Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: America's Dairyland
Tried the bead seat and gave it up; here's why
This season I decided to try something new on my '12 DL650. I heard rave reviews on the accessory bead seats, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
According to reports, they help keep the rider cool in hot weather, by allowing air to flow underneath the butt. I've also been told they allow water from pooling in the crotch area during rain, which helps keep moisture from wicking through the weather-susceptible crotch seam.
I bought an inexpensive seat with black wood beads on Amazon, for around $15. I couldn't see the need to go all out for the ceramic, which runs around $70.
I rode the bike once in the rain with the seat, but the rain wasn't hard enough to cause the afore-mentioned crotch pool, so I can't really report on that.
I also rode it several times in temps between 90-100 degrees. I can't say I noticed any appreciable difference in cooling 'down there'. FWIW, I was wearing a mesh jacket and mesh pants.
What I did notice was the toll it took on my back. I have a Russell Day-Long seat, which has been awesome to ride on. I regularly can empty a tank of gas without having to get off the bike since using the RDL. Once I added the beat seat to it, I quickly noticed lower-back pain. What I think may have been happening was the bead seat caused just a slight bit of additional curve to my lower spine, and it didn't take long for me to feel the effect.
I tried to tough it out, using the seat for a good month-plus. But it never got any better. I took the seat off and immediately the back pain went away.
I'm glad this is a solution for some -- my brother got one for his Honda Nighthawk and loves it -- but for me it's a no-go.
If it's a good day to wash the bike, it's a better day to ride the bike.