Renazco Seat for F800GS - A photo comparison/review

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Firefight911, May 28, 2009.

  1. ba_

    ba_ Long timer

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    Westchester County, New York
    Oh man do I change my order to suede now? I'm the same week as you...
  2. Bartron

    Bartron 'Tenacious B' the Bike Punisher

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
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    713
    Location:
    Alberta
    Now that I've had the Renazco for a while and just recently spent a week on it with several long days (400+ miles) and plenty of off-road (from gravel sweepers to single track and everything in between) I figure it's time for a review.

    On the road: The seat is fine for the first 100 miles but as the hours roll by it does become uncomfortable. I find the seat still has a slight downslope to it which with vibes and distance tends to result in a moto-wedgie. I also find the stitching, although visually appealing, causes a seam that digs in after a long while (by the 8th hour on the road).

    Off road: Seat comfort isn't really an issue off-road as the seating position is so dynamic. The vinyl provides a good mix of grip and resilience to abuse. The narrow rally shape makes moving the bike underneath you easy and does not restrict leg movement.

    What would I change?

    I am likely going to send it back to James and have it re-upholstered in the recently available suede and also have James stick another half inch of foam in there for added comfort and to level the seat out even more. I'll also chat with him about the possibility of a gel insert.

    This concludes my 3000 mile review of the relationship of my posterior anatomy and the Renazco.
  3. ride2little

    ride2little MoveAlongNothingHere

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    Careful on the Gel. It gets hot in the sun , then retains the heat for a long time. I'ts like sitting on a heating pad.
  4. Bartron

    Bartron 'Tenacious B' the Bike Punisher

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    on second thought.....

    thanks for the heads up.
  5. Pomo

    Pomo gonzo

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    Apr 14, 2009
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    El Desierto, NM
    Wow, thanks for the update. I checked a month or so ago and they were still in September. I decided to wait to get a mid-winter build date... I guess the time is now!
  6. KnuckC

    KnuckC F8er

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    199
    Location:
    North Vancouver, B.C.
    If you are anywhere in the Seattle area, I would suggest you check out Rich's custom seats. No waits, excellent quality and custom to your butt.

    On road I have put about 500 miles on it so far. Just got back from a 6 hour day yesterday. Unbelievable comfort difference.

    Off Road I have only ridden about 75 miles so far. So far so good although not enough miles to properly comment but I can so I had no issues on this limited ride.

    I don't know how Renazco can compete if they don't take actual measurements and adjust based on multiple test rides.
  7. Firefight911

    Firefight911 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    8 pages of nothing but rave reviews here and countless others elsewhere along with a proven track record and customer base.

    A waiting line through December at current.

    I guess you're right, they aren't competing. They're smokin' the "competition."
  8. Gizmo

    Gizmo Hermes

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
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    1,668
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Very nice looking seat, have heard nothing but good things about their seats. Kudos to James for taking the time to do some testing and sure you will be rewarded.
  9. OlyRider

    OlyRider Long timer

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    May 31, 2005
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    1,331
    Location:
    Pacific NorthWest
    *I'm* in the Seattle area.

    I've had four seats done by Rich. I won't be going back again.

    My build date for my 800GS Renazco seat is September. I'm excited. James isn't building a "bucket" seat like Rich that requires custom fitting. But he does allow for weight and height. I'm sure I'll be very happy with it.
  10. KnuckC

    KnuckC F8er

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
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    199
    Location:
    North Vancouver, B.C.
    Originally posted by 1bmwfan:

    Reviews of the Renazco are not all rave. There are several mixed reviews on various sites including on this thread. See Bartron's comments for example.

    Originally posted by Olyrider:

    The fact that you bought four seats from him speaks for itself.

    No-one is perfect but Rich makes a very good seat. The difference is he measures you on the bike and adjusts the seat accordingly after test rides, an option James does not have.
  11. OrcasKen

    OrcasKen Beastly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    128
    Location:
    Orcas Island, Washington
    Summary: I won't do a six-month lead time, semi-custom seat again.

    Getting the seat ordered/built/shipped:
    A couple of weeks after buying my new F8, I was convinced that a new seat was a must-have. After reading many (MANY!) reviews up here and finding that Renazco was nearly universally respected as the "best" seat, I signed up and started the agonizing six month wait for my build date. Was it worth it? Read on...

    After filling out the web form, I waited nearly a week for a response. I sent a follow-up e-mail and James responded back and provided some suggestions for custom colors/materials. Build date was confirmed for "August" - no specific date. At the end of July, having not heard from them since, I sent a note asking for an update on my build date. Sonia quickly responded back with "week of 8/23" and that they hadn't received payment yet, though no invoice was ever sent. There was also no mention of the custom colors/materials that James had recommended, though I had decided basic black was just fine anyways. She asked for the seat to arrive by the Friday before. The option for a seat build in the Bonney Lake, WA location that was in operation when I reserved a build date was no longer available.

    Build week comes and I was going to overnight the seat for Tuesday morning delivery after having been laid out with the flu the week before. Evidently, this conflicts with their process as they start to build all seats (presumably in assembly line fashion) for the week starting on Monday. They made an exception and got the seat scheduled for the following week. I had thought that James would want to know more about my riding style and what I was looking for in the seat - no, the data on the web form is what they build the seat to. No pictures of riding, no interest in what I wanted to correct in the stock seat, nada. That and the fact that they build multiple seats all together seems like this is more of a semi-custom seat than a truly custom seat with individual attention.

    It turns out that while the seat was to have been built the week of 8/30, it wasn't boxed for shipment until 9/9. And despite Sonia confirming the shipping address, it somehow got sent to the address I had shipped from - nearly 100 miles away. Chasing down UPS to redirect the seat was a challenge, but between my efforts and Sonia's efforts, the seat showed up on 9/15. Chalk up three weeks without the seat (in prime riding season in the PNW), not to mention $60 for packing/shipping the seat off to CA. So far, my experience with Renazco has been less than I expected, but the seat would be worth it, right?

    Installing and Riding the Renazco:
    Putting the seat back on proved a tad challenging as the fabric was either thicker than stock or there was too much extra fabric beyond the fastening staples. With a little prodding, it finally snapped into place. The finish detail on the outside was quite nice with even a small indentation to go around the fuel fill door. My first ride was a painful experience though - the seat felt worse than stock and my butt was sore within 30 mins.

    Since then, I've taken the bike out for a long weekend and put ~500 miles on it and it improved quite a bit. I doubt that I rode it long enough to "break in" the foam or covering, but shifting my riding position back a bit seemed to find a "sweet spot" that was more comfortable. However, riding in that position makes it seem that I now need to add bar risers to be comfortable again. And coming from dirt riding, I'm simply more comfortable in a more forward and upright riding position.


    Final Thoughts:
    • Reputation is important, but consider the process too. At least in my experience, Renazco didn't offer a "custom" seat produced with a builder that talks with YOU and builds a seat that YOU want. Perhaps James was able to do this earlier in his business. If you expect custom service, go to a local and reputable seat builder or somehow arrange for this service directly with James or another builder.
    • Design is important, but consider options. I wanted an uber-comfortable dual sport seat. If Renazco is supposedly the best, then I'm not sure one exists. Perhaps a Touratech that could be bought without a six month lead time would have been a better choice for me, especially since I could have demo'd one locally. Or perhaps I should have kept the stock seat for trail riding locally and then gotten a seat from Rich's (local) that probably would have been comfortable on long-distance rides.
    • A wait time of six months is silly. Is there really that much demand for seats? What is keeping Renazco from being able to fulfill orders in a more timely way? Going from two locations to one seems to be a de-investment in the seat-building business. As a business owner, it's gotta be nice to have a comfortable backlog of orders to fill, but I know I won't be giving my business to a company that takes that long to get around to building me a seat and is consciously keeping the build schedule that long.
    • Service is important to consider. Evidently YMMV as lots of other people had great experiences with Renazco and I didn't. Think about what you'll do if, like me, you find that the initial build isn't to your satisfaction. Renazco hasn't provided any follow-up on the seat and hasn't proactively provided break-in thoughts or any guidance around how they can help if the seat isn't comfortable. To be fair, I also haven't reached out to them as I'm not inclined to lose my seat for any more weeks of riding.
    I'll ride the Renazco for a while longer and see if I adapt to it. If not, I may go try out a Touratech or explore other options (Alaska Leather, ice cream, fries, ...). This bike is simply too much fun to not be comfortable on!
  12. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Location:
    DFW Area, TX
    Lucky bastards with long legs! :lol3


    No I will not lower my suspension! :freaky
  13. Surguy

    Surguy redneck in clogs

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    102
    Location:
    Atlantis, Ca.
    I just recently got mine from James & Sonia and couldn't be happier. Best money I've spent on bike so far. I'm 6'2" 210lb w/34"inseam dirt monger and just did me regular weekend 200+ miler w/new seat. This pup is "Tits on a Ritz" ! Again best money ever spent.
    Yes, chewed off fingernails during the wait - but OH BABY it was worth it. Think I was only down a couple weeks. Service & communications was A-1 ! Had black on black w/blue lettering done via Sonia's advice.
    Two thumbs up and great big HIP HIP HOORAY :clap :clap :clap :clap :clap
  14. Surguy

    Surguy redneck in clogs

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    Atlantis, Ca.
    gotta show pics uhh

    Attached Files:

  15. Surguy

    Surguy redneck in clogs

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    May 9, 2008
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    Atlantis, Ca.
    another angle

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  16. rockinrog

    rockinrog Long timer

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    Central PA
    Could you run out and do 300+ mile in a day and report back? lol
  17. Firefight911

    Firefight911 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    My longest is 700 miles straight through in one day. I've also done several 400 - 500 days back to back.

    Best darn money I have ever spent on a motorcycle!
  18. Kaw4Life

    Kaw4Life Busted Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,076
    Location:
    Maine
    Glad to hear it, mine will be built in January. I plan to circle the inside of the garage 1000 times in order to test the seat. :D

    I am lucky to be tall. I am going to work out getting rid of the 'slope'.
  19. ba_

    ba_ Long timer

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    Mine is scheduled for the end of December. I'm not tall but I still want a better seat.
  20. Kaw4Life

    Kaw4Life Busted Adventurer

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    Sep 27, 2008
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    Maine
    I make the point about being tall because I think the only way to get rid of the slope it to add 3 inches to the seat. That and make it wider up there too. As it is I needed to add bar backs so that I can sit on the back of the seat for those long rides.