Bill Mayer Saddles Report

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by City Slicker, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. City Slicker

    City Slicker www.GSer.com

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Oddometer:
    174
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    London, UK
    I went over for a 'ride-in' to Rocky's workshop in CA in March for saddles for the GS. I was very impressed and have been pleased with the saddles he made.
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    Rocky and his wife Laura made me feel at home right away and were happy to show me around, so I took a few photos with the aim of writing a report one day. I guess there's no time like the present...

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    One of the major factors in choosing a BillMayer Saddle was the fact that he rides a GS and when I looked around he had half a dozen saddles for these bikes ready for shipping and more in the works. Most were leather, black of course, but there were some others in vinyl and diferent coloured leather. All finished to a very high standard. Leather is the only way to go with these saddles.

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    Saddles firstly have their covering and foam removed. For GS saddles these foams are thrown way and new moulded foam is used. Rocky spent some time telling me about the different foam compounds he could use, but being 6'2" and 14st recommended the firmest for long term comfort. Lghter riders get softer foam compounds. In the light of experience I am glad I took his advice for a firm seat but at the time I really wanted a nice soft saddle and the idea of a hard saddle being more comfortable than a soft one seemed counter-intuitive. Listen to Rocky!

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    The passenger seat can be made with a different foam density if you prefer. Thinking I'd score some heavy duty points back at home with the girlfriend if her saddle was more comfortable I took Laura's advice that girls prefer a softer seat, against Rocky's advice. Laura even made sure the seat was shaped properly by bum-testing. Unfortunately I scored no points after getting back because I think the foam was too soft. On of her main gripes about the stock saddle was that she kept riding forward on the seat when braking. The design of the rear seat is such that you have a good sized lump at the front of the pillion seat that should prevent slippage forward, but with the softer foam it doesn't provide a firm enough support. Go for the harder foam. Listen to Rocky!


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    Decisions made about foam and covering made, the team get to work gluing the seat to the pan...


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    shaping the seats...

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    and tweaking pressure hotspots to ensure the saddle is custom fit. Strictly speaking, you wouldn't really benefit much from being there in person as Rocky pretty much knows where bits need to be removed from the saddle based on your inside leg measurement. For examle, if you're short legged he will remove more from the side (see pic above). If you do get saddles by mail order I do recommend that you photograph your ass and send it beforehand - it gives a better idea of the final shaping required (flattening at the sides) AND they get to have a bit of a giggle at the same time. BTW I *nearly* convinced my girlfriend to let me photgraph her ass in panties purely for this purpose:evil

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    This guy is a real craftsman - he managed to stitch the leather in no time and the covers are a beautiful piece of work!

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    After some final tweaking...

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    the saddles are ready to be covered...

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    ...and...

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    tacked on...

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    to look like this..

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    I think I must have been there for a couple of hours before ending up with the finished product.

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    I flew in rather than rode in, so I ended up with a huge box that I had to cart about for a week or so before flying back to London. If you can't ride the bike in, get him to post it for you - lugging this thing about was a pain in the ass!

    I was glad I went over to see the saddles made - it gave me a lot of confidence that I had parted with money for a good piece of kit and made sure that they fit properly. Since then I have been very pleased with the fit and comfort (passenger gripes aside) and really recommend them.
    #1
  2. Scary Mc

    Scary Mc hellgrammite Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2001
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    3,717
    Location:
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    I just checked the UPS tracking page and my BMS is due today!!!! Woo Hoo! Too bad all of the roads out to the highway are flooded...:cry and the UPS driver can't make it to the house...:cry :mad: :cry :mad: :cry
    #2
  3. stevenknapp

    stevenknapp Long timer

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    My seat is good to look at, nice to sit on. And to top it off Rocky is a great guy to deal with. I can't stress that enough.
    #3
  4. bigsnowdog

    bigsnowdog Sylvan Dweller

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
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    18,908
    I like leather jackets and other leather goods. I just struggle to understand how we could get along with a leather seat that will be out in the rain. How does a leather seat survive the water?
    #4
  5. City Slicker

    City Slicker www.GSer.com

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    London, UK
    I got some leather treatment which I apply each wash. When it rains the water seems to bead on the surface and that's about it. I expected to be sitting on at least a damp seat but it feels fine. I think leather saddles tat don't get looked after start to behave like sponges.

    I am sure they do absorb some water but I keep my bike under cover and I think the small amount of moisture dries off overnight.
    #5
  6. Scary Mc

    Scary Mc hellgrammite Supporter

    Joined:
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    3,717
    Location:
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    3M Leather Treatment works wonders. Plus it makes you ass smell like grapes...:huh
    #6
  7. stevenknapp

    stevenknapp Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    My seat isn't leather! :):

    A big reason I liked Rocky was that there was no BS about needing to cover the seat, no stitching in the flat parts.

    Plus when I was asking, he offered up some marine grade vinyl. The stuff seems good.
    #7