Rick Mayer seat on the dl650
I rode my dl650 to Rick Mayer's on friday, had him do the seat on Saturday and rode it back, approx. 420 miles of Interstate 5 each way.
On arrival at Mayer's he had me sit on the bike, took a photos, did some measuring and ask for my input about the seat. He then strips the cover and cuts the stock foam where he will be adding hiw own foam.
Unlike some I've seen he uses at least three different types of foam making the seat including a 'pudgee' foam in the seating area which is a type used in hospitals and is almost like a gel pad in consistency.
Once the foam is on, he does some shaping with a knife not unlike an electric carving knife, then shapes it with a rotary grinder. Once shaped he makes the cover, puts the seat on the bike and lays the cover on so it can be ridden and then adjusted as needed.
In my case I felt it was a bit tight in the crotch, so he reshaped that a bit and made a couple of other minor adjustments and then I rode it again. I felt it was right so the put the cover on and we were done. Total time was approx. 2 hours.
I had to ride straight back home and to be in by dark meant minimal stops, I stopped once long enough to put gas in, once for lunch for about half an hour and one more time for gas and a coke. I found the seat excellent, never bothered me or left any sore spots at all so i have to say it is at least as good as any of the other three custom saddles I've had done and I actually like it a bit better than the Bill
Mayer saddle I had on my R1150GS which was very good indeed.
The strom did the mileage with no problem. I hate Interstates but I would say that if I must do them I would prefer to be on a bike that entertains me a bit more with its personality, in my case my HD or even my SV1000. This can't be considered a criticism per se, the Strom is quite smooth even though at a GPS measured 70 mph (76 mph according to the speedo) its turning about 5500 rpm. In being as capable of an all arounder kind of bike as it is, I think the Strom just naturally has to not have as blustery a personality as some bikes have. Others will disagree of course and thats what makes motorcycling.
I should also note that the MRA Vario screen ddoes a quite good job of eliminating the buffeting I was experiencing at 65 mph and above. It still allows for a fair amount of wind noise, especially if there are cross winds but I think it is tolerable with ear plugs and about what one might expect given the relatively small size of the MRA product.
Finally, I noticed a small drop in fuel mileage on this trip. I ran approx. 70-75 mph as much as possible (measured by gps) and found mileage ran from 43-46 mpg. Previously I had been seeing about 47-48. I suspect with the gearing having the engine spin as fast as it does at sustained higher speeds thats just how it is, a fair trade off in my book considering that the gearing is really pretty much spot on and 6th gear is quite useful, rather than an overdrive as you see on some other machines.
Overall, it continues to impress me as quite competent for the role of back road tour bike and one that could be pressed into service as a long distance tourer if need be. Very few machines that can approach this level of versatility, none for the price Suzuki sells them for.