How to Make a Template for Your Tank Bib

Creating an accurate template from your bike is easy. Below are some basic instructions: 

  • In some cases, a template that I already have might be close to what you want. The template can be mailed to you providing an easy starting point however other times we start from scratch. (Mailing a template requires a $50 non refundable deposit, which in turn will be applied to order.)
  • You will need a paper bag, a marker pen, a piece of vinyl or upholstery fabric, painters tape and scissors.
  • Cut the bag bottom and down the side so you’ll have a big piece. The paper bag opened up and flat will allow you to get a ruff idea of the shape and you can easily imprint bolt holes into the paper.
  • If you have a console, remove it so that you know just where any bolt holes are which will be used to hold the bib in place. You may have to disconnect any electrical connections in order to take the console completely off. Use painters tape to hold the paper or vinyl in place.
  • Cut out the area for the console, gas filler hole or both.
  • The hole for the console should come underneath the console NOT to the outside edge. The console will hold the bib down securely. Replace the console to double check the fit.
  • You can easily imprint these locations on your paper with your finger nail. If the bib comes in contact with or encompasses the gas filler hole, make sure that you give your gas filler hole enough width so that the cap will be able to be locked down once the leather bib is in place.
  • Some bibs run the length of the tank unless it is a half bib such as one for a Road King, Yamaha Royal Star and several others. A full length bib secures at the top (handlebar area) and the bottom (the seat area) with leather strings which run just under the tank and are easily hidden. A long leather string connects the two ends by going under the tank.
  • It is important to fold the template in half lengthwise to ensure that both sides are equal.
  • Play around with different shapes and take in consideration whether you want pockets, studs, conchos, tooling, inlay, etc on the bib. You can always snap a photo and send it to me for an opinion.
  • Once you have the basic shape for your tank bib, you can now create a soft template. The best material to make a soft template out of is vinyl.  Transfer the pattern on to the vinyl. The template will now lay nicely on the tank and give you a pretty good idea of where you are heading.
  • Draw in pockets to scale if requested.  Provide the following measurements for the pocket height, width and depth.
  • Send me the vinyl and/or paper template. Feel free to write helpful notes on the template.