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Thread: Touring Seat Options for K100

  1. #1
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    Touring Seat Options for K100

    I have an 85 K100RT and am considering a Touring Saddle type seat.
    I plan on taking some trips that will be 6-8 hrs long this summer and know that that with the existing seat my marshmallow butt won't take it. Existing seat is a Corbin Canyon I think.

    I have done some web searches and have found that both Corbin & Russell both make dual saddle seats.

    Would you all please give me some suggestions or inputs on these or other seat options.

    I am six foot 270 lbs, passenger is 5' 7" 135 lbs.

    Thanks
    Roy G.
    85 K100RT Ol Ruby "Gone but not forgotten"

    02 K1200LTC Hoss

  2. #2
    Ambassador at Large Jim Shaw's Avatar
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    Russell is the one

    You will find several manufacturers who will gladly make a seat for you. You send in your seat pan (or a spare one) and photos of you sitting on your bike. They take measurement off the photos to accomodate your particular frame and weight.

    Russell, of Shasta Lake, California, is the oldest of the long distance riding saddles. They have spawned several look-alike manufacturers - Sagents, and two Mayer companies. Forget Corbin. Corbin makes saddles that just look sharp.

    I bought a Russell Day-Long saddle maybe 10 years ago for my 88LT. I rode that bike and saddle about 130,000 miles before I traded it for my current GS. I rode the LT on four Iron Butt rides, including a 50CC - Jacksonville to San Diego. After those rides, almost everything hurt except my butt.

    My pal, the rabid Iron Butt rider John Ryan, just had his Russell seat rebuilt (he bought it used, so it was built for somebody else). John recently made Iron Butt Assoc. history by riding an unprecedented triple bun burner gold - they're calling it a Trifecta. That, essentially, is three consecutive 24 hour days of over 1500 miles each - for a total of over 4500 miles in 72 hours. John rode on a K75 with the newly rebuilt Russell. He swears by it.

    John is too shrewd to announce this ride himself. But, it's on the IBA website, I hear. I damn proud to know him.

    John spent a couple of days at the Russell factory getting the seat just right. He got to know the people, and really speaks highly of them.

    I do too. If you're not completely happy with your saddle, they'll redo it until you are. Mine lasted eight years under me with no sign of wearing out. Their leather saddles are beautifully done - as are the imitation leather ones. But it's what's under the covering that makes Russell customers come back every time they change bikes.

    Exoensive? A little more than the other guys - but if you're gonna ride seriously, it's money well spent. And with your weight, you'll be glad to know they make the saddle with special supports built in for over 250 pound guys.

    I'm contemplating one for my GS. It just isn't my highest money priority right now (new custom boots are), or I'd already have one.

    You can find Russell at http://www.day-long.com/

    Jim

  3. #3
    jeffwahl
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    I bought a heated Corbin saddles with backrests for rider and passenger. My wife and I both had things we didn't like about the saddle right off the side stand. I think the Corbin is too wide. Couple the extreme width with a tall bike and it's hard to get your legs around to the ground. My wife didn't like the extreme hump in the front center of her seat. It was irritating her over a long ride. We both think the highly touted Corbin foam is a crock, it's too hard. The seats are very heavy. I was surprised by the weight.

    We went back to the stock seats for the next trip we took. I thought I wasted nearly a $$grand on them. I marked up the seats for trimming where we wanted and sent them back to Corbin via Northern Colorado BMW. Corbin ignored the BMW dealer for nearly a month. I started in with them after too long a wait. It took me a couple of weeks of calling, talking to various people and finally threatening to call Visa for support on the purchase.

    A friend recommended a guy here in Loveland, CO who makes custom seats; Bitchn Stichn, Danial Ballard. I talked to him about the problem. He recommended a viscous gel. It's like the imitation fat that I've seen some bicycle seats. A workmate said the stuff would probably be hard as ice when cold. I thought it a valid concern so I threw a sample chunck Daniel gave me on the freezer overnight. Amazingly, it was just as pliable after a night in the freezer as at room temperature.

    I was sold. Daniel marked up the seats with each of us on the bike, listening to our concerns. He took a first cutting at the seats and refitted us. Mine was narrower where the legs drop, my wife's was dehumped and leaned back some. The cut a pond in the middle of the seats and installed the viscous gel in the cut away. He re-sewed the seats very well. We are greatly happy with the seats now. The modifications extended our riding comfort several hours over the stock seats. And we still have the heated seats.

    He only charged us around $200 for the total custom work. We are very pleased.


    Jeff

  4. #4
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roy
    I have an 85 K100RT and am considering a Touring Saddle type seat.
    I plan on taking some trips that will be 6-8 hrs long this summer and know that that with the existing seat my marshmallow butt won't take it. Existing seat is a Corbin Canyon I think.

    I have done some web searches and have found that both Corbin & Russell both make dual saddle seats.

    Would you all please give me some suggestions or inputs on these or other seat options.

    I am six foot 270 lbs, passenger is 5' 7" 135 lbs.

    Thanks
    You've heard from Jim Shaw on the goodness of the Russell seats.. and he's right. They are the best you'll get if you can afford the price and wait while it's built. Downside - and no one will deny it - they are not an attractive seat. You grow to love'm 'cause they fit well, but it will never look as attractive as a stock or Corbin seat.

    I've had two of them, and loved both, but couldn't do it on the present bike, where form takes a very small edge over function.

    As you probably know - your '85 uses a different seat pan and rear tail section than later model K bikes, so any option for a different seat except perhaps a Corbin involves you supplying the vendor with a pan that they will build the seat on. Luckily - these seats are usually available inexpensively used since the stock one was SO uncomfortable. Check the Marketplace and EbayAutos.

    The other option - one that I used after going through a Corbin and a Sargent was the BMW Comfort seat. This was made for the K75 and K100 as an option, and I believe was available for the K11. The BMW Comfort seat was cost effective ($240 or so from Hammersley) and guess what - it's COMFORTABLE! The ETK (parts CD) shows a PN of 52 53 1 455 222 for one to fit the '85 K100. I'd suggest calling Hammersley (www.webparts.com) to see if it is still available. The later one for my '87 K75S was and came brand new direct from Germany.

    HTH,
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  5. #5
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Speaking of the Corbin saddles, there is a lot of difference between the Canyon Sport, and the Dual Touring models.

    I've owned both, and the Canyon Sport, IMHO, was only one step above a standard BMW fence rail, aka, stock seat.

    The Dual Touring model, on the other hand, is a great saddle. I've owned two of them, and can recommend them heartily.

    The last long trip I took on a Touring model was over 1,100 miles (one-way), and while my throttle hand gave me grief, my butt was never a problem.
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

    If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.

  6. #6
    SweetT
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    I have a Rick Mayer seat on my K75. I went with Rick Mayer because I liked the look of his seats and it was within my budget (about $325). When I got the seat the build quality is very high and the seat looks great on the bike. The comfort level is "pretty good" however. Its definately better than the stock seat, and I have been able to do several consecutive days of 600mi+ riding and even one 1000mi+ day. After a long ride like that my butt did hurt some, but nothing like it did with the stock seat. If I rode 600mi a day on the stock seat, I would hardly be able to sit down the next day!
    So the bottom line:
    Do I like the seat? pretty much. Do I feel like I got my moneys worth? yes
    Would I buy another one? Not sure, but probably.

    I've heard a lot of good things about Russel and Bill Mayer seats and I'd like to sit on one of those seats for a while before I could consider myself a "seat expert."

  7. #7
    Ambassador at Large Jim Shaw's Avatar
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    It has to be yours...

    The conundrum about sampling Russell comfort is that it has to be 'your seat' for it to be its best. The padding takes a 'set' from its owner. Smart owners of these seats tend to not let others ride them for long periods. That said, I don't think many people ask for their money back.

    Also, if you took a Russell out for a hundred or two hundred mile ride, it wouldn't prove much. The unusual quality of them is that you pretty much forget about them. Your neck or wrists may be sore after a thousand miles, but your butt probably won't be.

    Eight or ten years ago, Russells were pretty ugly, but they're a lot better now. But then, what looks better and feels awful? A: The stock seat.

    I have no connection with Russell, whatever. The GS will have one as soon as I get my new boots paid for.

    Jim

  8. #8
    Tells it like it is......
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    Seats are like shoes. Each person needs an individual fit.

    That having been said, I have CORBINS on both of my bikes....my '03RT and my '03 Kawasaki ZRX1200R.

    I tend to like the firm feel of the CORBIN. I like knowing that in 10 yrs. or so, the seat will still have maintained it's shape for the most part. And I like the CORBIN for it's backrest abilities.

    And...I like that it (seat) is heavy-duty, and that the seat pan won't flex, or break, or become mis-shapen over time. My BMW RT is not a light-weight bike to begin with. A little more weight in the seat won't kill me.

    Usual dis-claimer.....YMMV.....especially with the OEM BMW seat.

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