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Thread: Custom seat or seat cushion...which way to go

  1. #1
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    Custom seat or seat cushion...which way to go

    I've got an '09 RT and the seat is getting a bit spongy. I've considered either getting a custom seat from someone like LaamSeats.com, or an AirHawk "R" seat cushion. I'm looking for input from someone who has had any experience with either getting a customized seat (from anyone) and/or any users of a seat cushion such as an AirHark.

  2. #2
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    Beadrider.com

    Can't recommend enough using the bead system from beedrider.com http://www.beadrider.com/. I've ridden many 600+ mile days in great comfort using them. The beads spread your weight, plus they allow airflow under your butt. Sitting in the saddle all day causes you to sweat especially in heat. That perspiration can cause bacteria and a rash over a long day. The shearling pads add softness, but no airflow. Another advantage is riding on the beads in a hard rain. They keep you above the wet saddle.

    I would highly recommend trying the beads before investing in an expensive custom saddle.

  3. #3
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    I use a FreedomAir air-cushion, similar (IMHO a bit superior) to the Airhawk.. but harder to find. http://www.longeride.com/

    Also see MCN's review: http://www.mcnews.com/mcn/model_eval/2011JuneBmprs.pdf

    I'd suggest trying one before spending the large $$ on a custom seat. I've had Russell build me a seat, and the results with the Russell were about the same as the FreedomAir on a stock or custom seat.. I'm good for about 4 hours before Ibuprofen is needed, and about 7 hours overall even with Ibuprofen.

    If the air cushion doesn't work for you - you can probably get 80% of what you paid for it back by selling it on the Flea Market.. then go for a custom seat.

    Randy and I clearly have different butts - I found the beadrider converted 6 major PITA spots into thousands of PITA spots. It was about as painful as riding without it, but it did change the location of the pain a bit.
    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

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1beemer View Post
    I've got an '09 RT and the seat is getting a bit spongy. I've considered either getting a custom seat from someone like LaamSeats.com, or an AirHawk "R" seat cushion. I'm looking for input from someone who has had any experience with either getting a customized seat (from anyone) and/or any users of a seat cushion such as an AirHark.
    I have a Laam seat on my 2013 GT and really, really like it. I just finished a 4500 mile trip and it seem to get more comfortable every day. Highly recommend Seth.

  5. #5
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    This is a difficult one to answer as no two posteriors are the same, and riding styles often differ. I have a Russell Day Long on my GSA sidecar rig and just completed an 8800 mile round trip from VT to the Salem Rally and back. My butt was fine after three weeks of 12-14 hour days. I don't like the Russell on my GS though, as on that more nimble bike I prefer to move around a bit on the saddle. For that bike I tried a Corbin (pocket prevented moving around), a Sargent (too wide in front for my short legs), and finally settled on a Touratech by Kahedo which pretty well fits my needs.

    You'll get a lot of testimonials like mine, but the bottom line (pun intended) is there are a LOT of variables that need to be factored in, and what works for one person may very well not work at all for another.

    Pete
    '07 R1200GS for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan dual sport sidecar for rides with Barley

  6. #6
    -Walt 2wheelfamily's Avatar
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    Take this as just a data point but while perusing the bikes at the recent Rally my wife and I noticed the large number of bikes with after market seats that had sheepskin or bead covers over them. What struck us as even more unusual was that [it appeared that] there were less 'covered' stock seats. With the way OEM seats are discussed on this and other forums (not in a flattering way) it also surprised us that custom seats were a minority on the day we were looking. Not scientific by any means but something that clearly stood out to us so for some reason I thought that I would pass that along...


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  7. #7
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    alaska sheepskin

    I ride an '01 GS, and added a sheepskin cover - easy to put on and take off, and added a couple hours of comfort. I get as easy 3-4 hours before I feel the need for a stretch. I will say it is very poor in the rain as it is a sponge and takes a long time to dry and can get that wet dog smell when wet (days without some type of heat applied). Have tried beads - worked better on a flatter seat vs. those that support more motion while riding (LT vs. GS). Have tried air and gel - prefer the gel.

    One thing to note is I have a pair of tour master riding pants with pads along both sides of my butt - and wearing those makes a bigger difference as well. so make sure to test the system altogether.

  8. #8
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelfamily View Post
    Take this as just a data point but while perusing the bikes at the recent Rally my wife and I noticed the large number of bikes with after market seats that had sheepskin or bead covers over them. What struck us as even more unusual was that [it appeared that] there were less 'covered' stock seats. With the way OEM seats are discussed on this and other forums (not in a flattering way) it also surprised us that custom seats were a minority on the day we were looking. Not scientific by any means but something that clearly stood out to us so for some reason I thought that I would pass that along...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    I suspect the bikes with custom seats and sheepskins/beads are owned by people who regularly travel long distances on their bikes. People with stock seats may not feel the need to change their seating if they aren't taking long butt-breaking trips.

    All speculation, but based one the riders I know - most of the heavy-duty riders have some form of seating enhancement.
    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

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by John M View Post
    I ride an '01 GS, and added a sheepskin cover - easy to put on and take off, and added a couple hours of comfort. I get as easy 3-4 hours before I feel the need for a stretch. I will say it is very poor in the rain as it is a sponge and takes a long time to dry and can get that wet dog smell when wet (days without some type of heat applied). Have tried beads - worked better on a flatter seat vs. those that support more motion while riding (LT vs. GS). Have tried air and gel - prefer the gel.

    One thing to note is I have a pair of tour master riding pants with pads along both sides of my butt - and wearing those makes a bigger difference as well. so make sure to test the system altogether.
    I honestly have never felt my sheepskin was deficient in the rain.The water simply runs down through it and fibers are laced with lanolin so the actual "hairs" don't stay wet, ala "sheep style". Important to have a higher grade sheepskin that has good loft. I tried a homespun one 1st and not as good as the store bought one in use now from ON advertiser. My XXL rear end may cover mine better? I have shook it out a few times, in the a.m., but the funky "dog" smell may be the tacos & the brewskies?
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  10. #10
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    I support this answer and must add the following, with custom made seats, if you are not present at the time of fitment, you might have to send it back for adjustments after you have used it for 600-1,000 miles. In return you will get the most comfortable seat for your behind. Seats are like dentures, they are made for 1 person and will rarely fit another.

    I had a custom seat done by Russell Day-Long last year for my 2011 RT, before I could not ride beyond 2 hours and a strong discomfort would set in, I had to get off the motorcycle. Since I have been using my Russell Day-Long, I have rode my motorcycle from Montreal to Salem Oregon with up to 700 miles per day. I do have a small discomfort that need a small adjustment and I plan to send it in this winter for the final adjustment. Overall I am very pleased with the results.

    Quote Originally Posted by glenfiddich View Post
    This is a difficult one to answer as no two posteriors are the same, and riding styles often differ. I have a Russell Day Long on my GSA sidecar rig and just completed an 8800 mile round trip from VT to the Salem Rally and back. My butt was fine after three weeks of 12-14 hour days. I don't like the Russell on my GS though, as on that more nimble bike I prefer to move around a bit on the saddle. For that bike I tried a Corbin (pocket prevented moving around), a Sargent (too wide in front for my short legs), and finally settled on a Touratech by Kahedo which pretty well fits my needs.

    You'll get a lot of testimonials like mine, but the bottom line (pun intended) is there are a LOT of variables that need to be factored in, and what works for one person may very well not work at all for another.

    Pete
    2011 R1200RT Triple Gray, ABS, ASC, ESAII, TPMS & Alarm.
    Wunderlich Engine and Rear Prot. Bar, Oil Cooler Guard, CSS Tank Pads, Paralever Slider, Mirror Adapters & Flash Mirrors,
    Integrated GPS Mount & Touratech Zumo 660 Locking Mount, Russell Day-Long Seat.

  11. #11
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    I honestly have never felt my sheepskin was deficient in the rain.The water simply runs down through it and fibers are laced with lanolin so the actual "hairs" don't stay wet, ala "sheep style".
    With mine it depends how much rain and for how long. Worst is getting on the bike after it's been sitting in a downpour for a while. It feels like sitting on a sponge. Most of the time I couldn't tell from feel if the pad was wet or dry. I don't think I've removed the pad due to rain but 2 or 3 times over the 7 years I've been using one.

    I did stick the pad in the washing machine, once. I figured a new bike deserved a clean pad. Yeah, I used woolite

  12. #12
    Bad Buddhist k9gromit's Avatar
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    Another vote for the Russell Day Long for the RT. It's superb. Did a Bun Burner Gold (1500 miles in less than 24 hours) and a 50CC (under 50 hours Atlantic -> Pacific) and never had a moment's discomfort from my posterior. If you ride in colder weather, get the heat. You'll thank me for that one.
    Rick Germain
    Rochester, NY USA
    2001 F650GS Dakar
    2011 R1200RT

  13. #13
    beemerFROG derost's Avatar
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    On my 2000RT I have used a beadrider, an Alaskan sheepskin, and then a new seat rebuilt by a local gal...initially I thought they were all the answer, until several hours and miles down the road. I researched all the big seat names, talked to them at all the rallies, talked to many who had them, and for whatever reason I just wasn't sold. Then I found the guy... The Seat Guy that is... Jon Revilla. I first had him do my cafe racer seat, then my RT... man am I thrilled! I did the RA rally with a couple of 700+ days, a trip out to PA with some 500+ days, and I was ready to keep going.

    I put a video about it on my site HERE

    -Ride Safe & Avoid Anyone On The Phone-
    **2000 R1100RT (Bullfrog), 1976 R90/6 (Tadpole)**
    beemerFROG a.k.a. Douglas E. Rost
    MotoFrog.net -- Black Frog Marketing

  14. #14
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    seat

    I have a stock seat and find it ok for long distances but I have an Alaskan sheep skin seat pad. No problem with rain, either. I have put on several 900 - 1000 mile days and still no squirming. I also use under armor briefs under my riding pants. This works for me.
    The Alaskan pad is neither hot in warm weather or cold in old weather. This is just my opinion based on what I have used.. On my other bike(K1200RS) I use a seat pad I purchased from the Harley shop that sells for $89.00. It keeps air circulating between you and the seat. The seat I have is a Sargant Seat. I have other friends who use this same pad. Either the Sheep skin pad or the Harley pad will do a good job.







    Quote Originally Posted by derost View Post
    On my 2000RT I have used a beadrider, an Alaskan sheepskin, and then a new seat rebuilt by a local gal...initially I thought they were all the answer, until several hours and miles down the road. I researched all the big seat names, talked to them at all the rallies, talked to many who had them, and for whatever reason I just wasn't sold. Then I found the guy... The Seat Guy that is... Jon Revilla. I first had him do my cafe racer seat, then my RT... man am I thrilled! I did the RA rally with a couple of 700+ days, a trip out to PA with some 500+ days, and I was ready to keep going.

    I put a video about it on my site HERE


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