Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown
Representing the 99%!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Who's There? Custom Corbin Seat Review By Lucky Devil

Photos © Corbin Motorcycle Seats
Some reviews are just too good to be left hidden on independent forums. This happens to be one of them. Having owned a Corbin seat for my Suzuki Intruder 1400, I have nothing but praise for them as a product. Lucky Devil, a senior member on the Yamaha FZ 09 Forum has one over me when he decided to ride down to Corbin and have his seat custom made in person! As you know, 99% of OEM motorcycles seats are nothing more than after thoughts for manufacturers. Thankfully, there are companies like Corbin, Mustang and Sargent that cater to our rear ends and help make motorcycling all the more enjoyable. As I continue to struggle with my decision as to which bike to buy, reviews like this help simplify things. Cue Lucky Devil's review...

Seat Manufacturing


Photo © Lucky Devil
I rode out to the Corbin factory a few weeks ago and had a custom seat made. Since then, I've logged about 1,300 miles on the new seat, so it's "officially" broken in according to Corbin (they say it takes 1k miles to break in one of their seats).  The Corbin Factory was very nice, and the employees were all pleasant and professional. There's a restaurant and a comfortable area where you can sit while you wait for your seat to be made from your exact measurements.


Photo © Lucky Devil
Julio was my assigned Seat Wizard. Super cool guy who rides an R1 btw. A seat "Wizard" looks at you on your bike, makes suggestions, takes direction, makes the requested changes, and brings the pan and foam back and forth several times until you’re happy with the fit and feel. They also insist that you take your bike out and ride it for a while in between the tweaks and changes, just to make sure everything is exactly right. Only then do they move forward with making the upholstery pattern and pass the seat off to be upholstered. They do not charge you anything extra for the ride-in, custom seat service.

Fit & Finish


Photo © Lucky Devil
The first thing I noticed is that it fits very snugly on the bike. There's no slop or wide gaps like there was with the stock seat. When it was fresh from the factory, it was actually a bit challenging to get the seat on and off. I had to lean in and push down with all of my weight on the rear of the seat to get the key to be able to turn and unlatch the seat. I had to push equally as hard to get it back on. Now that it has been on the bike a while, the round rubber pads that support the seat on the frame have broken in and it pops on and off much easier.

Photo © Lucky Devil
The materials are top notch, but this is something Corbin is known for. Unlike most, if not all, aftermarket seats which are covered entirely in vinyl, the seat portion of all Corbin seats is covered in leather... which breathes. I've found that this fact keeps my butt from sweating as much, and it doesn't seem to get as hot as vinyl when the bike has been sitting in the sun. Also, as a nice touch, the portion at the front of the seat that contacts the gas tank is covered in a very soft leather.



The Finished Product!
Photo © Lucky Devil
Photo © Lucky Devil
Photo © Lucky Devil
Now for the nit-picky stuff... There's a thin piece of plastic between the upholstery and seat foam. It's probably there as a protective later, but when you push down on the foam you can hear it crinkling (like a plastic bag).

Heres a Pic of it Peeking Out!
Photo © Lucky Devil
Anyway, that material is causing a weird FLA (Fat Ladies Ass) affect on the way the vinyl sits on the rear "hump" portion of the seat. You can only see it when the light hits it a certain way. I tried to take a picture, but again, it's very hard to see. Looks a little lumpy. I haven't decided if it bothers me enough to take it back and have it addressed. But I probably will.

Photo © Lucky Devil

Comfort


Photo © Lucky Devil
Honestly, this part can be tricky because it's really subjective. I've had Corbin saddles before, so I knew what to expect. The Comfort Cell foam they use is firm and supportive. The Corbin seat on my FZ6 is well worn at 70k miles, so I had forgotten how hard a Corbin seat feels at first before they mold to your butt. There are no hot spots with the Corbin, and though the initial comfort level is somewhat less than a stock saddle, after breaking it in it’s very comfortable. And since the foam doesn't break down, you’re going to have this seat until the vinyl or leather rips with little to no change in comfort level. If the vinyl or leather ever rips, you can send it in and have it recovered... nothing else needs replacement... ever... and everything but the upholstery is warranted for the original owner for life.

Photo © Lucky Devil
Another feature (or flaw, depending on your philosophy on adding weight to the bike) of Corbin seats is its broad, supportive seat pan. The base of the seat is made with stiff, heavy Fibertech plastic. It adds weight to the bike (as well as a touch of seat height), but it allows the seat to be wider, and cradles your buns nicely. I also noticed that the new seat pan doesn't have the weird curve at the front that allows you to see past the frame and into the innards of the bike and the base of the gas tank. The pan is also wider where your thighs sit, which forces your legs out further when putting your foot down and may be a problem for those that have a conservative inseam.

Photo © Lucky Devil
I rode down to LA from SF, which was a little over 450 miles and about 8 hours with stopping for gas and meals. I never felt any hot spots, but I did start shifting my weight and feeling a little uncomfortable around 400 miles in. While I was down there I rode Angeles Crest Hwy and noticed that the way the thigh area of the seat had changed (discussed above) forced my thighs out and away from the side of the tank and it felt like I was having to put more effort into getting a good grip on my tech-spec tank pads. The ride back to SF from LA, I started getting uncomfortable earlier, about 300 miles in... even though the seat was broken in more. But, that was a fairly unpleasant slog in general. I was riding into a really strong headwind that was beating me up and blowing me all over the place, so I was pretty miserable... which probably didn't help my feeling like I wanted to get off the bike ASAP.

All in all I'm completely satisfied with the seat and would spend the $493 again in a heartbeat. There's no way I would have even considered making that trip to LA on the stock seat. I'm probably going to update this as other things come to mind, but at the moment I'm tired of sitting at a computer... so I'm going to tentatively say: The End

19 comments:

  1. Bikes2NV.com

    affordable custom made seat.

    http://www.bikes2nv.com/custom_seats.asp

    spokeschick

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm toying with the idea, but it's not a certainty. I need tires and all the other usual maintenance items, and I still put a new seat in the extravagance category. In fact I believe a Garmin Zumo will come first.

    jonnycando

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  3. The problem with corbin is it isn't any better than any other off the rack seat that you pay CUSTOM built pricing for. Mustang also comes to mind.
    If you are going to pay for a seat have one built by Russell day long or rick meyer or any number of any custom builders who warrant their saddles, and GUARANTEE their comfort. Surprisingly a custom built seat costs no more than these off the rack seats and I can say from experience that they DO deliver on their guarantee.

    tbeck

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  4. Got a Mustang seat for the 1500. Love it.

    EAZY RYDER

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  5. Best seat of over 30 the stock seats of my 2001 Nomad.

    Paul

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  6. My bike had a Corbin on it when I bought it. I gave myself a vasectomy the first time I jumped on it.

    I hated it and traded it for a stock 1500 seat.

    franktiregod

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think of all the money you saved as a result!

      Delete
  7. i can ride 600 miles in one day on my stock seat.....no probs. pussies.

    Ninjato

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I prefer my stock seat over the Corbin my bike had on it. I think riding on a concrete block would have been the same as that seat.

      franktiregod

      Delete
    2. I Guess "size" does matter after all.. Just Kidding!

      Delete
  8. LOL, i enjoyed the lightheartedness of the writing.

    steveinsandiego

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I am sure Lucky Devil will love to hear that!... I think?

      Delete
  9. I had a Corbin Gun Fighter seat on my 99 Intruder. Excellent Seat, I like it a lot. And I really like how you can custom order it with any color leather and stitching / trim etc...

    JFL Live

    ReplyDelete
  10. Maybe I just have a really fat ass, I dunno. Personally I found the Corbin seat to be perfect straight out of the box. Being a pussy when it comes to saddle comfort (My H-D Nightster OEM Seat Raped Me, I've been sensitive ever since) I like to spoil myself with a good saddle as a result. I also tried Mustang (On my Nightster) which I also really enjoyed. Never heard of Sargent though...

    ReplyDelete
  11. There are Corbin shaped asses and there are Mustang shaped asses...The expertise lies in knowing which one you have...................Me? Mustang all the way!

    Frodo

    ReplyDelete
  12. Would cost me over $800 for an off the rack Corbin. A custom seat built to my height/weight, inseam, etc.. as well as my wife's build specs only cost $650 w/shipping. I've ridden consecutive days in excess of 750 miles without any discomfort, and oddly the damn thing gets more comfy with each ride. And most custom seat makers will stitch whatever patterns/designs you want, BUT most will advise that the more stitching, the more likely it is that the seat will absorb water.

    ps... I also put a Mustang on my LC, and it was more comfortable than stock. However anything would be an improvement over the oem seat.

    tbeck

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  13. Corbins are great seats. Had one years ago on a nighthawk.

    Jerry D Huey

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  14. Seat' are looking very nice....

    ReplyDelete
  15. The only way to buy a Corbin seat is to go to a factory outlet such as in Hollister. They customise your seat to your but with any of the optional materials they have available. Stitching and leather is all yours to select. They won't let you leave until you are satisfied. I rode from Vernon, BC to Hollister. First in by actually opening the garage rollup door and the last to leave. My '06 Vmax was complicated so it took a while to get it right. Had a backrest pad made while I was at it.

    The foam they use on the carbin fibre frame is stiff and overlaid with memory foam. They carve it out until you like the fit. It takes 1500 miles to break it in but it is worth it. I took off from Corbin bee lining it to Chicago and up into Ontario Canada. Visited friends and family and headed back to Vernon, BC. With the seat broke in, I traveled from Orillia Ontario to Thunder Bay going tank to tank. Almost 800 miles sitting on a hot rod bike. Try that with a Mustang seat or stock seat. After an hour they all collapse losing their rigidity and you feel like you are riding on the frame once again.

    ReplyDelete