02 March 2010
All very nice but not what I was looking for. Over on ADV Rider and the UKGSer forums, there are lots of posts on custom jobs and local guys who work miracles with memory foam.
I decided to take the easy way out with an off-the-shelf saddle from Touratech.
It's not a cheap option, but hey its the bumblebee's birthday. And it's certainly the easiest option, I don't have to send my original seat away or wait while someone attacks the foam with a carving knife. I made the decision for the TT seat based on the principle that if I don't like it, I can sell it and revert to the stock seat...this isn't possibly if Freddies Foam Fitters have hacked it up. (Although in fairness you can probably buy a brand new BMW replacement seat for half the price of the TT seat...). But the TT seat is the only one with a breathable option.
Now THAT sounds like a cure for Monkey Butt!
Anyway, the seat arrived today so I thought I would share some pix. This is the Touratech Breathable Standard seat, about $800 Singapore dollars.
Notice that the TT seat (on the left) has a distinct step to it, creating a flatter area of support for both rider and pillion. The BMW is more of a Nike swoosh.
The TT seat is marginally wider at the rider seat/ass interface. But definately flatter on account of the stepped design.
Off the bike, it seems that the very lowest point of the seat is comparable to the BMW seat, but in all other respects it is higher. Remember, this is the Standard seat from TT.
Yes, there is a BMW seat alongside.
Here you can see how much higher the TT seat is.
The front portion is some faux leather affair, I guess for the hardwearing crotch zipper area. The remainder of the seat is a breathable goretex that TT claims allows air to circulate inside the seat.
The underside of the seat is identical to the OEM seat, including the spaces for tools and first aid kit, but minus all the disclaimer stickers.
What is interesting to note, that the stepped design of the seat is not the same as that shown on the website. Something isn't matching here.
Notice that the TT website picture are all more 'swooshy' like the original BMW seat. There is no labelling on my seat, but given the height of it, it's certainly not a low seat.
Previously I could just about get both feet flat (I am 5'10" and 32" inseam, in jeans at least). Now I can't quite manage that, but can comfortably get both balls (of my feet) down. On the way home I noticed I adopted my usual right foot down position, fully flat and my bum had to shift sideways to achieve that.
So how does it perform?
Erm, well you'll have to wait for an update on that...only rode it 3km home so far, but a 800km jaunt to Kuala Lumpur planned over the next couple of weeks.
Whatever the verdict, I can bet it will be better than the 1cm of 'padding' my mate has on his SuperDuke R. At least after 300km I can still walk ;)
But for my next trip, just in case, I'll be taking a large tin of this...
UPDATE - Post ride
I did 1200km over three days through the mountains of Malaysia in temperatures ranging from around 25 celciues to 26 celcius.
I have got to say that the TT standard breathable seat is a million miles better than stock, as far as my own ass is concerned. Comfort level is vastly improved with a broader, flatter base to move around on. The front is narrow enough when you need to get up on the pegs, and if you really want to move around and have long enough arms you can sit right back on the pillion ridge.
Although the seat is standard, it is definately taller than than stock and I can't flat foot both feet any longer. It also take my head up into the air stream a bit more, but nothing uncomfortable for me.
It's the heat and sweat that kills me out here, and the back of my thighs get uncomfortable where they meet with the seat. Prickly Heat powder helps some, but after 4 hours or so its pretty noticeable and uncomfortable. Would like to hear if other riders in this kind of heat/humidity get the same problem?!