Women Riders

A New Saddle for Your Ride

Written by  January 31, 2005

Hi Goldie,
I would like to change out the stock seat on my HD Heritage Softail with an after-market seat and need some advice on selection process. Thanks, and I enjoy your column for women riders.

Kristi S.

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Hi Kristi,
Wow! Your question is hard because you have so many choices in seat selections. I can’t tell you what brand to purchase because only you can decide that. But I can share some suggestions with you that might make the buying process a little easier.

The companies I list have a great selection of top quality seats, solid reputations for innovation and warranty, and make seats for about every model of bike out there. In talking with others about how a seat should fit, it seems the current seat philosophy is towards newer, more exciting, and stiffer foams than past years. You will be the judge on how it feels to you, whether it is too hard or too soft. Do you want to sit “on” the seat or “in” the seat? Do you want a certain look; sporty, stylish, exotic or custom? I would suggest going to rallies and visiting all the vendors selling seats. This will give you the opportunity to test all of them by sitting on them, ask questions of the sales people and compare prices. Then, if you have your bike and find the perfect seat you can have it installed on the spot. What to do with your stock seat? Most companies will ship your stock seat home at their expense. Sweet deal, and no hassle to you.

Check out Corbin, LePera and Mustang Motorcycle Seats and do some online research if you can’t make it to a rally or your local motorcycle retail stores.

I personally had an awesome experience with Corbin when I purchased my new seat at the HD 100th Anniversary Rally in Milwaukee. I purchased the Close-Gunfighter seat and added the backrest, which has been a life-saver on several long trips. The salesperson answered all my questions and helped me decide which seat fit my body and bike type.

The concept of the Corbin seat is that it will mold to your body for a custom fit after approximately 1,500 miles of riding time. The saddle is stiff until that point and takes some getting used to. After 2,600 miles, my seat was still stiff as I waited for the comfort part to set in. After returning home, I e-mailed Corbin and explained the situation. They told me to send it back and they would re-foam the saddle. We packed it up, and the shipping cost was $17.

The customer service representative, Andy Jaurique was most helpful and we talked further about narrowing the nose on my seat at the same time. That was a problem I encountered when I was looking for a seat, because most were too wide and therefore brought my feet off the ground. Three weeks later, I had my seat back with new foam and the “nose job” completed. I loved it! However, three months into the riding season bubbles began appearing under the leather. More correspondence with Andy and there was no hesitation when he said, “send it back to us.” Since we had several trips planned through the fall season I asked if I could wait until the last rally and return it and still be covered under my warranty. He said yes, and in October, I returned it once again. This time my husband took it to a UPS store and they boxed and packed it, but the postage was a whopping $48. What a rip! Don’t make the same mistake if you ever have to return a large item. You can bet we kept the box the second time!

I received the seat back, again, approximately three weeks later. Since we are in the winter months, it will be spring before I can test out the new foam. My point is, and it may sound to you that I had a lot of problems with Corbin, but there is a difference in having positive correspondence and results than dealing with someone negative and never getting the results you want. When you invest over $500 on a new saddle, you most certainly want it to be right. Corbin stands behind their reputation and warranty and I highly recommend them.

Once you make your seat selection, always follow the care and protection instructions. Never use leather cleaners that contain petroleum, because it will discolor and crack the cover. Always use a good silicone or paraffin base conditioner for long lasting results.

Good luck and happy, comfy riding!

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Happy Valentines Month riding divas! Last year we took you away to Sybaris in Frankfort, Illinois for a romantic get-a-way. See my February 2004 Spoke to Spoke article entitled 'Romantic Getaways” for a full review. This year, if you want to stay closer to home, you might venture up to the quaint charming town of Weston, Missouri. There, you will find The Benner House, a beautiful historic Victorian Bed & Breakfast. The setting is along the Lewis & Clark Trail, with nearby shopping, antiquing and museums.

The previous owners, Julie and John Pasley are friends of ours, and we received the royal treatment as guests several years ago. The Pasley’s have since sold the business to Mark and Vanessa Miller, so be sure and check out the hospitality they offer. There are four rooms with private baths to choose from with prices ranging from $90 to $130. You get a full formal sit-down breakfast, along with complimentary beverages and snacks during your stay. Since the last time we were guests there, several amenities have been added such as a swimming pool, and a hot tub for shared guest use. Methods of payment are; personal check, travelers’ checks, VISA, Master Card and Discover. Smoking is only allowed outside. They offer mid-week rates and military discounts. Not only is it a great winter getaway, but is also a beautiful scenic ride in the spring, summer and fall.

Other nearby romantic getaways include the Elm’s Resort in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, or The Crescent Lake Manor. There is also the Hatchery Bed & Breakfast in Weston, Missouri, Basswood Resort in Platte City, Missouri, or you might consider the Truman House or Cabin. Wherever you are on the 14th, have a fabulous time!

Goldie Arnold
“Never Ride Faster than Your Angel can Fly”

Tip of the Month: Make a list of parts and accessories you want to add to your bike in the spring, and put it somewhere on your bike during the winter months. When you uncover your bike you will have your list of reminders!