To heat or not to heat? I'm getting a new seat!

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by rbsride365, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. rbsride365

    rbsride365 Hi-Viz

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    491
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
    I'm about to plunk down a pretty good size chuck of change on a new seat and buying it with heat is an option. I live in Ohio and ride 10+ months out of the year. It's obviously more cost effective to have it installed now than later. Is is a big waste of money? Should I save the money and spend it on a heated vest? Anybody that has a heated seat care to chime in?
    #1
  2. FlowBee

    FlowBee Just me.

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,873
    Location:
    Stasis.
    I have a Russell Day-long conversion of my factory-heated passenger and rider seats on my R1200RT. I would never have thought this, but it's a nice luxury. I find I don't have to turn the heated jacket liner up as high on brisk mornings. When it' above 55F I find I get enough heat up my butt that I don't even need a liner. :lol3

    Necessary? No. Worth it? Yeah, I'd say so. Would I tear apart a perfectly good seat to add it? No.

    Once thing I would add though - I'm glad mine has a two-position hi/lo switch. Like the factory heated grips, if you leave them on high too long they can get too hot. Depending on how the thing is wired you will probably want to be able to turn it down. If it doesn't come with a controller then consider adding a heat-troller in-line with the wiring.

    edit add: IMO for heated gear always go with a heated vest or jacket liner first with some sort of variable controller. If you are making an either/or choice, go for the jacket.
    #2
  3. beechhunter

    beechhunter Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    238
    Location:
    Vienna, GA
    I scored a nice Day Long saddle in the FM last month that just so happened to have the heated option. Didn't think I would use the option, but I finally got around to wiring it to the bike. Went for a spin the other day, 40 degrees OAT and my ass never felt so good. Would I pay $170 for the option? Not sure. but it is nice to have.
    #3
  4. duck

    duck Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,403
    Location:
    Seattle (Berkeley with rain)
    I've occasionally ridden in cold weather and the only part of me that's never been cold is my butt so I've never seen the need for one. (And I've got a skinny butt too.)

    I've never ridden below about 25 though.

    YMMV
    #4
  5. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,952
    Location:
    Collingwood, Ontario
    Heated seats in a car are the best "unnecessary option" I've tried in years. I can only imagine how it would feel when you're on a bike and starting to get cold.

    Heat in your core means more heat in your extremities, as your body automatically diverts heat from your extremities to your core when you start to get cold. Call it a safety feature.

    Go for it!
    #5
  6. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,614
    Location:
    kootenays canada
    You are absolutely Nuts if you do not get it heated.
    #6
  7. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fartografist

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,375
    Location:
    Twin Cities, Minnesota USA
    I may retro fit my Sargent with a heated element. I think it would be dandy for Spring n fall :evil

    I think the elements can be had for around $50 for DIY.
    #7
  8. Mr. Canoehead

    Mr. Canoehead Taste Gunnels!

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,198
    Location:
    Calgary, Too far to the mountains and too cold
    I had a Russell with the on/off switch and I hated it. It got too damn hot and the switch was located right where my daughter's leg turned it on all the time. I rented a BMW K1300GT and I really liked the heated seat.

    Lessons learned:

    1) Get a controller (or at least a two position switch) instead of just on/off - a Warm 'n safe controller would be perfect
    2) Get the controller/switch installed somewhere where you can reach it but the pillion cant bump it accidentally.
    3) It's not a replacement for real heated gear but it is nice.
    #8
  9. rbsride365

    rbsride365 Hi-Viz

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    491
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
    Thanks for all the input! Did Kootenay Kid say it best? Any other opinions? I've never owned any heated gear before other than my grips despite commuting to work in as low as 25 degrees. I will say that I did a 320 miler this fall in a dark and dreary 44 degrees with wind and lots of rain and I would have killed for something more than my heated grips. I will say that my Balaclava was a lifesaver that day. I never would have made it without it. I will agree with the poster that said that his butt has never been cold. I don't remember every thinking that mine was going to fall off if I didn't find a fire sometime soon. It is everyones impression that a heated seat can greatly improve the heat retention in your core? I understand it more in a car but in that case the seat back is heated too. The heat option BTW is and additional $144 and it's an on or off type switch.

    #9
  10. rboett

    rboett posser noob 205

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,036
    Location:
    nwa
    never had a heated seat, but if you do not have a heated jacket (not a vest) I'd get that first, use that for a season then decide on a seat. fall - Winter - and spring in NE Ohio can be damp and cold . (20 years there)

    I commute here in WI until they start putting salt down, this year and last year was after the first week in december. The jacket keeps me toasty.:evil
    #10
  11. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    922
    Location:
    Orlando Fl
    I got a 30.00 seat heater off Ebay that's intended for a snow mobile, slid it under the cover on my 919.... best 30.00 I have spent in many years. Not that it gets that cold here in central florida.. but 50 degrees, 80mph, and high humidity can make it chilly at times.
    #11
  12. Dan Alexander

    Dan Alexander only happy when sad

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    8,298
    Location:
    Now only Montreal
    I had Seat Concepts redo my Dakar seat and I decided to try their heating option ... love it!!

    Buy it and a jacket and you'll be looking forward to a nice cold days ride, it's great when you feel the cold air around you but you're nice and toasty :deal

    I'm going to buy one from Ebay for my Russell on the big GS.
    #12
  13. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,971
    Location:
    Spotsylvania, VA
    I had an RT for two years and used the heated seat quite a bit during the winter (I am a 12 month rider). My commute is either 17 or 37 miles each way depending on which office I'm working in. When I had it, I liked it. There would be times I would turn it off just to see how much I noticed it and it did make a difference. I also have a full set of heated gear including jacket liner, pants liner, gloves and insoles and my bike has heated grips.

    I traded the RT for a GSA back in June and it has been plenty cold enough to use the heated gear this winter here in VA. In all honesty, I really haven't missed the heated seat. If I had one, I would use it but I have never found myself scheming on how to get a heated seat on my GSA. It just isn't a big deal for me and I wouldn't pay to have one unless I just had extra cash.
    #13
  14. HighFructose

    HighFructose Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,100
    Location:
    KS
    this is one thing i would love to try, im betting it keeps blood circulating more to.....go for it
    #14
  15. rbsride365

    rbsride365 Hi-Viz

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    491
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

    Thanks for this. That is the kind of insight I was hoping for. I have been looking into the heated jacket and other related items today (based on everyones recommendation) and am thinking that my money may be better spent buying a Gerbings heated jacket and dual heat controller (for when I inevitably add the pants, gloves, and insoles). Seems like for real winter riding I will need the jacket no matter what but could live without the seat. Seems like the seat heat may be more of a luxury item than a necessity. Anybody else here that used to have a heated seat but doesn't any longer? Miss it? Thanks to all who've contributed. I appreciate it!
    #15
  16. Dan Alexander

    Dan Alexander only happy when sad

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    8,298
    Location:
    Now only Montreal
    How much are they changing for the install?

    I know Russell is over well $150 :huh

    Seat Concepts did mine for $70 installed ... a no brainer IMO
    #16
  17. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,971
    Location:
    Spotsylvania, VA

    Yeah, the heated gear is a MUCH bigger issue than the seat. My tolerance for cold is getting better but once it drops below 40, I really want the extra help of the gear. I got mine all as a set and have never used just the jacket. It is an all or nothing proposition for me. I know that is expensive, but well worth it if you want to ride all year. I have ridden in temps down to 10 degrees and as long as I can keep the wind out of the gear, I'm toasty warm.

    I'll say again that is money is no object (or a very slight one), the heated seat was nice, but nothing I miss and nothing close to what the heated gear does.
    #17
  18. rbsride365

    rbsride365 Hi-Viz

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    491
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
    It's Corbin. They get and additional $144 for the seat I will be purchasing if I get it with the heat option.
    #18
  19. rbsride365

    rbsride365 Hi-Viz

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    491
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
    I do know that the seat is not a substitute for the jacket once the temps get below a certain point. It may take the chill off and it may complete the package nicely if you have everything else already but I'm not seeing it as being a deal breaker. My only thought is that it's now or never as I don't see myself ever having the seat torn apart to add heat so I thought I should probably weight the option pretty well before I ordered it. I tend to be pretty tolerant of the cold. The first time that I was really too cold was my sunless, rainy, windy, 43 degree, 5 hour slog I made this past October (at highway speeds). It's the longest I've ridden and I was COLD by the time I arrived home! All of my below freezing rides have been commuting and needless to say were much shorter distances. I know from snowboarding that if I can keep my core warm then I can tolerate some pretty low temps for very extended periods of time. All I had for this ride was waterproof clothing, a balaclava, heated grips and toe warmers stuck in the toes of my boots. A heated jacket sounds like heaven. A heated seat sounds like a luxury. Believe it or not, the balaclava was the life saver on that trip. I would not have made it without it. Thank you very much for your input!
    #19
  20. frontiercat

    frontiercat on the wheel

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,518
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    My R1200RT has the heated seat. When I bought the Sargent seat set, I opted for their heat too.

    Honestly never had heated seats before, but the are very nice to have if you don't have your Gerbings, etc. with you....

    If it were me, I'd opt for the heat.
    #20