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Long Distance Saddle Recommendations ( ST1100\ST1300 ) *

Started by KoTAOW, January 25, 2012, 12:48:23 PM

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Long Distance Saddle Recommendations ( ST1100\ST1300 )

Question by Tony Pepenella, STOC #522:  Which seat would provide the best comfort over a 500 mile day ?  I'm looking at saddles whose virtues have been extolled by the LD cognoscenti.  Hence I'm looking at the Russel or Meyers seats.  I currently have a Sergent.


Comments by Ralph Sims, STOC #7908:  At one time there was Bill Mayer Saddles.  Bill Mayer sold out to Russell.  This allowed Russell to acquire the patent for the innerspring wings on the seat.  Bill Mayer started making seats again, with Rocky Mayer running Bill Mayer and the other on, Rick a different company' Rick Mayer seats.  Don't know the timeline.

Pretty much everyone on the net gives Russel the nod as most comfortable. I briefly rode (8-10 miles) a ST1100 with a Russell and it I didn't care for it.  Although this is not a fair testimonial, since the seat on my 1100 is an old Corbin Rumble seat and I have 50k miles on it and am quite used to it.  I could gt used to a Russel given time.  The Corbin and Russell are as different as day and night.  Briefly rode a ST1300 with a Russell.  The owner bought the bike with a Corbin and hated it, loves the Russell.  I had a BMW K100LT with a Bill Mayer (post Russell sale, no wings??)  It was very comfortable and my longest ride was Destin, FL to Benton, AR.  A fellow I befriended in Rocklege, FL recovered it in goatskin leather and it was REALLY nice.

The Corbin seats are like a horse saddle, HARD, HARD.  I don't believe you break in a Corbin, it breaks in your but.  People that have a Corbin ass can ride them all day.  a buddy rode my ST  and told me my foam ad collapsed, it hasn't they are that hard.  When you first sit on a Corbin they feel really hard, each any every time I sit on mine.  As the day's ride goes on the more comfortable it becomes, to the point that I do not give my seat any thought.  My longest stretch is 1700 miles in 2 days

Corbin-Pacific Inc

Russell Cycle Products Incorporated

Sargent Cycle Products


Comments by Chuck Henderson, STOC #086:  Butts are all subjective.
I had a Corbin on my ST1100 for 70k miles and it was hard but my butt liked it. I now have Rick Mayer saddles on all my bikes and my butt loves them. I am going to get another one for my NT. I do like the Russel but I find it puts me too high on the bike. Feels, to me, like I am sitting on top the bike instead of on the bike. Also the wings bother me when I am stopped and have my feet down. Tried the Corbin for my ST1300. Did not like it. The Sargent seat would work for me but never tried it for any distance. Don't like the looks of Rocky Mayer's seat. Rick and Rocky Mayer are in competition with each other. Each have there +s and -s.

Bill Mayer was the Dad and passed away a few years back. Rocky inherited the business name( Bill Mayer Seats). Not sure if the brothers are friends now or not.

Here is a pic of the Rick Mayer saddle I have had on my ST1300 for close to 100,000 miles now. And the second pic is of the Walmart pad on the STock seat of my NT700. Works great. Did a 700 mile day with not too much issues.  I have run the Walmart pad on all of my bikes at one time or another. For 16 bucks it work very well.


Comments by Adam Koczarski, STOC #265:  The Russell seats are more comfortable because the 'wings' cup your butt, and lower the PSI across your ass. Your butt kind of 'sockets' in to the saddle.

I don't personally like that kind of saddle because I like to slide to the side and down when I corner. If you are a more upright rider, and don't really move in the saddle when you corner, the Russell is considered the best solution.

I have a Rich's saddle, (a local Seattle shop), which is shaped more like a Mayer, but is softer. I had a Corbin on my 1100, and yes, it was rock hard! Maybe a 300 mile seat. My Rich's is about a 600 mile saddle, while with a Russell, you can ride as far as you want!

Here's what the Rich's seat made here in Seattle looks like. Pretty comfortable, but no Russell. However, you can really slide over to the sides with ease.

Rich's Custom Seats


Comments by Don Cortez, STOC #2525:  My first aftermarket seat was a Travelcade`gel`. After 100 miles the gel felt hard. Having heard good things about Rick Meyer and the fact he was about 250 miles from us,Joyce and I then rode up and had custom leather seats made for our bikes. Hers was`spot on`and she still has the seat. Her bike a VFR. Two trips back for me for adjustments,finally sold the seat. Never quite right. Next a Corbin,and while hard,rode alot of miles. Still searching for the perfect seat,I`m back to a Travelcade? Kind of wish I`d kept the Corbin.I`m actually considering having a local upholsterer sculptor and custom cover another seat. What seems to work for me,on any seat is to stop every 100 miles or hour and a half,GET OFF,take a break walk around abit.


Comments by Buddy Bolton, STOC #1242:  I did a drive in to Russell for my day-long several years ago.  I did the 9 hour return trip in one fell swoop, only stopping for gas and a quick sandwich.  The reason I stopped at 9 hours was cuz I was home.  I coulda kept on going.  And this was without breaking it in.  I'd highly recommend the Russell.


Comments by Ed Jones, STOC #5950:  I've had a couple different seats on my 1100, nothing from any of the Mayers but tried a buddys Corbin too hard for my boney butt. butt Had a custom upholster try with memory foam on a stock design....that didn't work either.    I bought a used Russell back in '06 from I believe Fred out in OK. While it is true it'll take some time getting use to the support wings after a while you won't know their there. Now if you go on Russel'ls site after you fill out some the info you can request shorter wings which would also be good. I was tempted to have them just recover the black leather with the graphite gray and after asking them a question on my particular seat their return email suggested that since it was manufactured in '97 they want to do a refurbish thats $450.00 vs. just the $300.00 recover charge. Says something of the longevity of their seats if that's a question? Great I'm giving that some serious thought since there some other things I need to do before all my spring riding starts and I have 2 other 1100 seats I can do short rides with.


Comments by Robert Shelton, STOC #3059:  Bill Mayer Sr invented the DayLong saddle that is being built by Russel,  sold everything and started BillMayerSaddles a little while later.  the difference between BMS and Russel is the BMS saddle is based on a preformed seat insert that is made from dense foam, similar in shape to the Russel but with out the spring butt wing.  Most think that the Russel is the best for the heaver rider, but its a personal choice.  I have a Russel on GL1200 with about 100000 miles.  Good saddle, it just works.

Bill Mayer Jr (Rocky) got BMS when his dad died, he works out of Ojai CA.  Rocky cuts the foam and shapes the seat but he lets his employee do the stitching.  BMS seats are made with the pre-formed seat insert.  Rocky will also add heavy foam for riders with extra heft.  I have a BMS saddle on my ST1100 for about 159000 of the 160000 miles on it.  Works just fine

Rick Mayer (Rocky's Brother, my understanding is that they don't much care for each other) does all the work himself and makes a total custom seat, building up the seat pan with several types of foam.  Love the look of them and am thinking of getting one for the ST1300.  I have a standard saddle on ST1300 and a Sargent saddle,  Standard good for about 200 miles and Sargent 700 before butt starts to scream.

Sargent saddles are not custom except for minor tweeks in material.  Usually less expensive.

My understanding that Rich in Seattle makes a great saddle that many like and it is similar in construction to Rick Mayer.  I have seen many and they look great.  Not cheap though.

Corbin is kind of the Walmart of saddles,  they make a ton of different kinds,  I have one on my 94 VFR.  Rock hard but not that uncomfortable.  I really don't use the VFR for touring though and slide side to side more.  Corbin also does not charge more for leather and they have lots of their own seat pans so there  is a good chance you won't have to use your stock seat and can keep it in reserve.

I also modified the seat on my 750 Nighthawk.  Removed the cover, dished the seat area a little and recovered with a Saddleman Cover.  It changed from a 20 minute saddle to one I could ride for hours (with an Alaskan Sheepskin).

Bottom line, there are lots of saddles to chose from, I think custom saddles are worth it, and I would recommend that try to get a ride in appointment if possible.  Remember that a saddle that fits someone else's butt may not fit yours.


Comments by Adam Frymoyer, STOC #949:  I bought a used Russell for my 13 last Fall. The guy I got it from was a little smaller than me. I wanted to like it, but it just wasn't working out. I called Russell to see if they could re-shape it for me. NOPE. They would have to do a total re-build, AND at full cost. So I sold that seat(s) after a couple of weeks. Finished off the season with STOC seats. Soon as the salt trucks came out, the STOC seats went down to Florida for re-building. Sent them down to Hartco International (the Goldwing seat guys). I expect them back within the next several weeks.

You can't go wrong with a Russell. Top notch product. I've ridden on several. But, when I had my wing several years ago I had Hartco do the the seat. Awesome quality and comfort. Plus it was priced right. I'm getting both the front and rear re-done for the ST at $500.

My Hartco seats arrived today. So far the seat fits like a glove. However, only ride time will determine long range comfort. I chose the new "Ostrich Skin" cover for a different look. The lighting in my garage isn't all that great, but a took a couple of quick pix. Can't wait for riding season!

Almost forgot... Custom built for my height, weight and angle. Hand poured memory foam. Had to send and e-mail photo's. Several phone discussions while being built by the owner. 7 week turn-around. $530 including shipping. Hartco International.

On the STOC seat, I had the front part on the highest setting and the rear set to the medium position. Gave me a flatter platform, but it was still like sitting in a banana. Kept sliding forward and smushing my poppa parts. STOC seat became un-reasonable after 150 miles. On a hot day and a extended ride, the foam would give out and put my butt down into the pan. At 6'-1" and 265lbs a total rebuild was in order.

I've ridden on a Russell, Sargent, Corbin and a Mayer at STOC events. Russell being the best. I love being able to try out different things at these rallies. The Russell gives the same feeling under your leg while going over the "wings" in my opinoin. Some guys say that it's something that you'll get used to. I hope so....

Hartco International


Comments by Jed Gregory, STOC #7168:  The stock seat plain sucks

I rode around on a Sargent for a few years.  It was OK, but my ass didn't like longer than about 150 miles at once without a break in the middle.

I acquired a Russell and my ass hasn't been happier.  It did change my riding style, however.  I used to slide around on the seat a lot more in the corners to adjust my body but now the Russell makes it difficult.  For the first few weeks, it was awkward and took a good bit of learning to figure out how to carve twisties on the Russell seat.  I learned that rather than moving my entire ass on the seat, I just had to twist the inside hip slightly forward, lean my body in that direction, and stick my knee out.  My ass barely moves on the seat now but I can carve a twisty just as well as I used to.  The Russell truly is an all-day seat for me and I wouldn't give it up for anything.

In fact, I just sent my DL650 seat out yesterday to get Russellized.  Should have it back in a few weeks since my production date isn't until Feb 3...

Comments by John OoSTerhuis, STOC #1058:  150K on a Corbin Rumble.  I've done a number of near 1K days, and two 2K days (35hrs actually).  FWIW, my practice has always been to stand up on the pegs every 20 to 30 minutes, not necessarily because of any problem with a saddle though.

Anyway, I like my Corbin enough that when a seam finally split and started looking bad year before last, I sent it back to Corbin for a refurb on the old pan (not cheap - 75% of a new one, but worth it to me as I like the way this particular pan {circa '93} fits my SSMST).  They used their new foam combo on it but I can't tell the difference.  The only difference I noticed was the refurb seems to be a little bit thicker/set me higher but I'm used to it now.

I like the 'monoposto' look of the bike with the topcase removed and the Rumble's backrest down.  If your pillion partner isn't too large (the backrest folding mechanizm does take up some pillion space), the backrest is curved, quite wide and supportive; giving a nice feeling of security.

Some folks have a Corbin butt, others don't (or didn't give it enough time/miles).  I used to spend hours in the cockpit every day and none of those seats were 'soft'... never heard of a pilot complain... well, about the seat anyway.


Comments by Ken Smith, STOC #2523:  The most comfortable STock seat I've ever ridden on is the seat of the ST1100P. The small differences between the ST1100P and ST1100 gave me an extra 300 miles before the ride became work.


Comments by Hans ten Broeke, STOC #2830:  You don't see many custom saddles over here except Corbin.

Tried them a few times and had always the feeling sitting locked into a frying pan, and for my liking to wide in the front if you come to a stand still.
Can't slide over it and I don't see how to change my riding stile not moving over the saddle during cornering, don't like the extreme wight also.
Not telling that you can't corner on a Corbin, just look how my friend Steve did fly around corners in the Alps on a Corbin makes everyone jealous Yup , but simply not for me.


Comments by Ron, STOC #2432:  On my 1100, the stock seat was good for about 25 miles. The Corbin was good for about 250 miles. The Travelcade I tried was about 400 miles. I have about 175K miles on my Russell. It's about due for a re-cover. Other than the ST, the Russell was the best money I've spent on motorcycling.

Saddlemen Motorcycle Seats


Comments by Elliot Chalew, STOC #1038:  500-1000 miles days - no problems, no hot spots.  Last year Los Angeles to New York City and return to Los Angeles with not a hiccup from my ST1300 and just a fun ride on my Russell.

The seat may not work for everyone - but sure works well for me.  My ST would not leave home without it.


Comments by Joe Zulaski, STOC #929:

Use your head here.  Of course "some" people may be similiar in body enough to like each others' saddles.  But, you can't count on that when trying them out.  Some people are shaped differently and what feels good for one person MAY not feel good to another.

Using an example that someone else's Russell saddle felt better than stock or a Corbin really doesn't prove anything one way or the other.  I too have tried saddles that felt ok.  But, I've also tried a friend's Russell which just didn't fit me right.  He was much taller and sat farther back or the seat sat too high for me, etc.

What Russell Day-Long and other custom saddle makers do is look at YOUR natural seating position, the angle of YOUR hips and knees, and how far back YOU sit.  They then try to custom fit the saddle to improve your hip and knee angles as much as possible and to put the bucket of the seat where it appears you like to sit.  They don't always get it right the first time and so, the test rides help to determine if any adjustments need to be made.  That IS the time to give them feedback like, "I'm sitting too far back" or "too far forward", or "There's a hot spot right here" or "I'm sliding forward".  They'll know how to fix things like that to get the seat dialed in for YOU.  And yes, your seat may feel good to someone else too.  But, not necessarily.  If it does, that's just luck of the draw.

One common statement that Rich O'Conner and the Russell seat maker that made my first saddle in Fall River Mills told me was that some people come in trying to tell THEM how to make a seat - specifying things like "I want it to look like the Corbin I had back in 19xx", etc.  That's not how a custom seat maker works.  They've studied how to make a seat comfortable for people's body structure based upon science and ergonomic studies.  Invariably when Rich would make a seat per the customer's requirements (rather than let Rich make one per his own knowledge), the customer would go away unhappy.  Rich finally quit doing that and would just tell the customer to go get the Corbin that they liked.


Thanks to everyone for their contributions.