I just don't get why stock seats on motorcycles are not very good. It's probably
to help keep the base price of the bike down (good seats cost at least $500), but
why it's not an option for
upgrading, that throws me. Put a few hours on most stock seats and you'll be
begging for mercy. There's plenty of aftermarket seats out there,
but that begs the question of what to do with the stock seat. Personally, I'll
sell the stock seat, or any other stock item I'm upgrading for that
matter, on ebay and consider any money gained as a "discount" of sorts off the new
know of many owners that haven't upgraded their seats to something better, and
at the price a custom seat goes for, it can't be just for vanity. As for Honda
cycles, the stock seats simply seem too soft and are usually pretty bland when it comes
to styling (i.e. solid black). Me, I look for the following aspects in a good seat:
After that, it's all gravy.
- It should be somewhat firm (let the bike's shocks take care of the cushioning)
- It should distribute the weight evenly, preventing any localized butt-burn
- It should support the back, helping to keep it straight
- It should be easy to clean and maintain
- It should last many years (again, they aren't cheap)
- It should look cool
- It should be leather. Other materials (vinyl) may appeal to other people, but this
is one thing where I simply think they are wrong. Nothing breathes like leather, nothing
feels like leather and nothing breaks in like leather. If you tell me you like vinyl,
I'll say you're wrong
Old: Check out
for my report on the Corbin seat offering for the ST1300.
Well, I finally did it. I got a
Bill (some call me "Rocky") Mayer
seat. This guy's seats have
been in motorcycle magazines for years, and I finally decided to try it out.
Be aware, to get this seat, you need to send in your original, which they will then
proceed to rip apart to build you the new seat using the original seat pan. What this
means is that you lose the ability to sell your old seat, thus losing out on
probably $75-$100 on ebay. You need to take this into consideration when
pricing this seat compared to others.
Furthermore, the process of making your seat can take multiple weeks, all the
while you will be
without a seat. Unless you have a backup, that means you're going to be
without your beloved bike too. If you do end up sending in your original seat,
be sure to write your name on the underside of the pan with a sharpie.
That way when the seat comes back, you know you'll know it was built on your
original pan, and not some other, potentially defective substitute.
Additionally, be aware that this is a tiny company, and as with any tiny company,
you can get customer service that ranges from really awesome to really shitty.
I would say I got somewhere in the middle. It was almost really shitty, because
to meet the delivery deadline we had agreed upon, they had to ship the thing UPS 2-day.
Now, they actually did this without even letting me know that I was going to be
charged an extra $50 to do so. I didn't even realize it until I saw my credit
card statement. Regardless, I called them and they reversed the charge with
not much hassle. I wasn't pleased at all that they charged it to cover their
scheduling mistake, but like I said, it's a wash because they did end up
taking care of it.
Now, if you are near Ojai, California, you can just ride in for a day and
save yourself all of that major hassle described above. But, by doing that,
you will usually end up delaying some poor sap who used mail-order. This is
because they give ride-ins first dibs on getting their seat done. I'm
confident that this is why my seat was nearly delayed.
Overall, I hate the business model (which his brother, Rick shares in his own
seat-making business). My advice to them both is this: like any other kind
of company, you need to follow basic, proven business practices. Schedule
work according to the resources you have. Don't overbook, and don't allow
a spontaneous ride-in to shove back the work on a mail-order. Schedule
the ride-in so that it won't impact any mail-ins. Simple.
Ok, enough ranting, how's the seat?
It's great. I really do question the custom nature of the seat, but I'll
let the results speak for themselves. This is the most comfortable motorcycle
seat I have ever sat upon. It cradles you evenly and doesn't create butt-burn
nearly as badly as other seats do. If you do exercise while riding - i.e. move
around and take different positions periodically so that blood flows properly and
pressure-points are occasionally relieved, you can get many hours between
stretch-stops. Also, the fact that the seat is built on the original seat pan
means that it retains the height adjustability of the stock seat.
From an appearance standpoint, it's not the most stylish seat around, as in
there are absolutely zero lines, but then again, that appeals to many people.
It's flat black leather, simple as can be and it does look nice.
It basically looks just like the stock seat, but in leather - smooth, buttery
Overall, the seat is fantastic, but getting it was a pain in the ass.
If you're willing to go through the hassle, and pay the price, I doubt
you will be disappointed.