I arrived at their facility right at 8 AM and filled out the paperwork. We chose a black vinyl with charcoal gray velour inserts and a small diamond pattern. I added the backrest, the pouch on the back of the backrest and a rain cover. They also agreed to fabricate a backrest to replace the stock Givi backrest I had purchased for the top case. My wife finds that it hits her too high in the back and does not provide any support.
We met our builder, Chris, and went outside so they could take photos of us sitting on the bike. I waited while they removed the stock seat and by about 8:45 we left for breakfast. We returned at 11:30 as they requested and did a test sit. At that point they had installed the springs, covered it with three different kinds of foam in different areas, and formed the foam to our size and shape based on the photos, our weight and measurements. We had them take off 1/2 inch of foam in a couple areas, but they were already very close.
We were there only half an hour or so and then left with instructions to return at 4 PM. They were just about finished when we arrived, right on time. The seat itself was done but they were still trying to get the custom seat back shaped and attached to the Givi top case. There was very little room where the seat swings up so they had to shave it to a concave form at the bottom. Chris really knew what he was doing and in just a few minutes had it shaped perfectly. The seat just barely touches it as it swings past.
We then sat on it for the first time. It was really a different feel. You actually sit down into a bucket and the main thing you feel is the side edges on the back of the thighs. They made it very clear that this is normal and will soon conform to your shape as it breaks in. It has to be higher there initially. I adjusted my backrest to a comfortable position, but I'm sure I will have to play with it some as time goes on. The higher "wings" made the seating a little higher off the ground, but by sliding forward just a tad it is no problem. I can still flatfoot it, and I'm only 5' 7" with a 29" inseam. The darkside rear tire I installed a couple months ago also raised the bike a bit, but it's not much of an issue. I'm sure I will get used to it.
The backrest Chris built for my wife made her very happy. She has never had any lower to mid back support, and the pad he built was perfect. She's a very happy camper. Her "bucket" also felt comfortable to her, but of course, the real test will be when she rides.
They re-installed the seat and I paid the bill, (OUCH!) but for the quality of work and the custom fit it will be well worth it. The temperature when we left Red Bluff at 7:15 AM this morning was 70 degrees and I wore the liner in my riding jacket. When I left their facility at 5 PM it was 108 degrees. Before leaving I soaked my shirt in the sink. Needless to say, I removed the liner from my riding jacket.
The ride back to Red Bluff from Shasta Lake is about 38 miles. At 70 MPH the shirt was dry in less than 30 miles. The seat feels very different. I felt no pressure on my tailbone or in the normal places I get numb. I did feel some pressure under my thighs, but I expected that. I think this is going to work out great and make riding long distances a whole lot more fun.
The only thing I am not totally pleased about is the rain cover. It is not custom made for the seat. Consequently the fit is not great. A rain cover is absolutely necessary with the velour, which we chose for breath ability and because it does not get so hot when the sun shines on it.
Below are a couple photos I took when I got home.The lighting is not great, but I think you can get a pretty good idea of what it looks like. You will notice the two holes and the dirty outline where I removed the Givi backrest on the top half of the top case. I plan to have cut it down and recover it with vinyl to match the rest of the seat and lower backrest. There just wasn't time to get that done today. It's a small job and I will likely do it myself.
All in all, I'm a very happy camper.
2005 Silver 400 - Bought new in April of 2005 and sold to my brother in April 2011 with 33,00 miles on it.
2008 Black 650 Executive - Picked up in April of 2011 with only 895 miles on it. Working on adding the Farkle and miles.