschnd1 avatar
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5423
Location: Sparks, Nevada, USA
UTC quote
TheWizard wrote:
As a leathersmith I use Neatsfood oil and mink oil depending on the application.

Neatsfood oil is a leather darkening oil, its used for softening and conditioning leather
I've been warned that Neatsfoot oil will transfer to my pants. Should I seal the leather with anything to prevent this? Or do you not think transfer to clothing is an issue?

I've been using bee oil 3 or 4 times a year. These seats have never been exposed to a deluge of water. And the bike spends very little time parked in direct sunlight.
@der_blechfahrer avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
ET3 & PX150 & GTS 300 Super Sport MY23 & Yamaha Neo's electric
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Location: Berlin
 
Molto Verboso
@der_blechfahrer avatar
ET3 & PX150 & GTS 300 Super Sport MY23 & Yamaha Neo's electric
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1875
Location: Berlin
UTC quote
I've had a brown leather bicycle seat from Brooks. It looked amazing. After a couple of years I thought I needed to tend to it and used a saddle treatment that my brother gave me. It came without a label and smelled like bees wax.
I had to throw the saddle away when I couldn't take the comments about my brown trouser bottoms any longer.
@jess avatar
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Petty Tyrant
0:7 And counting
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Location: Bay Area, California
 
Petty Tyrant
@jess avatar
0:7 And counting
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Location: Bay Area, California
UTC quote
Der Blechfahrer wrote:
I had to throw the saddle away when I couldn't take the comments about my brown trouser bottoms any longer.
Doh.
@old_as_dirt avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 GTS
Joined: UTC
Posts: 22483
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@old_as_dirt avatar
2007 GTS
Joined: UTC
Posts: 22483
Location: Harriman, Tennessee, Tn
UTC quote
go to a saddle store and ask them what products you need.
@shebalba avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2009 GTS250, Ducati Monster M900, KTM 390 Adventure, Honda CR125
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Posts: 1527
Location: Oceanside, CA
 
Molto Verboso
@shebalba avatar
2009 GTS250, Ducati Monster M900, KTM 390 Adventure, Honda CR125
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1527
Location: Oceanside, CA
UTC quote
While not a leathersmith I do work for a global tannery group. Let me check in with the automotive division and a few of our chemical suppliers and see what they recommend.

It might take a few days for them to reply due to the holidays.
UTC

Member
Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 33
Location: Detroit
 
Member
Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 33
Location: Detroit
UTC quote
caschnd1 wrote:
I've been warned that Neatsfoot oil will transfer to my pants. Should I seal the leather with anything to prevent this? Or do you not think transfer to clothing is an issue?

I've been using bee oil 3 or 4 times a year. These seats have never been exposed to a deluge of water. And the bike spends very little time parked in direct sunlight.
UTC

Member
Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 33
Location: Detroit
 
Member
Stella
Joined: UTC
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Location: Detroit
UTC quote
not sure what happened there.

I've never had any issues with oil transfer onto my pants.

Any oil applied to leather will leave it greasy for a bit, just allow it time to absorbe them buff it with a towel to remove any excess. [/quote]
OP
@caschnd1 avatar
UTC

Grumpy Biker
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5423
Location: Sparks, Nevada, USA
 
Grumpy Biker
@caschnd1 avatar
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
Joined: UTC
Posts: 5423
Location: Sparks, Nevada, USA
UTC quote
TheWizard wrote:
not sure what happened there.

I've never had any issues with oil transfer onto my pants.

Any oil applied to leather will leave it greasy for a bit, just allow it time to absorbe them buff it with a towel to remove any excess.
Maybe the person who told me that transfer was a problem oiled their seat and then went for a ride. I always oil my seat at a time when I know I won't be riding for a day or two.
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6885
Location: Tega Cay, SC
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
Joined: UTC
Posts: 6885
Location: Tega Cay, SC
UTC quote
Late to the party. Before applying the oil, warm it up with a hairdryer or a heat gun set real low. The leather should be just slightly warm to touch. After you're done oiling, warm it up again, then walk away. Come back in a day or week and buff it with a dense cloth - I like using pieces of denim. Scoot looks great, love those Panheads.
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