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Thread: Gel seat pads

  1. #16
    Dress for fall & avoid it AlanColes's Avatar
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    As far as seats go, I really think it is very much an individual thing. Haven't ridden a RDL or a Mayer, but have two bikes with Corbins and two with Sargent seats. For me the Sargent seats work best.

    Regarding the Gel Pads - I would not use them and here is why:

    1. hot - much hotter than foam, there is a good reason why no one uses a Gel pillow or mattress
    2. squirm - talk about losing that planted feeling that your great new tires offer - why would anyone place something that moves around between you and the most used connection to the bike that can only reduce your connection to the bike, not improve it
    3. one density / one contour- all the great seat manufacturers go into great detail to explain why having different densities and contours is benificial Gel fails on both of those fronts as well


    If you think about this for a second, just realise that what the touring community would consider being the top 4 custom/aftermarket seat manufacturers (Russell/Mayer/Sargent/Corbin - BTW all of them do custom work) don't use Gel, surely they would if there was a benefit to doing so, but they do not. I don't believe any of them are trying to scam the community and I've asked a couple of them if they saw any benefit to using gel in any way such as inside foam layers, etc., both stated that they only encountered problems and no solutions with gel.
    Regards, Alan - President BMWONS - MOA Charter Club #097, BMWMOA/BMWRA/BMWONS/Airheads
    Current: '14 R1200RT / '06 Ducati ST3s / '91 R100GS / '86 R80RT / '75 R90S / '73 850 & '70 750 Commando Prev: '04 R1150RT / '81 Honda GL1100 / '77 Suzuki GS750 / '73 Norton 850 Commando

  2. #17
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanColes View Post
    As far as seats go, I really think it is very much an individual thing. Haven't ridden a RDL or a Mayer, but have two bikes with Corbins and two with Sargent seats. For me the Sargent seats work best.

    Regarding the Gel Pads - I would not use them and here is why:

    1. hot - much hotter than foam, there is a good reason why no one uses a Gel pillow or mattress
    2. squirm - talk about losing that planted feeling that your great new tires offer - why would anyone place something that moves around between you and the most used connection to the bike that can only reduce your connection to the bike, not improve it
    3. one density / one contour- all the great seat manufacturers go into great detail to explain why having different densities and contours is benificial Gel fails on both of those fronts as well


    If you think about this for a second, just realise that what the touring community would consider being the top 4 custom/aftermarket seat manufacturers (Russell/Mayer/Sargent/Corbin - BTW all of them do custom work) don't use Gel, surely they would if there was a benefit to doing so, but they do not. I don't believe any of them are trying to scam the community and I've asked a couple of them if they saw any benefit to using gel in any way such as inside foam layers, etc., both stated that they only encountered problems and no solutions with gel.
    You can find Gel inserts in different densities, but finding the right density for you can be a long and expensive process. And I still wouldn't recommend gel pads as an add-on. To add to Alan's list above -- gel pads tend to "squish" into places that gel doesn't need to be. This, to me, is even more uncomfortable than the stock seat on my '15 RTW.
    J Goertz
    BMW MOAL
    2015 BMW R1200RT
    2012 Triumph Bonneville SE

  3. #18
    Registered User ajaxthegreater's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
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    Highlands Ranch, CO
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    98

    Take the plunge

    I have tried a lot of seats and ended up with Corbin (new) with leather seating surface as the best compromise for my butt. It has a more broad seating surface that I think spreads the load out a little more than the stock seat on my RT. The seat starts out pretty hard but then conforms to your physiology over time. So if you have tried a used one it probably has already conformed to somebody else's physiology. Might be comfortable and might not, its like wearing another person's well used shoes.

    I did not like the (used) Mayer as it changed my seating to be more forward of where I like to be. The (new) Sargent was vinyl and not particularly comfortable. The BMW "comfort seat" was as good as anything aftermarket but not very good looking. The sheepskin was ok, but looked a little funny to me. Never tried beads. I finally settled on new Corbins as they are as good as anything else and the aftermarket value always seems to be there when you move on to a new bike. It seems like there is always a willing buyer who will give you half or more of the original purchase price after several years of use. So by my way of thinking I am getting the better half of its life and only paying half price.

    PS, I have a memory foam bed and I think most of these posters are right, it tends to make you hotter and does not breathe well. I added two thick cotton pads on top which solved that problem, but I don't think foam would make me happy on a long hot summer ride based on my bed experience.
    Bill in Highlands Ranch, CO
    2012 R1200RT and some other older junk

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