PRODUCT: Custom Burgman 650 seat from T.S. Custom Sales
Customer service: 7
Fit and finish: 10
I would HIGHLY recommend this product to others.
I paid $600 Plus $35 S&H
THE RESULTS: Tom says it takes at least 1,000 miles before the seat has had sufficient time to conform to the rider’s anatomy. Having ridden the seat close to this distance, I can only heartily recommended the seat as a viable and preferable option to the Corbin. I also ordered the back rest, which is the like the Utopia version sold by another vendor except more Tom’s version is more plush and has two different hinges that allows the rider to fine tune the angle of the back. However, when wearing a riding jacket, like Joe Rocket, that has extra back padding for protection, it can cause the rider to lean more forward than is desirable. For this reason, I removed the backrest and now I can lean further back when riding down long stretches of highway. The backrest adds an extra $200.00 to the base price of $400.00. And yes, all back pain including the obnoxious tailbone discomfort is gone. Tom’s workmanship is superb and often gets compliment from other bikers. I highly recommend T.S. Customs Sales seats.
PROS: Excellent customization for almost all body types. Materials and design can have hundred of possibilities. Tom can at the customers request, mail sample color wheel plus fabrics to select from to the buyer. Most, if not all, riding discomfort will vanish, especially after the 1,000-2,000 mile break-in phase of the new seat.
CONS: 4-6 waiting period for final product versus 1-2 weeks for a Corbin. No company web site and telephone calls/e-mails are slowly responded to after the initial sale. Velour material is irritating when wearing cotton pants such as jeans on long rides. I suggest leather as an option. The backrest option was not comfortable when wearing Kevlar backed riding jackets such as Joe Rocket. Consider not purchasing the backrest extender unless of course you do not use a riding jacket with rubber padding in the spine area.
Tom Simmons, T. S. Custom Sales, 2607 W. Howard Nickell Rd.
Fayetteville, AR 72704 PH (479) 521-7339 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Of one of the two most sought aftermarket items for motorcycles and scooters seems to be windshields and seats. For me, these two items were resolved by buying a Clearview XXL windshield with the adjustable vent that prevents backpressure. However, my first step in resolving the infamous sore tailbone many Burg rider experience, was an exercise in futility. I tried special foam seat covers, gel-like material etc. But none of these solutions would extend my comfort for more than 70 miles of riding, before the discomfort factor became too great. After further review, I tried using the Jac Vinson seat extender. It was an improvement since I could now lean back. However, the JV seat extender had a rather obtrusive metal plate than presses up against my tailbone only aggravating the problem after 80 miles or so of riding.
Next, I decided to try adding an AirHawk seat cushion. Now with the combination of the AirHawk plus the JV seat extender, I could ride now up to 200 miles without much discomfort. This continued for several months. Eventually the AirHawk developed a leak in the valve stem. I had lost the receipt and AirHawk would not honor the warranty unless the original bill of sale can be provided. Well, I thought there must be a better solution. One possibility was purchasing a Corbin seat for the Burgman. However, the downside is after spending quite a bit of money, one cannot get true customization from a seat that is mass produced. The other negative aspect is the Corbin seat uses it own seat special pan that is larger and heavier than stock. The second storage section that allows a Burg rider to store two helmets is now reduced to one on the Corbin. I ruled the Corbin option out. Then at the Scootercade in Eureka Springs, there was a vendor who offered custom seats.
The name of the vendor was T.S. Custom Sales. The owner, Tom Simmons, has been making custom bike seats since the 1970s. He is a one-man shop so don’t expect a quick turn-around on orders…more on that later. Tom on display at Scootercade had some absolutely gorgeous Burg seats that he had done for customers. He also had a sample on his large Honda Goldwing. Tom is a master craftsman and creates seats for almost type of bike. After looking at his samples, I expressed an interest. Tom proceeded to take a digital picture of me in the riding position. He assured me that he could use it if I decided to pursue a custom seat for my Burgman 650. I spent several days at Scootercade riding many hundred of miles, but the painful tail-bone took away at least a little from the total experience of the rally. I decided then, I would get a custom seat.
When I returned home, Tom had already sent several e-mails regarding my possible business. All I simply did was remove the four screws at the based of the Burg seat pan and also unplugged the power cable for the dome light under the seat storage compartment. Then I shipped the Burg seat to his home where his shop is also located. The freight would cost around $35.00 for a three-day delivery. Now, Tom was very emphatic that it would take just one week from the time he received it before the restock was complete. Well, one week turned into four weeks. Apparently, Tom has a reputation of doing excellent work but over committing on a regular basis. Suddenly communications with Tom became more delayed. Finally after the second week, Tom called and mentioned there had been a personal tragedy and he apologized for the delay in not getting back to me. I gave Tom my inseam of 31 inches and my preference for the seat material. Tom has an extensive selection of color choices and materials such as leather, vinyl and velour, of which I chose the latter.
Velour according to Tom is much more tear resistant than vinyl. It also does not overheat in the sweltering sun like vinyl and leather. My selection was the black velour like the demo samples I saw at Scootercade. However, after rather long rides on the road, velour is much harder to shift around in the seat, especially when wearing blue jeans. As a matter of fact, the friction of shifting in my seat on long trips can be slightly irritating to the skin. As a result, I would have opted for leather for this very reason. The velour is also waterproofed at the manufacturing level. It is also recommended that Scot-Guard be used on the material intermittently to maintain its water repellency.