The composition of a knave (polyanarch) wrote in sport_tour,
The composition of a knave

Corbin Seats

I've had a couple different discussions about Corbin seats/saddles versus Sargent, compared to the OEM/stock seats. I figured I'd make a new post here rather than in comments for posterities sake.

I've never owned a Sargent but from everything I've heard and seen of them I am impressed. I've owned a few Corbin seats over the years and I have to say they are the most comfortable seats I've ever sat on for long distances. I've sat on some Sargents but I have never had the chance to compare them properly due to the fact that I did not put a 600+ mile day on them. My initial feeling of many of the Sargents were that they were too soft -but that is something that could be specified upon ordering. Most customers don't know what they want. A good seat must be concave (not convex), and not too soft IMHO. Corbin has this part right! The problem with this type of seat is that although a Corbin seat seems to have a lower seat height by the stats/numbers, the width and high dished sides will make it actually seem to be a physically longer reach to the ground. All things are a trade-off and it is why OEM seats are narrow and mushy. So they feel soft and easy to reach the ground on the sales floor. They want to SELL bikes. Most new bike buyers have no clue what they want/need.

But Corbin has other issues. They sometimes have serious fitment issues, other times the fitment is less serious -but it will never fit as well as the stock seat did. The OEM puts hundreds of hours into making an exact fit between the too-soft/light seat pan and the bike itself. Corbin uses a stiff seat belly pan which is necessary to get the proper support that a seat needs.

Don't expect a perfect seat from Corbin. One I got was so poorly fitted that it pushed and rubbed at the tank and didn't even snap onto the bike correctly. I had to fix this myself. The replacement seat I got after paying shipping both ways was just as bad. I wasn't going to try for #3!

This seat came almost perfect but there were some flaws, and I had to modify/adjust the latching hoop at the rear to make it fit properly. Don't expect Corbin to help you much unless you can drop by personally to their factory. Just do a google for Corbin poor customer service and you will see what I mean. I hear Sargent is awesome with customer service. A seat is something that has to be "just right" or there will be problems.

I just happened to have my Corbin off because I was Making love to it -rubbing it down with Mink oil because the years have not been kind to the real leather seat top covering (the sides are naugahyde though -how many poor Nauga beasts have died for motorcycle seats?) Because the Corbin is Concave instead of convex and the saddle tends to hold a puddle of water in it, leaving the bike out overnight will cause water issues. It's not a big deal to towel off before a ride, but it does not do anything good for the leather.

I would not suggest getting real leather unless your bike never is left outside. I need to get a backpack rain cover or something for when I am on the road to keep the seat dry so the yucky leather syndrome does not get any worse. Keeping more mink oil on it will help. Real leather is slightly more comfortable than Nauga-beast-hyde though. But it isn't worth it for the trouble/expense.

The biggest issue with the Corbin is fitment. They can't even get the adjustment of the bracket that snaps the seat into your bike right. Be prepared to adjust this yourself. Here I added some washers to shim out the bracket from the seat and had to fiddle with the front-rear adjustment.

The seat for my VFR700 didn't have bolts here, it was RIVOTED on so I had to drill out the rivits, add washers and then move it back about 1.5cm it was so far off of adjustment. Not something most people are qualified to do. Good luck sending it back...

There are some quality issues as well. The rubber bumpers don't really sit on the frame rails underneith correctly. So they begin to fail and break. This one will have to have the rivit drilled and replaced with a new bumper and rivit. I'll probably end up replacing all of them at the same time when I do this. The "flappy" front tab piece doesn't quite fit right either. It really needs to be shimmed down as well. It just barely fits under the slot it mates to. So much so that it has to be forced in a little. Now the rivits are a bit loose and it wobbles. When I do the bumpers I'll shim this too. Remember, this is a GOOD Corbin IMHO.

The design of the well-made seat pan isn't quite fitted perfectly and rubs here and there on most bikes (luck of the draw really but usually there is a flaw in most Corbins that I have seen over the years).

Even little quality issues like how the stickers they use on the bottom of the seat begin to peel off within weeks/months. I used clear plastic packing tape to cover them and keep them "fresh."

This isn't Guillermo's fault. Corbin should just use better stickers!

The actual quality of the upholstering is excellent considering it is a leather/nauga hybrid cover and very thick and difficult to mold/rivit to the underside. The real issue is the seat pan not being perfectly designed to fit this particular bike. If you go to their factory, they will make a perfect saddle for you from what I hear. But if you mail order, you will get something from "imperfect" to 'orrible. Sending it back doesn't help when they are basically making the seat blind. That is the problem of not using the too-soft/bendy OEM seat pan. I fear that if someone were to send a Corbin seat pan to Sargent they might have the same issues. It's too bad, as the hard/stiff Corbin Seat pan is the major factor in making a good long-distance seat. The OEM is flawed and too narrow as well as flexy-flier lightweight.

Crossposted to sport_tour and polyanarch
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