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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
61020

Have done due diligence reading historical posts, now kindly asking for feedback. Seem to have a particularly unusual problem with seat pain after a short time in the saddle -

Can sit in an office chair, drive ten/twelve straight hours, operate machinery sunrise-sunset - however with as little as hour or two in the seat of my ’18 DCT baseline model can be in an unusually lot of pain - enough to need to stand on pegs to continue. Must be experiencing some type of gross anatomical misfit.

Looks like there are several highly-regarded aftermarket seats, but how would one know if they weren’t just purchasing the same problem? With the AT being my only road bike, I don’t have the insights most of you have or ability to get onto another machine to see how other seats feel or get a clue what the issue might be. The pic included above is from an historical post and is apparently from a custom seat builder - somehow that seat looks like it might work better - maybe hardcore ADV folks would get a chuckle from that, but whatever allows riding in comfort, right?

Suggestions on how to work toward resolution? Start with investing in gel pads or other odd items like the AirHawk or sheepskin to see if can begin to isolate the issue? Sure, visit a custom seat shop, but I'm probably a few hours away from one, and if walking into a seat shop do they automatically assume one is operating on an Ewan & Charlie unlimited budget? If the resolution involved multiple overnight trips and $1000+ practically speaking would just limp along with the pain. So for you riders with lifetime of experience, how would you go about working toward resolution?

Thanks & appreciate any words of wisdom
 

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I also am not happy with stock seat comfort. I have a Russel Day Long on my F6B and it is the best seat I've ever sat on so decided to try one for the AT. This is not my bike but the seat should be close to the same looks. Warning, they have 3 month waiting list.
61021
 

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Seats are important to me. I am a bit older and have traveled well over 500K miles in the last 50 years. The best seat I have ever had on any bike is the Russell Day-Long. It is expensive but if you spend many days in the saddle cannot be beat. It may not be the best choice for the Africa Twin however if you ride off road much. It is designed to be very supportive but not designed to let you get your feet on the ground easily as it supports the outside of you legs and thighs and won't allow you to easily reach the ground, it can be a little difficult if you stand on the pegs much as well..

On my AT I have the Sargent seat with a Sit and Fly 3d mesh cover over it. Sargent did a brilliant thing with their saddles in that the foam is shaped so that it does not apply pressure to your tail bone. Not visible from looking at the seat but it is definitely shaped under the cover to allow some space for the tailbone(coccyx). This combination of the 3D mesh and the Sargent seat takes care of all pressure points and allows good air circulation between your body and the seat surface to prevent hot-spots. I have ridden multiple 10 hour days with no discomfort. The true test of a good seat is how much time you spend thinking about it while you are riding. At the end of the day if you have not had any thoughts about how you are sitting or any comfort issues you are good.

Dan
 

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View attachment 61020
Have done due diligence reading historical posts, now kindly asking for feedback. Seem to have a particularly unusual problem with seat pain after a short time in the saddle -

Can sit in an office chair, drive ten/twelve straight hours, operate machinery sunrise-sunset - however with as little as hour or two in the seat of my ’18 DCT baseline model can be in an unusually lot of pain - enough to need to stand on pegs to continue. Must be experiencing some type of gross anatomical misfit.

Looks like there are several highly-regarded aftermarket seats, but how would one know if they weren’t just purchasing the same problem? With the AT being my only road bike, I don’t have the insights most of you have or ability to get onto another machine to see how other seats feel or get a clue what the issue might be. The pic included above is from an historical post and is apparently from a custom seat builder - somehow that seat looks like it might work better - maybe hardcore ADV folks would get a chuckle from that, but whatever allows riding in comfort, right?

Suggestions on how to work toward resolution? Start with investing in gel pads or other odd items like the AirHawk or sheepskin to see if can begin to isolate the issue? Sure, visit a custom seat shop, but I'm probably a few hours away from one, and if walking into a seat shop do they automatically assume one is operating on an Ewan & Charlie unlimited budget? If the resolution involved multiple overnight trips and $1000+ practically speaking would just limp along with the pain. So for you riders with lifetime of experience, how would you go about working toward resolution?

Thanks & appreciate any words of wisdom
I am on the wrong side of the border and too far away to let you try my bike or one of the seats. I have an 2019 ATAS with the high seat and the low seat. The ATAS seat has a different profile which is supposedly more comfortable, at least to some posteriors. A sheepskin or something like an Air Hawk pad could be worth a try. If you know a rider who has one perhaps you could borrow it for a short time. If you consider a gel seat, be aware that parking the bike in direct sunlight on a hot day could result in some extended discomfort when riding off. That type of seat holds the heat longer than the normal seat material.
 

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I have my opinions on aftermarket seats, but before you go down that road, might I suggest a purple everywhere?

I know it is kinda silly, but throw a purple everywhere cushion on your stock seat and see what you think. Way better than an airhawk in my opinion and very cheap. It angles down so you can swap it to get you crotch out of the tank. Combined with a sheepskin it made even my KTM comfy. Best part is you can move it around and change it up every couple hundred miles.

I bought it because I have sensitive skin and vibes+long distance equal a killer diaper rash. This really helped me out...

Worst case scenario if you don't like it on the bike you can throw it on your office chair or car chair for some extra cush. :)
 

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Unfortunately............
Seats are like finding the person you love, it’s all personal and different for everyone...
 

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i have an air hawk and have used it on the last five bikes and i find it a great job although it makes the bike a bit higher. The good thing about it is that whenever you change the bike you haven't lost a fortune on a custom seat.
 

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Sooner or later all seats suck. Sitting in one position on a narrow perch is just not what we were meant to do. We do not ride ADV bikes for comfort. If we wanted comfort we would buy a Honda Accord or Goldwing. I have tried and had lots of different seats. I go with the rule of thumb used for cycling. The harder the better. Sounds counter intuitive but stick with me here. If the seat is harder, then your muscles do not need to work as hard to support you, therefore less fatigue. The first ride feels strange, but spend a day on a hard saddle and you will be happy with the difference. I find Corbins too slippery. My favorite seat ever was the Sargent I had on my F800GS. I could sit on that all day long.

I really wanted a Race Seat (from Race Seats in Italy). They look and sound great. I was looking forward to getting rid of the two piece seat pan. In the end, I was not willing to spend the money to get one to Canada.

I avoid adding things to sit on top of my seat. I have short legs so extra height is not a help.

As we speak, my seat is in the mail to Renazco for a custom build. (It is scheduled for delivery today) His prices are reasonable, he has a good rep and he seems to know what he is talking about. He has also ridden an AT so he knows and understands the seating position. Time will tell if it works, but it has to be better than the stock seat that is designed for great comfort for the duration of a test ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks all for reading and responses...

Did couple hour ride today got some insights.....

Began feeling slightly sore as usual about twenty minutes in. However, constantly monitoring and shifting, was able to modulate and moderate discomfort so that it mostly didn't get much worse. But still, definitely improvement is needed.

Observations....

Had never really thought about it, but iseems possible that a significant amount of discomfort comes from perpetually sliding, and fighting the slide, forward. Once, shifting back to be supported against the pillion seat and accelerating uphill, whoo - seemed like a noticeable improvement. Next, associated with fighting the forward tilt, seems like getting discomfort from clothes becoming bunched and stretched and pulling unevenly, struggling against the slide. Hadn't really thought about it but sure enough. Then, if shifting down to the low point on the seat, seems like getting two near center hotspots that radiate backward, that quickly become painful enough to force a move forward or back or to anything besides sitting on those hotspots. Finally, when stopping and standing up off the seat with feet on the ground, got a few seconds of stabbing that smarts worse than any sitting discomfort.

All odd, I know.

So possibly a wider seat wouldn't be helpful as much as a seat that helps address the forward slide/tilt? And it looks like maybe the steeply sloping seat is more a function of visual aesthetics than best design (that, and allowing one to get their feet on the ground)?
 

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I do not have the sliding forward you speak of but do hate this stock seat. 100 miles is about all I want to spend on it in a day. Looking forward to something different.
 

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Well, at least you can be sure that what ever solution you buy will not be worse than the stock seat!

I have been happy with the Corbin seat. Narrow enough to touch the ground, gets rid of the tilt forward, and stays comfy 12 hours at a stint.

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To expand on my feeling about the Sargent vs the stocker: The Sargent is flatter at the front and wider everywhere, with a bit of a pocket. I don't have a wide ass, so the width isn't very relevant, but I notice that with the Sargent, I don't sit all the way against the rear now, but just a bit forward. If you feel that the stock seat tries to slide you forward, maybe you unconsciously try to slide forward and it bothers you.
 

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Well, at least you can be sure that what ever solution you buy will not be worse than the stock seat!

I have been happy with the Corbin seat. Narrow enough to touch the ground, gets rid of the tilt forward, and stays comfy 12 hours at a stint.
OH, I see that I can tri-colour the hell out of that....and a heated version too...
 
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After having a Corbin seat on my CBR1000 and having the seat on my Aprilia Tuono relined with firmer padding, I went with the Seat Concept for the AT. at 59 years old I found that after about 2 hours I was getting pain and almost a feeling of being split down the middle ( if you get my meaning). First off the Seat Concept is scalloped for more of a pocket to sit in reducing the slide forward I got on the stock seat. As mentioned above, part of the issue was constant sliding towards the front of the bike and fighting the slide causing me to unknowingly tense my muscles.
After a few months with the Seat Concept I think its a keeper. BTW I got the gripper cover for even more grip while seated and standing.
If you have a local forum, post up and see if anyone has one you can try.
 

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Over the years I have found that a seat that is taller in front helps to carry your weight more in your legs and thighs and removes pressure from your tailbone and Ischia of your pelvis. Seats that allow you to slide forward are always uncomfortable and cause bunching up of undergarments as well as outer clothing. Every seat that works for me is high enough in the front that I do not slide forward. Not sure why manufacturers never seem to get this right. Everyone is shaped differently however.

Here is an interesting study on seat comfort done by Craig Vetter. His Magic Seat board.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Over the years I have found that a seat that is taller in front helps to carry your weight more in your legs and thighs and removes pressure from your tailbone and Ischia of your pelvis. Seats that allow you to slide forward are always uncomfortable and cause bunching up of undergarments as well as outer clothing. Every seat that works for me is high enough in the front that I do not slide forward.
Traveling by automobile, in typical automobile seats, I've comfortably driven sixteen plus hours with little stopping. Just seemed to be able to go for hours and hours and just keep going, safely, comfortably. And what one will notice about automobile seats is, they tend to slope backward.

Next, flying across the country weekly for a couple years working for a major software company quickly logged tens of thousands of miles. And sitting in airplane seats results in agony. Why? Observation is that it's because airplane seats slope forward....I've guessed it's to make it easier to evacuate, but who knows?

And so ah yes, airplane seats give the same kind of discomfort the AT does - seems likely fatigue from forward sloping seat.

On airplanes, I discovered, when taking a seat ask for two pillows and put them under thighs at the front of the seat.... (or, a jacket, blanket, absolutely anything you can get - get something under your thighs). Yep, relief.

There are other motorcycle forums where there are pages and pages of write-ups from folks trying to scientifically/technically analyze it, but finally thinking about it seems likely a key toward resolution is addressing seat tilt. Taking up the majority of weight on legs and thighs seems to be the answer for pain relief in long duration sitting.

Thanks for this comment and link -
 
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