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#38893 - 08/23/05 10:30 PM Aftermarket seat review for R1200RT
Bugs Offline
Member

Registered: 01/18/05
Posts: 195
Loc: Washington, U.S.A
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.

Purchase process:
- 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.

Product:
-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!



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#38894 - 08/24/05 01:20 AM Re: Aftermarket seat review for R1200RT [Re: Bugs]
BamaRider Offline
Member

Registered: 05/16/01
Posts: 1080
Loc: Prattville, Ala
I've bought 2 Roadcrafters from Duluth. Both were customed made. The first unit (1 piece) took almost 3 months, but the factory advised at the time of order, they were behind, and had no idea when they could get the suit to me. I said I was in no hurry, and placed the order, and forgot about it for 3 months. My credit card was NOT charged till the unit shipped. I was 100% pleased with the unit.

A few years later I odered the 2 piece. Duluth told me 3 weeks, and the unit shipped in 2. Again 100% satisfied.

Thanks for the heads up on RDL. If I pay that much for a seat, I don't want ANY butt burn and I don't care if its a 12 hour ride. Otherwise I just stick with the stock seat which so far has been no better or worse than anything else. But heck, I seldom ride tank to tank anyway. I mean, whats the hurry?




Edited by BamaRider (08/24/05 01:23 AM)
_________________________
Guy
2004 ST 1300 ABS Pearl Blue
2005 1200 RT Red
www.bamarider.com

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#38895 - 08/24/05 02:26 PM Re: Aftermarket seat review for R1200RT [Re: BamaRider]
Mike Offline

Administrator
Member

Registered: 07/19/00
Posts: 9646
Loc: Chicago area, IL, USA
Thanks for the review. I've heard nothing butt () praise for the Day-Long's comfort. I'll definitely shop them next time around, but it's good to be made aware that their customer service may not be up to snuff.

Regarding Aerostich, their customer service is nothing short of outstanding. As BamaRider said, they may occasionally get buried by orders, but they are absolutely up-front about what your waiting time will be.
_________________________
Mike the Moderator
R1200ST

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#38896 - 08/28/05 12:23 AM Re: Aftermarket seat review for R1200RT [Re: Mike]
KMG_365 Offline
LeftSpin
Member

Registered: 09/10/02
Posts: 8142
Loc: San Diego, CA
Not to say that their customer service isn't up to snuff, but in the year of--nay even the month before an Iron Butt Rally:
Quote:

Placed my order in July for an August 2nd production date.



If others are shopping for a RDL, I would wait until the off season to try to get a rush job on a custom seat. I called in July of 2002 and got a lead time of 6 weeks. We placed ours in October and had the seats in two weeks. There's been a lot of personnel changes at RDL over the years. The company who bought RDL from Russel also does boat canvas stuff and they draw from a very limited labor pool. We've got 90,000 miles (on mine) and 60,000 miles on Les' including many IBA rides. They're just now starting to feel like they could use a re-build. Fore-warned is fore-armed and YMMV!
_________________________
Cool_Jamie "KMG_365"
"Dry-Town" Crew, San Diego
"Maynard" "the Krebs Cycle" '03 R1150RT, black

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#38897 - 08/29/05 11:19 AM Re: Aftermarket seat review for R1200RT [Re: Bugs]
Tasker Offline
Member

Registered: 10/15/02
Posts: 3473
Loc: Indianapolis, IN, USA, Earth
If others are shopping for a RDL, I would wait until the off season to try to get a rush job on a custom seat.

Good advice, especially when you are ordering anything that will keep you from riding. I had mine built over the winter, so their less-than-fast service wasn't a big deal.

The last RDL seat I had was on my '02 RT, which replaced the stock seat. On the stock seat, I was good for about 125 miles before I HAD to get off the bike.

With the RDL seat, I could have ridden all day without a stop, if that was possible. I loved the comfort!

I also had the same issue with losing the ability to flat-foot the RT, and wound up having to drop to one foot at stops. Once I got used to it, it wasn't a big deal.

I've also heard that if the seat isn't right, they will make it right, so I would call them with your concerns.

Their quality is good, but their service is slow and over-promised.
_________________________
Perseverance is genius in disguise...

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#38898 - 08/29/05 01:26 PM Re: Aftermarket seat review for R1200RT [Re: Tasker]
jimswms Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/05
Posts: 340
Loc: Providence, RI
still breaking in my Rick Mayer seat, but, was amazed at the high level of customer service I've received. Whether it be an email from an employee or Rick himself. I even asked to change the production date to accomodate my change in schedule and that was not an issue. They worked around me.

So far the seat is good. I wouldn't say great (yet), but good. I've got about 700 miles on it, and find pressure points here and there that come and go. I can only think that they are part of the break in.

So far so good. I would definitely recommend a RM. As for looks, it is a really beautiful thing to look at. It has enhanced the aesthetics of my bike for sure.

As always, your mileage may vary,
Jim

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#38899 - 08/29/05 03:12 PM Re: Aftermarket seat review for R1200RT [Re: jimswms]
RYOUNG Offline
Member

Registered: 12/24/02
Posts: 70
Loc: K.C.,MO.
I know it doesn't make things better, but with what I have read here on the site about taking so long or people not receiving their seat when promised, I have made sure that I've had another seat to ride on before I send my pan out.It seems the time goes so fast if your not on a deadline. I just mailed the seat for my FJR last friday. This will be my 3rd Russell, I had one on my RT and also still have the one on my Ultra-Classic HD. My butt loves the Russell. I've thought for years I had a problem of some sort, but this seat really works well for me. I wouldn't have anything else when it comes to touring.
_________________________
Roy Young
Kansas City, Mo.
'12 R1200RT

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#38900 - 08/29/05 10:20 PM Re: Aftermarket seat review for R1200RT [Re: RYOUNG]
KMG_365 Offline
LeftSpin
Member

Registered: 09/10/02
Posts: 8142
Loc: San Diego, CA
Ditto that. When I bought my bike I negotiated an extra seat just so I wouldn't have to be without it for 2-4 weeks!
_________________________
Cool_Jamie "KMG_365"
"Dry-Town" Crew, San Diego
"Maynard" "the Krebs Cycle" '03 R1150RT, black

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