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Corbin Dual Canyon seat for the R 1200 RS - and much more

Posted By James P. Smith, Ph.D. (#12333), Wednesday, February 8, 2017

After completing my Ph.D. dissertation, I wanted to escape academia with a little saved money. I had a used BMW R 80 ST in the garage that begged to return to the Alps, where I had contracted Alpinitis. Alpinitis is a disease you get when you ride the Alpine passes in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy. I did this six times and the addiction was, by 1987, incurable. I rode the ST across the United States, shipped it to Europe and rode around there for three months. Never once, even after riding for hours on end, did I notice any discomfort sitting on that bike. I didn't even notice it had a Corbin seat. Granted, it was someone else's Corbin seat that may have fit them better than me, but I loved riding that bike.


Jim with his beloved R 80 ST.

I loved it so much that after leaving the ST in Europe and coming home to work I decided I had to have an ST to ride here. I answered an ad in the BMW Owner's News for an almost-new ST with less than 3,000 miles on it in Reston, Virginia. I flew there from California, bought it and rode back across the U.S. via the Great Canadian Highway. I had to stop often because my seat was sore and my shoulders and arms ached. I realized this ST was exactly the same model as the one I rode in Europe – except it didn't have a Corbin seat!

A year later I flew to Munich to pick up my ST. I rode it from Germany to England to join the AMA Tour of the UK, including a visit to the Isle of Man. What a difference! It felt so good to ride the bike in Europe with a Corbin seat, the same model bike that back home with a stock seat gave me aches and pains.

In June 2015, I contacted Corbin to inquire when they would have a seat and Smuggler setup for my new R 1200 RS motorcycle. The Corbin rep who returned my email, Sergio, thanked me for my interest, but informed me that they didn’t have any such product for the R 1200 RS. He offered a free seat in exchange for letting them use my bike as their test bed. Another employee, Joni, scheduled the work and warned me Corbin would need the bike for about six weeks. We scheduled the drop off for just after the New Year because I wouldn't miss riding in the winter. I explained that I wanted a Smuggler trunk that fits behind the Corbin seat, because unless you have side cases for this motorcycle there is no place to carry anything. Joni had to check with Mike Corbin, the owner. She got back to me the next day and let me know they could make the Smuggler, but it would require them keeping the bike an additional three weeks.

My wife and I trailered the bike down to Hollister and met Freddie, who helped me unload it and explained that any accessories would be locked away and that the bike would not be ridden at any time.

Many weeks later, I came back with my daughter to pick up the bike and met Julio, who manages all custom repairs and factory tours. Julio gave me what they had already made, including the Corbin seat with Smuggler trunk, a Dual Canyon seat with a back rest for riding two-up, both sporting electric heat at the flick of a switch. They wanted me to try out the standard seat they made for pictures and advertising, then return for a custom seat to be made to go with my Smuggler trunk. My daughter and I were treated to an hour-long tour of Corbin's immense factory; it covers a large city block and includes the Wizards café, where you can have breakfast or lunch while you wait for your motorcycle.

Corbin uses a Contoured Comfort Cell foam which feels firm compared to the cushy-feeling stock seat that, over time, compacts and eventually loses its resiliency. This causes the rider to feel the seat is too hard, which is really the result of the foam being too soft to start with. Corbin’s closed-cell foam is made up of a series of small bubbles which hold air pockets that keep the saddle resilient indefinitely. This enables them to vary the density to suit the personal shape of the customer's seat. As a result, Corbin's seats are able to provide an average of seven pounds of foam density compared with three to four pounds on stock seats. In addition, Corbin's foam will take the shape of the rider and keep it that way after about 1,500 to 2,000 miles, providing better weight dispersal and a custom fit.


Corbin's closed-cell foam.

Corbin uses fibertech as a base pan material. It is stronger than plastic, won’t rust like metal and offers design flexibility for a precise fit to the motorcycle. With good base pan strength, the seat will always support you in the right places.


Every seat Corbin makes starts with a mold.

The seat I got was Corbin's black leather with blue stitching and a blue welt that matches the Lupin blue of the R 1200 RS, and is exactly what I would have chosen even though while touring the factory, I noticed Corbin offers many leathers in a riot of colors such as Bright Red, Navy Blue, Chocolate Brown, Indian tan, Oaknut. They also offer a menagerie of textured leathers such as Alligator, Snake, Ostrich, and Stingray, and in a variety of colors as well. You can also get your seat covered with textured vinyl in Yellow, Ninja Red, Burgundy, Teal, Lavender, Harley Blue and many more vibrant colors.


Corbin sports a dizzying array of seat covering options, including smooth and textured leathers and vinyls.


Pouring foam into a mold.

Leather is best for a motorcycle because it breathes, keeps you cool where you contact the seat, and will conform with the foam shape as it breaks in to give you a personalized fit.

During the two months I waited for my bike, I saw many pictures of it in motorcycle magazines and on Corbin's website. I had agreed to allow Corbin to have my RS a little longer to show it at the Quail Motorcycle gathering at Pebble Beach, in Carmel, California, but I was getting anxious to ride again.

While many bikers ride in to Corbin's factory in Hollister and wait on a first come, first served basis for their bike to be fitted with a custom seat, I couldn't wait to start riding again. I picked it up with the products already made for pictures and advertising and trailered it away to return after I had tried out Corbin's seat and Smuggler trunk.


Jim tests out his new Corbin seat, shown here with the Smuggle trunk in place.

Packing only my sunglasses, water, aqua vest, sun hat, notebook and pen in the Smuggler trunk, I was off riding up highway 49 out of Nevada City, across the South Fork of the Yuba river to my first stop at Downieville. I didn't want to get off my bike but Chris, my riding companion, was hungry. He skipped breakfast, so we had an early lunch of delicious soft tacos and iced tea at La Cocina De Oro.

We headed northeast on 49 past Sierra City to a waterfall that Chris found just off the highway before Bassetts, where we turned north on Gold Lake Road. I noticed that my position on the Corbin seat had me sitting a little more upright, which took the weight off my arms and eliminated the tiredness I felt riding the same distance on the stock seat. There was no extra wind turbulence as I was able to raise the windscreen on the RS. I was definitely having more fun with this new equipment.


Chris, left, and the author.

After riding around on it for several months with my daughter Jamie exclaimed, “I love it.” Also, my granddaughter who traveled with me to Hollister while Corbin made a custom single seat for me with a Smuggler trunk said the Dual Canyon seat was the best, especially because it was electric and kept us both toasty warm. When riding solo I prefer the Corbin single seat with Smuggler trunk as it holds just enough for day rides and avoids putting on panniers – perfect for traveling light. The Corbin single seat can also be electric and ordered separate to go with the stock passenger seat.


A good look at the solo seat with the Smuggler trunk in place.


The other finished product - Corbin's Dual Canyon seat and passenger backrest on the water-cooled R 1200 RS.

Tags:  accessories  Corbin  R1200RS  seat 

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Mustang R1200GS Seat

Posted By Stan Herman, Wednesday, January 28, 2015
 
Excellent for the Inseam Challenged

This is a high quality seat utilizing a steel seat pan, an ingenious adjustment method and it fits the bike exceptionally well. The Mustang seat hugs the tank contours and latches easily in place after installing the four bolt mount bracket. To install one removes four 8mm nuts, switches mount brackets and reinstall four nuts, it takes about 10 minutes. The seat looks custom made with excellent stitching. As a bonus an optional rider backrest is available.

This is an excellent seat for someone inseam challenged on a GS or GSA. It lowers the overall seating position by more than an inch from the factory seat. Different width, shape and where one measures make that a hard number to determine exactly. The foam is firm and well sculpted. The throat is also somewhat narrower allowing easier flat footing of the bike. I rode about 250 miles of paved Arkansas River canyons and paved mountain roads around Pikes Peak. I have a 32 inch inseam and the seat is simply too short for me even in the high position. I think it would best serve those with a 30 inch inseam or less. It moves the rider into a pocket both lower and closer to the tank. I think the Mustang is a very nicely crafted seat, but not for me.

 

 

Tags:  Mustang  R1200GS  seat 

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Mustang R1200GS Seat

Posted By Stephen Gregory, Wednesday, January 28, 2015
 Great Quality, But Not Built for Me

The first thing I took note of after receiving the Mustang seat was the quality of the leather and the overall feel. Top-notch. It has a nice cushion to it and soft feel. Really high quality.

Next I was under the impression that I would be able to simply remove my Corbin seat and replace it with the Mustang seat. Not true. There's a mounting bracket that you have to install. OK… not a big deal. Just remove the stock mounting guides from above the battery and replace them with the Mustang mounting bracket. Easy-Peasy.

Then I discovered that the seat has two spring loaded pins in the rear that allow you to easily select a lower option and a higher option. Pretty cool! I'm 6'0" so I went with the higher option. I imagine for those who are 5'9" or 5'10" the lower option would be a wonderful feature. Even with the seat set on the higher option I could reach the ground better than I can with my Corbin.

The Mustang seat is much narrower than the Corbin. The smooth leather and narrow throat allow you to easily slide and shift your weight while leaning into twisties, however the Mustang seat is just too narrow to be comfortable on longer rides. The Corbin saddle is wide and supports your butt in such a way that it ergonomically lessons road fatigue.

The Mustang seat, similar to the stock seat puts pressure points on your inner thighs making for much less comfortable long distance rides. After an hour on my first ride with the Mustang seat, I was glad to have arrived at the trail head just so I could start standing up! I then took it on some very challenging mud trails and got it pretty dirty. The leather held up every time I dumped the bike and had to drag it across some rocks to pick it up. The leather cleaned up nicely as well.

I also tested the back rest with my highway pegs and it felt really good. There is a Corbin back rest in my future. If you get this seat I recommend getting the back rest and some highway pegs just so you can shift your legs and body when your butt starts getting sore on longer rides.

My wife accompanied me on another hour long ride to breakfast one morning and tested the pillion seat. She was not aware that I had replaced my stock pillion seat with the Mustang and at breakfast she was complaining about the uncomfortable ride. When I told her it was a different seat she said that would explain it. And that she had never been uncomfortable before on such a short ride.

To sum it up - the seat is great quality but too narrow for comfortable long distance rides.

 

 

Tags:  Mustang  R1200GS  seat 

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Mustang R1200GS Seat

Posted By Bill Wiegand, Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Quality for Eight Hours!

Probably the most important connection a rider has with their motorcycle comes through their seat, as the level of comfort a rider experiences there is directly proportional to the enjoyment received while riding. Finding a comfortable seat can be a difficult task; but if you do, you will be rewarded with miles upon miles of never ending smiles. By contrast, ride for 10 hours on an uncomfortable seat and you’ll think twice about riding again.

Personally, I ride a 2012 R1200GS Rallye; while I love the styling and look of the stock seat, spending more than a couple continuous hours in the saddle has me squirming around looking for a comfortable spot that just isn’t there.

A new seat has been on my wish list for some time. I do have experience with two aftermarket seats, but neither provided me what I was truly looking for…a seat that not only looked great but allowed me to ride for at least eight continuous hours without feeling like I was being punished for a crime I hadn’t committed. A comfortable eight hours isn’t an Iron Butt request by any means, but more than I was receiving from my stocker and a performance level with which I would be happy.

When I saw the Mustang Seat box sitting in my office, I immediately wondered who wasn’t going to receive their Harley seat that day. I opened the box anyway and, to my surprise, inside was a new seat made specifically for the 2005–12 R1200GS and GSA. Low and behold, Mustang is now producing seats for BMWs.

Upon initial inspection, the seat looked very good and was solidly constructed. A metal seat pan and a premium, leather-like vinyl material enveloped the interior foam padding. I eagerly awaited installation and an initial road test.

Unlike other seats I’ve seen and tried for my bike, the Mustang uses a proprietary front seat bracket which replaces the stock front seat mounts. In the rear, two adjustable pins offer high or low positioning, as do the slots on the front bracket when mated with the tongue mounted on the seat pan. After the 10 minutes needed for installation of the bracket, the seat was mounted and because the rear seat uses the same mounting method as the stocker, a few seconds later I was ready to go.

The initial appearance of the seat on the bike was very good, though the profile of the seat appears shorter than the stocker or other aftermarket seats I’ve tried, allowing the upper frame sections, components usually hidden by other seats, to be visible. Not that big of a deal and it was time to hit the road.

I’d planned on using the seat on a 1,300-mile round trip to South Carolina I’d scheduled in about a week; I used a short, 50-mile shakedown ride for an initial impression. After that short ride, all systems were go and during that first ride, I found the seat felt good, the vinyl had the right amount of tack and didn’t let me slide around. The shape of the saddle fit well and I was truly beginning to think I just might have found a long-term solution to riding comfort. I knew 1,300 miles awaited and, once my trip was completed, I’d have the information I sought.

On the first day of the trip we rode just over 475 miles, and I can truly say I was pleased with the seat. The “hot spots” I experienced on other seats weren’t there, and when I got off the bike that day I felt good and knew I could have ridden longer. The final 175 miles to Spartanburg the next day were a piece of cake. I left Spartanburg alone three days later with the intent to pound out all 650 miles, stopping only for gas. Though I made it, once I passed the eight-hour mark my remaining time in the saddle grew more and more difficult as the miles and the time continued to accumulate. Looking back, I wonder if any seat can truly be comfortable for more than eight hours.

In the end (no pun intended), I can say that I could be truly happy with the Mustang if I never intended to travel more than eight hours in a day. Until I exhaust all of the aftermarket seats, I cannot say that this is the best option. What I can say is that the Mustang seat is a good looking, beautifully built seat that I would gladly use on all but the most demanding of trips. Until I am able to find backside nirvana, I will forever be in search of a seat offering the comfort of the La-Z-Boy in the den and the visual appeal of the stocker.

 

 

Tags:  Mustang  R1200GS  seat 

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