KonTour Seat Purchase - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 10:57 am Thread Starter
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Post KonTour Seat Purchase

Well, I bit the bullet today and made the PayPal purchase for a KonTour seat for my 2004 R1150RT. I have been researching all the available options and I have found both pro and con reviews on all of the high end options.

I was out for about a 250 mile run yesterday using an Air Hawk on my OEM seat and I decided that I had to go ahead and act based on the way I felt when I got home. I went with the KonTour, despite the questionable look I received from the Mrs. when I mentioned the price.

Ron has been very patient with answering my questions via email and has been very responsive to the email I have sent. I have a production date of 7/15 and will be shipping my seat off this coming week, unless I hear otherwise from Ron. I have a weekend ride to western NC planned for the weekend of the 25th so I am looking forward to breaking it in on that trip.

Will post again about my experience and the new ride as we move along.
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post #2 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 11:29 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

I too have been looking at those seats. I look forward to your thoughts and experiences.
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post #3 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 11:34 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by MariettaMark View Post
Well, I bit the bullet today and made the PayPal purchase for a KonTour seat for my 2004 R1150RT. I have been researching all the available options and I have found both pro and con reviews on all of the high end options.

I was out for about a 250 mile run yesterday using an Air Hawk on my OEM seat and I decided that I had to go ahead and act based on the way I felt when I got home. I went with the KonTour, despite the questionable look I received from the Mrs. when I mentioned the price.

Ron has been very patient with answering my questions via email and has been very responsive to the email I have sent. I have a production date of 7/15 and will be shipping my seat off this coming week, unless I hear otherwise from Ron. I have a weekend ride to western NC planned for the weekend of the 25th so I am looking forward to breaking it in on that trip.

Will post again about my experience and the new ride as we move along.
I also have a production date of 7/15 for my seats, the bakup backrest and the topcase pad. Should look good on my garaged 2014 RTW. Will probably have to be content with sitting on it in the garage for awhile.

Bill Dowdy
2014 RT
2006 LT
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post #4 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 11:44 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Well, I looked at those also. I need to do something.
But I need a very special design.
I went up and got a Russell. And I hated it and sold it immediately.
I need a very certain type of design, so maybe I will go down to Tucson.
dc

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post #5 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 11:52 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by David13 View Post
Well, I looked at those also. I need to do something.
But I need a very special design.
I went up and got a Russell. And I hated it and sold it immediately.
I need a very certain type of design, so maybe I will go down to Tucson.
dc
Ron Does NOT offer a ride in service. You will have to send in the seat.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #6 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 12:27 pm Thread Starter
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldone View Post
I also have a production date of 7/15 for my seats, the bakup backrest and the topcase pad. Should look good on my garaged 2014 RTW. Will probably have to be content with sitting on it in the garage for awhile.
I've been seeing a lot of messages about the '14 do not rides. That must be seriously frustrating in the middle of the season. Hope you get a fix soon!

MariettaMark

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post #7 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 12:35 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Originally Posted by David13 View Post
I need a very certain type of design, so maybe I will go down to Tucson.
Good luck with that.

My experience is that Ron is all smiles and encouragement when talking about seats, options, and build dates, and how his super-secret-best-in-the-world-custom-made-just-for-him™ foam and fabric is simply superior to every other seat maker on the planet. But once you commit and send the seat in, his entire tone changes and it's his way or nothing.

I discussed some very specific needs I had with Ron directly (I've known him for 10+ years on various bike forums, long before he started building seats). I run multiple thousand-plus mile days, for 10 or 11 days in a row so my rider's seat has to be perfect, but I also needed some specific tweaks to my passenger seat for my wife's comfort. He was quite encouraging, especially as my specific demands kept adding up to another $50 or $100 here and there . . .

Everything was "Yes, yes, sure, yes" until I mentioned doing a ride-in so we could tweak things just right the first time, at which point he blew up at me, told me that he doesn't do ride-ins, and that he knows dämn well what I need in a custom seat more than I do. So I should just shut up and send him my seats and my credit card, and just let him do it his way since he knows what I need better than I do.

I don't think so . . .

I know that there are many happy Kontour customers, and a few unhappy ones as well. But none of them ride the miles or distances that I do, so I remain skeptical.

Honestly, I am curious about how his seats work when running 12-13,000 miles in 11 days, and how they might hold up over 50-60,000 miles (when most custom seats start to break down the foam), and I'd like to give one of his seats a proper Long Distance workout.

But I'll be damned if I'm every gonna pay him the hyper-inflated prices he's asking just for that privilege . . .

Ken
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post #8 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 12:47 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

In contrast, when I randomly dropped in to the Russell factory (I was in the neighborhood), they were very clear about what they offer, what it costs, and what their current production schedule was. They explained that a ride-in costs a bit more due to personal attention (fair enough), but that they would make sure I was satisfied. I currently have over 60,000 miles on the Russell on my GTL.

I've also had Bill (Rocky) Mayer do custom seats for several different bikes, and he's always been quite clear about his pricing and options. His only real "upgrade" cost is leather over vinyl, which I went for. And I've taken seats back to him a couple years and 60,000 miles later, and he reworked them for me without question and without complaint. I've now put well over 200,000 miles on Rocky's seats on several different bikes.

Because that's how customer-facing businesses should be run . . .

Ken
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'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
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'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
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post #9 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 12:49 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Read the fine print for warranty ......to me he has 2 seats for the LT; regular and large.

Loansumrider: Jim
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? when to ASUME, and HOW MUCH should you ASUME, safely ?
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post #10 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 1:52 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

FWIW, I have been using a Kontour on the RT for over two years now and love it. In the heat of summer you will not get fried on overheated leather or vinyl, and there is no maintenance or getting wet worries which is a disadvantage of leather. In the heat, you actually have airflow under your butt like the bead seats, but without the weird appearance and increased seat height.

The workmanship is first rate and the turnaround was as promised, unlike someone else being currently (dis)cussed around the net.

The limit on the RT becomes my bladder, and not the gas tank, and I never even think about the seat at all. The "top secret" stuff in the seat is discussed on his website, and if you are familiar with specialty synthetic fabric, this stuff is top quality (read: expensive) and will last a long time with minimal effort. It works for me, and that is really all that matters. It also looks good and dorky like a lot of aftermarket seats. Another benefit of this material is that it is somewhat slick and allows moving around when in the twisties so body position in technical bits is easy to change as necessary. Many of the "tractor" style seats lock you into one position which I do not particularly care for.

I have never spoken directly to him, so I cannot comment on that aspect, but he has always answered my email in a timely manner and with respect.

David I am curious what kind of special seat you are looking for?

Meese: The seats have a gel layer that fits to you butt and readjusts when you move around. My wife rides on the standard Kontour seat upgrade and loves is. I can ride as long as I care to, as can she. What kind of special seat do you need for long days ?

I was somewhat concerned about the expense initially myself. I took the "leap of faith" and ordered the seats, then on receipt and seeing how nice they were, as well as the quality workmanship, I also ordered the Bakup Backrest with the full upgrade from Ron. Again the delivery was on-time and as specified, and workmanship was outstanding.

As far as no ride-ins, Ron is also clear that his manufacturing occurs in Mexico, so there is no possibility for a "custom" seat in Tucson.

I will continue to recommend his product to my friends, (many have also purchased them) and can firmly say without reservation that this is the best aftermarket seat I have ever invested in.

Doug Stracener
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post #11 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 2:22 pm Thread Starter
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Thanks very much! This is actually why I started this thread. The subject of a quality seat seems to be one of the most active here. Since I have also taken that "leap of faith", I plan to honestly document my experience with the process and the resulting product in hopes that it will help some others out there that are looking to make a similar purchase. Let's face it, any of the custom options out there are not cheap! Forums like this are a good way to help make sure folks get what they are paying for or at the least, are well informed going into things.

MariettaMark

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post #12 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 3:01 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

In central Az we have a great seat maker, Don Hendrickson in Gilbert Az has been doing Motorcycle seats since 1952!!! Don is 82ish now and looks closer to 62. He says he will never retire, his daughter has been helping him for years and will continue on. You have to hand carry your seat to him, usually takes 2-3 days but he says a week. He only uses the best material he will not skimp, for a reshape and new cover on a front seat is about $150, $75 extra for surgical gel. He works out of a spare room in his house, keeps the cost down. In Az he is da man.

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post #13 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 3:31 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

There's a difference between a 500-600 mile seat, and a 1,500-1,600-mile seat. Most any of the custom seat manufacturers can do considerably better than stock, but I tend to ride at the extreme end of the bell curve . . .

I did try one of his "amazing" seats on my bike for a brief ride (thanks to a friend who swapped to try my Russell) and I found it "gushy", even though it was built for a heavier rider. I could also feel the ridges in his "miracle" cover fabric right through my riding pants and under gear. None of that gave me much confidence on how it'd fare over 24-36 house of continuous saddle time, at least based on my prior experiences.

So, Ron has outsourced his production to Mexico? That's new, and it tends to fit into his we-know-best-so-one-size-fits-all philosophy.

When we spoke prior to my Iron Butt Ride he was still doing things locally, and was complaining about people randomly dropping by his shop and throwing off his workers. Hmm . . .

Like I said, I'd be glad to take one of his miracle seats for a nice, long ride and give it a proper review, but I'm dämn sure not gonna drop a grand or more for the privilege . . .

Ken
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'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #14 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 3:36 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Originally Posted by Dieselweasel View Post
In central Az we have a great seat maker, Don Hendrickson in Gilbert Az has been doing Motorcycle seats since 1952!!! Don is 82ish now and looks closer to 62. He says he will never retire, his daughter has been helping him for years and will continue on. You have to hand carry your seat to him, usually takes 2-3 days but he says a week. He only uses the best material he will not skimp, for a reshape and new cover on a front seat is about $150, $75 extra for surgical gel. He works out of a spare room in his house, keeps the cost down. In Az he is da man.
I can swear Ive seen this guy on TV once....Someone from one of those reality shows brought their seat to him. Sounds like him anyway. lol
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post #15 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 3:44 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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There's a difference between a 500-600 mile seat, and a 1,500-1,600-mile seat. Most any of the custom seat manufacturers can do considerably better than stock, but I tend to ride at the extreme end of the bell curve . . .

I did try one of his "amazing" seats on my bike for a brief ride (thanks to a friend who swapped to try my Russell) and I found it "gushy", even though it was built for a heavier rider. I could also feel the ridges in his "miracle" cover fabric right through my riding pants and under gear. None of that gave me much confidence on how it'd fare over 24-36 house of continuous saddle time, at least based on my prior experiences.

So, Ron has outsourced his production to Mexico? That's new, and it tends to fit into his we-know-best-so-one-size-fits-all philosophy.

When we spoke prior to my Iron Butt Ride he was still doing things locally, and was complaining about people randomly dropping by his shop and throwing off his workers. Hmm . . .

Like I said, I'd be glad to take one of his miracle seats for a nice, long ride and give it a proper review, but I'm dämn sure not gonna drop a grand or more for the privilege . . .
I have to agree.
I was thinking about an aftermarket seat and considered his product, he emailed me and was open to questions. Seems email is his contact method of choice. It came down to I didnt know if I wanted to spend over a thousand dollars on a motorcycle seat. The average person who has had seats made locally think that is just nuts. I think over a grand is a bit pricey for ANY cycle seat.
I bought a Corbin from someone on this board for cheap. I reviewed it and though the Corbin wasnt bad, it wasnt the greatest either.
Back to Ron, so now not only does he charge a King's ransom for a cycle seat, but that its also made in Mexico? Probably by guys who make 3 bucks an hour.
Man, Im in the wrong business!!
That said, I havent tried his seat, maybe its the best in the world, at that price I would hope so and if I ever do buy one Im afraid my expectations would be as unrealistically high as his price.
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post #16 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 3:58 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

I have the Kontour seat on my R1200R. I had Ron put the wide seat wings on it. I think that makes the best long distance seat. I ride 8-12 hours a day. While the ventilation is good, the wide seat is a more effective option.

The foam Ron uses breaks down after 12,000 miles. I am going to have to strap my beads on for my next trip since my knees are too bent.

No regrets with Kontour, but I will not use them again.
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post #17 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 4:03 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

FYI, Seargent Seats those guys are jerks
I thought I read on other forums that bill Mayer closed up and too do sits
My riding buddies love their Corbin's
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post #18 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 4:09 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Did a little 1200 mile 2up ride with the wife this weekend and it was pretty much 100* all 3 days and we were glad we were sitting on(5+year old) Polar mesh 👍

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post #19 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 5:03 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Originally Posted by Bradkap View Post
The foam Ron uses breaks down after 12,000 miles.
Interesting, as that's one of my biggest concerns.

I do 12,000-mile rides in 10-11 days, so there's no way I'm going to send my seat in for a full rebuild after every big ride. Now I know I'm at the extreme here but that's just nuts, at any price . . .

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #20 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 5:07 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradkap View Post
FYI, Seargent Seats those guys are jerks
My riding buddies love their Corbin's
I've heard nasty things about Corbin as well. Sergeant and Corbin offer "replacement" seats, meaning they don't have to cut up your old seat, but if their stock shape/density doesn't work for you, you're screwed.

Quote:
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I thought I read on other forums that Bill Mayer closed up
Nope, Rocky just moved shop into a new location. He's still plugging along, building true custom seats for lots of satisfied riders.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #21 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 5:23 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Even more shocking is I can get my P/U seat recovered for under $500. go figger...must be 20x more material.

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post #22 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 5:35 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Interesting, as that's one of my biggest concerns.

I do 12,000-mile rides in 10-11 days, so there's no way I'm going to send my seat in for a full rebuild after every big ride. Now I know I'm at the extreme here but that's just nuts, at any price . . .
I find it more interesting that you jumped on that statement and believe it. Please! My Kontour Magnum hasn't changed (wear or feel) since I bought it over three years ago and I know I'll never need another seat on my LT.
I'm more apt to believe comments by those that use a product as I would.
It's VERY obvious to me that extreme use has no correlation to my needs.

Jer

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post #23 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 5:38 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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I've heard nasty things about Corbin as well. Sergeant and Corbin offer "replacement" seats, meaning they don't have to cut up your old seat, but if their stock shape/density doesn't work for you, you're screwed.

Nope, Rocky just moved shop into a new location. He's still plugging along, building true custom seats for lots of satisfied riders.
I'm a happy camper on my Bill "Rocky" Mayer seat he did for my last November.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #24 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 6:39 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

I think we need to start an oil thread!

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post #25 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 6:43 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

I use mink oil on my leather seat top...its the best you can use, none better. except sometimes WD40 in certain conditions

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post #26 of 91 Old Jul 6th, 2014, 10:09 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

How many miles are on your seat, Jerry? Time tells me nothing . . .

I've already said that my biggest issue with custom seats is the foam breaking down over the miles. That has been the case with several different brands. And at least one company that I've used (Bill Mayer) has rebuilt my worn-out seats without question, and at no additional cost.

And I mentioned that the Kontour I tried felt gushy, adding to my concerns. So I found what he reported interesting.

I don't take anything as here as the gospel truth, but after you've been involved in these types of communities for a while, you learn who consistently gives good information, and who doesn't.

I'm also very upfront in that my needs tend to the extreme, and I expect any products that I use, and especially those I choose to endorse publicly, to hold up under the worst circumstances that I can throw at them.

The whole point of forums like this is that you can get a lot of information and opinions from a wide variety of people, and then make your own informed choices.

If what you have works for you, that's great. But that doesn't mean that it's gonna work just the same for me, or anybody else. However I'm still gonna file your opinion away with all the rest of them . . .

Ken
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'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
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post #27 of 91 Old Jul 7th, 2014, 7:47 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Originally Posted by meese View Post
How many miles are on your seat, Jerry? Time tells me nothing . . .

I've already said that my biggest issue with custom seats is the foam breaking down over the miles. That has been the case with several different brands. And at least one company that I've used (Bill Mayer) has rebuilt my worn-out seats without question, and at no additional cost.

And I mentioned that the Kontour I tried felt gushy, adding to my concerns. So I found what he reported interesting.

I don't take anything as here as the gospel truth, but after you've been involved in these types of communities for a while, you learn who consistently gives good information, and who doesn't.

I'm also very upfront in that my needs tend to the extreme, and I expect any products that I use, and especially those I choose to endorse publicly, to hold up under the worst circumstances that I can throw at them.

The whole point of forums like this is that you can get a lot of information and opinions from a wide variety of people, and then make your own informed choices.

If what you have works for you, that's great. But that doesn't mean that it's gonna work just the same for me, or anybody else. However I'm still gonna file your opinion away with all the rest of them . . .
My comment has to do more with the OPs usage than yours. My hours are probably closer to the OPs than yours. Just my $0.02. It's the best seat I've owned including Rocky's and Corbin.


Jer

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post #28 of 91 Old Jul 7th, 2014, 7:52 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Originally Posted by MariettaMark View Post
Thanks very much! This is actually why I started this thread. The subject of a quality seat seems to be one of the most active here. Since I have also taken that "leap of faith", I plan to honestly document my experience with the process and the resulting product in hopes that it will help some others out there that are looking to make a similar purchase. Let's face it, any of the custom options out there are not cheap! Forums like this are a good way to help make sure folks get what they are paying for or at the least, are well informed going into things.
One of the best things I can say about the Kontour is that I don't think about the seat on my rides anymore. I've had 3 others on the LT and all of them made me squirm after a couple hours. It's an all day seat for me.

HTH,
Jer

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post #29 of 91 Old Jul 7th, 2014, 8:58 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

I don't own one of Ron's seats but have ridden them. Love the fabric cover. It really does move air and in Tejas that's a huge plus. I'm 190 lbs and have ridden both a standard and magnum. The standard I borrowed from a friend and was thinking of buying it. The Magnum was on another friend's bike and we swapped rides for a while one day (we swapped back when his butt got tired of my stock seat). The standard seat was horrible from a comfort perspective, had pressure points & pain within 50 miles. The Magnum was terrific for the time I rode it. Interesting that the Magnum is for over 220 lbs. (I'd have to put a weight vest on under my riding gear to get there). I'd advise anyone who is going to purchase a Kontour to purchase a Magnum.

As a bit of perspective, I've ridden from Austin to Atlanta in a day on my stock seat (950 mi.), so it's not that my tushy is overly sensitive.

Benny C. (Central Texas)
2001 LTC Pacific Blue (Babe...the blue ox)
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post #30 of 91 Old Jul 7th, 2014, 4:08 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

I aquired a Kontour from a forum member a few months ago ($200 plus my stocker). I can not attest to the durability as I've not been able to put many miles on it and I don't know how many miles of use it had on it when I got it.

Initial impression is that the foam is not going to hold up for the long haul, but I'm not a foam expert and may be total off base, only time will tell. The mesh material is cooler on the toosh .

So...........for now, I'm OK with the seat (at the price I paid, if i had paid full retail, probably a different story).

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post #31 of 91 Old Jul 7th, 2014, 4:20 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Originally Posted by meese View Post

So, Ron has outsourced his production to Mexico?
TIME TO PUT A STOP TO THE INTERNET RUMOR MILL RIGHT HERE AND NOW:

100% FALSE.

Since we glue our seats together permanently using very strong adhesives the EPA and OSHA recently said we had to buy a $150,000 *scrubber* to continue assembling them in the US or face fines and possibly being put out of business. They still require NIOSH approved respirators to be worn during assembly since there are trace amounts of Acetone and Heptane vapors (that dissipate over several weeks) as the glue cures. We maintain a negative pressure in the assembly area with forced fresh air and swamp coolers. The air quality in there is better than the ozone laced smog right outside the door. When I pointed out to them that the product we use is CARB (California Air Resources Board) certified they said that didn't matter since the smell was offensive.

Interestingly enough the same day they also busted a furniture re-finisher that is 5 doors down from us. Same deal, instead of residual glue vapors it was methylene chloride. He disappeared and is apparently out of business - or maybe he's in an RV like Walt in Breaking Bad.

I hope none of our competitors have to deal with the storm troopers. Welcome to the nanny state.

Our 100% US based (3M foam) composite sandwiches are now glued together in Mexico - 90 miles away from our shop. Our seats are designed, tested and assembled in Tucson by American craftsman and made from 100% USA or European Union sourced materials provided by companies like 3M, Dupont, Dow, and Synthetic Thread. Even the staples come from Germany.


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post #32 of 91 Old Jul 7th, 2014, 5:05 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Fair enough, Ron. Thanks for the explanation.

So you've outsourced a small portion of your production process to Mexico, so maybe the rumor is only 90% false?

I assume they're still using the approved respirators and forced fresh air system down south of the border, and it's just the expensive smell-scrubber that they're doing without down there?

And to clarify something else that came up in this thread, does your foam layer system have an expected lifetime or mileage cap when it might be due for a rebuild? What is your rebuild policy, and associated costs?

Just curious . . .

Ken
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'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #33 of 91 Old Jul 7th, 2014, 5:38 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

[QUOTE=RonKMiller;1014666]TIME TO PUT A STOP TO THE INTERNET RUMOR MILL RIGHT HERE AND NOW:

I hope none of our competitors have to deal with the storm troopers. Welcome to the nanny state.

Statements like that may bring you other unwanted actions by the nanny state. "Caution Will Robinson"

Live and let live
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post #34 of 91 Old Jul 7th, 2014, 6:42 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Fair enough, Ron. Thanks for the explanation.

I assume they're still using the approved respirators and forced fresh air system down south of the border, and it's just the expensive smell-scrubber that they're doing without down there?

And to clarify something else that came up in this thread, does your foam layer system have an expected lifetime or mileage cap when it might be due for a rebuild? What is your rebuild policy, and associated costs?

Just curious . . .
Well, since you asked - COMCE, the private business council for foreign trade, investment and technology in Mexico approached me (and several hundred other small businesses in Tucson and Phoenix) several years ago to move south of the border - just like thousands of other businesses (Ummm - like General Motors and Coke) have done over the last several decades. They put on quite a show with Mariachis, great food and drink to woo us.

Like I said, the product we were - and still are using - was certified safe by CARB. It has an HMIS rating of one: Irritation or minor reversible injury possible. I could have fought the feds on that point - since CARB has by far and away the most strict regulations regarding VOC's on the planet, but as a small business do you really think I have the resources or time to go up against the US Guvmint? I'm not responsible for enforcing any of Mexico's labor or environmental laws - if that's what you're alluding to. This is a perfect example of how draconian US laws are pretty much forcing US based manufacturing overseas. If you're interested in entertaining a political discussion regarding this it would be more appropriate for another forum.

The smell issue was brought up by a lady that was running a BALLET school - in an industrial park! She sure got their attention when she brought up "what about the children?" even though I had a legal lease and was pre-approved by the landlord. What she most likely was smelling was the methylene chloride from the furniture guy - it has a very pungent odor. It didn't really matter to them, they were from the Guvmint and there to help.

You can read the answers to all of your questions on our web site - they are clearly spelled out right there in the pricing section.

Since you're so interested Ken you might consider doing a line by line comparison of all aftermarket seat manufacturers written warranty policies, etc. I would also like to know if they are willing to certify that ALL of the components used in fabricating their seats are US or EU sourced. Perhaps I'll get a chance in late August when it starts to slow down.

In terms of longevity I'll let some of our customers below tell you what their experience has been. I've got dozens more similar comments, but it would take up several pages:

This one's from an engineer at Wunderlich - curious that he isn't riding one of their seats:

" I just wanted to thank you so very much for a fine seat. The last 48 thousand miles on my 2007 R1200GSA were fantastic. I just sold the bike yesterday with 162,049 miles on it but kept the seat just in case I buy another GSA.

So, I will be taking delivery of a 2014 K1600GT Sport later this week. Guess what guys, going to have to order another seat. Won’t be right away but in a few months. Sticker shock for the GT is still knocking me on my arsh.

Keep up the great work and talk to you all soon.

Regards,

Steve"

and yet another - this customer requested a new quote just a couple of days ago for his second seat:

"Ron you built my 2005 bmw gs seat, it has 55000 miles on it.
still going strong, love it !

Chuck"

and another request for a second seat:

"
I now have 160,000 miles on your seat on my GS, commuting over 100 miles per day really racks the miles up.It's still in great shape and was a good decision even though it was one of the more expensive options. I just bought a 2014 Yamaha FZ-09. I've turned it into a sport touring adventure bike. I'm very much interested again in a single seat job with recover for the pillion. Thanks again!

Paul"


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post #35 of 91 Old Jul 7th, 2014, 10:28 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Originally Posted by meese View Post
Good luck with that.

(I've known him for 10+ years on various bike forums, long before he started building seats).
Huh? The only other "forums" I've ever been active on was the new K1600 starting around 2012 and this one, starting around 2004.

I worry about your long term memory Ken.

We met face to face in 2005 at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Jackson Hole at the CCR Reunion... almost 9 years ago this Labor Day weekend. Our first year in business!

Remember?

You stopped by my trade show booth in the small conference room downstairs with Grif and El Jeffe several hours before I was supposed to open - and peppered me non stop for 20 minutes with questions about my seats. You were exceptionally curious to find out about the "new guy in town" - and exactly what the hell did we think we were doing coming up with all these radical ideas - and challenging the established California players? I remember I was exceptionally accommodating answering your questions especially since I was time constrained and in the middle of setting up a booth for over 1,000 well qualified attendees.

Fast forward to 2014 and we've become a MAJOR player in the aftermarket seat business. It's been a great ride. We're sneaking up really fast on the one brand that has been producing the same old stuff since the 1970's. It's not easy to overtake such entrenched competition with a huge moat like that. We've already outpaced the other brands, hands down.

What's even more gratifying is this survey of 144 LT riders taken in 2005. Six months after we fabricated our first seat:

http://www.bmwlt.net/ubbthreads/show...=&view=&sb=&o=

http://www.bmwlt.net/ubbthreads/view...2613BillyOmaha

Remember?

I'm really sorry you still don't like our seats and think they are too expensive. However as you've said repeatedly we've never custom made one for you. Kind of hard to adequately evaluate a seat - especially for such a prolific long distance rider - with only 20 minutes of time on a borrowed one specifically made for someone else, huh?


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post #36 of 91 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 1:30 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Time to play this game again, Ron? And in public? Well, OK, if you insist . . .

Yes, I've known you for a decade now, and your arrogance has never once wavered . . .

Your recent marketing-driven infiltration of the K1600 board has already raised quiet a few concerns, and while your posts on this board have tapered off, many of them still remain quite contentious. You blatantly use these boards to connect with potential customers, and yet continually refuse to directly support them as many other vendors gladly do, even when specifically asked to do just that.

I asked detailed questions about your seats, because that's what I do that with every new product that shows some promise. It's how I separate the hype from the reality of how well a product actually performs, along with specific long-term testing in real-world applications. Must be the engineer in me.

But your seats had some serious drawbacks, not the least of which was the fact that they weren't waterproof. Who the hell stops riding to put a rain cover on their seat? That alone was a deal breaker right there.

Now I heard you've solved that issue, and made some other improvements. Fair enough, continuous improvement is the hallmark of engineering and product development, and something that I've spent decades pursuing, both professionally and personally.

So I decided to take a fresh look at your products, and see if they might work for my admittedly extreme needs, even though I maintain my skepticism, based not the least upon your blustery arrogance.

And so we spoke about it, in some detail. I remained hesitant, but wanted to offer you the chance to prove yourself. Not with marketing bravado, or cut & paste testimonials, or sheer force of will, but by getting seat made to my specifications, and putting 50,000 or so miles on it. By using your products under my riding conditions, and seeing how well they hold up in extreme use.

Note that I've done the exact same thing with many different products, and have developed mutually-benficial relationships with quite a few of the "known" brands in the aftermarket motorcycle industry. In many cases I'm actually working directly with the production people to give direct, experienced feedback and help to better the products being made. Because that's how adults do business together and build respectful relationships.

But you were completely uninterested in anything besides cranking up the "options" and increasing the sale price. Every question I had was met with a "Sure, we can do that, for an additional fee . . . "

And when I asked about a ride-in appointment so that we could discuss my unique needs and get it right the first time, you absolutely freaked out, as if I had personally offended you in some manner. And then you got even more aggressive. Or should I say, you let your true arrogant self that I've seen for the past 10 years overpower your polished salesman facade. Seriously, dude, it was like a personality switch had flipped.

So at this point, there's no way I'm ever handing you any money whatsoever.

And I will be honest about my experiences with you whenever the subject comes up. And with my experience and presence in the long-distance motorcycle community, this subject comes up a lot . . .

So here's my offer: If your product is really that dämn good, then let's see you put your product where your marketing is. Build me the ultimate Long Distance seat, and let me put some serious miles on it. Prove to me that what you claim actually holds true. Hell, I'll even supply the seat pans so that you're out nothing but some materials and labor. You can just chalk that up to marketing costs, if you need to justify it.

And in return, I promise to give it a full shakedown, testing it thoroughly in all road and weather conditions. And I'll give you specific, detailed feedback on what works, and what doesn't.

Which is exactly what I do with all the other companies that I'm working with, to great success. And yes, I can provide specific references if you need, although by now you should know that I'm true to my word.

If your seats really are as awesome as you keep claiming, then this should be a no-brainer for you.

And if not, well, then I guess we're done here . . .

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #37 of 91 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 6:08 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Good morning all:

Ron, thanks for clarifying what is done in Mexico. Really people, what difference does it make where anything is manufactured or sourced these days? Many products have multinational sourcing now, and the "foreign" argument is mostly a non-issue. Remember when "Made in Japan" was taken to mean "junk" ? In reality we in the USA are slowly choking ourselves out of business and economic stability by forcing a lot of activity offshore due to governmental regulation by non-elected bureaucrats.

My RT seat with many thousands of miles still looks like the day I received it, is comfortable and, for me, worth what I paid for it. That, in the end, is all that matters to me. YMMV, and that is why we have other options available. No need to trash other manufacturers and their products, especially if you have not tried the product in a meaningful manner. If you don't like it do not buy it.

I am amused at the same situation going on in another thread over on ADV about the new Harley Street 500. People who have never even seen the real thing, let alone ridden it, have been bashing the bike horribly even after I posted a real ride report after we received them for our Riding Academy classes to replace our Buell Blast bikes.

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post #38 of 91 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 6:34 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Originally Posted by ka5ysy View Post
Good morning all:

Ron, thanks for clarifying what is done in Mexico. Really people, what difference does it make where anything is manufactured or sourced these days? Many products have multinational sourcing now, and the "foreign" argument is mostly a non-issue. Remember when "Made in Japan" was taken to mean "junk" ? In reality we in the USA are slowly choking ourselves out of business and economic stability by forcing a lot of activity offshore due to governmental regulation by non-elected bureaucrats.

My RT seat with many thousands of miles still looks like the day I received it, is comfortable and, for me, worth what I paid for it. That, in the end, is all that matters to me. YMMV, and that is why we have other options available. No need to trash other manufacturers and their products, especially if you have not tried the product in a meaningful manner. If you don't like it do not buy it.

I am amused at the same situation going on in another thread over on ADV about the new Harley Street 500. People who have never even seen the real thing, let alone ridden it, have been bashing the bike horribly even after I posted a real ride report after we received them for our Riding Academy classes to replace our Buell Blast bikes.
Well said Doug.

Lets keep this thread civil everyone. Both Ron & Ken have valid points & both have made them. It all comes down to they do not see Eye to Eye on this one product. Lets move on to helping the OP figure out what seat he wants to get.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #39 of 91 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 7:16 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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And in return, I promise to give it a full shakedown, testing it thoroughly in all road and weather conditions. And I'll give you specific, detailed feedback on what works, and what doesn't.
Hey Ron I'll be happy to be a test pilot , I have quite abit of LDR under my belt. Prior experience with RDL, Rick Mayer seats etc. As Meese stated above unbiased detailed feedback to follow.
Are you in ?

Pete Murray
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post #40 of 91 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 8:32 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Well said Doug.

Lets keep this thread civil everyone. Both Ron & Ken have valid points & both have made them. It all comes down to they do not see Eye to Eye on this one product. Lets move on to helping the OP figure out what seat he wants to get.
Yes...Let us move on...

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01 LT Fast Pacific Blue ... " The Goose "

? when to ASUME, and HOW MUCH should you ASUME, safely ?
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post #41 of 91 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 9:24 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Originally Posted by loansumrider View Post
Yes...Let us move on...
Shhh, I've got the popcorn out and enjoying the sparring.

Dan Martin
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post #42 of 91 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 10:32 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Semi-satisfied?

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #43 of 91 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 12:20 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Semi-satisfied?
This is a binary discussion. Yes or No, 1 or 0. No fence sitting allowed !

Doug Stracener
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post #44 of 91 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 12:21 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Semi-satisfied?
Yeah. Good in summer. Cold in winter. Switch back to Corbin in winter.
Not nearly as good as my RDL I had on a K11LT.
Slightly better than the BMW comfort seat on my '99 LT.
Not much riding the last couple of years. Think I did about 5000mm in the last 3 months.

Dan M

But the fence is more comfy than the stock seat!
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post #45 of 91 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 12:27 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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But the fence is more comfy than the stock seat!
+1

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post #46 of 91 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 12:35 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Thanks for the explanation, Dan. That fits what I've heard about cold-weather riding with Polar Mesh.

I always prefer first-hand reviews from actual riders that I know and respect over marketing blurbs coming directly from the maker.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #47 of 91 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 1:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

Well, I've made the seat purchase and will be sending my seats in later today. I'll let everyone know how things go with the production and new ride. Looking forward to putting the Air Hawk up for sale.

MariettaMark

2004 R1150RT
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"My youth comes firmly under the protection of the 5th amendment and hopefully a statute of limitations"
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post #48 of 91 Old Jul 11th, 2014, 5:23 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

A couple comments.

Re the chemical vapors issues- there are quantitative limits specified in regs and smell is not one of the criteria (they are based on ACGIH and NIOSH limits). Some chemicals are dangerous below odor thresholds and others aren't even if odors are pretty strong. If you want to debate with the govt inspectors all you need is quantitative air sampling for exposed employees for that chemical. In industrial places there are firms that do this work and it is not hugely expensive. Then if you're not exposing your employees to excess amounts you can tell the inspectors to get lost. They are well aware they can't beat real data. (I did a similar thing at a firm that had a union drive happening complete with complaints to govt agencies to harass management but the topic was noise limits. I used digital sampling from sensors clipped to employees to prove all the complaints were baseless)

Re the seats. I've never seen Ron's stuff here in the east and its design looks better suited to dry climates. So I asked if I could get some material samples for the top fabric and the waterproof barrier so I could get some idea. Offered to pay for the samples.
His answer was pure BS. He said no because he thinks folks will use them to copy his stuff. Obviously, anyone who has a seat of his can reverse engineer what Ron does if they choose so there are plenty of chances out there already- that increase with every sale.
Despite Ron's claims there is no magic in fabrics or foams that can't be deciphered by anyone with knowledge of those materials or even solid knowledge of industrial sourcing. His "proprietary" is mostly in his mind.

Obviously I chose not to purchase a seat. The prices do not encourage experimentation.

I do agree with Meese's comments that he wants all business "his way" which is of course anyone's right. I just chose to not to do business with him for that reason and because I wouldn't anticipate a good response to any post purchase issues.

Maybe some day I'll see one of his seats.
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post #49 of 91 Old Jul 11th, 2014, 6:47 am
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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A couple comments.
...

Re the seats. I've never seen Ron's stuff here in the east and its design looks better suited to dry climates. So I asked if I could get some material samples for the top fabric and the waterproof barrier so I could get some idea.

...
Living in south Louisiana, we routinely get afternoon thunderstorms that can dump 3" of rain in 15 minutes, so I have had many opportunities to test the waterproof nature of the Kontour seat on my RT. It sheds water just like off a duck's back, and is a pleasure to sit on after a storm. What little moisture might still be on the seat is no issue because of the standoff the Polar Mesh material causes, so no wet butt or riding gear. Many of my riding buddies are amazed that the seat is basically dry after one of our monsoons.

Winter: we really do not get much freezing weather here, but when it goes into the 20's I have ridden the bike with the seat heaters full on, and it does get warm. Not as efficient as a stock seat or one with no airflow, but still sufficient. My wife (seriously cold natured) loves having her tush toasty, along with the heated jacket and glove liners. If she is happy, the heat is working fine !

Doug Stracener
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post #50 of 91 Old Jul 11th, 2014, 1:51 pm
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Re: KonTour Seat Purchase

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Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
Obviously I chose not to purchase a seat. The prices do not encourage experimentation.
That's the same issue I keep having. I am curious about his wonder seats (as I am with many other technologies), and I know that some folks love them (riders I've talked with myself, not marketing blurbs), but I remain skeptical until I can put 5-10,000 miles on a Kontour myself (probably over a month or two).

I actually decided to bite the bullet and try one out before the last IBR (at my own expense), but Ron's attitude, arrogance, and plain obnoxiousness just turned me away, again. Just send him your seat, send him the money, take what you get, and then tell the world how lucky you are to have one of his masterpieces.

No, thanks. There are so many better vendors to deal with that it's just not worth the bullshit and hassle.

Riding is supposed to be fun, remember?

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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