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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
(This Russell is for my 2018 DL650, but the thoughts and opinions I share would apply to really any DL year or model, and to most motorcycles in general. And my thoughts could assist with any 3rd party brand of seat, either rebuilt or off-the-shelf.)

Regardless of the bike, the ergonomic fit of the seat is the single biggest issue I have with any motorcycle. If the seat is on my mind, it likely means I'm not happy about it, and that ruins the ride experience for me from the discomfort I'm experiencing. I don't ride to feel pain. A motorcycle seat for the OEMs is a fashion-before-function matter; just the opposite for me. The stock DL650 seat stinks. It did on my '07, it does on my '18. It follows the lines of the bike, it is not designed for a human to ride the long haul upon it.

This is the second time I've sent an OEM seat to Russell for a rebuild. The first was my previous 2010 Yamaha FJR. Both seats, like most OEM seat are, were shaped with a side-to-side convex curve, and a front-to-back concave curve. Like a Pringles potato chip. This stock shape provides no support for the outer hips, allowing your legs to sag from the hip/pelvic bone and causing your weight to concentrate and bear on everything from your "man-bits area" to your tailbone, rather than where the weight should be bearing- spread out across the entire sitting region of your body instead of concentrated on parts of your anatomy that would rather not bear your weight. Having a wide and supportive seat also creates less weight per square inch being supported, lessening hot spots and other discomfort.

I'm providing photos of both before (OEM seat and a gray shirt) and after the rebuild (Russell seat and a maroon shirt) with me sitting on the bike. For reference, those jeans have a 34" waistline size. I'm 6" tall with a 30" inseam, and 200 pounds. Russell's ordering process takes all of this into account to get the best possible fit for you, including using photos you'll submit to them. It is plainly evident which seat is providing the most support for my body. Watch the label patch on my right rear pocket as a reference to the seat profiles.

Now, in all fairness, as you can see from the bike-only shots (posted in the next message, I hit the image limit per post), it's still winter at this moment, and I have not yet taken the new Russell out for a ride. But I am confident in what I am to expect from my second Russell Day Long, and I have no issue recommending Russell for a rebuild of your seat. You spent thousands on your bike, you've probably spent a boat load fitting it with other doo-dads, why not splurge for the ONE upgrade item that you have to utilize each and every time you get on the bike, today and for years to come. If not Russell, then somebody else's seat solution- anything is better than stock. Sure, somebody out there will say the stocker works for them, and that is terrific, but you are in the minority. The truth is, the stock seat fails in the area of ergonomics.

Now if I could just get the snow and salt remnants to be washed away so I can go enjoy some long miles on my new seat!

Steve.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Photos starring just the Russell on my bike.

FYI- That's a Givi top box and Hepco Becker C-Bow hard cases. A nice package for lightweight touring and exploring.

Steve.
 

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Pictures of that butt on the seats are worth a thousand words! Not magic, just science. Properly support a larger area, comfort multiplies.
 

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I've only had my (heated!!!) Russel Day Long since mid November so I have only managed a bit over 5,000 km /3,000 miles. I haven't done any trips with it (damn winter!) with longest ride on it being a little 400km /250 mile round the block kind of Sunday ride.

It has been extremely comfortable for me! It is very supportive of my (now under) 240 lbs. I've very happy with it an would recommend them to anyone tall enough to use it.

..Tom
 

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I agree that OEM seats are definitely a form over function design. I also agree that many riders spend $1000's on farckles, but balk at the cost of a Russell, one of the only accessories that's used EVERY time the bike is ridden. It's hands down the best thing I've added to my bike as you can see in my signature.

Mine's the first V-Strom in the 3rd row with ocean background.

https://day-long.com/gallery/suzuki/
 

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I am sure some people get tired of me touting the Russell Day-Long seats. If you ride long distances you probably know what a poor seat can cause. I simply cannot justify spending money on Sargent, Corbin, other custom seats any longer. I have had most of them on a bike at one time or another. NONE have come close to the comfort of a Russell on long trips. If your butt hurts the morning of the second day on the road.....that trip is wasted in my opinion. Why suffer?

Expensive? Probably $4-500 for the more basic setup. Which is just as good as the expensive ones for comfort. If you ride more and enjoy it more, then the cost over the life of the bike is a lot less than buying a motel room each day at 3 pm because your ass hurts. Just commute an hour each way and take a 2-3 hour ride on weekends? About anything is ok for that. Do 800-1000 miles in one day. Then get on the bike for another 800 the second day... Well, there is the difference!
 

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Great photo's........Yep, hip bones cantilevered out there with nothing but air under them is a recipe for pain. The only fix is proper'support'.
 

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I've had Russell Day Long make several seats for my bikes, MG Norge, BMW R1150RT, BMW K1200LT, and Triumph Trophy. I've learned that if the stock seat is really uncomfortable then just go with the Russell DL right off the bat instead of buying pads, beads, or buying the OEM's "comfort seat" which usually isn't any more comfortable than the stock seat. Going right to the Russell DL usually saves me money in the long run. I will say although all my Russell DL seats were very comfortable compared to the stock seats, not all Russell DL seats are equally as comfortable. Best Russell DL was on my R1150RT, least comfortable was on myK1200LT. Another tip I will give when ordering a Russell DL is to not get leather and go with vinyl. I had a leather Russell DL seat on my MG Norge which after a couple of seasons looked a little worn. All the other Russell DL seats I had made in vinyl and the seats looked new after many years of use. Luckily the stock seat on the V-strom 650 is fairly comfortable to me so I probably wont be sending it to Russell DL.
 

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I did put a RDL on my BMW R1100R (skinny seat) but I had the BMW Comfort seat on my R1150RT from new. That seat was great for me and I sat my arse on it for 17 years.
I find the stock Suzuki seat OK, not bad really, but the SitnFly made it more comfortable.
 

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Yep, the RDL is one of the best farkles I put on my bike. I opted for the vinyl. However, 2 things:
1. When I first got the RDL I was riding using mesh Tourmaster pants. Lots of wind flow for the hot days out riding. Then one day I got tired of slipping on my FroggToggs after the rain already started getting me wet. I spent some more coin on the third best farkle and that was Klim Gortex clothing. (Second best farkle was the Werks clutch rebuild). Nice long zippers on the outside of each leg of the Klim pants for air flow, and the zipper is absolutely waterproof for those frog choking rains. BUT, now I need to ride with seat beads so that I get air flow under my butt and keep the perspiration away. Any of you other RDL seated riders finding the new saddle generates extra heat on your seat? I'm happy with the seat beads as a resolution, but I'm guessing the side wings are helping to reduce the air flow.

2. If I were to need another RDL, I would make sure to ask if they have multiple weights of fabric. My vinyl has a spot where it is coming apart. I claim it is inferior material that is delaminating. I sent them multiple close up photos. Russel claims it is a rub mark from my pants. Well, we agree to disagree. When I told them exactly which model pants I wear, and that they are smooooooth on the exterior, they kinda scratched their heads. They said that their heavier vinyl wouldn't do that if it were a rub. When I bought the seat years ago, there weren't any options for selecting the weight of the material. So if you remember, as you order, ask them if the fabric you are selecting comes in various weights. Pick the heavy one.

I'd buy another RDL if another bike I bought needed a long-distance seat. I haven't tried any other brands. But from the above discussion is this quote from realshelby...
Sargent, Corbin, other custom seats..... I have had most of them on a bike at one time or another. NONE have come close to the comfort of a Russell on long trips.
So what is it that makes such a difference?
 

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I'd say Russell has pretty good market share amongst people who buy Vstroms for the value equation of the bike. For what my 650 cost I don't mind getting it the way I want. That first photo of the stock seat with derriere on it reminds me how much I disliked that seat.
 

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I have a Seat Concepts seat and I can sit in this all day. Very comfortable and supports my butt. A hell of a lot cheaper than all the other brands but you do have to take off your old cover and foam an reattach the new foam and cover to the existing seat pan.
Mine was around $200 and it's worth every cent.
 

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So what is it that makes such a difference?
There are two things that make a difference in Russell seats that no one compares to.

First is the inner steel spring. NO ONE else has this. They make a support out of wood for each side and a flat spring ( something like you would see under a high quality couch ) is fixed to that. Foam is then built up in layers around and above the spring. Every other manufacturer just uses foam. Foam is fine....if it has a support structure under it. If it does not, it has to be compromised in shape and density to not sag down too much. This matters why? Because the seat absorbs heat from you body, engine, and ambient temps. That is why some seats start out comfy, but after a couple three hours they seem to "bottom out" and you can feel that in your tailbone right away.

Second is the shape, specifically the width of the Russell seat. Some will claim they won't ride on one because it looks like a tractor seat, some say you cannot move on them to drag your knee in the turns. First, I don't drag my knee on the street yet I can hang my fat ass off the seat plenty to help lean angle. But, I digress. The width of the seat FULLY supports your hip joint and the meat around it. Fully. And that is all the difference. Like stated above, anyone can make the foam wide, but you must provide support under it. That is why most every other seat maker is simply NOT as wide as a Russell. They cannot support the foam much out wider than the factory seat pan. Now this width can make it harder for your feet to touch at a stop, but if you learn to scoot all the way forward that helps. There are compromises with every seat.

Material? I have had several in leather and several in vinyl. NEVER order leather sides!!! It cracks/wrinkles too much. Vinyl sides and leather seating is my personal favorite. BUT...if I wasn't afraid I of it I would love to try one with the Sunbrella fabric seating surface!
 

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I had a RDL on my 2005 650. I bought it second hand from a man who was similar shape/size to me but it was not custom made specific for me. That seat was AMAZING, I can only imagine what one custom made would have been like! However, if you do any kind of offroad/gravel riding you do not want an RDL and that's why I don't have one on my 2018 as much as i'd love one.

I have the seat concepts now and it's nowhere near as good for comfort. If the stock seat is a 1 and the RDL is a 10, the Seat Concepts is a 5. I make do with it though, and it's starting to get even better now that I have some mileage on it, the Seat concepts take a long time to break in.

With the RDL, it sits up a lot higher so you may also want to do handlebar risers and a taller windscreen.
 

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I got my Russell about 13 months ago which is 55,000 km / 34,000 miles ago. In that time I headed down to the V-Strom meet and on the way back did a 1,600 km ride/ (almost) 1,000 mile ride. I did a trip across the USA to Salt Lake City then to Vancouver Canada and back to Toronto. Lot of days slabbing doing 1,000 to 1,200 km (600 to 750 mile) often back to back days with no thoughts of my butt at all. Many "round the block" Sunday rides where I would do 400 to 600 km (250 to 400 mile) and never give it a second thought.

Super comfy! I am sure whatever my next bike will be it will have a Russell Day Long!

..Tom
 

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I always tell people that if my V-Strom fell off a cliff I'd climb down to get the Russell, then buy another bike to put underneath it.
 
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