A review of correspondence from NOC-L
Some views on alternative seats to the standard Commando items
Corbin Gunfighter Saddle
While it's quite comfortable, I do have some concerns regards the fit and finish. The mounting brackets on mine were not the same as on the stock Roadster seat. Not only does the seat drop straight down rather than down and forward like the stock seat, the brackets were some ¼" closer together than the stock seat, requiring the removal of some of the washers that are normally in use on the mounting posts.
I called Corbin and was informed that perhaps the brackets on the seat (the stock one) were incorrect. I tried to explain that their dimensions differed from a stock seat and that I was not happy with the way that their seat mounted. The customer service rep. that I spoke with did not seem in the least interested.
Your mileage may vary, other than that it's a very nice seat. It would be nice if they would have left off that stupid little Corbin tag that's sewn into the seam and then glued down on the leather.
Brendan Murphy (email@example.com) on NOC-L 27th. Mar 1998
On another list, Corbin consistently gets bad marks for fit and finish and especially for poor customer service. I myself had a Corbin leather seat on a BMW that needed new foam and Corbin wouldn't repair it, they would only sell me a new seat. Many people are hoping that Sergeant (in Florida) will expand beyond repairs and recovering, and become the company that Corbin once was.
John S. Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org) on NOC-L 27th. Mar 1998
A stepped seat from Klemp's
I believe that Klemp's British Parts Warehouse has or has had a stepped seat that looked great. I was able to ride his bike quite a while back and as I remember it was very comfortable. My wife thought so too, and that's what matters.
John Ebert (email@example.com) on NOC-L 27th. Mar 1998
Corbin seat OK
The Corbin Gunfighter seat is slick. It is a solo version that firmly plants you in a decent position on the bike - if this is what you want. In my opinion, the workmanship is up to snuff.
Wimcjjm (wimcjjm@)aol.com) on NOC-L 27th. Mar 1998
Another badly fitting Corbin seat
I have also noted the poor fit commented on made by Brendan Murphy, and expect the experience of others will be exactly the same if you get one, but it isn't so bad you can't use it, it is just irritating. They could easily have got it right and didn't. The one I rode was on a 1969 Commando; I think that dimension probably didn't get narrower on later models.
I have about a 6 hour stretch on that saddle, on all sorts of roads, and found it very comfortable. It was on a borrowed bike, at a big group ride, with all sorts of roads and was at medium to high speeds. Although the footpegs and handlebars were not (for me) well related to the seat, I was nevertheless very favourably impressed.
Tom Davenport (firstname.lastname@example.org) on NOC-L 27th. Mar 1998
Open cell foam in Corbin seats
Besides Corbin's reputation (see other posts regarding this), I think I read somewhere that the foam they use in their seats will soak up water! I read a "How-To" article (I believe, in Motorcycle Consumer News) that dealt with how easy(?) it was to buy a new Corbin seat, remove the cover, wrap the foam in a waterproof plastic like SaranWrap and recover the seat.
However, the seats do look nice in the catalogue and in person. I've seen them and they will fit even if you have to fiddle with them a bit.
Joe Michaud (email@example.com) on NOC-L 28th. Mar 1998
Hyde stepped seats
Fine for the rider, but less so for the pillion. I preferred the standard seat.
Frank Westworth (firstname.lastname@example.org) on NOC-L 28th. Mar 1998
Reproduction Interstate seat
A couple of years ago I replaced the old original Interstate seat on my 850 with a new reproduction. The difference in foam material was quite apparent. I think the new seat uses a modern type closed cell material. I don't know what is in the old seat but it is more suitable for a church pew. With rear set controls to properly distribute my weight and the new repop seat, my Interstate is very comfy and I can and do ride 500-600 miles in a day without pain.
Gary Slabaugh (email@example.com) on NOC-L 28th. Mar 1998
Single seat for Interstate
|Does any one have any suggestions for a single seat for an Interstate? The current setup goes back so far I can't find a luggage rack to fit.|
A friend of mine just shortened a Roadster seat sufficiently to fit nicely. Then he had it reupholstered. One could also take the opportunity to have a custom seat outfit like Sergeants make up a high-tech foam. All you need to get started is a Roadster seat with rotten cover and sacked out foam, $10 at most swap meets. Or perhaps Sargent would rework the Interstate seat pan to shorten the rear a few inches. It would be worth asking them. I think an Interpol seat would be too long in front, but you'd have to find one and try it.
Ben English (firstname.lastname@example.org) on NOC-L 30th. Mar 1998
Gold Wing seat alternative
I've been using a double bucket-seat from a Gold Wing for years on my Interstate. Friends have a ball down smirking at its appearance, but my butt is happy for the comfort and the garage cat likes to sleep on my bike more than the other bikes there.
Mike Taglieri (email@example.com) on NOC-L 1st. Apr 1998
[Please note the date of posting for this one! - Editor]
Mk.lll Interpol seat fits an Interstate
The secretary of the New South Wales NOC tells me the pre-Mk.lll single Interpol seat doesn't leave enough room in front of the seat for an Interstate tank, but the Mk.lll Interpol seat does, as it came out with an Interstate tank (he 's tried it). So if you are looking for a single Interpol seat, get a Mk.lll one.
Chris Ghent (firstname.lastname@example.org) on NOC-L 1st. Apr 1998
|Is the Mk.lll Interpol seat hinged? Part of my problem is that the panniers don't allow the Mk.lll Interstate seat to swing fully open|
Mk.lll Interpol seat is not hinged
I checked, and the Mk.lll Interpol and Mk.lll HiRider variants retained the pre-Mk.lll method of fixing the seat... that is by two knobs, one each side.
Chris Ghent (email@example.com) on NOC-L 2nd. Apr 1998
|I need a new seat for my Commando and have never been that impressed with the stock items nor do I particularly like the Corbin models that much - thus I am looking for someone to make me a custom model. Any ideas?|
Unlike Corbin, Sargents does not make complete seats but will make anything you want using your base. They will turn it around in about one week (except maybe in the hurricane season).
John Mead (firstname.lastname@example.org) on NOC-L 12th. Apr 1998
I don't believe they'll build one from just the pan - they need the original foam to build the seat. Something about the contour of the pan. They just finished rebuilding my Honda 550 seat and it took two weeks. They're on the web at: www.sargentcycle.com/
John S. Morris (email@example.com) on NOC-L 13th. Apr 1998
More on Corbin seats
I have ridden one bike with a Corbin seat, I must say that for me it was the most uncomfortable seat I had ever planted my a*** on and that includes a Hi-Rider seat. I only rode about 80 miles on this bike but it wasn't very fun. I like to do a lot of long distance riding so it wouldn't work for me.
John Ebert (firstname.lastname@example.org) on NOC-L 4th. Dec 1999
I found the same with my seat and on longer rides I now put a sheepskin on it (no Kiwi jokes please). I also find putting my feet on the rear pegs from time to time helps, although when I do this I notice the weight shift onto the back wheel with consequent deterioration in the handling. The front end gets twitchy and I wonder if this happens why people put rearsets on; or do you have to have clipons to tip the rest of your weight forward and balance it up?
Chris Ghent (email@example.com) on NOC-L 4th. Dec 1999
I have the Corbin 'Gunfighter' seat on my 1970 'S' type and I love it. It's best suited for a single rider. I ride on twisty roads a lot and found the shape of the seat kept me from sliding back when accelerating out of a curve.
Paul (firstname.lastname@example.org) on NOC-L 4th. Dec 1999
I have put a lot of miles on three different Corbin seats, usually the 'dual sport' style. Single day rides have been up 850 and more miles without any discomfort or pain due to the seat. Comfort or fit is not the reason I would probably not get another Corbin seat. Their problem is quality. Every seat I have had has failed. The seams have come unstiched, the vinyl cover has cracked and split and that leads to the foam rotting away. The earlier seats had some real fit problems (to the motorcycle) and their hardware was no where near as good as EOM. I have heard that may have improved.
If you want Corbin comfort, the best bet is go to Castroville, California in person and have it fitted to you and the bike. For me, I think the next time I get a seat, it will come from Russell. As far as making existing seats more comfortable, I have seen gel pads that look really interesting. You carve a slice of foam out of your seat and replace it with a half-inch of rubber gel, then put your seat cover back in place. I haven't tried one out yet, but it looks promising - if for no other reason than it preserves the stock appearance.
Jim Horton (email@example.com) on NOC-L 4th. Dec 1999