After reading many positive reviews on this site for the Russell Day Long (RDL) seat, and after reading through the testimonials on their website, I decided to have them build a seat for my R1200RT. My review is not likely one you'll find on their website, but it is one you may want to consider if you're in the market for a seat more comfortable than the stock R12RT seat.
- Placed my order in July for an August 2nd production date. I also made it clear before placing my order that I had a big ride scheduled for August 20th, and wanted to make sure I'd have my seat back before then or I would delay my purchase until after the ride. I was assured that I would have it well before the 20th, and that they would likely have it delivered to me a full week before so I could get a few short rides in before the long trip. I was told to call back on the 10th to see how things were going.
-Called back on the 10th. Learned they had taken my seat apart in prep for the seat builders, but that there were several customers ahead of me, and that they were 2+ weeks behind in their schedule. They said they'd likely have my seat to me on the 15th or, at the latest, the 16th. I reminded them that I had a group ride scheduled for the 20th. They said they would bump my seat up in the priority and that they may be able to ship it to me by the end of the week.
-end of the week comes, no seat, no call. Monday comes. No seat, no call. Tuesday comes, no seat, no call. Wednesday comes, I call them at 4:27 p.m. with a 30 second question. No answer - they "close" at 4:30. Thursday comes, and they answer the phone this time. I'm told they have my seat done - 16 days after the scheduled production date and that it will ship out that day. If I want to pay an extra $90, they will ship it FedX and guarantee it is delivered on Friday (the day before my trip). I'm told that they will ship it US Express (not guaranteed overnight) at no extra charge (they already tack extra fees for shipping on to the price of the seat)and that it will definately be in my local post office on Friday (although, I may have to go by the PO to get them to release it to me, because they may not deliver until Saturday). I take the risk. I call the PO on Friday an hour before they close - they don't have my package. My wife and I miss our 3-day ride with friends.
-Saturday my package arrives. When I ordered my seat, I also ordered a rain cover. The invoice indicates I've been charged for the seat, raincover, and shipping, but the package contains no rain cover.
-On the Russell Day Long website it indicates that one can have a seat built for them on the spot if they are willing to pay an extra fee... if my memory serves me correctly, it's somewhere in the neighborhood of, oh, $90.
-Did aprox. 250 miles on Monday.
-I'm 6'1", with a 35 inch inseam. With the stock seat, I as able to easily flat-foot while seated comfortably. With my new RDL, I can no longer flat foot without sliding out of and forward of the "saddle" and pushing up against the tank.
-The RDL is wider than the stock seat where one's butt is also wider. According the the RDL website, this is one of the features that improves the comfort of their seat over the stock seat - made sense to me. However, in addition to making it impossible for me to flat foot the bike while positioned in that part of the seat, it drives my shins into the backward-pointing bend in the lower fairing if I try to tip toe it, and it puts pressure on my hamstrings (this was bearable and I hope it will go away in time). I'm guessing that those with shorter legs won't have this problem.
-Leather - Having bought one after-market seat before, and having seen a number of them on bikes at the local dealers, I was a bit surprised to see the leather they used on the seat. It was soft. Really soft. Kinda like the leather you might have on a leather seat in your living room rather than on a bike seat that was going to be subject to lots of abuse in various forms. But, time will tell how durable it actually is.
- Cushion - very soft. Just this side of mushy. Again, not what I expected. And, not what I was hoping for. I expected something supportive and firm.
- Performance - butt didn't start hurting until about 100 miles of non-stop riding. This is about 40% longer than any other (stock or one other after-market) seat I've owned. Some on the RDL website and some on this site have reported even better results.
Would I buy the seat if I had to do it all over again? Maybe. I'd check out a few other options first, however, and I certainly wouldn't trust RDL to get it to me when they promised it. This is why I prefer to buy things I can see and touch first! I haven't had much luck buying things over via mail... and I've had my eye on an Aerostitch, which appears to only be available via mail order!