PREFACE. I posted this on the Jockey Journal as an informative piece. They found it necessary to delete my post, and have deleted many of my posts in the past. I've become sick of the bullshit moderation that happens on that forum and I will no longer be promoting and praising that forum, and definitely will not be returning. Just some internet drama bullshit that I've had enough of. It's just the internet, right? It's also a means of communication. I don't like censorship.
So I decided to take a chance and got one of the new seats from Caulfield Leather (England)
Caulfiend Leather Blog
Dirty Bobbers Store
I didn't want a cheap vinyl seat or one of the poorly stitched leather Bates repros on Ebay and I couldn't afford a Bear Parts seat. And I got sick of the over-priced vintage Bates seats on Ebay. I think this is a pretty good compromise. My only 2 complaints is the pleats on the nose don't fold down and around the nose. But the pleats don't have exposed stitching like the cheaper leather seats. The other is the bolts are NOT carriage bolts but they should work decently. The seat pan (powder coated) is pretty damn similar to Bates/Bear with a bit longer bracket that goes under the leather in the back.
Overall I'm really happy and those guys were really easy to deal with and talk to. I got a few quotes from local seat upholsterers and they were all in the $200 range to recover my Bates seat pan I have. So I feel it was definitely worth the money, even with the expensive shipping charges. Leather is English leather with a bit of texture. It needs broke in for sure.
Caulfield Seat: $205 + $45 SH White, Black, Plain or pleated (more for distressed)
Bear Parts Seat: $345 + SH from Australia
Bates Seat: $Cheap (if you're lucky) to $Ridiculous