How can a "firmer" seat be more comfortable? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-19-2008, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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How can a "firmer" seat be more comfortable?

Well, I've tried the Alaska pad for a couple of weeks with no really noticable improvement. A couple of guys at work tell me that Corbin is the way to go but I just can't understand how a harder/firmer seat is better than a soft one. Is it the shape? When I was younger I heard people say that a firm mattress was good for a bad back and that turned out to be a crock. If someone knows how this works please share the knowlege. I've emailed Corbin but haven't heard back yet.

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post #2 of 9 Old 09-19-2008, 09:37 AM
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It's totally the shape... Had a Corbin on my CBR600... The stock one had more padding but was shaped completely wrong. The Corbin had almost no padding, but was shaped properly. I tore the OEM seat off two weeks after I got the bike. Didn't put it back on until the day I sold it.

I could sit on that Corbin all day. Couldn't stand the OEM seat for more than about 20 minutes. It's all about the shape.

-Joe
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-19-2008, 09:57 AM
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The Corbin is a completely different shape so your weight is spread over a MUCH larger area of cushion. Not getting real scientific about it but I'd have to guess the pounds per square inch of seating area contacted are much lower with the Corbin. They do "break in" to a given butt to some extent also.

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post #4 of 9 Old 09-19-2008, 11:08 AM
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I just replaced my stocker with the Gel seat. It's much firmer, but also wider, and the "pocket" for lack of a better term where your butt's located has a better shape and less soft padding, more firm padding.

To me the stock seat feels great when you first get on the bike, and annoying over time. No real ability to shift weight compared to the firmer Gel seat.

Without knowing the results of any of this, the gel was a cheap upgrade compared to the Corbin or Sargent, etc ($170 -vs- $400).

I now have a spare seat pan to have tailored if the gel does not work out.

[SIZE="1"]SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES - NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING, BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS.[/SIZE]
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-19-2008, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowoldfart View Post
I've emailed Corbin but haven't heard back yet.
Don't hold your breath. My experience with Corbin was that their customer service was horrible.

Of course they don't have your money yet so you may hear back from them.

Go hang a salami I'm a lasagna hog

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post #6 of 9 Old 09-19-2008, 11:37 AM
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Firmer is alway more supportive. I worked in bicycle shops for years, most people wouldn't believe that a smaller firmer saddle would be more comforatable than a big fat gel on for extened rides, but it's 100% true.

If a seat it the right shape for you body and firm but not hard it will be much more supportive. It takes a little time to break in the firmer foam, but once it is your butt's shape become inprinted on the seat.

With a soft and cushy seat there's much less support because the softer foam is flexable enough that it compresses significantly more under pressure points causing discomfort and hot spots.

If you are going to spend $400 or so on an aftermarket seat I'd invest that money into a custom seat that's made for you and you can have adusted over time. My custom seat only cost me $575, not much more than an aftermarket seat. Any modifications to the seat in the first year were included int he price of the seat.

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post #7 of 9 Old 09-19-2008, 12:59 PM
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+1 on Brianjonesphoto response. A tractor seat, the old time sculpted one is something you can sit in for hours, without any cushions at all.

I took my stock seat from a 1 hour seat to a 3 hour seat easily. My neighbour is a professional upholsterer and furniture maker. Also does restorative work (upholstery) on old cars, boats etc and has made recovered several seasts fro cruiser riders. When I mentioned to him about my seat - he said for $20, what it would cost him, he'd make me a better seat than I could buy for $100s.

Here's how we did it.

I sat on bike, on it's centre stand, just in jeans, no riding pants and he looked at the areas where my thighs touched the sides, and where my ample butt rested against the rear. Taking those two measurements and marking the areas with chalk (first on cover, then underneath the seat pan), he took the stock cover off, the stock foam, and placed a 1-1/4" piece of hard memory foam under the drivers seat. He also took 3/4" off the rise at the rear - essentially lengthening the driver portion of the seat a bit. He also tapered the hard foam down about 1/2" on sides towards front where my thights rested.

We put the hard foam down first, then the stock, untouched foam on top and we had enough slack in the stock seat to stretch comfortably and reattach.

According to Vicenzo....soft foam compresses too hard, but since it's first, it spreads more load out over the hard foam, which compresses as well. The result is a smoothing out of the pressure points I would get when my 260lb bulk compresses only the stock foam.

All I know is it works and cost me $20 buck I now ride comfortably for 2.5-3 hours, which is the limit I would ride anyway without a stretch. The key point is when I get back on - it's like getting on the first time, you don't immediately feel any discomfort starting up. The only hared part about this is that the staples go straight into plastic - don't try a hand-tacker stapler to reattach - use an air driven one.

$20 solution, $1,000,000 friend

Safe rides
Bob

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but desperation is it's father........... (Bell)

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post #8 of 9 Old 09-19-2008, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bisbonian View Post
Don't hold your breath. My experience with Corbin was that their customer service was horrible.

Of course they don't have your money yet so you may hear back from them.
Oneidasusuki used to sell Corbin. I had one in online shopping cart, I went to pay, and received a message stating they no longer sell Corbin seats due to improper fit on the Strom's.

It was enough to scare me off.

[SIZE="1"]SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES - NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING, BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS.[/SIZE]
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-19-2008, 02:26 PM
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Nobody can say what the best firmness is for your butt. No firmess, shape or aftermarket seat, or combination of all these, fits all folks. Butts are just too different.

Me for instance, I know the Suzuki Gel seat and the Sargent seat are loved by many. But they casue me great pain. Both are WAAAAY too hard for me among other problems with the seats. My 'sits bones' (parts of the pelvis we all sit on) take a beating from foam that is too hard. Others love those seats.

The Corbin is no different. It will make many riders happy but no seat has a chance in hell of making every rider comfortable.

If you can, sit on one or test ride it before ordering one.

Good luck with your seat.

Cory
07 DL650A
Pleasanton CA
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