Wednesday, June 5

Le Pera Seats: An All-American Story

Le Pera seats, founded by Bob LePera in 1972, really is the All-American story. Young Bob upholstered in his parents’ business, and began doing custom hot-rod interiors for his buddies, and a business was born.

Bob was cutting his teeth in SoCal in the height of the muscle era’s horsepower war. When chopping motorcycles began its rocketing rise in popularity, Bob was at the front of the pack, building saddles for some of the hottest machines being built. Some of his iconic designs are still in use today. He had a knack for seamlessly welding comfort, style, and solid construction together in seats that simply stand the test of time.

He began the business, and kept it in the family. The next generation of Le Pera Seats is keeping the name alive with a revolutionary strategy: They’re doing the same old thing. The folks at LePera are continuing to crank out hand-crafted, ultra-primo seats right here in the USA. They aren’t moving off-shore, they aren’t selling out to some big-name conglomerate. They’re doing what Bob always did: they’re making the best saddle they can, with top-notch components and the best workforce in the world.

The amount of work done by hand at LePera is appalling - a real human works on each LePera saddle, ensuring that they are perfect. Many of the seat pans are still formed on the same molds and press Bob Sr. built through the Seventies and Eighties. Speaking of those pans... they’re 16 gauge steel. Powdercoated. Built to last, with no concern for cost, only longevity and comfort. They’re carpeted on the bottom, so your fender does not have any unexpected dings. And forget cheesy staples or those miserable hook-and-loop things some use to fasten the seat cover: LePera slams big, beefy rivets through pan and cover, effectively
making them one unit.

They’ve got a ridiculous range of seats, starting with the minimalist Bare Bones, which sits right on your frame rails They continue with various blends of comfort and sleek looks right up through the cushy Continental. (Which rides eerily similarly to the luxo-cruiser car of the same name; that seat should come with blanket.)

Seats are available custom stitched (Diamond? Pleats? What about flames?), and LePera uses a host of exotic materials upon request. (Alligator skin, anyone? How about Metalflake Emerald Vinyl?) If you don’t see something ‘off the rack’ that you like, call them up - they are willing to make nearly anything.

Keep your eye open for the LePera name at the next rally you find yourself at - see how many butts chose to park in a LePera seat. Forty years of doing the same thing isn’t an accident - and we wish them forty more!

-- Uncle Loomis

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