On Thursday, July 31, 2008, I spent the day at Corbin in Hollister and had front and rear seats manufactured for my R1200RT. I selected a sewing pattern that was not standard for the RT mold, but I liked it much better (patterns are necessary when you add heating element to a Corbin seat).
This marked my 3rd Corbin seat in 15 or so years. Their factory is now in Hollister, Cal, however they were previously in Watsonville and Castroville. I had the pleasure of having seats built at all three factories over the years. Itís nice to see parts being hand made, these people are true artists.
The entire process took about 5 hours to complete and it was an enjoyable experience, met a lot of really nice riders, there were about 10 of us getting seats on Thursday.
I was a concerned that the seats would be too harsh as mentioned on numerous internet sites and posts. When I asked about seat harness, Corbin stated they had softened their seat formula earlier in the year due to the numerous inquires. I found an older demo seat on the show room floor located near a newer seat and the difference was noticeable, about 35% more pliable.
I rode my bike around for a few days and quickly found the seat to have too much thigh support causing me to tippy-toe when at a full stop. This was a big change since I had come from BMWís ďlowĒ seat to Corbinís ďnormalĒ seat (Note: Corbin does not make a low seat, however Sergeant makes both low and high seats for the RT)
I went back again today (August 4) and had the seat adjusted, removing the bulky thigh area; since it felt like I was not being held in the seat correctly I had a band of material added behind my upper backside. Corbinís installer nailed my set-up first refit, which was pretty impressive. If you're able to articulate your needs to the seat maker they are great at creating necessary adjustments.
The ride home on the updated seat confirmed that it is now near-perfect, if not perfect. It feels plush and complainant holding me like a pair of hands, the height is no longer an issue due to all the material that was removed from the sides of the seat. I also had the material changed from smooth on the top and rough on the sides to smooth all over. They offered to change the material on the rear seat to match front seat at a small cost but, after spending $1,000 on the seat, I was not up for spending anymore of my hard earned money. I did receive a 10% Law Enforcement discount, which is a little known secret, but the $100 savings was a welcome break off this expensive upgrade.
I tested the seat heaters as well on the ride to the shop this morning, it is worth noting the stock heaters come on much faster and hotter than the Corbin units. Itís as if stock are set to medium and high and Corbinís are set at low and medium. Both front and rear Corbin seats are wired directly to the bike and are indicated on the dash as if they were stock seats.
I really like the new seats but donít feel they were worth $1,000 but then again, the RT1200 is not worth $20,000, (to me anyway) but both are what you will pay if you want to play.
If you get any after market seat, you should make a trip to the shop of choice or else resign yourself to perhaps paying the same for a less then custom seat since you won't be there to make adjustments, if needed.