Road King Seats

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by rider33, May 4, 2019.

  1. rpilottx

    rpilottx Long timer

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    I just picked up my 2020 Road King from the dealer after having them install a couple accessories. I replaced the stock windscreen with the wind splitter screen from HD. In doing so they had to rotate the handlebars back to allow mounting the new windscreen. Fit is now perfect. I may still replace the seat after I get some time on the bike (125 miles total) but need to give it and my butt time to get to know each other.

    Interesting this is my first big cruiser and HD as I have always rode adventure touring bikes or dual sports. One of the things I liked about the adventure tourers is the ability to move around and even to stand while moving down the highway. I don't think the Road King allows that so a good seat is a must.
    #81
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  2. MariusD

    MariusD Long timer

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    I think the Hammock seat from Harley raises u up and moves u forward some. Maybe look into it.
    #82
  3. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    Yes, it does. My dealer has a demo and I'll pick it up in May once the weather warms up.
    #83
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  4. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    and the really weird thing is, had you bought just about any other bike back then & held on to it, it would likely look rather tired & dated at this point including several others in the FL line. King's tho are pretty much timeless, the benefit of having the nonessential stuff stripped off to begin with. I'm thinking those big color LED screens so common on full-boat touring rigs these days are going to seem pretty silly in 10 or 20 years. My King, on the other hand, will still look every bit the classic that it is.
    32DE5A71-BABF-43FD-8030-2721BDE1E1A8.jpeg
    #84
  5. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    Re: displays - Maybe not silly, but certainly dated.

    Since the temperature is going to be warm enough tomorrow to be out riding, I picked up a demo Hammock Seat from the dealer. I rode 30 miles with it today and my hips certainly like the angle to my thighs better. With the stock seat my knees are higher than my hip joint. The Hammock seat makes them about the same level with the same thin sole touring boots. I need new boots but whatever I buy clearly needs to be no thicker than my Alpinestars.

    I did a practice round of slow speed u-turns and the bike handles the same, maybe slightly better with my mass elevated compared to the stock seat.

    I think the Hammock took the edge off a few bumps that would have been harsher with the stock seat.

    My rear does miss the bucket of the stock seat. The Hammock is simply flat in comparison.

    I’ll go for a longer ride tomorrow and see what my impressions are after a longer time in the saddle.


    3B380123-B2E8-4731-8F04-6ABCD124EF5A.jpeg
    #85
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  6. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    So I FINALLY had a chance to do this and really, it could not have been simpler. I noticed they changed the bars between my '04 (more beach cruiser with wide, pullback that left my arm parallel to the ground) to more of a mini ape on on the '17 (which had my arms forward and tilted up a bit). 'Not a huge deal but since I use this bike primarily for long distance travel, level and a bit back I find more comfortable.

    So, you start with the 'Road King' insert on the tree:
    C508D95F-807F-44E4-9871-729E9C36232D.jpeg
    You can pry that sucker off with your thumb nail reveling the two 1/4" hex bolts for the lower bar clamp below:
    7FB46A35-6E7F-47A4-AA4A-1D384469C86E.jpeg
    You are going to need a 1/4" allen wrench with at least a couple of inches of length to it as that bolt is down farther than at least my allen sockets would allow. A hex t-wrench, however, works well, particularly if the end is a ball mount given the angle. In my case I moved it back just before the bars hit the console in full lock, maybe 1/2-1" down and back:
    1667C186-8E61-43AA-A40A-BFCDFF14052C.jpeg
    That leaves me with bars more comfortably back & arms level to the ground which I enjoy. Over the years I must have checked the shop manual several times which always seemed to leave me with the impression that I needed to disassemble the entire Hiawatha nacelle to do that which always seemed more trouble that it was worth. 'Perhaps that was just on the TC and I hadn't bothered to check the shop manual for the newer bike. This, on the other hand, was 5 minutes, tops. So, if you have a later King and have wondered about alternate bars, you might want to try this first, 'well worth the time. Thank you Hammerdown for the tip!
    #86
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  7. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Long timer

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    Glad it worked out for you!

    I know this is a seat thread, but while we're talking about bars.....

    I have come to the opinion that I'm not enamored with the Road King bars. They're not bad...but something isn't right. For me. Pretty sure it's the wrist angle and the pullback. I've tried them parallel to the front forks (further forward), and that reduces the pullback but then they're not level so my hands are tilted inward with my outer palms higher than my thumb joint. That kills my shoulder and neck after a while. I've tried them rolled back further, which feels ok going in a straight line, until I turn the bars, then my inside hand's wrist is all jammed up. And rolling them back too far puts them too close to where I'm sitting on the bike with the police seat.

    I really liked the new Softail Heritage bar bend. These aren't the same as the "heritage" bars on the King. You can see they are inline with the forks but the end of the bars turn down more. Didn't seem to be as much pull back.

    I also like the Road Glide bars, even though those are wildly different than either the Softail Heritage or King.

    This is one of those situations though where I'd really want to try a Road King with a different bar setup first before buying myself. Bars aren't quite as easy to try out as seats, at least not on your own bike.
    #87
  8. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    Try looking at used bikes at dealers, it's not uncommon for them to have different bars installed. Sit on a few & see if one stands out. If so, find out what it is. As with everything King, there are always at least a dozen options- you'll find it.
    #88
  9. moe.ron

    moe.ron Pig. Can. Fly.

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    Mine has Heritage bars, I love it.
    #89
  10. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    My 17 RK now has 15,000 miles on it and, after 13 months of riding (I bought it with less than 400 miles on the odometer), the stock seat has lost its firmness and cushion. It seems like my pressure points are bottoming out on the seat pan whereas this was not the case in the first 10-12,000 miles. I will be re-reading this thread for ideas but I think I'll demo a Sundowner to see if that solves the problem.

    Does anyone know if the Sundowner uses memory foam?

    @rider33: thanks for posting the pictures of the bar adjustment access. The vertical portion of my bars are in alignment with the forks (i.e. there is no angular offset between the forks and the bars). As a result, the hand grips are a little bit forward (~1 inch) of where I would prefer them to be. I'm going to make a minor adjustment to pull hand grips back toward me and see how I like that.
    #90
  11. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Long timer

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    I don't think any of the H-D seats use the higher density foam (closed cell?) that the specialty seat manufacturers use. That was always my hesitation for spending $500+ on an H-D seat, seemed like you should get upgraded materials from their stock offerings.

    That said, I'm curious to try the Hammock. I tried the Tallboy and it was certainly better than stock, but still felt too soft. I think that's my biggest complaint with the police seat (other than I can't move it back an inch or two...). The foam is too soft, and I need a little more in the middle of the seat between the nose and where it kicks up at the back. The basic shape is right, just needs a little tweaking. And the ability to slide it back, which I haven't figured out a good way to do yet (read: easy, without cutting and welding).

    From my readings, it appears there are two designs of the Hammock. The earlier version moves you up and back a little, whereas the later version (made for Rushmore bikes and up) may actually push you forward a bit. They will both work on our bikes; main difference appears to be .5" width in the rider's area, and possible interference with the Rushmore+ tour pak stuff (speakers maybe? or maybe the mount itself)

    EDIT: There were some seats, back when I owned my Dyna Fat Bob, that were sold by Harley for the Dynas that were actually made by Danny Gray. I think those had the higher quality, longer lasting foam. Don't know if that's still the case that he makes some of the H-D upgraded seats.
    #91
  12. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Followed the Wrong God Home Supporter

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    I liked the height of the Hammock. I was ok with whatever slight move forward it had versus stock. It certainly dampened out some of the ride. But it felt like I was sitting on top of the seat instead of in the seat. Definitely missing the bucket feel.

    @marshrat said his foam compressed over 40,000 miles on the Sundowner. Granted, a Sundowner is only $300 but I would have hoped that for the extra money it was built with memory foam or something similar.
    #92
  13. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Long timer

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    You might hit up Sargent or Saddlemen if you're looking for something you can "demo" for a period of time with a return policy in place. To me, that's the main reason to go with a Harley seat; you can often try many of them out before plopping down your cash. The other aftermarket seat makers don't usually provide this option. Yeah, Dennis Kirk or others will take it back if you just set it on the bike and try it (with a towel or something between the bike and seat), but if you take it out and ride on it all day, it's yours.

    Sargent will do a 30 day return on seats purchased direct from them. You'll have to pay return shipping. They have two-up seat that looks pretty plush, and for sure that thing won't break down after a while.
    I've been tempted to try the Sargent extended reach solo, but worry it will not sit me up high enough. Sargent is super helpful over the phone though, and they can customize anything you buy from them as well. I think they also give discounts to HDforums members, and regularly run specials/sales/free shipping and such.
    https://www.sargentcycle.com/Seats-Accessories/Sargent-HD-Touring-Models-2009/

    Saddlemen doesn't sell direct that I know, but they have dealers that will let you take a seat out and ride on it before buying one. You'd have to check and see if there's anything like that in your area.
    #93
  14. Laconic

    Laconic .

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    The Police seats everyone keeps talking about; do they have a shock or springs? The one in the above post looks hard mounted to the frame.
    #94
  15. Kevm

    Kevm Eternal Optimist

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    The ones from at least 2016 on (and I don't know how many years earlier, at least 2014 I would guess, possibly more) have a spring with an adjustable preload. I don't think there's a hydraulic shock in the center of that assembly though now that you mention it I never checked.
    #95
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  16. rider33

    rider33 Long timer

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    a hard tail it is not. The system varies by the vintage and personally, I'd have a problem with the dog chew toy, but all of them I believe have a seat suspension of some type or can have. This gives you a flavor for that:
    #96
  17. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Long timer

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    Mine has the spring shock that all of the newer bikes have (2014+). The air shocks before them were complicated, had a lot of pieces, and were prone to leaking.

    Dog Kong works surprisingly well. The black one, most people wouldn't even notice that it's a dog toy. You could tell them it's a Screaming Eagle upgrade.
    #97
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  18. Kevm

    Kevm Eternal Optimist

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    That video posted earlier made a potential argument against the kongs. If the rider is big enough kong doesn't provide lateral stability and components such as the seat and mounting brackets can bend and be damaged.
    #98
  19. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Long timer

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    I guess that's certainly possible, but he has a different front mount (older style) and looking at the new style, and the beefiness of the seat frame, you're gonna have to be pretty heavy to do that (which he is).

    Also, he could have just taken the single pin plate off the air bladder and bolted that to the top of the spring shock, and not had to drill two holes in his seat frame.
    #99
  20. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    I run the Extreme (black) Kong on my 2020 Road King. Works fine especially when considering it cost $18 US. The shock cost what???? :hmmmmm