Your Butt Will Thank You
by Stacy @ Bolty.net on August 30, 2008
Irondad’s comment reminded me that I hadn’t written a post about the custom seat I commissioned for the SV. This is an oversight that needs to be corrected, if only to introduce others to Don’s handiwork.
I’ve been lucky enough to be the owner of two custom seats made by Don Weber over at Mr. Ed’s Moto/Premier Motogear in Albany, Oregon. I cheated (or got really lucky) with the first seat as it came with the Rebel I purchased as my first motorcycle. Despite being made for someone else, the seat on that Rebel was so comfortable that I knew my next bike would have one of Don’s seats on it as well. I’m not talking one or two hour comfort; I mean all day comfort, and that’s saying something on a cruiser-style bike.
Once I bought the SV, it took about 30 minutes in the saddle to know that there was no way I was going to be riding this thing without a better seat. The stock seat is a torture device that no one should ever be subjected to; except, perhaps, the designer at Suzuki who decided that it would be cool to have sharp edges on a motorcycle seat.
Don is a busy man, and with good reason: his work is in high demand. He makes one custom seat a day, in addition to various other upholstery jobs he’s been contracted to perform. Summer is his peak season, and I was lucky enough to schedule my seat building day for mid-June, a mere month and a half wait! Those who want a seat from Don shouldn’t delay. We spoke with him a few months ago about doing another seat for the F650, and he’s already booked out to October.
One seat a day is certainly a far cry from mass production (*cough*Corbin*cough*), but Don’s seats are custom in every sense of the word. His preferred method is to have the customer bring their bike to his shop. He then spends the next several hours stripping the seat down to the seat pan and rebuilding it up with high quality foam materials custom shaped to fit. With 40 years of experience in the business, he has a good idea of how to make a bike fit a rider.
This sort of quality doesn’t come cheaply, however, and you’ll be looking at a price tag of around $450 if you’re hoping to add one of Don’s creations to your favorite ride. And if your tastes shade into exotic materials like ostrich leather color-matched to your paint job, you’ll be looking at paying even more. Still, a “custom” Corbin seat for the SV would have set me back $260. Is a $190 premium for master craftsmanship worth it to me? You bet it is.
Seat building day was like Christmas. I got up a little earlier than usual to get to his shop at 8am sharp. Don put a pot of coffee on and we talked about what I didn’t like about my current seat and what I was hoping for from a custom one. And then the bike was up on the lift, the seat was off, and Don worked his magic.
I rolled out of the shop on my new seat around 2pm. The day had gone by so fast and so enjoyably due to Don’s good company (and the company of some good friends of his who stopped by at various times) that I couldn’t believe six hours had passed. It really did feel like a few minutes. Doesn’t that always seem to happen on the best days?
I took my camera to the shop intending to document the building process, but Don’s stories were too darn distracting. Anyway, here are some pictures I took this morning.
A close-up shot. Hopefully you can get an idea of how good the stitching is on this thing:
Did I mention that he even helped me adjust the suspension correctly for my weight? That’s called taking customer service to another level. I can’t say it enough: Don Weber’s a class act, and he has my highest recommendation.