Product review: BMS saddle for '02 640 Adventure

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Mr D Hertz, Sep 27, 2004.

  1. Mr D Hertz

    Mr D Hertz Old and Tired Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    209
    Hi all!
    I just had a new seat built for my '02 640 Adventure by "Rocky" Mayer and the crew (Adrian and Carlos) at Bill Mayer Saddles in Ojai CA. Here is a brief review of my experience:
    I arrived at just after 8AM on the day of my ride-in appointment. I was warmly greeted by Carolyn, who was slightly stunned that I managed to get my 24' bobtail truck all the way down the rather tight and twisty driveway. (she says I now hold the record for the largest truck ever at their door.....at least it wasn't the record for the largest ass!) After a few minutes of getting acquainted with everyone, and an offer for some morning coffee, Rocky showed up and we got to work.
    First, I chose a cover material .... I went for the standard black naugahyde type thing. Then, Rocky had me sit on the bike while he took some basic measurements. Soon, the seat was in progress. As it was taking shape, we fit it on the bike a few times along the way to make sure everything was feeling good to me. At one point, I went on a 20 minute ride just to be sure we were on the right track. It was already a huge improvement!
    Before too long, the seat was finished and I went for another ride. Wow! What a difference! This is the seat I had been looking for!
    Let me explain something here: about a year ago I took a trip to Corbin for a ride-in seat appointment for this same bike. I arrived there at about 8AM as well. That's just about where the similarity ends. Although the actual process of building the seat appears to be very similar (to my untrained eye) between these 2 companies, the experience for me was quite different. At Corbin, they assigned a relatively "new" employee to me. I thought that was odd, considering I had just ridden 10 hours or so to get there....but I went with it. He was helpful, but seemed a little unsure, and would often disappear for long periods of time. Corbin thoughtfully provides a lunch for all their ride-in customers. Finally, at about 5:30pm (I was the last one out, but certainly not the last one in) they finished the seat......except there were problems with it. The cover wasn't sewn correctly and it didn't really fit too well. Unfortunately, it was so late that all the seamstresses had gone home. To their credit, Corbin wrote on my receipt that I was entitled to a re-cover at no charge at any time in the future. However, I had just basically wasted an entire day there. I have not had the opportunity yet (a year later) to return and get the seat finished. I suppose I could ship it, but I'd rather be involved in the process. Rest assured that at some point I will give Corbin a chance to make it right, and I will report on it afterwards. Customer service is the name of the game, right?
    That brings me back to the really excellent experience I had at BMS. The fit and finish is perfect, and I couldn't be happier with the product. Rocky and Carolyn were both great, and he was personally involved in the seat construction all the way. Rocky also showed me a few examples of other brands of custom seats that were in his shop for a rebuild. Let's just say that the construction of the other seat maker's products was generally inferior if not outright GARBAGE....and some of them charge a lot more than BMS! When you really see what is under the cover, it is quite surprising, to say the least!
    All in all, it was a great day! I felt enriched by the experience of meeting Rocky and the crew, and I left with a great new saddle. All this and done before 1pm!
    Rocky - my ass thanks you, and I thank you!
    (I never thought I would say that to another man!)
    Mitch

    I don't seem to be able to upload right now....if someone will help me post pictures, I'll show you how it turned out.
    #1
  2. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    50,716
    Location:
    Gates of Moscow
    Eagerly awaiting pics and a ride report. :D

    :lurk
    #2
  3. Mr D Hertz

    Mr D Hertz Old and Tired Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    209
    While we wait for the pics to be posted, let me just add a few opinions here about making the KTM 640 Adventure seats more comfortable.
    With all due respect to Flanny, or whoever came up with the "remove chunks of the foam" mod for the 640 Adventure seat, I think it is the wrong approach. (Feel free to disagree if that mod has made a huge difference in your comfort level on the bike.) I have always thought that the softness or hardness of the foam is a MUCH smaller issue than the WIDTH of the foam. Of course, seats like the ones on EXCs and such are a different level of hardness, but on those bikes you don't sit much anyways. However, in using the true dual sport capabilities of the Adventure bikes, the seat quickly becomes a major issue.
    In my opinion, it's all about the "pounds per square inch" you put on your motorcycle seat. Sure, the hardness of the foam is a factor, but having a larger area to set your butt on is REALLY important. I haven't tried the James seat, and I'm sure it is an improvement, but I still think you need to increase the surface area to decrease the load significantly. The trick is to do it in a way that looks good and is still functional for off roading.
    That's why I like the Mayer seat. It doesn't look that much different than stock. I can still slide back easily. Standing on the pegs is not awkward. The seat cover I chose feels pretty "grippy"...just as "grippy" as the stock cover I think. On the negative side, it does raise the seating position somewhat. (Of course, you can determine the amount of that change during the custom fabrication of your seat)
    Recently, someone posted some pics of their new Russell seat. It sure looked comfortable, and it sure looked UGLY! I suppose that if I never intended to ride my bike off road, the Russell would be a fine alternative. But if you never intend to ride off road, why would you buy a 640 Adventure?
    Perhaps having 2 different seats is the real answer for some. After all, it's only 1 bolt to loosen! It's really not a bad solution.
    But for those of you who want to have only 1 seat for frequent road use and infrequent off road use....in my humble opinion, the Mayer seat is currently the best combination of comfort, function, and good looks.
    Mitch
    #3
  4. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    14,552
    Location:
    Circumlocution Office of Little Dorrit
    someone with a smugmug account take this guys pics and post them... :thumb
    #4
  5. ChrisC

    ChrisC Amal sex?

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,325
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona USA Earth
    I sent the Mr. D a p.m......

    I'll post 'em if he sends 'em :deal

    CC

    Whoooopssss......he sent 'em.....here they come :thumb
    #5
  6. ChrisC

    ChrisC Amal sex?

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,325
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona USA Earth
    Posted for Mr. D...

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. ChrisC

    ChrisC Amal sex?

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,325
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona USA Earth
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Loadedagain

    Loadedagain making chips

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Oddometer:
    26,763
    Location:
    West Vancouver, BC
    i want my bike orange :cry
    #8
  9. PASSMORE

    PASSMORE Just the last name...

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,312
    Location:
    The Texas Embassy in Sloughhouse, CA
    Wee bit off topic (saddle looks nice BTW)... I noticed the aftermarket tank stickers... I stripped my OEM's off too, but I am now still debating whether to do afix them asymetrically like he has in the photos (the tank "lines" on left and right ar not symetric) or to appease my inner anal retentive self and mount them symetrically regardless of the "lines"... What do ya'll think?


    Michael

    PS - sorry for the miny hijack...

    Also, Creep convinced me to go Bojangle on my 640 and after talking to Bo, we may explore a bit wider of a saddle - somewhere between this and stock...
    #9
  10. Mr D Hertz

    Mr D Hertz Old and Tired Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    209
    You can only see 1 side at a time......subdue the anal rententive within you.
    #10
  11. Flanny

    Flanny Flanny-it-up!

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,739
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the World, the Universe
    Wasn't me.... :dunno

    What I did was:
    - replace stock foam with closed cell foam (key in preventing the open cell foam from colapsing under load...the basis of good support)
    - make the seat wider by about 1.5inches
    - flatten the angle on the seat to prevent forward tilt of the pelvis.

    Some people have been drilling out foam "cores" to soften the seat...I don't think that would work, since you are actually making the foam collapse more.

    Gotta tel 'ya though...I really don't dig "dished" seats on dirt bikes...an off-road machine really needs a flat seat to allow proper positioning in all situations... I guess it just depends on your prioirity between road and dirt...but it's just not my bag.
    #11
  12. GODSPEED

    GODSPEED finger lickin' good

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,082
    Location:
    Port Angeles
    Me too! A nice 2004 950 orange or the VW pumpkin orange with some black highlights. :nod
    #12
  13. Mr D Hertz

    Mr D Hertz Old and Tired Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    209
    Sorry....I couldn't remember who came up with that misguided seat mod. I should have figured it wasn't you. I agree with all that you did and said.
    The equation goes something like this:

    The depth of the dish should be equal to the ratio of asphalt to dirt.

    Mitch
    #13
  14. Flanny

    Flanny Flanny-it-up!

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,739
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the World, the Universe

    :nod
    #14
  15. Velocibiker

    Velocibiker Adventure Antagonist

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,164
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    BMS is the BEST!!!

    Sounds like yours is working out as good as mine.
    #15
  16. Renazco

    Renazco Formerly AKA Boejangles

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,751
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, Ca.
    It's good to have choices available isn't it? I agree that much can be achieved on a DS bike without the use of a bucket. It all depends on how you ride and what your intentions are with the bike, when I see a custom seat on a bike I see how the rider rides or what the builder is trying to achieve. I've sent out about a half dozen seats already for those who prefer to use there bikes as a 50%-90% street bike accomodating them with extra tush surface area while keeping it managable to slide the legs back and forth off the pegs.
    I'll get some photos up as soon as I get the next seat done for you to compare design function. I'm not trying to hijack or spam but rather harmonize on some of the input given.
    Btw, I'm sure Mr.D's seat is comfortable,, well at least it looks comfortable :thumb
    #16
  17. BajaDave

    BajaDave Crazy Bastard

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    440
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula, Washington
    The same logic could be used against your choice of shoes... If you ever intend to ride off road, why would you be running those tires and that tiny front wheel? It seems to me that the guy with the Russel seat is going to do a lot better off road than you. How long does it take to change your wheels out for serious off road riding?

    People who live in glass houses...
    #17
  18. PASSMORE

    PASSMORE Just the last name...

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,312
    Location:
    The Texas Embassy in Sloughhouse, CA
    Working on subdueing....


    LOL

    M
    #18
  19. Mr D Hertz

    Mr D Hertz Old and Tired Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    209
    From BajaDave-
    "The same logic could be used against your choice of shoes... If you ever intend to ride off road, why would you be running those tires and that tiny front wheel? It seems to me that the guy with the Russel seat is going to do a lot better off road than you. How long does it take to change your wheels out for serious off road riding?

    People who live in glass houses..."

    It takes about 30 minutes or so, I guess. By the way, the back wheel is smaller too. I still have the stock wheels with Pirelli MT21s mounted....complete with stock sprocket and duplicate brake rotors. (I bought a smaller rear sprocket for road use, but it still works with the stock chain.) Consider that the guy with the Russell seat still has to use a compromise tire to do on and off road, and maybe you see my point. I had an accident on the street not long ago because my MT21s couldn't haul me down fast enough. From now on, it's street rubber for the street, and dirt rubber for the dirt for me. I can do the same thing with the seat too if it becomes an issue....I have 2 of them. Pretty easy stuff, Dave.
    I don't think there's anything wrong with the Russell seat if that's what you want. It's just butt ugly on that bike in my opinion....which I'm entitled to, I think.
    Mitch
    #19
  20. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    14,552
    Location:
    Circumlocution Office of Little Dorrit
    interestin lookin saddle, but i would have to say that Boejangles looks better to me. the forward angle (flanny is 100% correct on that) being the worst part for me too. the width isnt a problem unless i am 2 up and cant scoot back. Boejangles, what is your financing program? :lol3
    #20