Rich's Custom Seats

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by RatBikeRod, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. RatBikeRod

    RatBikeRod Intrepid Adventurer

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    Can those of you who own one of these give me your impressions?

    I am considering sending my seat in to them to have it extended back about an inch and set up where there is not forward pitch to the seat. Would be a big help as tall as I am and my hopes are that it would be more comfortable than either the stock or the Corbin I have.

    Anyone?
    #1
  2. Gorf

    Gorf Adventurer

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    The seat that I had done by Rich was waaaaaaaaaay to expensive and no where near as comfy as what I have bought from other companies. If you aren't going to be there in person, beware. Rich is a pain in the ass to work with. He wants to do the seat the way he feels, and if you disagree (say because it's uncomfortable) you will end up arguing with him. His prices are pretty insane, and in the end I sold it and went back to a stock seat. Later I bought a Russell seat and was 10x happier.
    #2
  3. RatBikeRod

    RatBikeRod Intrepid Adventurer

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    Good to know.

    The problem I have with the Russell seats is that they are ridiculously wide. Even my Corbin is a bit wider than I would like. I want the stock seat width and profile, but with a bit better padding, a tilt that does not have me sliding forward (even with the front high rear low settings) and about an inch extention to the rear.

    I am also looking at XPC seats.
    #3
  4. Ray R

    Ray R Long timer Supporter

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    I used Rich once when I lived in Seattle, and the seat came out ok (R1150RT). I have to agree with the above comments though.

    Since then, I've used Don Weber at Mr Ed's Moto (www.mredsmoto.com) to build over 10 seats for various bikes. He's very good to work with, and stands behind his craftsmanship 100%. I have a buddy I referred to Don to get a seat done for his R1200R. For some reason, my buddy thought it would look cool to have the seat bottom the same color as his cream colored bike. Yikes! It looked really dirty after just a few rides, and was only getting worse as he's a year round rider here in the northwet. He also had an issue with rain water puddling under his butt. He took the seat back to Don to get corrected, and Don not only fixed the puddling issue, he replaced the cream colored vinyl with black for no charge.

    He'll do ride-ins as well as shipping from anywhere. If you ride in, his wife owns and runs the motorcycle accessory shop in the same building, so you can shop while you wait. :evil

    And no, I'm not affiliated with his business in any way. Don's just a good guy with a good product. Period.
    #4
  5. jwd98056

    jwd98056 Been here awhile

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    As with most things, everyone's mileage varies. My experiences have been different than Gorf's. I had Rich make saddles for my K1200LT and R1200GS and I have been happy with both of them. I've done Iron Butt runs on both of them. Something I could not have done on either of the stock saddles. My R1200GS with Rich's saddle is the most comfortable bike I have ever owned.

    I priced other custom saddles when I had each of them done and I didn't think Rich was priced higher than any other custom saddle maker. My R1200GS saddle was the same price as some of the off the shelf options that were available at the time.

    I had both fitted in person and I didn't have any PITA experiences working with Rich. I'm not saying that it can't happen but I got along with Rich just fine. I had my GS saddle done before I purchased my Touratech Pilot side cases. After I mounted the cases the saddle rubbed one of them. I took it back to Rich just to have him look at it, I didn't make an appointment. He modified the saddle on the spot at no cost, even though it wasn't his fault.
    #5
  6. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Russell now has a "sport" seat without the wings that support the upper thighs, so it won't be as wide... No experience with the sport seat...
    #6
  7. GShaft

    GShaft Adventurer

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    Rich did the seats for my GS, wouldn't do that again. Most have to go back at least once for an 'adjustment'. I had to go back because the passenger seat would no longer stay on. Like others have said, he is also more expensive. In this situation, I definitely did not get more for the money.

    A friend (6-ft 5-inch) in So. California had the same problem as you. He went to Bill Mayer's in Ojai and I am very impressed his new seat.

    Good luck.
    #7
  8. ADVBMR

    ADVBMR Polygamotorcyclist

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    I had Rich build a seat for my '07 GS. The price seemed to be what one would expect for a custom seat and about what I would have paid for a Sargent, Corbin, Russell, etc. when I did my research on the internet. The difference is that I got a true custom fit.

    I happened to be in Seattle for a few days so I looked Rich up. He fitted me twice on a 12GS at the local dealer some distance away. The second time he drove me downtown and dropped me off at my hotel. Then when the seat was done he had it delivered to my hotel. I didn't find him to be a PITA at all. I questioned whether with my 31" inseam I needed a low seat and he said a regular seat would fit fine. I was dubious but he was right. I have no height issues with the way he made the seat.

    I bought the bike in PA and hauled the seat down there to ride the bike home. It took a few days to break it in. My trip home to AK was over 5400 miles and I found the seat to be unbelievably comfortable. I did around 400-550 mile days and as much as 700. That was two years ago and many miles since. I would have another built without thinking twice.
    #8
  9. johnjen

    johnjen Now, even more NOW!…

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    I too have a Rich's seat and while he can be head strong I did get him to customize it in a way he never had before AND adjust my position during my 2nd fitting.
    All without any drama.

    YMMV

    JJ
    #9
  10. GSguy

    GSguy Here's a quarter. Supporter

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    Pretty much the same. I'm a tall guy and slide foward. I've been back, argue with him to have his attitude pretty much say he was not going to do any adjustment. Never buy from him again.

    Take a look in the flea market, there was a Rich group buy and it looks like nobody signed up, take a look at the Russel group buy, it was full with extra's. Kind of give you an idea.
    #10
  11. Minneso-Cold

    Minneso-Cold Adventurer

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    Since you are going to send the seat out anyway, try this.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    I purchased a 1200GS a few years ago and found the seat horrible; I hated how it slanted forward, it was uncomfortable to the pain quotient reached within the first 100 miles. I was going on a long trip and knew I was going to purchase a Corbin eventually, but didn't have time to order one before my trip. So I tried the following. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    To fix some of the forward slant, I mounted the seat on the highest front setting and lowest rear setting on the adjustment bars/notches.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I peeled the seat cover back and took my “Miracle Blade 3” and started to slice the foam off the rear portion of the seat. I would slice foam then try the seat, until I got it to right height. Corbin seats are real hard, so I took a detergent soap bottle and cut it to form and placed it on the seat, this made the seat a little harder. I then laid some ½ inch upholstery foam over the plastic to give it a little cushion. I replaced the cover over the seat and stapled it secure.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I then purchased an Air Hawk seat cushion, attached it to the seat and went on my 5,000 mile trip, no issues.<o:p></o:p>
    #11
  12. Highwood

    Highwood Been here awhile

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    I'm very surprised by some of the comments here. I found Rich to be a great guy; friendly, thoughtful, approachable and easy to laugh.
    He made a custom seat for my 07 R12GSA. Since then, I've ridden it from Banff to Key West (the long way), through Copper Canyon and the Baja and across Canada and back. When you throw your leg over your bike on day 30, you will not be focused on whether you saved a few $, you'll either be focused on how sore your ass is or on finding some more twisties to play in. Consider this; 15,000kms in 24 days and my butt always felt good.
    Next bike I get, I'm going to see Rich again.
    #12
  13. uliman

    uliman Adventurer

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    :1drinkAmazing to read the different experiences with the same guy. Had my seat done by Rich three ,four years ago. Seat works fine, got along with Rich fine. Wouldn't hesitate to use him again with another seat.
    #13
  14. RatBikeRod

    RatBikeRod Intrepid Adventurer

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    Talked to Mitch at XPC today (http://www.xpcracing.com/). They were very friendly and discussed, at lenght, with me the changes I wanted to the stock seat. Due to my height and the design of the seat, we came to the agreement that to do it right (level it out - no forward pitch - and give me the ability to move my seating position back), the best way would be to redo both front and rear.

    They offer three levels of firmness, which he though I would need their semi-firm. I also like their materials and the color selections (even stitching).

    Has anyone used their seats?

    He said that they do a lot of off-road seats and that some have been through multiple years of the Baja with no breakdown in either material or workmanship.

    Their prices are really good too.
    #14
  15. jonny cash

    jonny cash LEGEND

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    +1 for xpc. i have had mine for a little over a year and its great. they took out the slope and made it just a little wider where your butt sits, but kept it narrow at the front. it makes it very easy to stand and ride. they had quick turnaround and good communication
    #15
  16. RatBikeRod

    RatBikeRod Intrepid Adventurer

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    Yea, they seem like really good guys and that is exactly what I want to have them do to mine. Thanks for the input Jonny.
    #16
  17. ADVBMR

    ADVBMR Polygamotorcyclist

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    I was told BMW specifically says not to do this and I think I even looked it up in the manual to be sure. It's what I do and it works great, though. And it's great you found a way to customize a seat. I think with a little innovation you can do what the pros do.

    For what it's worth, why is there so much attention on the personality of the guy you buy a seat from? A custom seat is going to work well for some and maybe not for others. Your ass doesn't really care who built the seat - if it does, your ass has it's own personality issues. I had a Corbin and found it hard and wide for me. It wasn't custom made for my ass but was a custom seat. For reasons I won't go into, lots of people don't like Corbins and some custom folks won't touch them. An Alaska Leather butt pad made mine more than bearable. I am only sure of one thing - for me a stock GS seat just sucks and I would rather try a bunch of seats to replace it.

    When I was searching for a custom seat I found very few true custom seat makers. Lots of crocodile this and snakeskin that, engraved and grooved, for more than a grand. I just want to ride and not have a sore ass.

    Thanks for posting another custom seat maker! I wish there were a few more to choose from. Rich did the trick for me and he's a regular upholstery guy for the bulk of his business, but he'a also a serious rider and if you look into his riding you'll find he has put a lot of long miles in a seat contemplating the state of his ass.

    In the end he uses a gel pad and foam. Like Minneso-Cold did, you can play around with a gel pad, foam, leather or vinyl, and a staple gun. Or you can order a Russell, Corbin, or Sargent and ride it for a few thousand miles to see how it feels. If I hadn't gone with Rich I had planned to buy a Sargent. But the bottom line is, if your ass hurts sooner than you can stand, try something different. Do your own or try one of the others. If you don't like a custom seat from a known seat maker lots of people will scoop it up on ebay or in the gear forum here.
    #17
  18. katego

    katego Been here awhile

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    This is probably only relevant if you ride in to the shop for an in-person seat job. Half of the fun or torture is that you get or have to spend the day in Rich's theater. I have two of his seats, one is great after the 2nd adjustment, and I need to back in to have the 2nd one tweaked a little.

    In addition to the cost of the seat you have to invest your time; at least one full day, if not more, if adjustments are needed.

    -k
    #18
  19. Advdave

    Advdave jubilado

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    My experience at Rich's was totally positive, I rode in, went through the fitting routine, watched the seat being built, took it for a test ride, had adjustments made and rode out early afternoon $600, leather, gel pad, nice work with a very professional setup there. Went back a few weeks later with my buddy who went through the same process for his KTM 990 Adv.

    After a month of riding, my pal wanted the seat adjusted, he went in, Rich recarved the seat, made a new leather cover and sent him on his way, no charge! Maybe it's worse when having a custom seat built mail order, but the experience of the two of us on a ride in-ride out was good.

    Regarding the shop, there's a 2 bedroom apartment for reasonable rent, a camping area, RV area, showers, etc....so if you ride in from afar, it's not a bad place to hang out.

    Rich can have an attitude about what works and what doesn't, so you need to know what you want, or go with his expertise, but all in all, it was worthwhile, and I think the price is competitive with similar products.

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. Str8lin

    Str8lin Keep it moving!

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    Call Don Weber @ Mr Ed/s Moto. 541-791-5142.

    He is in Albany OR. I live in Seattle and am just a ferry ride from Rich's. I have driven down to Albany 4+ hours to work with Don vs. Rich. Don is a very , very talented seat builder.. he DOES listen to ya as he builds your seat and before he bonds the cover on ya take it out for a nice 1/2 tour to get feedback from your butt/legs. I have had Don do two of my seats and numerous friends.. never a complanint and he ALWAYS does whatever it takes to get it right. When I was down there he had a number of seats in line to complete for some Aussie.. his reputation is impecable. I am in no way related to Don nor his business, but ya got to call the guy before ya send your seat to anyone else... seriously!
    #20