Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 14 Old Apr 21st, 2019, 4:22 pm Thread Starter
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Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

After a small black bear perforated the passenger seat on my LT and getting an extremely generous insurance settlement from Progressive, I decided to pull the trigger on an RDL seat even though I may have my LT only a couple more years.

I placed my order in October, if memory serves, and received a 12-18-18 build date. I shipped my seat out a week or so prior to that and received it back around January 15th so roughly a month door to door. The order process was fairly straightforward and conducted entirely by email. The seat was packed very well on the return shipment even including wooden pieces stuck in the ears on the passenger seat so that they could not get broken off during shipment.

The workmanship looks good roughly comparable to the OEM seat. I did not get the seat installed until this past week. The installation was easy and there were no clearance or other issues. The only minor issues noticed thus far are that the driver’s seat back is easy to install, but can be hard to remove, and the Sunbrella fabric really captures lint. My seat has white flecks all over it that are hard to brush off. I am hoping a shot from a hose will clean it up. Some silicone spray helped quite a bit on the backrest bracket removal. The adjustment knob prevents the driver seat from being raised so either the knob has to be removed each time or the backrest has to be removed to raise the seat. With the silicone, it appears removing the backrest will be the path of least resistance, but it would be nice to not have this interference.

I have yet to take a test ride as the weather here has been crappy the last few days, but I hope to get out next week to road test all of my maintenance work and begin to break in the seat. The seat feels pretty good from a static check. It does effectively raise the seat height as Russell said to expect. Where I could easily flat foot before, I am not on my tip toes. I suspect this is due largely to the addition width of the seat as Russell says, and not to any real height difference. I suspect this will get a little better after some break-in and as I get better at sliding forward as I stop. Also, my static test was with jeans on and I think they stick more to the Sunbrella than will other materials. I expect that my synthetic riding pants may slide better on the seat and let me reach the ground a little better.

I will add an update after I get a few road miles on it and get it through the 1,000 mile or so break-in period that Russell says to expect. And then another update after I return from Alaska and have 10K or so miles on it.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #2 of 14 Old Apr 21st, 2019, 5:43 pm
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Re: Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

It would be great if you could drop a couple pictures outlining the issue with raising the seat. I have added a back rest to my LT but it is constructed in a way that the seat can be raised without removal so would like to see the differences.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #3 of 14 Old Apr 21st, 2019, 6:23 pm
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Re: Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

Sorry but I have had no issues with my RDL that was built in 2007 with leather top and vinyl sides. I married it up with a BakUp back rest as he did not offer an integrated back rest at the time. I had several garden umbrellas that had Sunbrella fabric and would have never considered it suitable for MC seat.

I may send it off this winter to Ron Miller and have him do his heat reflective treatment and cover the seat area with Polar Mesh fabric. That way I won't have a hot butt during the summer.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #4 of 14 Old Apr 21st, 2019, 7:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
Sorry but I have had no issues with my RDL that was built in 2007 with leather top and vinyl sides. I married it up with a BakUp back rest as he did not offer an integrated back rest at the time. I had several garden umbrellas that had Sunbrella fabric and would have never considered it suitable for MC seat.

I may send it off this winter to Ron Miller and have him do his heat reflective treatment and cover the seat area with Polar Mesh fabric. That way I won't have a hot butt during the summer.
I debated a fair bit on material. I knew I didn’t want leather, but was vacillating between vinyl and Sunbrella. Based on what I heard from Russell and a few others who had Sunbrella, I decided to give it a try. Time will tell...

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #5 of 14 Old Apr 22nd, 2019, 8:38 am
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Re: Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

I like their seats. I have had 3. One on a GTL, a RT and a GSA. All quality and comfort. With these seats I felt like I quit riding for the day because I wanted to not because I had to. I hope you like it.
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post #6 of 14 Old Apr 22nd, 2019, 4:32 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
It would be great if you could drop a couple pictures outlining the issue with raising the seat. I have added a back rest to my LT but it is constructed in a way that the seat can be raised without removal so would like to see the differences.
Here is a picture that hopefully shows it. It is a little tight in there and everything being dark color doesn’t help, but you can see the knob projecting well ahead of the rear of the drivers seat that has to swing upwards.

The cable across the seat is just my battery maintainer so ignore that. ��
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #7 of 14 Old Apr 22nd, 2019, 4:38 pm
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Re: Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

Is that mounted to the pillion seat?

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #8 of 14 Old Apr 22nd, 2019, 4:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

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Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
Is that mounted to the pillion seat?
Yes. The pillion seat has a metal sleeve attached to it that the backrest slides into. The good news is that it is fairly easy to remove once hit with some silicone. The bad news is that it is easy to remove should one desire to abscond with it. I am looking at theft proofing options. I may just drill a hole through it so I can loop my helmet lock cable through it.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #9 of 14 Old Apr 23rd, 2019, 2:25 pm
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Re: Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Here is a picture that hopefully shows it. It is a little tight in there and everything being dark color doesn’t help, but you can see the knob projecting well ahead of the rear of the drivers seat that has to swing upwards.

The cable across the seat is just my battery maintainer so ignore that. ��
Your RDL backrest is missing some pieces. Here's a picture of my RDL backrest which I originally had mounted on my '07 LT, and had transferred and recovered onto my '16 GTLE at an RDL ride-in appointment. I never had a problem raising the seat with the backrest installed on the LT. Since I installed the backrest on the GTLE, I drilled a hole in the seat pan and the RDL slider, and tapped the slider hole, installing a bolt on the underside of the seat pan to prevent someone from getting a five-finger discount on the entire backrest.
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Dave Beck
'16 K1600GTLE
'07 K1200LT (sold 9/24/16)
'74 Suzuki GT750L (long, long gone)


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post #10 of 14 Old Apr 23rd, 2019, 2:34 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

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Originally Posted by JNW003 View Post
Your RDL backrest is missing some pieces. Here's a picture of my RDL backrest which I originally had mounted on my '07 LT, and had transferred and recovered onto my '16 GTLE at an RDL ride-in appointment. I never had a problem raising the seat with the backrest installed on the LT. Since I installed the backrest on the GTLE, I drilled a hole in the seat pan and the RDL slider, and tapped the slider hole, installing a bolt on the underside of the seat pan to prevent someone from getting a five-finger discount on the entire backrest.
Nope, not missing any pieces. They changed the design. They no longer use the “wedge” for adjusting the back rest position.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #11 of 14 Old Apr 26th, 2019, 7:28 am
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Re: Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

I've had 2 Russells, put close to 200,000 on them and both were great. Use it, especially if you do Iron Butt type rides, and you'll really appreciate it. You'll love it on your Ak trip.

Just remember Coach Ramey Stroud's axiom "Mom was right: sit up straight." I still thank Coach Stroud for that one.

I originally had a competitor's seat on my first RT (2007). My neighbor got an RDL on Ebay and asked if I could use while he was out of town for the weekend. I ordered my RDL Monday.
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post #12 of 14 Old Apr 26th, 2019, 4:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

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I've had 2 Russells, put close to 200,000 on them and both were great. Use it, especially if you do Iron Butt type rides, and you'll really appreciate it. You'll love it on your Ak trip.

Just remember Coach Ramey Stroud's axiom "Mom was right: sit up straight." I still thank Coach Stroud for that one.

I originally had a competitor's seat on my first RT (2007). My neighbor got an RDL on Ebay and asked if I could use while he was out of town for the weekend. I ordered my RDL Monday.
I am hoping that is my experience also. Our first impressions are so-so. The seat definitely feels much different than the stock LT seat. The RDL presses fairly hard on the thighs and my wife is not liking hers very well thus far. HOwever, the paperwork from RDL says this is typically the case with a new seat and you need to reserve judgement for 500-1000 miles until the seat breaks in and relaxes a little. The problem is that we likely won’t get this many miles before departing for Alaska, so I am just hoping the break-in happens and all is well!

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #13 of 14 Old Apr 27th, 2019, 6:21 pm
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Re: Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

Sounds like you need some pre-Alaska trips to break in the seat. I found that the seat needs to properly match the weight of the rider. Swallow all pride and be honest when getting the seat. The seat does offer several different sitting positions. For me, I am more comfortable on the stock seat when staying in one position for a long time. But, I have more position options on the RDL. So, I keep the RDL on the bike.

Current Ride: '02 LT - The Mistress
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post #14 of 14 Old Apr 27th, 2019, 8:55 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Russell Day Long (RDL) seat experience

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Sounds like you need some pre-Alaska trips to break in the seat. I found that the seat needs to properly match the weight of the rider. Swallow all pride and be honest when getting the seat. The seat does offer several different sitting positions. For me, I am more comfortable on the stock seat when staying in one position for a long time. But, I have more position options on the RDL. So, I keep the RDL on the bike.
Yes, I think break-in miles is the key. Oh, I was quite honest in the information I sent to Russell, and even if you weren’t they would like have an idea of that from the pictures that you send them also.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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