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Dyed And Oiled The Leather On My '03 Chief


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I've just finished dying (re-blacking) the leather on my bike, and I'm happy to say it came out just great! I bought this bike last fall, and it already had leather fringe on the bags, mudflaps, seat and footboards, plus a few short ones on the brake and clutch handgrips. The bags, which by Guy at IndianMotoParts opinion, are Vintage bags, and the footboard fringe were fading to blonde, nearly, and the mudflaps were getting pretty weathered, too.

I used Auburn black restorer (my wife says shoe polish) and then Buffalo Butter that I bought from Chilhowee Leather. Due to the limited selection in our rural area, I got some Lexol at Wallyworld for pre-cleaner.

I'm really happy with what it did for the leather and the look of the bike. After cleaning and rinsing the leather, I would let it dry overnight, then the "restorer" dye the next night. I ended up having to go back and give it most everything a 2nd dressing, since the leather was so dry, it soaked it up and left some light spots. Left it for another night, then did a heavy pass of oil. After an hour or so, I wiped down any left, if there was any, and if it needed it, went over it again.

I plan on giving it a protective coat of either 303 or Protect All, which is one reason I'm writing this. Any opinions on these two? (Help, please.) I had bought some S100, but it seems I got "plastic and vinyl cleaner", so that's out.

Anyway, it looks good to me. Had the bags, foot fringe, front fender and seat off to do it, but after the front fender, I just left the back one on for it's flap. (Had the front off to fix a fork seal leak, but had to utilize an old round frame plastic fan for a stand, and it was a little tricky.

Anyway, it looks new, the bags are back to new looking, and I think I'll enter it in a show, since I've got about the only Indian in this area, from what I can tell. Now I've just got to figure out how to re-paint the black "Indian" text in those concho's on the bag. If I had the patience to attempt to get some pics on here, I would. Don't know if I'm allowed to do that, even. Anyway, if anyone is thinking of bringing your leather back to life, it's worth the effort. Time consuming, but worth it.

Edited by lvbutcher
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I am pictorially challenged, I guess. Took me forever to get a pic on my signature, then last week I was changing it, and now the site won't even let me replace it. Keeps popping up a page that says, "Oops, you can't do that" or something. So, now my sig pic is gone. I've now got a Picturetrail account for this stuff, but for some reason, that isn't cutting it anymore. (worked the first time when I put my bike in the signature, but not now.) Anyway, if I could, I would. But I've got 24/7 headaches from a job injury that really kick in when I start getting pissed off, and failing multiple times at anything is a short cut to that scenario. Even when the pain pills are working. Besides, my seat and footboards and bags aren't on the bike yet, so it would be a 'parts' picture, anyway.

Edited by lvbutcher
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