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Thread: Help with After Market Seats

  1. #1
    Registered User DXMENON's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Parrish, FL

    Help with After Market Seats

    I have a 1200RT. Got most options on the bike but the factory seat is killing me. I am planning to ride to the rally so I have more incentive than ever to replace my seat. I know there are couple of different after market seats: Cee & Baileys, Russell Day long Saddles, Sargeant, etc. The first two I believe are in the $400 -$600 range which is doable for me. Can anyone give me some feedback as to the comfort/quality of these seats, vinyl vs leather, etc. If I'm going to spend a lot of money, I want to make the right choice.

    Thanks for all the feedback in advance.....
    Deepak Menon
    2006 Red R1200RT

  2. #2
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Surf City, USA (Santa Cruz, CA)
    Hi Deepak! There are a bunch of threads on aftermarket seats already. Just use the search feature near the top of the page.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison

  3. #3
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Oakville, Ontario, Canada


    A lot of words have been expended on the subject. I think I have a hard ass because I have not had a problem with the factory seat with a sheepskin pad on it. I have had problems with my knees for which I got pegs so I can stretch out every half hour or so.........

    I guess the subject rivals Oil and Final Drives....

  4. #4

    Two words

    Air Hawk.......


  5. #5
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Sheboygan, WI


    There is more than just one good seat on the aftermarket scene.

    For what it's worth, I went with Sargent and could not be happier. All-day comfort (even survived an Iron Butt in good shape) and well built, with some neat storage features beneath.

    Good Luck!
    Kevin Greenwald - MSF Lead RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    Motorcycle/High Performance/Teen/Winter/ATV Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Track

  6. #6
    Low speed, high drag
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Mankato, MN

    Thumbs up

    I'm larger than the average bear, and my butt has gotten sore easily on every stock motorcycle seat I've ever had, including bikes from four decades. I've have had two aftermarket seats, and I absolutely loved them both.

    I had a Diamond seat (from FL) on a Honda Valkyrie. It was built for someone who was nearly my twin. He hated it, and gave it to me- complete with receipt for $350+, in 1999 dollars! When I sat on it, I immediately absolutely loved it. I still own it though the bike is long gone- I may someday own another Valk, and will want this seat!

    I currently have a R1150GS with a Russell. I had mine built after sending them lots of photos, plus an extensive (neurotic?) list of concerns/complaints. I was very apprehensive about the cost.

    When I got my seat, I couldn't feel anything special about it. I was worried that I had wasted my money. After a couple of 500 mile days, I still couldn't feel anything "special" about it. Then it dawned on me- I couldn't feel anything "special," but I didn't have a sore butt, either! My longest day with it so far is just over 700 miles- no sore butt!

    I went with a leather cover. I like it, I think it is slightly less "sweaty" than vinyl. That said, I've also been experimenting with wicking underwear, mesh gear, etc., so it's not an entirely fair comparison to the old days in jeans and whitey-tighties. You will want a rain cover for a leather-covered seat. I am not impressed with the rain cover that Russell sent, that's my only complaint.

    Read up on Russell's comfort guarantee- a nice feature, if you ever need it!

    Do a search, read the posts, and take your chances. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    N. Dallas 'burb
    Couple of thoughts:
    • Remember that to get a Russell, either of the Meyers, Rich's, etc..., you have to send your stocker and you'll be out of a seat for the time it takes to customize yours. Corbin and Sargent send the pre-made saddle to you and you can ride your stocker while you wait for it to come in. It shouldn't be the biggest consideration, but something to think about particularly since spring is right around the corner and the wait time is about to grow.
    • Don't immediately discount the cheaper (~$40) options such as an Airhawk, Beadrider, or Alaska Buttpad.

    I have a Sargent with Beadrider beads on it. The combination seems fine. Although I haven't attempted a 500 mile day on the combination, I've done my share of 300+ mile days and no monkey butt at all. In comparison, the stock 12GS saddle hurt in less than an hour, and was pure torture after a couple of hours. The Sargent by itself helped a lot, but I still got a little bit sore after 200+ miles, and after 350 miles or so my butt was ready to call it quits, even though it was still better than the stocker after just a couple of hours. The beads (only $40) on the Sargent certainly added another couple of hours or 100+ miles, but I don't know yet if I could do a SS1000 type ride on it, yet.

    But, if I had to do it over, I'd send my stocker to Russell and be done with it. At the time (three years ago), the wait was two months and I commute daily so I couldn't be without the seat, so I got the Sargent which is a fine saddle and far better than stock, but for me is still not ideal for truly long distance riding. I may yet send my stocker to Russell and sell the Sargent.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi View Post
    Hi Deepak! There are a bunch of threads on aftermarket seats already. Just use the search feature near the top of the page.

    Do a search here and at other forums, like the equipment forum on ADVrider. Lots of threads out there.
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  8. #8
    +1 for a Sargent.

  9. #9
    Technology Evangelist
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Elk Grove, Calif.
    I have a Rick Mayer and it is a wonderful seat. Hand made to fit me.

    If you hang out at a local shop, ask around who is riding with what seat and have a look (or even a test seat) on them.

    We are all built differently, but a custome seat will be better than an aftermarket, and an aftermarket will be better than stock.

    A lot depends on how many miles you ride at a tme, and what you basic build is. If you are very large, or very tall, or very something else - go custom.

    If not, see if you can test one of the others. Beware that return shipping and "restocking fees" on some of the off-the-shelf seats can run you upwards of $200 - on a $450 seat.

    Another option for custom is to buy a second seat from a salvage place (undamaged) and send that in to the custom shop. You end up with two seats, but if you sell the bike you can sell the custom seat seperately.

  10. #10
    Are we there yet? tonyfr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SAT - LAX
    I went with a Sargent that was custom (no welts, topstitch, no logo and symphony vinyl). This is a low seat, but I think a standard seat might be a better deal for the extra padding.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    BMWMOA #62 / BMWRA #77
    2009 K1300 GT
    2005 R1200RT - gone
    1984 Kawasaki ZX750-E1 Turbo

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Jax Fl / Atl Ga

    New Seat is just a short ride away

    you're in Florida.. Corbin is just outside Daytona (at National Gardens/US 1 off I-95) and Sargent is in Downtown Jacksonville (east 1st). both will let you try a seat out. if you get there early enough you could probably put 200-300 miles on it before you return it..

  12. #12
    Grocery Getter TGA57589's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Washington, Utah
    I've got an email of an owner who had an RT seat from I believe an '05 if someone needs a seat pan or whole seat. I don't know what the condition is it, was offered to me when I bought something from them. Send me a message if anyone should need it.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Michigan's Upper Peninsula

    Seat wisdom

    Hi there in Florida. Each aftermarket seat has something a little different than the others. I had Corbin on my K75 and loved it. It took about 500 miles to break in. it was always firm but comfortableI bought a Sargant seat and I think this is the best yet. I also had a Comfort Seat from BMW but the Sargant is still better. This summer I rode out to Gillette from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan . We put 1400 miles on in two days. Comfort was never an issue. FWIT, I'm 61 years old and I like to put miles on . I also went with leather. It's a beautiful seat and would not hesitate to buy another one.

  14. #14
    Registered User careycsg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Mt. Prospect, IL

    Custom Seats

    Consider what brand that you see the LEAST amount of used "for sales". That should paint a pretty good option.

  15. #15
    I went with Cee Bailey because I figured if the CHiPs officers use them, they must be great.

    I'm disappointed. I forgot that motor officers are on and off the bikes fairly frequently. It feels really good when riding around town stopping at traffic signals, etc. But although better than my stock seat, I start to get a little uncomfortable after an hour of sustained highway riding. Much more than that and I'm constantly trying to change position or just need to stop and get off the bike for a few minutes. Now I'm wishing I'd gotten a Russell. I have not heard anyone with a Russell complain.

    The Airhawk is a great idea. I had a Corbin on my Moto Guzzi and it was soooo much better than stock, but still would get uncomfortable on a long trip. An AirHawk pretty much eliminated the problem and it is way cheaper than a new seat. I haven't tried the AirHawk on my RT/Cee Bailey yet, but I will on my next trip - to the Texas Hill Country in April or May.

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