Soft Touch Seat Questions - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 23 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 5:46 pm Thread Starter
 
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Soft Touch Seat Questions

Hello everyone,

I have a question regarding the "Soft Touch" seat on the LT and the comfort level over stock.

I have an 05 LT non heated stock seat. I remember sitting on another LT about a month before I bought mine that had the Soft Touch Seat that was also heated.

The soft touch felt like the sport seats in my BMW 330 CI Convertible, firm like stock overall, but a soft pillow-top-like feel to them, very comfortable.

After viewing the post on various seat modifications, sculpting and so on, I wanted to ask how the owners that have the Soft Touch seat how they feel about it over the stock seat or other modified seat.

Would it be worth the upgrade to the soft touch or should I consider a custom sculpted seat. My LT is Graphite with the Greige seat. It is tough to find seat options near this color. I'm finding mostly black. I'm experiencing numb-butt more than anything else. I don't have much 'cushioning' back there either (TMI)

I can tolerate my LT for about 2.5 hrs max before having to take a break, approx. a half a tank of gas. I'm used to getting 4 to 5 hours/full tank between stops on my old Hondas (87 helix, 90 Pacific Coast, 03 Wing) ridden in the past.

Any opinions or suggestions are welcome.

Thanks
Dave Allen
05 K1200LT
05 330 CIC
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post #2 of 23 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 5:51 pm
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If color is an issue many custom seat makers can provide a gray seat to replace your old one. The difficulty is matching a new gray seat to any other gray components like a back rest. If you completely recover everything in a match gray leather or vinyl seat then that should not be an issue. I have a Rick mayer seat and love it. It has a very different shape from stock.

Adversity builds character.

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My rides: '01 K1200LT Black (of course)
'00 BMW 540i (also black)
'76 Toyota Landcruiser FJ40 (not black)
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post #3 of 23 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 6:12 pm
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Hi Dave:

Although I've never owned a Soft Touch seat, I have dissected several dozen of them.

What you are getting - versus the standard OEM seat - is an extra 1/2" layer of soft commodity polyurethane foam - thereby making the seat thicker and taller, and yes - a bit "softer". Softer is not always good since it lacks the support required for high mileage comfort.

There are many folks that think the Soft Touch seat is just perfect and worth what BMW charges. I think you will find that most of them are under 200 lbs. Riders over 200 lbs. tend to crush most polyurethane seats to the point that they are riding on the seat pan. It really hurts after a few hours - and especially the 2005 LTseats which are more narrow than previous years providing a smaller area for pressure distribution.

Regarding color, we are the ONLY folks that have had our top cover material custom dyed to EXACTLY match BMW's "griege". We're "that" picky! We won't settle for off the shelf colors that everyone else uses.

In the end (no pun intended) seats are a very personal thing. Kind of like picking out a comfotable mattress that is "just right". Choosing high quality materials almost always guarantees long term performance and comfort.

That od adage: "You get what you pay for" applies especially to seats.

But then again, I AM just a bit biased.


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Last edited by RonKMiller; Dec 2nd, 2005 at 6:30 pm.
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post #4 of 23 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 6:21 pm
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Like I said other seat makers can give you a gray seat, but ONLY Ron Miller can match your BMW Greige color exactly.

Adversity builds character.

BMW MOA #: 115771
My rides: '01 K1200LT Black (of course)
'00 BMW 540i (also black)
'76 Toyota Landcruiser FJ40 (not black)
'06 Toyota Landcruiser (black again)
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post #5 of 23 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 6:25 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docwagner
Like I said other seat makers can give you a gray seat, but ONLY Ron Miller can match your BMW Greige color exactly.
Thanks Doc!

You are making my heart flutter

Hey, you wanna sell the Toyota?


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post #6 of 23 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 6:48 pm
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Soft touch no better

I also have the greige seats on my 05 and I hate my stock seat. My local dealer had a soft touch seat that was a warranty repair, ( heater broke) he let me try on a 1300 mile trip. The soft touch is no nbetter than stock in my opinion. 2-3 hours my butt is killing me and after 3 days I did not want to get back on after refueling. I even had an airhawk seat cushion I was trying out also and it did not help very much. So, since funds are limited I tried the beadrider beads ( yes they are ugly) on a 2500 mile trip to Florida 12-14 hour days and I was only a little sore on about day 4 - 5 at the end of the day. Strongly recommend the beads as a cheap alternative. Yes I would love a new seat but ...
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post #7 of 23 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 6:57 pm
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpillis
I also have the greige seats on my 05 and I hate my stock seat. My local dealer had a soft touch seat that was a warranty repair, ( heater broke) he let me try on a 1300 mile trip. The soft touch is no nbetter than stock in my opinion. 2-3 hours my butt is killing me and after 3 days I did not want to get back on after refueling. I even had an airhawk seat cushion I was trying out also and it did not help very much. So, since funds are limited I tried the beadrider beads ( yes they are ugly) on a 2500 mile trip to Florida 12-14 hour days and I was only a little sore on about day 4 - 5 at the end of the day. Strongly recommend the beads as a cheap alternative. Yes I would love a new seat but ...
I would recommend really THICK sheepskins as an excellent alternative to a custom seat. Very difficult to find, however.

Most of the "custom" sheepskins I have seen are VERY thin and don't do the job for more than a few months until they flatten out and become nothing more than expensive seat covers.

If anyone knows a wholesale source for the quality stuff in NZ or AUS I would really like to know - since there is a huge demand for them!

About the only thing they need is a bottle of Febreze to go along with 'em to get the STINK out when they get wet. Boy HOWDY - WHEW!!


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post #8 of 23 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 6:58 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crestwood330
I wanted to ask how the owners that have the Soft Touch seat how they feel about it over the stock seat or other modified seat.
I've owned both. The soft seat is, I would estimate, 10% "better" thant the stock low seat. I would strongly recommend you save your $$$, and go straight to a custom seat.

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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post #9 of 23 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 7:34 pm
 
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I had the soft touch heated seat and found an 03 I think stock heated...

Works good for me cause its alot wider...I have no problems reaching the ground cause I'm tall...

Only problem is the 03 has a stich pattern and the back soft touch does not.............Regards Pete
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post #10 of 23 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 8:24 pm
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I wish I had seen RonKMillers info previously.....I sold my 2000 KLT and bought a 2005. There was no comparison in the seat....the 2005 sucked in comparison and was definately more narrow. At 190 lbs I was perfectly comfortable with the stock 2000 seat.....but the 2005 seat kicked my butt after 600 miles. I bought the 2005 comfort seat for over $400 because I was so concerned about the color not matching if I had gone to an aftermarket seat. I have not taken a longer trip on the 05 comfort seat since it came in, but it has some goofy looking lines down the sides that look like the edges of the padding underneath the skin. It seems to be more comfortable, but had I known that RonK could've matched the color of the original seat perfectly I would have preferred to go with the custom seat for long term use. He seems to have a good reputation on this site. I've also noticed the factory comfort seat does not "burn my ass" with the heater on like the stock 05 seat did....there is some more padding between the heater and the skin. The stock seat will tatoo your butt with heat if you leave it turned on (even in the low position). Hope this helps somebody....

If its got tits or an engine you're gonna have trouble with it

05 Graphite K1200LT
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post #11 of 23 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 9:03 pm
 
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I have an 05 with the soft touch seat. I weigh 220. My butt hurts after about 2 hours in the saddle if I don't use an Air Hawk. With the Air Hawk I can ride all day with discomfort. I would not pay extra for the soft touch seat if you have the option.
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post #12 of 23 Old Dec 2nd, 2005, 9:09 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
Thanks Doc!

You are making my heart flutter

Hey, you wanna sell the Toyota?
Ron:
Are you a landcruiser enthusiast?

Adversity builds character.

BMW MOA #: 115771
My rides: '01 K1200LT Black (of course)
'00 BMW 540i (also black)
'76 Toyota Landcruiser FJ40 (not black)
'06 Toyota Landcruiser (black again)
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post #13 of 23 Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 11:53 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docwagner
Ron:
Are you a landcruiser enthusiast?
I had a friend in college that had an one, and we used to drive ALL over the Colorado back country in that bad boy for days at a time looking for new places to climb. I've always wanted one since for exploring the back country in SE AZ. Plus, I love to re-build old vehicles as a hobby and have done about a dozen bikes so far. Finding parts is half the fun!

I found one I want, but the guy wants $35K. Probably worth it with the amount of work he has done. My budget is about $10K for a nice, rust free example.

They are just such a no - nonsense vehicle! Very cool.


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post #14 of 23 Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 2:13 pm
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I won't claim to be an expert, but if you want some advice PM me. I have two 76 model FJ40's, one I drive around town and on camping trips the other I am fixing up so my son can drive to school. I had been playing with them for a few years now. $35,000 should get you a totally restored FJ or a radically modified one. If you are looking for fun you can get one for a lot less.

Adversity builds character.

BMW MOA #: 115771
My rides: '01 K1200LT Black (of course)
'00 BMW 540i (also black)
'76 Toyota Landcruiser FJ40 (not black)
'06 Toyota Landcruiser (black again)
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post #15 of 23 Old Dec 3rd, 2005, 2:33 pm
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I have the Soft Touch seat and would reccomend an aftermarket seat if you are traveling on the bike for more than 4-5 hours. I have made trips up to 700 miles on the soft touch seat and it's not uncomfortable, but a better seat would turn up the comfort level a notch. I would have a custom seat made if they could make one low,heated and match the existing grey leather on the bike.


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post #16 of 23 Old Dec 15th, 2005, 12:40 pm
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Smile Soft Seat

Dave: I have had the heated soft seat on my 2- K1200LTs. I have no problem driving in excess of 1,000 miles per day. Works great for me. Hope this helps. John
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post #17 of 23 Old Dec 15th, 2005, 1:32 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonKMiller
They are just such a no - nonsense vehicle! Very cool.
Tough, too. The spousal unit drove her brother's for a couple years when a teenager. She slid the FJ into a tree once. The tree was hurt a fair bit. The FJ didn't even notice.

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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post #18 of 23 Old Jan 23rd, 2006, 6:48 pm
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Cool comfort seat

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhieronymus
Dave: I have had the heated soft seat on my 2- K1200LTs. I have no problem driving in excess of 1,000 miles per day. Works great for me. Hope this helps. John
I find the seat can get painful after a day in the saddle. The seat feels like a board after a while. I have the comfort seat option on my 05 LT. Adding a sheepskin from Alaska Leather helped a great deal. Reduces sweating. I also think it takes a while for the "butt" to get used to the saddle. I weigh about 210.
Mike
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post #19 of 23 Old Apr 8th, 2006, 7:38 pm
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Soft Touch Seat

I read above, where someone tried an Air Hawk Cushion and did not like it, preferring beads instead. Here is one solid vote in favor of the Air Hawk Cushion. I have one of the old ones, about 5 years old, where the air bladders are smaller and act like little fingers to massage what ache while on a long ride. The newer Air Hawks have larger air bladders and may not work as well. One thing I did learn, do not over inflate them. they work best with very little air in them. I never take a long ride without mine and have put in 13 hour days with stops for gas, rest and food. Very worth it for me and my wife, she uses one as a passenger.
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post #20 of 23 Old Apr 8th, 2006, 11:10 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraLT
I read above, where someone tried an Air Hawk Cushion and did not like it, preferring beads instead. Here is one solid vote in favor of the Air Hawk Cushion. I have one of the old ones, about 5 years old, where the air bladders are smaller and act like little fingers to massage what ache while on a long ride. The newer Air Hawks have larger air bladders and may not work as well. One thing I did learn, do not over inflate them. they work best with very little air in them. I never take a long ride without mine and have put in 13 hour days with stops for gas, rest and food. Very worth it for me and my wife, she uses one as a passenger.
This thread is kind of old, but I'm glad you posted a reply to it; it brought my attention back to this issue.

Wife and I just finished a four-hour ride. My butt hurts after one hour -- not 4 or 5 like some of you mention. I'm 6'1", 250#; certainly that doesn't help, but I have to stop after every hour! I have an '05 w/the standard heated seat (not the soft-touch model). The discomfort is what I think are pelvic bones themselves. It's like I've bottomed out and my bones are riding on the seat structure itself. Not good, and can't imagine a LD tour this way.

Guess I'll have to seriously consider a custom seat, or beads, or morphine, or ...

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #21 of 23 Old Apr 13th, 2006, 11:28 am
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Cool

On my '05 I have the Comfort seat. Our longest day so far was 480 miles with the longest run 180 miles. At 6'3" 200#(me) both of us were comfortable in the butt. My seat was in the low position. I have ridden for 4 hr., without getting off except standing at some lights without discomfort.

I will say however, when I raise the seat to the higher position I feel as if I am being pushed toward the tank and it isn't nearly as comfortable. Actually, I do not like it. I think raising the front of the seat to the same relative position as at the low setting would be a great improvement. Anybody made that mod?

Benton Blalock
"I ride.....the bike doesn't"

'18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure SportDCT
'12 Kawi KLR 650 "Dirty" - traded in
'08 LT Black "Fireball" 113,000+ miles(RIP- transmission - may be seen on the road again)
'05 LT Yeller er Gold? "Ophelia"(RIP- fire) 80,000 miles
'04 R12CLC (RIP- hurricane) 36,000 miles
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post #22 of 23 Old Apr 22nd, 2006, 7:41 pm
 
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I have an 05 LT and the stock seat is unbelievalbly bad for a bike that cost this much. I have had 3 Russell Day long seats over the past 20 years and was very satisfied. However the shape completely ruins the lines and style of the LT so I did some research and choose the KonTour. I could not be happier. It is a great seat that looks good on the bike. The color matches perfect. The service was excellent and it is a very good value. I think you would be pleased with the KonTour seat.
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post #23 of 23 Old Apr 30th, 2006, 10:27 am
 
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Seats

Ron did my 05 and there is a big difference. I rode my 05 with my new Ron Miller seats over to Tucson last week to say hi to Ron and he had left the country!!!
Acutally I knew he was going on vacation...
A day at Iron horse in Tucson and a near 600 mile round trip from Las Cruces and my rear end survived nicely.
If I had to do it again I would try an earlier model..WIDER seat....and have Ron do it and fit it to the 05.
Ride Safe..
Ron
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