GT Seat? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old Jul 14th, 2010, 12:00 pm Thread Starter
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GT Seat?

Hey All,

I gotta change this seat on the GT -- the factory seat does not seem to be 'breaking in' and is just plain hard and uncomfortable!! I'm 6'1" and weigh ~200lbs....

I'm curious about these 'gel' seats, but also want to keep my seat warmer in my new seat; additionally, I plan on doing some 1000+ mile days, so I want this seat to be COMFORTABLE!

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
Stephen

Stephen Malm
'07 GT - Blue Tooth
'03 LT - Silver Bullet
'85 HD Sportster - junk
'84 Suzook GSX 1100 EF
2 many dirt bikes to mention
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post #2 of 9 Old Jul 14th, 2010, 1:18 pm
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Re: GT Seat?

I love my Russell...and it's heated! (not that I need that right now)


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'99K1200LT - "Bertha" - gone, but not forgotten!
'86 Concours - "Horse with no name" (under reconstructive surgery)
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post #3 of 9 Old Jul 14th, 2010, 1:41 pm
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Re: GT Seat?

Lots of saddle makers out there - Russell, Rick Mayer, Bill Mayer, Sargent, Kontour, etc. I would suggest doing some research on the options and determine who best suits your needs. I think any of them can keep the heated option.

I use Rick Mayer saddles and have had them on all my bikes for the last 7-8 years and well over 100,000 cumulative miles. I have no complaints at all.

David Taylor
San Jose, CA
2010 R1200RT Polar Metallic
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post #4 of 9 Old Jul 14th, 2010, 5:13 pm
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Re: GT Seat?

I have a Bill "Rocky" Mayer seat. It is heated, of course. I have done a few 1,000+ mile days on it. I recently did 6,600 miles in 11 days, including a 50cc (San Diego to Jacksonville Beach in under 50 hours). Meese also has a Bill Mayer saddle. He routinely does 1,000 mile days on his K1200GT. (He was in the Iron Butt Rally - 11,000 miles in 11 days.) He had over 120,000 miles on that saddle before taking it back to Rocky for a rebuild.

http://www.billmayersaddles.com/

If you are going to get a custom seat, then I recommend that you do a ride-in fitting. The seat can be custom tailored to your size, weight, preferred positioning, and riding preferences (e.g., long distance vs. around town, etc.)

When I went into Bill Mayer Saddles, they asked me questions about how I position myself in the saddle, what distances I ride, etc. After that, there were several sittings on the bike, plus two test rides with the evolving seat form. They constantly asked about hard and soft spots, and fixed them accordingly.

It takes time for a new custom saddle to break-in, too. Once that happens, your behind will be happy.

Also recommended for long rides: LDComfort undergarments. http://www.ldcomfort.com/
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post #5 of 9 Old Jul 15th, 2010, 2:31 pm Thread Starter
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Re: GT Seat?

Thanks for your comments!

Having read your comments and performing some investigation, I'm going to make an appointment and take a ride up to Mr. Mayers and get a seat I can sit 'in' instead of 'on'...

BTW, it sure did make a difference to get those peg extensions installed - slowly but surely this bike is getting more comfortable!

- Stephen

Stephen Malm
'07 GT - Blue Tooth
'03 LT - Silver Bullet
'85 HD Sportster - junk
'84 Suzook GSX 1100 EF
2 many dirt bikes to mention
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post #6 of 9 Old Jul 15th, 2010, 5:47 pm
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Re: GT Seat?

The GT seat is awful -- especially for a big guy like me. I am playing around with a new Airhawk cushion and it helps, but the seat is so narrow that it still is not that comfortable. I guess an aftermarket seat is the only way to go. Funny that BMW doesn't market alternative seats like HD does. They would make a fortune on this bike.
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post #7 of 9 Old Jul 15th, 2010, 6:51 pm
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Re: GT Seat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by remphoto
Funny that BMW doesn't market alternative seats like HD does.
They do for various models, usually called a "Comfort Seat." Unfortunately, they're not all that comfortable . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by remphoto
They would make a fortune on this bike.
Um, I think that they already make a fortune on these bikes . . .

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 #8 of 9 Old Jul 15th, 2010, 7:08 pm
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Re: GT Seat?

Well, I've done a few thousand-mile days and I'm just full of useful suggestions.

First thing is to examine everything that sits between you and the seat itself. No jeans with seams, no bulky underwear, no cotton, no padded bike shorts, etc. Any of those things will increase sweating and rubbing and thus add to your overall discomfort.

Personally, I like Aerostitch Darien Light Pants (waterproof, comfortable, and no seams to sit on) and LDComfort Undergarments (breathable, wicking, extremely comfortable, and no seams to sit on). That's the only thing that I'll wear on any ride over 2 hours or 100 miles (well, that and something on top, as well).

As for seats, the reason you squirm about now is because the factory seat is so poorly shaped with no real support. A well-shaped seat built for you by a talented saddle maker will support you properly such that you won't need to squirm around.

Your choices for quality custom-built aftermarket seats are:

Russell Day-Long (Shasta Lake, CA) consistently gets great reviews for comfort, quality and customer service. Besides adding a bit of height (as expected with any custom seat designed more for comfort than looks), I don't think I've ever heard a single serious complaint about them. They also use an internal leaf-spring system (developed by the senior Mayer father) that works very well, especially for larger/heavier riders. And they have a removable backrest option that no one else offers.

Bill (Rocky) Mayer (Ojai, CA) makes a quality seat and generally folks are very happy with his work. I have almost 200K miles on his seats across two Beemers.

Rick Mayer (Anderson, CA) also makes a great seat and his customers remain very loyal. He does occasionally get some complaints about customer service (mostly a lack of communication), but he's basically a one-man shop who focuses more on the art of saddle making than paperwork and admin stuff. But everyone who gets one of his seats raves about it.

KonTour (Tucson, AZ) is run by Ron Miller from this site. He uses a variety of modern foam layers and breathable outer fabric to create a seat that more evenly supports the rider. He has quite a few fans on this website.

Rich's (Kingston, WA) is another, smaller provider. The few folks I know that have them do like them.

The other choice is to go with a pre-made replacement seat. These are usually cheaper and can work well for some riders, but aren't really on the same level as a full custom seat made to your dimensions. Still, they do have their admirers, and since it's a complete replacements seat your factory seats remain intact.

Your choices for replacement seats are:

Sargent (Jacksonville, FL). Most folks seem happy with these.

Bagster (France). They are based in Europe, although they do have a US distributor.

Corbin (Hollister, CA). They make rock-hard seats that take a long time to break in. Some folks do like them, but way too many folks complain about the comfort, the quality, and the customer support for me to ever give them any of my money.

Any of these options should run roughly $500-$600, although custom fabrics/leathers and other options can obviously add to that cost.

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 #9 of 9 Old Jul 16th, 2010, 1:35 pm Thread Starter
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Re: GT Seat?

Great stuff - thanks Ken! After reading about your rally rides .etc, it's great to get your feedback!!

I'm glad to see your inclusion on the pants - I'm wearing a Field Sheer suit for my daily commute - it's effecient, but not my choice for a long tour....

On the seat - I'm going to finally get my first 'custom' seat - all these years of riding and I have yet to purchase a custom seat -- and am really looking forward to it!

Stephen Malm
'07 GT - Blue Tooth
'03 LT - Silver Bullet
'85 HD Sportster - junk
'84 Suzook GSX 1100 EF
2 many dirt bikes to mention
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