A follow-up on my comfort article, I’m going to share a little of my experiences with motorcycle seats.
First off, I ride a Honda Sabre, which probably makes a big difference only where the stock saddle is concerned. I liked the stock seat, it looked good, good width and was comfortable – for the first 60-miles.
Never had a Honda before so right after I got the bike I took a ride to the Honda Hoot in Knoxville, TN. Not all that far from Phoenix, right? But, less than halfway there I was regretting it… Butt Burn!! And once you’ve got it, it doesn’t go away. Never again. That seat HAD TO GO. SCORE: Fail.
When I got back I bought a Saddlemen Explorer; I was in a hurry to get back out on the road and it was inexpensive (comparatively). It was there in 2-days. Only 2 things I didn’t like – it was a little narrow and didn’t quite reach the gas tank. Also had to shorten the front tongue to keep it from cutting off my fuel line. But what a difference in the ride. 150,000 miles should tell you I was snug as a bug in that seat. Being narrow, it’s for a smaller butt, and the passenger seat was comfortable enough but not the greatest for a long road trip. Around town it’s a little stiff riding… but get out on the road and push yourself back into it and you can ride for hours… when you do the cross-country riding that I do, that is the bottom line (no pun intended). Needless to say, the stitching finally wore out. SCORE: Recommended.
I tried a Mustang Seat. It wasn’t really the “look” I was going for though. It was very comfortable, no denying that, but with all the padding it sat up too high for my liking. Instead of being a part of the bike, it was a seat sitting on the bike … ya know? Otherwise everything was perfect and it would look great on a full-dress bike. Excellent passenger seat. In the few miles that I tried it, I had no complaints at all outside of the look of it on my bike. Just couldn’t warm up to it. SCORE: Recommended.
In comes Corbin. The most expensive of them all. It looks good except for the awkward stitching for the optional over-priced backrest – which, BTW, both sit off-center so putting one on would look like crap. It wasn’t all that I was expecting compared to the seats I based my purchase on. The whole seat sits crooked & off-center. It’s wide and comfortable, but sits high and forward and leaves space between it & the tank instead of overlapping like it’s supposed to. Pathetic but acceptable, so let’s get out on the road. Inside of 50-miles I felt the butt burn coming on. Seriously? Must use the same padding as Honda. In 500 miles it never got unbearable, you were afraid to move and make it worse. The thing about Corbin is You bought it, you keep it, it’s yours – like it or not; and everything is riveted which makes it difficult to fix it yourself.
If not for this article you’d find the Corbin on EBay, it’s the single worse investment I’ve made on this bike, I won’t pawn it off on some poor sucker. I might get some use out of it around town to spare a travel seat, it’s good enough for that… let people see how bad it looks. SCORE: Take 5 one hundred dollar bills and put them through the shredder.
There is a place called Bar Enterprises that will rebuild seats at a reasonable price; if you have a seat you really like or don’t like, you might look into that.
There are a couple other less-known seat makers out there, and they’re very inexpensive. Maybe someday I’ll try them just for fun, they’ll probably turn out to be the best ones. Let me know if you go that route and save me a buck.
That’s my 2-cents on bike saddles; hope it helps in your shopping.