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Thread: stock seat vs low seat and knees?

  1. #1
    motorups
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    stock seat vs low seat and knees?

    Ok, did only part of what was needed right. Local dealer has a low seat (but no heat wires) but tried it out just for size. Have a 06 r1200rt stock seat and when I put the low seat on I was in heaven...well I was touching the ground with both feet flat at least. I have a 30" inseam, 5'10" (which does not come into play I would say). With the stock seat I can get one foot flat and the other just toes mostly.

    Thought I had the answer...switch the stock seat for a low seat...and have a member on the forum with whom we are working on making that happen.

    Problem is...
    I did not do a test ride with the seat so have no clue what the postion of the knees will be like if I go to the lower seat. Great to reach the ground you know if I'm curled up like a pretzel then not so sure the benefits will outway the 'fit'. I fit fine on the bmw so far as how my legs/feet are postioned on the bike presently...just the touching the ground issue.

    A guy on a benefit ride today mentioned some get the low seat then set it in the high position which he said is still lower then the stock seat.

    Do we have any 30" inseam riders out there that might offer some input? Does bmw just like tall people??
    Thanks much !

  2. #2
    Cowboyatheart
    Join Date
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    Hi. I have a 2008 R1200RT standard height with a low rider seat - left the passenger seat as was. I have a 28" inseam and just live with the fact that I can't do flat foot.
    I don't want my knees bent anymore than they are. I want to get a custom seat, probably one from Rick Mayer, because he will make a more comfortable seat, keep the heating and not change the seat height on me.

    Yes BMW is made for tall people. I think the only thing one could do, if at all possible, would be to somehow change the shocks, or tire size, to get the bike lower to the ground. Then the question becomes, do you sacrifice cornering capability? I'm not the person to answer that.

    Neil

  3. #3
    Hey,
    I'm also 5-10 with 30" inseam and have an 08 R1200rt. I put the low Sargent seat on the bike and purchased the lower foot pegs for it. I also have talon pegs on it but am still improvising them to work better/more comfortable. After a long trip this summer I am now going to purchase the sheep skin cover for the seat also. Good luck.
    Mo Shaffer
    Maggie valley NC,
    St. George, BM

  4. #4
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Location
    Camas Valley Oregon
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    Guess I'm blessed with BMW legs. I'm only 5'8" but have a 32" inseam. My stock seat in the high position feels best to me although I have to "reach" a bit to get both feet firmly planted. In the low position I have no problem flat footing and even "paddling" around a parking lot but then I sit too low to properly see over the stock windscreen.

  5. #5
    MAYLETT
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by motor4 View Post
    I did not do a test ride with the seat so have no clue what the postion of the knees will be like if I go to the lower seat. Great to reach the ground you know if I'm curled up like a pretzel then not so sure the benefits will outway the 'fit'.
    With a 35-inch inseam, I'm likely one of those guys that BMW designed their bikes around, so I have no advice on a lower seat, but I do have an observation.

    The shallower knee-bend angle that you're enjoying now is a side benefit of your shorter inseam. Lowering the seat is going to bring that angle more in line with what mine is on the standard-height seat, which is apparently the angle BMW thought to be suitable (if not optimum), and it's one that I've never had any complaints about.

  6. #6

    Smile Low seat

    I have the stock seat on 09 RT but was worried about my knees. I had the dealer install lower pegs and that solved the problem for me.

    Karl:

  7. #7
    The Bloviator DocZ's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
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    knee & pegs

    Had total knee replacement early this year. When I was able to ride a bit by mid-April, i had to put seat in high position to lessen knee bend with the usual "can't hardly reach the ground" consequence. Now am able to use standard seat in low position again as flexiblity has improved well beyond expectations.. I still want the extra leg room so now I have to decide on the standard BMW choice of footpeg lowering vs slightly less expensive alternative via Twisted Throttle.

    Handled same problem on my 07 Suzi SV1000S by installing Buell Firebolt footpegs on SV 650 standard brackets for about 1" down and 1" forward improvement.

    The general lack of ergo flexibility without spending quite a chunk of change is one of my long time beefs about bikes in general. The OEM's are listening a bit as some adjustment is finally sort of normal. Finally.

    Having said that, the RT with the full lowering Monty is not as sweet looking as a standard model and don't start me on the black plastic trims effects vs the pretty ok silver.

  8. #8
    innate need to improve
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Lehigh Co., PA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnelliott View Post
    Hi. I have a 2008 R1200RT standard height with a low rider seat - left the passenger seat as was. I have a 28" inseam and just live with the fact that I can't do flat foot.
    I don't want my knees bent anymore than they are. I want to get a custom seat, probably one from Rick Mayer, because he will make a more comfortable seat, keep the heating and not change the seat height on me.

    Yes BMW is made for tall people. I think the only thing one could do, if at all possible, would be to somehow change the shocks, or tire size, to get the bike lower to the ground. Then the question becomes, do you sacrifice cornering capability? I'm not the person to answer that.

    Neil
    Neil,
    I have an 08 RT with the Rick Mayer custom seat. I must say the seat is a dream for comfort but it did make my reach to the ground more difficult. I do believe it is due to the width of the seat and not the height. You're legs are more bowed thus shortening your reach. Still love the seat, just deal with being on my toes at stops.

  9. #9
    I am 5'9" weigh about 170 and have a 30" inseam. I ride an 07 R12RT that came with a stock low seat. I subsequently added lowered pegs.

    With this configuration I would begin to suffer from severe knee and inner thy cramping within an hour of riding. I had the seat modified by Spencer and that helped relieve the pain around my rear end, but did nothing to solve the knee and thy issue.

    Then one day I was riding a friends R12RT with a regular height Sargent seat that was in the low position and I immediately realized that the low seat was causing the cramping. I ordered the Sargent regular height seat, installed it in the low position and have not felt any pain since.

    The trade off of course is that with both feet on the ground I am sort of tippy toeing on the balls of my feet. But I am willing to forfeit this small sense of security for the comfortable riding experience the new seat has given me.

    Avoid the low seat!

  10. #10
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Oakville, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    368

    Sargent Seat

    Quote Originally Posted by bmwswrv View Post
    I am 5'9" weigh about 170 and have a 30" inseam. I ride an 07 R12RT that came with a stock low seat. I subsequently added lowered pegs.

    With this configuration I would begin to suffer from severe knee and inner thy cramping within an hour of riding. I had the seat modified by Spencer and that helped relieve the pain around my rear end, but did nothing to solve the knee and thy issue.

    Then one day I was riding a friends R12RT with a regular height Sargent seat that was in the low position and I immediately realized that the low seat was causing the cramping. I ordered the Sargent regular height seat, installed it in the low position and have not felt any pain since.

    The trade off of course is that with both feet on the ground I am sort of tippy toeing on the balls of my feet. But I am willing to forfeit this small sense of security for the comfortable riding experience the new seat has given me.

    Avoid the low seat!
    Ditto !
    I have the standard Sargent seat recently replacing the BMW Low, and while I cannot flat foot, the riding position is much better

  11. #11
    psanborn
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by jimfastcar View Post
    Ditto !
    I have the standard Sargent seat recently replacing the BMW Low, and while I cannot flat foot, the riding position is much better
    I am portly individual. Own a 08 R1200RT, factory lowered.
    I found the height acceptable but the seat very uncomfortable. Bought a Sargent seat for the vertically challenged and got only a modest improvement. Still not very comfortable but better.

    Bought an Alaska Leathers sheep skin covered gel pad. It added about an inch to the overall height. Made riding more comfortable but the added inch put me on tippy toes.....not real safe.

    Spoke to Rick Mayer's....told me to learn to ride.

    Spoke with Max BMW to see if there were any changes to the suspension that would buy me an inch or two and was told that lowering the bike further would impact the handling adversely...not recommended.

    So I'm kinda stuck......love my bike though. I bought it hoping for a comfortable touring bike...would like to go to the left hand coast...but to do it comfortably I'd have to rearrange some of that belly fat to my posterior.

  12. #12
    I'm also 5'10" with a 30" inseam on a good day. The stock low seat on my '06 RT easily allowed me to flatfoot but was uncomfortable after 50 miles and torture by 100. (BTW, investing in a peg lowering kit will save your knees and alternating from low to high seat position on long rides also helps.)

    My first solution was a (low) Sargent seat which was a great improvement in comfort and felt only slightly taller than stock. In reality, it's not any higher, but the wider front makes flatfooting just a tad tougher.

    Seeking even more comfort, I then sent my OEM seat to Rick Mayer. Since I had only the rider's seat done, I splurged with leather and the result is even more comfortable than the Sargent and even easier to flatfoot than the the stock seat. Another benefit was that the original seat heating system remains intact with the Mayer.

    Both the Sargent and Mayer seats were of excellent quality and workmanship, although the Mayer took a bit longer to be made and delivered.

    Tom

  13. #13
    MAYLETT
    Guest
    Wikipedia says the average height of a U.S. male is just under 5'10", and the average height of a German male just a fraction of an inch more, yet BMW seemingly designs many of their bikes to accommodate people 6 feet and over. I wonder what their reasoning is on this.

  14. #14
    psanborn
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Maylett View Post
    Wikipedia says the average height of a U.S. male is just under 5'10", and the average height of a German male just a fraction of an inch more, yet BMW seemingly designs many of their bikes to accommodate people 6 feet and over. I wonder what their reasoning is on this.
    I'm not sure of their reasoning, but I think it has to do with the suspension design and therefore, the handling. According to the dealer, further lowering would negatively impact the handling.

    I have a 1975 R90/6 that fits me fine and has a comfortable stock seat. When they changed to the new suspension, the bikes got taller.

    Having said that, the R1200 out handles the R90 by a lot and is better by every measure. If I could lower the RT further, I'd use the inch or two I'd gained to add a more comfortable seat. Much of the lowering was accomplished by removing the padding from the stock seat. Same with the Sargent.

    As for average height......I'm about 5'9", my wife's maybe half an inch taller but both of our sons are well over 6 ft. (So are all my nieces and nephews)

    I think it's the hormones in the milk..........

  15. #15
    mjuskiw
    Guest

    Seat width

    This may just be me: But on my GS I found that the width of the seat had more to do with reaching the ground than I thought.

    Most of the custom seats were allot wider than stock and made the ground feel farther away even though they were lower. Like your reaching around to get there.

    Either me or the stock seat have broken in because im fine with it right now. I can flat foot the bike very comfortably with it. Have tried several aftermarket seats and the extra width made it hard to get my foot down.

    M Juskiw
    Akron ohio

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