Monday, May 30, 2011

Product Review: Corbin Seat BMW R1200GS

This is not an objective product review. This is me raving about my new seat. If you are looking for a carefully thought out comparison of after market saddle options for your motorcycling gone. But if you are unhappy with your stock seat and are leaning towards a Corbin, let me gush on.

I'll start by stating the obvious, BMW stock seats suck.
It was probably a mistake not to order a Corbin for the GT, but I've never felt committed to this bike and did not want to invest in it.
With its stock seat, the K12 was my 4 hour bike, if the ride was under 4 hours, I could consider taking it. Anything more and I'd be downing the Advil and cursing under my breath.

In anticipation of not liking a stock seat, I ordered leather samples two minutes after I'd made the downpayment.
Corbin Samples
Customer service at Corbin was good, and the samples were here before I'd picked up the bike. Blue Alligator leather proved to look too tacky for a GS.

The low seat option that came on the R1200GS was a problem right out of the gate for me. My 32 inch inseam and I did not need a lowered bike. I had a knot in my neck the size of Pennsylvania for most of my trip home. Looking at the Killboy shots, I can see the ergo problems, my wrist is higher than my elbow, everything scrunched up.
New Ride - Tail of the Dragon

I was lucky to find a rider willing to loan me his regular seat. This helped the sore neck issue, but did nothing for the numb buns.
N. New England TOR

Be warned: Corbin does not reuse your seat pan. This seat does not adjust. It is fixed. I did not know this ahead of time.

The seat came in almost 2 weeks ahead of expectations.
Sweet site to find this on the door step!
ooooh the Corbin is in

The difference in look between the Corbin and stock is striking. Seen here resting on my tent as it dries out on the garage floor.

Corbin vs Stock BMW Seat

I was a little worried, this looked nothing like the other Corbin's I've known and loved. It looks like a bench seat when I was expecting more of a bucket.

This winter I had a leather "cap" put on the 24 year old K75's Corbin - the front was separating, and held together with tape for about 5 years. Ok, so sometimes I'm slow to put money into the bikes. A local auto upholsterer did nice work on this.
K75 Seat Fix

I'm not sure how it happened, but in the month that I've had the GS, I've put close to 4,000 miles on it. The last 750, a little piece of heaven with the new seat.
Corbin Seats...makes the day easy

It is recommended that you break in the seat over 1,000 miles. Does this mean it's going to be even more comfortable? The biggest difference to the stock seat is the width. Clearly your weight is spread out more, as your thighs get into the act taking on some weight. I notice the width when I put both feet down at a stop. If you are heavy of thigh or short on inseam, you may find this a negative point.

Saturday I had the opportunity to put it to a real test. I rode up to the North Country in Maine to collect the ADV North American tag. 12 hours in the saddle. Almost no fidgeting. Happy Days!
Adventure Bike

I was so pleased the saddle came in early as I leave for a 1,500+ mile trip to Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia this week. My only concern now is how the days of rain will effect the beautiful soft leather. I'm sure it will survive. All the others have.

If you are struggling with seat comfort, do yourself a favor and put some money into an after market.


PrettyGraphic Design said...

Nice write up... Was there mention of sealing the seams?
Did they include a rain cover for it?

...and yes... It will get even more comfy as it takes on your 'shape'...

Roger said...

THats Awesome...I might have to look at doing some thing like that also, the sprint can be a bit hard!

Guido said...

Interesting write up. I don't like the looks of the Corbin all too much, but hey, my butt doesn't have eyes ...

On the other hand - I have not much trouble riding 10 hour days on the stock (standard height) saddle. Most of my trouble comes from the Ralley II jacket being too long and sitting on it sometimes or always shifting around to not sit on it. If that's solved, I'm a happy camper with the stock seat, maybe a sheepskin ...