This winter I think I'll have a go at customizing my own saddle. I have some experience at this sort of thing and I'll post some pix of the project. The one thing that concerns me most is the heating element embedded in the foam. Not quite sure how that will be removed and replaced without damaging the heating wires.
[QUOTE=Brian-NC;823169]I'm sure the seat material is like nothing else on the planet but if it's covering the same shape of seat, how will it be more comfortable?
To me, the pain I'm experiencing is because of lack of support. I'm not a big guy, bout 5'10"ish 189 lbs. How bout you? Can you tell me or us why you love it other than the great material?[/QUOTE]
Good morning Brian:
I am 5'11", normal weight about 210, riding weight with ATGATT is about 220ish depending on what jacket and pants I am using.
To answer your questions:
1. Although the seat maintains the OEM look (something I like) it is made of a number of layers of hi-tech stuff that molds to your particular butt shape after about a minute of so. I have no experience with the Magnum seat design, but I can see where it would give a lot of support to the outer portion of a wide(er) butt. One really nice side benefit of the setup is that it isolates a lot of vibration from the seat area, not that there is a lot of that to begin with. To me, it is a much more comfortable seat than the OEM, which is not too bad to begin with.
2. Airflow !!! The mesh layer lets nice cool air get under you and there has been no monkey-butt at all this entire summer in south Louisiana. That includes a lot of days of 90% humidity and 95+ actual temperatures. Despite the airflow, the seat heater still works in cold weather. On hot days, the OEM seat was good for an hour or so, and I had to stand up while riding or stop and walk around to cool off the buns. This thing just works !
3. The seat allows you to move around. You are not locked into a single position like a lot of the aftermarket seats force you to be. This is important if you like to slide around in twisties as I prefer. This also has the big benefit that you can get a foot down properly at a stop without a lot of drama like some aftermarket seats cause due to their height and the forced seating position. For example, the Russel seat is great, but is too tall for me, and I end up stuck in one position. It also looks kind of dorkey with the wings that make the support work.
4. The seat, unlike leather, is totally waterproof. You do not need a cover, or special maintenance (leather oil) to maintain it.
5. On very hot days parked outside, most seats become very hot and uncomfortable to sit on. This material stays cool despite hours in the hot sun.
6. The seat looks really good on the bike. This is subjective, but given that I don't really care for black seats, that says something. Build quality, fit and finish is outstanding, something a lot of "custom" seat makers can't claim if you look under the seat.
One thing I will mention to you: Some or most of your pain may actually be lack of back support. Try riding with a flexible cooler or bed roll behind your back and see if the lumbar support makes the OEM seat more comfortable. When I realized that problem, I added the BakUp back rest to my bike. The combination of the seat and backrest makes for a very, very comfortable ride for hours at a time.
I will add this: The back support issue also showed up on my R1200R. That bike had a Rick Mayer leather seat that was light-years better than the OEM plank, but I found that having a small cooler strapped behind me to give back support made even that seat much more comfortable.
A couple quick notes to the aggressive riders out there with interests in Russell seats.
1) If you scoot forward out of the pocket, in front of the wings, you can move around a lot more than you might think on a Russell. That also helps get more weight forward and helps with manueuvarability.
2) If that doesn't work for you you have two other options. 1) Russell can cut back some of the wing to give you more room to move around and/or get you more leg reach to the ground. 2) Go with their "sport" style seat with much smaller wings to achieve the same goal. You'll probably give up some comfort but, from what I'm told, it's not unreasonable.
Hope this helps.
Yes, I have a Russell on my '11 RT, unfortunately, I have no pics but I have a black velour seat with half moon pattern. This is my second Russell with the velour and I love it. It's never hot, you don't slide around and it's incredibly comfortable. I spray it with outdoor Scotchgard atleast yearly (I honestly don't ride in rain unless I'm caught in it so you may wanna spray a couple times a year if your a daily rider) and it usually beads up and rolls off pretty well without letting the innards get too wet.