Alaskan Leather vs. BeadRider vs Gel Pad

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by DaBen, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. DaBen

    DaBen On the road til furt

    Aug 20, 2007
    Astoria, OR
    I have a long ride coming up this summer(3 weeks) and it is becoming VERY evident to me that the seat on my F800GS is not going to let me enjoy multiple high mileage days. I don't think there is time or money in the budget for a new seat so I am looking at three option.
    Alaskan Leather pad and BeadRider pad or a gel pad.

    So what do you have what do you like/dislike about it.

    Thanks in advance for the input.
  2. tjhess74

    tjhess74 Been here awhile

    Nov 4, 2008
    North Charleston, SC
    i have two opinions:

    1. alaskan sheepskin. i love mine! i spent a month straight in the saddle with it and it was wonderful. in the summer it allows air to your skin and in the winter it insulates. its soft, durable, affordable, washable, and comfortable.

    2. airhawk. not for me. regardless of the air pressure, when i sit on it, it squeezes out and puts pressure in uncomfortable places...if you know what i mean. i gave it to a friend and he swears by it...

    im 6', 170, with a bony ass. my friend...not so much!:evil

    havent tried the others.
  3. achtung3

    achtung3 Long timer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Central Coast California
    I've got the Gel pad ($80) on my R1150 rockster and it is great, just a little information- it raises the seat about 3/4-1in, if you have problems with seat height this maybe a if.

    No experience with other ones, read on some forum that beads are great, but decided with the gel because it kind of makes sense to me.

    Heard great things about Corbin seat and the people that I know and have the seat, they are extremely happy and they swear that is worth every penny-(quite a few), I have on my K75S and it was on the bike when I got it so is not contoured to my rears but it is pretty confy.

    Good luck, have a great ride.
  4. josjor

    josjor Long timer

    Jun 27, 2007
    The largest geological formation in the U.S.A.
    I think they all have their merits and I've tried two out of three, beads and sheepskin. I like beads for 3 out of 4 seasons. They let air flow down there, don't leave you sitting on something wet when it rains, and provide some firmness and pressure relief. In the winter I switch over to the sheepskin as I don't want air flowing down there for thermal reasons.

    If you're unsure about beads, do the cheap thing first to try it out: go to your local dollar store and buy their 5 dollar beaded car seat cover. Cut it to size (don't worry, it will only unravel about one row more before stopping) and strap it to your seat and go for a ride or three.

    One note: Look for one with smaller beads. It seems that there are two sizes of beads used in car seats. The larger ones can be a bit uncomfortable. The last cheapie I bought had two sections of beads seperated by some fabric. I was able to get two motorcycle seat covers out of that one car seat cover. My brother was appreciative.
  5. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

    Oct 29, 2005
    Providence, RI
    took the words right out of my mouth:D
  6. Dcc46

    Dcc46 Been here awhile

    May 3, 2008
    Nokomis ,FL
    I have been using the Alaskan sheepskin for about 3 years now,I'm very happy with it.
  7. tracye34

    tracye34 I know nothing

    Feb 13, 2008
    Richmond, VA
    On the stock seat I could do about 150 miles until the pain began. I had the seat re-done at and that helped slightly. I tried the Alaska sheepskin and it made a very minor improvement. I then tried an Airhawk and have been able to do 400+ mile days in relative comfort. I gave the sheepskin to my brother and he is very happy with it. My problem is not enough meat on my butt, airflow was never my issue.

    It does take some adjustment to get the air pressure right, you don't need much. It also raises you about 1/2".
  8. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

    Nov 4, 2009
    Small Town, Texas
    Did 400 miles on my stock-seated Wee with Alaska Leather pad... hot, dry day so the last 40 miles felt longer. I alternate position to/from highway pegs to help move the pressure points. This arrangement works okay for me.

    The Bonny SE has a the Triumph Gel Seat, and I've put an Alaska Leather pad on it. I start feeling uncomfortable at about 250 miles, but probably due to shorter peg to seat length. I enjoy this machine but could not be comfortable on it for a long trip.

    Will consider trying beads on the Bonny... if only to revisit the '60s....

  9. ThatGuy

    ThatGuy Brownie

    Oct 27, 2006
    Anchorage, Alaska
    I have both. The butt pad works great here but I found that its causes me to sweat more when its hot. I used the beads when I was riding down south and loved them. It allows the air to circulate thus keeping you dry.
  10. Free Radical

    Free Radical High speed drifter

    Dec 13, 2003
    Wherever I go, there I am
    I used the beads on a 2500 mile trip last summer. I sold them as soon as I finished the trip. Nough said?

    I now have the Alaska butt pad and am generally satisfied. My buns still appreciate a rest at 150 mile intervals, though.
  11. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

    May 11, 2009
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Beads just work. At least for me they do. I'm not a long distance rider so I'm not used to long rides. The few times I have, the beads more than doubled the time before I had to stop.

    The bead have other advantages as well. As has been mentioned, it allows air flow under your butt which is great in hot weather. It also keeps you above a wet seat. My bike is kept outside and uncovered and I worry with that would do to sheepskin. Its not a problem for the beads.
  12. Duane Dog Chapman

    Duane Dog Chapman Banned

    Oct 13, 2010
    Hawaii & SC
    It doesn't matter what I put on the seat. Anything over an hour is torture to me. A long day in the saddle for me is 375 miles. That said I have criss crossed continents 45 minutes at a time. Nobody will ride with me though but actually I believe that's a good thing. I enjoy the solitude. I like to play a game, how long can I go without speaking to a human. I went 9 days without uttering a word years ago.
  13. Simplyred

    Simplyred Adventure is a State of Mind.

    May 18, 2011
    Gel pads are commonly used in the horse industry here over in Europe. I started using one decades ago between the saddle and the horse for all of my dressage horses. Not the comfort of the riders was the point there, but the protection of the horse-back. And let me tell you it works.....

    Gel pads eliminate pressure differences and see to it that the total pressure is evenly distributed. Which I could see easily work for us motorcycle riders as well! It has served my horses well for decades? Why should it not work for us?
    It is that the size of the horse gel pads is larger, otherwise I would have tried one right away :D. But I am pretty sure they work in getting you more comfortable.

    The design and width of the buddy seat however matters as well. I once drove a Yamaha FJ600 for 300 kilometers and almost fell of the bike, but I also more then once drove a BMW with king-queen seats over 800 kilometers in 6 hours with only tankstops and stepped off the bike with ease. It all depends I guess on how you are build and how well the design of the buddy fits that.
  14. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

    Feb 8, 2008
    Collingwood, Ontario
    I have and like both the genuine Alaska Sheepskin and the original Bead-Rider. They are both a big improvement over stock.

    Beads when really hot, sheep when not.

    Only negatives - beads are a bit "rolly"; I slide a bit, would prefer to feel more locked-in. Sheep elastic dies quickly, but is easily replaced.
  15. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

    Dec 17, 2009
    Southern Nebrahoma
    I have an alaska leather sheepskin and the original beadrider ultra.

    My current preference is the sheepskin, the beadrider could make pressure points after a few hours and shifting around didn't help much (but a few minutes walking/stretching would).

    However, for me the stock strom seat isn't that uncomfortable, so at present I've left the strap for the sheepskin pad in place and ride without around town. May think about switching back for our horrid weather, though.
  16. skalding

    skalding Denter of Hoods

    Aug 11, 2010
    Miami, FL
    Another vote for beads in hot and humid weather! The air flow is key for avoiding those special "swampy" moments. Needless to say, it also helps if you're on a bean heavy diet. :evil
  17. DaBen

    DaBen On the road til furt

    Aug 20, 2007
    Astoria, OR
    Thank you all so much. This has truly be helpful. Still a lot of info to absorb.

    Here's me 5'10" 275" Not super fat but definitely have some cushion out back. After riding a bit today in the 90*+ weather we had today I am thinking airflow is my problem. I feel like everything is sticking and grabbing me. Came home after about 40 miles and had to take a cool shower to calm everything down. Granted I was wearing jeans a and tighty whiteys. I may buy both an Alaskan Leather and a BeadRider and sell the one I don't like after my trip.
  18. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

    Dec 21, 2008
    Vagabond Hippie
    I vote for the Anal Beads. I like mine...and no Monkey Butt to boot!
  19. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

    Jun 23, 2006
    For day after day after day LD riding the beads are the way to go.
    I still wonder what people do when the sheepskin gets wet??? Maybe they dont ride in the rain!
  20. hapbob

    hapbob Been here awhile

    Nov 19, 2006
    Thumb of Michigan
    I have the Alaska Skin and the beads....Like them both...beads are nice in hot weather....Skin is best on the long ride. I have used them together....beads on skin.....unsure of what it felt like???