Seat questions...

Discussion in 'Gear & Accessories' started by sorenlaf, May 26, 2020.

  1. sorenlaf

    sorenlaf New Member

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    Hi everyone!

    Seeking the wisdom of the forum regarding seats and/or seat mods! To be clear, I want something I can ride all day. 8-15 hours.

    Bike is a 2003 800 ABS.

    I'm currently using an LSL superbike bar adaptor, and an old set of fully adjustable ST1100 helibars. This allows me to get my wrists in the correct (for me) position. I have some RSI. With the stock bars, I get about 15-20 minutes before my hands go numb, and I'm shaking my hands out in order to keep riding. Issue is the angle between the bars, not the seating position, though those are coupled. Current setup allows hours of riding w/o numb hands. I do sit much more upright - there is essentially one bar position where I can (1) get the correct wrist angle, and (2) keep the bars from hitting the tank. I mention this as it may affect seat comments.

    At this time, I have both a corbin and the stock seat. Corbin is definitely more comfortable, or perhaps I should say less uncomfortable.

    The corbin is that it seems an inch or so lower than the stock seat, and my knees like the stock seat better, so raising the seat on the corbin would be a good thing!

    I think the corbin (bought used) would be better if it were a bit narrower. I does support the side of my ass better than the stock, but it's definitely wider than I am.

    So, has anyone tried the Mayer? Expensive, like $700, but looks pretty good. Russell does not, as far as I can tell, make a seat for the VFR. Russell was the "go to" long distance seat in the ST1100 community. I'd consider buying the Mayer if it really fixed what's broken, but not otherwise.

    Currently, I'm thinking of a pad for the corbin seat. Either one I make myself, or one of the various commercial seat pads out there. I'm thinking I could narrow the "bucket" if I fab it myself, and it would straighten my legs a little.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

    Ah, forgot. I have a spare stock seat (original had a small tear, found a $20 replacement on craigslist). I considered grafting an HD police seat to the spare. I'm not too particular about how it looks. It's really about function. My point is that I do have a spare seat pan to experiment with. I'm considering making a fiberglass "tractor" style seat pan that could bolt to the stock pan, but that's a pretty huge project, as it would probably require carving a wooden prototype seat to get the shape right.

    So, again, any thoughts or suggestions? Anything at all. I'm asking for brainstorming input, so there are no bad ideas. One never knows how one suggestion or comment will spark another idea.

    Almost forgot, and relevance is iffy. I had a Sargent gel seat on my ST1100. Better than stock, but I'd still be pretty sore after 8 hours or so, and I put a lot of miles on that bike.

    It seems to me that the low-hanging fruit would be a pad for the corbin, so if anyone has experience there I would love to hear about it!


    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    With any seat, the shape and width that supports you is the key. Padding is extra.... I scored a Russell for my Gen5, it's pretty comfortable, higher than stock as they tend to be, I don't think I need footpeg lowering now.
    Corbins are the lowest, they are comfortable but need padding. I have modified some seats.... Rather than put a pad on top (which may work), I'd unrivet the cover and put a layer of 1" foam on top, shape it at the edges so the cover doesn't have to be wider, and perhaps narrow it up in the front half if they put enough foam in there to do that. After blending it all (angle grinder works great for that), I have covered all that with thin 1/8" packaging foam, optional, but warm up the cover in the hot sun and sit it on the foam, centered where it used to be. Helper is advisable, as you're going to stretch and staple it (you'll need a pneumatic stapler) in the middle on each side, then at the front and back, then work your way forward or back or both or around. If you have to pull a staple or two to "fix" it, you can. Use stainless staples, 1/4" ones should do you. If after while you find staples aren't holding in their fiberglass pan, drill and pop rivet it like original, but use staples first in case you want to adjust something or further reshape the foam.
    Forget gel pads.... too unforgiving and hold heat. When you're done you'll have similar to a Meyer.
    I don't know where you're located, but if you're near TN, go visit Terry Adcox, he'll fix you up with a Russell-like sorta seat and it won't cost you nearly as much.
    I haven't tried a Sargent on a VFR, haven't found one I liked on other bikes...... a buddy just bought one, I'll see what it's like....
    I looked at modifying a stock seat, that would require some thought, new cover, blah blah... don't think I'd be happy with it personally.
    Foam, I get medium density at a local upholstery shop, 1" thick.
     
  3. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    Hey....in the "other" forum, (VFRD)..... there is a Rick Mayer seat for sale for 6th gens,.

    I would grab it if I had a 6th........
     
  4. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    Yes, I'd be all over that.
     
  5. sorenlaf

    sorenlaf New Member

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    Hey raYzerman, thanks! That's great advice. I was considering starting by fabbing an external pad, just to get an idea of what might work - may still do that. The thing is, I'd really like to at at least an inch (2" mo'better) of seat height to the Corbin. I'm wondering if there is enough material for that.

    Which brings up another question. The bottom of the rider's seat is well below the edge of the seat. What makes that happen? There's probably enough material if I don't raise the side of the foam up much.

    Have you tried a hot wire for cutting the foam? Got one already from other interests, so not much of a problem for me.

    Looks like there are 40 pop rivets in there now. I presume you have to drill them all out. Can your confirm? Does that leave rivet bits inside the seat?

    Yes, I inquired about the Mayer on vfrd. Thanks also to mello dude for the head's up!
     
  6. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    I haven't drilled out the rivets on a Corbin, I'd imagine you'll find the bits after you remove the cover. If you're going to do 2" then I'd just sell the Corbin and go for the Mayer, it is very similar to the Russell, and that particular one is made to carry a pillion in comfort as well.
    If you're going for 2", take the cover off the stock seat and do it there, of course, you'll likely end up making a new cover there too.
     
  7. TIM AULT

    TIM AULT New Member

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    Sorelaf,try using a crampbuster. I thought I bought the wrong bike but have used them on my other bikes, ST1300, VSTROM, FZ6. I even put one on the left side to relax my wrist on a longer ride. Well worth the 10.00. My 2 cents. If you decide to sell your Corbin let me know. Thanks Tim
    https://www.crampbuster.com/
     
  8. sorenlaf

    sorenlaf New Member

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    Thanks Tim, I really do appreciate the suggestion, but (1) I have fixed the bar problem, and (2) my (literally) 20 years of dealing with this problem suggest, very strongly, that a crampbuster would have no positive effect, and might actually make things worse. Cases in point. No hand issues with my '95 CBR600F3, but serious issues with my '91 and '99 ST1100's when using stock bars. Note that the ST riding position is more upright than the F3. Primary difference is the bar angle on the F3. When helibars on the ST(s) were set to approximately the same angle as the F3, the hand problem went away. Ditto the VFR.

    Turns out the stock F3 has a bar angle that works for me. The stock ST and the VFR don't. The difference is hugely significant.

    I don't ride leaning on my hands; I support my torso with my back and abs. I grip the tank with my knees when braking to keep the weight off my hands. I don't grip the bars tightly, unless I need to in a transient situation. What's a crampbuster going to do for me? More important, how is it going to do anything for me? The problem is not cramping; I don't cramp. The problem is (I believe) an RSI artifact; my hands go numb with NO weight on them, and changing the hand/wrist position fixes what's wrong. Changing the weight or grip tension fixes nothing - though I suspect leaning on my hands would make things even worse, that based on experience bicycling.

    No, the CB is not going to fix my saddle height problem either, but again, thanks! I do appreciate that you took the time to reply and share a solution that has worked for you.

    Alas, for you, at this time, the Corbin is my best seat I have available, now that I've shimmed it up about an inch. I'll ping you if I finally buy a Mayer, and the Corbin is for sale.


    Best,
    --Soren
     
  9. TIM AULT

    TIM AULT New Member

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    Sorenlaf, if you get time read up o crampbusters. But everyone is different, thats what makes the earth spin, if everyone was the same it would stop spinning.
     
  10. bk94si

    bk94si Member

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    My wife has an Airhawk seat pad that I don't like but she does.
     
  11. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    I tried an Airhawk once and didn't care for it.
    It felt like I had a warm load of you know what in my pants.....:D
     
  12. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    Meanwhile, I was very fortunate to find a used Russell seat, it is a tad taller than stock and verrrrrrry comfortable. Took away my need for lowering pegs.

    Russell 3.jpg
     
  13. mello dude

    mello dude Member

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    That looks nice for a looooong haul......
     
  14. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    It is indeed great all day long or multiple days... I imagine kinda spendy, but it is the best. I don't want to tell you what I paid for it, but let's just say it was ridiculously cheap. Came from CA, which is a short hop right over to Russell near Redding.
     
  15. 34468 Randy

    34468 Randy Secret Insider

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    I know this thread might be too old for my comments to make a difference, and I don't know where in the USA you are situated, but for that money, if you live in the Seattle area, I would be taking my stock seat, or whatever seat you have, and have a seat custom built for you.

    Rich's Custom Upholstery, in Kingston WA, does an absolute wonderful jog of carving a seat to fit your butt. As he works the seat, you take it out for several spins to see just how it fits your ass. He made several adjustments to the foam cushioning in mine before he and I were both satisfied with what he had carved and then added the leather seat covering, stitched to fit the end result.

    I had mine done a couple years ago and it cost me about $850.00USD. I think that included the over night stay at lodgings on site as I was from out of country. It also covered the cost of some embroidery on the seat as well. I know it sounds like a real push to Rich's but I shit you not, the seat he provided to me, with its gel insert, was far more comfortable that the Sargent I had or the OEM before that.
     
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