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Thread: Why do we pick on BMW seats?

  1. #1
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    Why do we pick on BMW seats?

    For the years I have been on this forum, and for all the years I have been on other m/c forums, one of the most common complaints I read is about how uncomfortable BMW seats are. Several other brands seem also to collect similar complaints, but BMW seems the worst.

    Is that issue really near-universal (all riders)? Or is my impression skewed by only a few riders who complain often? I really would like to hear some thoughts from this forum.

    My personal experience (20 years experience and all the lower 48 several times) is that I have never changed a seat nor felt particularly uncomfortable on a seat--except for the very first trip on a new bike. Once my butt gets used to the new seat it never is an issue. I find BMW seats to be about as comfortable as anything out there, except maybe touring Harleys, which are really exceptional seats.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    For me it’s because I own a BMW
    The Sargent with an Airhawk is barely tolerable.
    My TW-200 is no bargain either.
    I have thought of a Russell Day Long butt I’m too far away for a ride in.
    It’s most likely mostly my butt.....or lack thereof.
    Those big HD’s do look comfy.
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  3. #3
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Royce you are evidently blessed with the extremely rare and desirable preferrous-polymorphous butt. (Please do not take the ”desirable” bit the wrong way)
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  4. #4
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    All butts are not the same! I don't care what brand it is.

  5. #5
    Seat threads are almost as much fun as tire threads, but more fun than oil threads. But, I'll play. I have only had two aftermarket seats. One was only because I needed a solo seat on my K75 modified for long distance rally riding. Bill Mayer, Sr. cut down that pan and built the seat for me for the 1999 Iron Butt Rally. I had Rick Mayer build a seat for my R1150R after the stock seat wore out at just over 100,000 miles. That was cheaper than buying a replacement from BMW. My other 14 BMWs had or have stock seats.

    In her 1,100,000 miles on 16 BMWs Voni has had only one aftermarket seat and that was because her R1100RSL had a Sargeant seat on it when she bought the bike. She actually likes the stock seat on Big Red, her other R1100RS better.

    We have spent the past two summers traveling about on our G310GS bikes which have the original OEM seats.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  6. #6
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    Maybe BMW seats fit my personal FD just right, but the only seat issue I ever had was on my 2005 K12LT. That seat was just completely useless.
    I had Rick Mayer make me one and that was money well spent. All my other bikes had good to great seats, well enough to do several 1K mile days in any of them..YMMV
    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2018 R1200 GSA Triple Black
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA, ‘17 R1200RT

  7. #7
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    Thanks for some discussion. Perhaps I do have a rare butt that does not require coddling, but I tend to believe not. Actually, like most men of a certain age, I have almost no butt to speak of. As a matter of fact, my wife calls me Mr. No-Butt.

    I have test-ridden many bikes over the years that I felt had uncomfortable seats (the original Ducati Multistradas, for instance; what a torture device.) but, guess what? I did not buy any of those bikes. If a bike is not reasonably comfortable from the get-go, I move to a different brand or model. Perhaps my selection process is different than most, eh? I have never bought a bike, or car for that matter, based on "passion" or "falling in love" with the machine. My decision is practical/logical: if the machine does not "fit" me the first time I ride it, than I am not interested.

    My only two "bad" experiences with motorcycle seats were one-offs. I once rode a Honda Shadow 750 from Orlando to Kansas City for a friend. He had bought the bike on e-bay and I was in Orlando on business. I turned in my return flight ticket and took delivery of his "new" purchase and rode it home to him. The experience gave me a sore butt for several days, but only because I was not used to the seat and the ride was a tad long (1,000 miles or so) for a test ride. I rode the bike several times after that and found the seat comfortable because my butt was used to it. The second experience was on my brand-new Kawasaki Nomad when I headed out on a cross-country trip the day after I bought the thing. Mistake. After the first half-day, I stopped at a bike shop and bought a Beadrider seat cover and all was great thereafter. After that first trip, I took the Beadrider off and rode the bike for three or four years on the OEM seat with no problems.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  8. #8
    Addicted to windshields Realshelby's Avatar
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    I think BMW seats are designed to look good and be a nice compromise for a commuter or police bike. Get on and off the bike every hour or so and it is ok.

    I do a lot of rides that have a first day of 700+ miles. A shorter day, or longer, follows that, and that may be 3 days in a row totaling 1600+ miles. I think how the seat feels on the second day is the true test of a seat. Even with my Russell seat, my butt would like to be off the seat for a break every now and then. I cannot sit in my recliner without wanting the same. Those that say they have zero pain or discomfort after 1000 miles in a day are not made like I am! But I don't have pain, more discomfort, and that is just fine moments after I start a break.

    My V strom Suzuki 1000 came with a seat so superior to any BMW seat I have had that I think I can say BMW seat comfort has little money spent on engineering in Germany.

  9. #9
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    My stock seat was OK for up to two hundred miles, usually. With any longer distance, results varied from just a literal pain in the butt to legs that did not function when I got off. That's with walking a bit at gas or rest stops every 1.5-2 hours. I swear that straddling this would be more comfortable:
    image_8045.jpg

    All that pain went away when I bought a used RDL - I've since ridden as far as 1500 miles in 28 hours without once thinking of my butt.
    Last edited by lkraus; 10-23-2019 at 04:09 PM.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  10. #10
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    Royce, do we the same wife? Mr. No- Butt! My wife says that too.

  11. #11
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Could you run a marathon today? No, you would likely need to train for it.

    Motorcycle riding is likewise an athletic endeavor requiring getting your body ready. I've several times noted my seat feels ok by the 2nd or 3rd day of an extended ride.

    Here's an applicable joke (posted here many times by me, so maybe sorry)

    Man and woman are both at store trying on pants. First try for both results in too tight fit.
    Woman: oh, I have to lose weight.
    Man: there's something wrong with these pants.

    Here's another applicable story ...

    https://www.artofmanliness.com/artic...tress-fallacy/

    Personally, I can't see how an oil thread or tire thread can compare ...
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    Thanks for some discussion. Perhaps I do have a rare butt that does not require coddling, but I tend to believe not. Actually, like most men of a certain age, I have almost no butt to speak of. As a matter of fact, my wife calls me Mr. No-Butt.

    I have test-ridden many bikes over the years that I felt had uncomfortable seats (the original Ducati Multistradas, for instance; what a torture device.) but, guess what? I did not buy any of those bikes. If a bike is not reasonably comfortable from the get-go, I move to a different brand or model. Perhaps my selection process is different than most, eh? I have never bought a bike, or car for that matter, based on "passion" or "falling in love" with the machine. My decision is practical/logical: if the machine does not "fit" me the first time I ride it, than I am not interested.

    My only two "bad" experiences with motorcycle seats were one-offs. I once rode a Honda Shadow 750 from Orlando to Kansas City for a friend. He had bought the bike on e-bay and I was in Orlando on business. I turned in my return flight ticket and took delivery of his "new" purchase and rode it home to him. The experience gave me a sore butt for several days, but only because I was not used to the seat and the ride was a tad long (1,000 miles or so) for a test ride. I rode the bike several times after that and found the seat comfortable because my butt was used to it. The second experience was on my brand-new Kawasaki Nomad when I headed out on a cross-country trip the day after I bought the thing. Mistake. After the first half-day, I stopped at a bike shop and bought a Beadrider seat cover and all was great thereafter. After that first trip, I took the Beadrider off and rode the bike for three or four years on the OEM seat with no problems.
    I couldn't get out of Az. and into NM on a planned trip to eastern Tenn. and my butt was on fire on my brand new 07 Nomad. I suffered through the trip, but when I got back, a Mustang seat was ordered and installed post haste. That Mustang could get me into 800 mile days with ease.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    … Man and woman are both at store trying on pants. First try for both results in too tight fit.
    Woman: oh, I have to lose weight.
    Man: there's something wrong with these pants. ...
    ...
    Maybe this discussion could extend to our rear seat pax and their comments about the comfort back there???
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  14. #14
    skibum69 skibum69's Avatar
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    I rode my ‘82 R65 LS to Tennessee in June, a bike not designed for long distance hauling that I’d never ridden more than a couple of 3 hours. Starting my trip I did 4 x 900 km days in a row. How do you think that seat was?

    But on my KTM’s I now have 2 Renazco seats for Mt 525, one suede and one vinyl. On my 640 Adventure I have a Renazco vinyl. I have done 15 hour days on that seat and yes it still hurts but I’d be hard pressed to try on the stocker.

    On any of those machines I wear bicycle shor5s under whatever pants I’m wearing and that makes a huge difference.

    I haven’t got much time on my new to me R1100 S so can’t really comment but a couple of hours on it felt fine so at this time no thoughts of going aftermarket for that bike.
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  15. #15
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    I have often wondered if the LD Comfort skivvies or bicycle shorts would help......Although either one sorta negates my vision of being out for a "quick" ride.
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

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