Frequently Asked Questions
Every seat we design is engineered ON THE MOTORCYCLE, not from the stock basepan. With that statement, you’ll understand there is no pat answer that applies to all bikes and seat models. However, we can certainly tell you about our design criteria and this may help give you an idea of what to expect. Here goes:
Our design team determines the optimal rider placement on the bike taking into consideration ground reach, bar reach, peg distance, bike balance, center of gravity, existing hardware/chassis issues, saddle features and general feel. We call this “the sweet spot”. From there we design the seating platform to provide the most width possible that still looks good and flows with the bike’s lines. The front portion of the seat (the nose) is then shaped to provide the best possible reach to the ground without destroying the ergonomic support. This shape will then be tested and modified to fine tune the design to provide the best combination of support and reach.
Depending on the model of the bike, the shaping may be modified to try and correct potential shortfalls in the motorcycle’s ergonomics. A good example of this would be our latest tooling for the Goldwing 1800 where ground reach is a known issue. We made our standard seat model with a very low and narrow nose to facilitate reaching the pavement at stop signs.
Whenever possible we’ve listed the measurements of the seating platform(s) on the product page. This will give you an idea of where the rider bucket is placed on the bike relative to the tank and also provide you with the seat height.
The Corbin saddle is made to support your body weight more from the sides and provide better weight distribution. As such it may feel wider than your stock seat and you may find yourself wanting to slide forward and out of the bucket for best ground reach at stop signs. This is because the seat was engineered to provide the most support possible WHILE RIDING with your feet on the pegs which actually displaces some of your weight to your thighs and helps relieve hot spots. The Corbin saddle will usually provide ground reach easier than the stock seat although it may not feel like it considering the above.
You will immediately notice how firm it feels compared to your stocker. The stock foam is soft and feels “cushy” at first, but this goes away quickly as your body weight pushes all resilience out of the foam. This leaves you sitting on the basepan with pressure points developing in *ahem* … inconvenient places. The Corbin saddle feels firm at first, but retains resilience indefinately so you always have a nice ride. Over time, our Comfort Cell® foam will actually break in and take on your shape for a personalized fit.
You may find the seat actually changes your posture slightly. Although this can be a little unsettling at first, give it some time! You’ll notice the positioning and angle of the seating platform actually helps to relieve fatigue from your wrists, knees, ankles, back and neck. Don’t be worried though, you’re considering a new seat for a reason, right?!
Absolutely YES! Corbin is a custom saddle manufacturer and virtually all of our products are made to order. We can offer you a variety of colors in styles ranging from flames to scollops or even just a tasteful welt. For detailed information, just go to the Product Info link you’ll find on your left (that’s the clutch side).
Sorry, the Corbin backrest system relies on proprietary hardware we build inside the Corbin seat. This hardware requires a rigid basepan, like the Fibertech we use, and cannot be installed onto a flexible OEM style base.
When the question of seat softness is raised, it actually brings up several issues. First off, a soft foam is actually detrimental to riding comfort (most stock motorcycle seats use a foam density of 3-4 pounds). When a foam is too soft, it does not offer the rider the support that is needed for the long haul and given time will compact to the point to where it offers no resiliency at all. When this occurs, the rider usually assumes that the seat is too hard, when in fact the problem has arisen from the foam being too soft.
Corbin’s solution is to use a contoured “Comfort Cell®” foam. This foam is of the closed cell variety which means that it is made up of a series of small bubbles which hold air pockets that keep the saddle resilient indefinitely. Corbin foam is designed to give us the flexibility to vary the density of it to suit the design of the saddle (low profile seats require denser foam) and is cast into a shape that disperses the rider’s weight over a greater area of square inches, therefore eliminating pressure points. This is what we call “ergonomic shaping”. On average, Corbin foam is used at a density of approximately 7 pounds which after decades of testing has proven to provide the best combination of resilience with true riding SUPPORT!
In addition, Corbin’s foam has a memory feature. After a break-in period of approximately 1500-2000 miles, the saddle will actually take on the shape of the rider which provides even better weight dispersion and custom fitted comfort.
Short answer: Sorry, we do not.
Long answer: In an attempt to keep the price of the Corbin saddle reasonable, we are always searching for ways to keep costs down. Our products are extremely labor intensive and we use only the finest materials available so this is not a simple task. Over the years, a large full color catalog has served very well and was the only means available of providing specific product information to riders and dealers alike. With the advent of the internet, we have found the ability to provide extended information that is more timely without incurring the huge cost of a printed catalog (along with postage, handling, etc). We still have the ability to send out specific information upon request and will likely have some form of general literature later in the year.
Don’t panic, water won’t damage your saddle. Corbin covers are extremely durable and are weather resistant too. Although the materials are resistant to water intrusion, the stitching in the cover can let water in. If this happens, your behind will probably get wet a couple of the times as you squeeze the water back out while sitting on the seat. The solution to this is to let the seat dry out in the sun for awhile. If you often find yourself getting caught in the rain, you may want to consider a saddle rain cover.
To assure that your leather seat retains it weather resistance, we recommend conditioning your seat on a regular basis with Corbin’s Saddle Cream or similar product. You should condition your seat at least as often as you wash your bike (TIP: Remove your saddle from your bike when washing it). We strongly suggest a regular coating of a good parafin or silicon based leather conditioner like ours… do NOT use cleaners or conditioners with a petroleum or kerosene base!
Good conditioning will help the leather to stay supple and age gracefully as it breaks in. Remember, much like your leather jacket, the leather will conform to your shape and develop its own unique character over time. Good care will go a long ways towards the lasting beauty of your new seat.
Yes, however the Corbin saddle is designed to work perfect for about 90% of the riding population. If there is any doubt, you can provide your height, weight and inseam to your sales representative and they will provide that information to the people making your saddle. We strongly suggest that before any modifications are made, that you try riding our standard shape seat, that way, if modifications need to be made, we will have a point of reference. If you have to send a saddle back to us for modification, we will change the shape of your seat to your specification at no charge as long as we can put the same cover back onto the seat. If the changes are such that the cover cannot be reused, then we would have to charge for a new cover at cost.
Mostly, we only use leather in the seating panels. That is to say, any area of the seat or backrest that actually comes in contact with your body while you’re riding. The reason for this is simple: The side panels of your seat and backrest take the most beating from day to day use and the advantages of leather are lost since your body doesn’t contact those areas. Instead, we use a coordinating vinyl that is a perfect match to the grain and color of the leather, but does not stretch like leather, therefore keeping your saddle tight. This provides you with a motorcycle saddle that stays looking new for a much longer period of time.
We’ll take this one material at a time:
Vinyl is a popular cover material because it is durable, weather resistant and is available in the widest range of colors. Since it is a man made material, it doesn’t breathe very well which means that it will trap heat against your body. The solution to this if you prefer a vinyl saddle, is to order basketweave or some other textured seating. Basketweave material has a pattern to it that allows for some air space between your body and the seat itself. Conditioning a vinyl saddle every time you wash your bike will assure a long lasting cover!
Leather is the best material for a motorcycle saddle especially if you are a long distance rider. Since leather is a natural product, it breathes well and helps to keep your body cool where you contact the seat. Leather will also conform with the foam shape as it breaks in to give you a personalized fit. For leather saddles, we recommend a regular conditioning with a good silicon based cleaner/conditioner such as Corbin’s Saddle Cream to help it age well and stay weather resistant. We have a wide range of styles and colors to choose from, just click on the Product Info link in the menu to the left. By the way, we do not recommend leather for offroad bikes. Likewise, we have found the basic black natural texture leather to be the most durable!
Velour is a very plush material for touring seats as it provides a very cool and comfortable ride. Since it is a cloth material, it must be treated well with some form of protectant such as Scotchguard. Even when well treated, velour is not very weather resistant and gets dirty fast, which means it requires the most amount of care out of all of your material options. Additionally, Velour does not last as long as the other material options.
Naturally we offer recovers, repairs and restorations of your Corbin saddle. The cost of recovering a seat can vary quite a bit and your best option is to contact our Customer Service department directly. To give you an idea: If your saddle needs a new cover made, the cost will be approximately 75% of that seat model’s current price. This is because the greatest area of cost on a saddle (in raw materials AND labor) is in the cover and assembly. Before sending in a saddle for repair or rework, always contact us for a “TLC” number first to assure you get the quality service you deserve.
First off, YES it is leather. What our manufacturer has done is taken a nice supple hide and laminated a black nylon weave to the top that has a herringbone pattern that matches true carbon fiber. Why didn’t they use real carbon? Simple, when real carbon fiber was tried as a laminate, it had a tendency to fray and scuff. This eventually left it looking like an old sweater with those funky little fuzzy things all over it. The custom made black nylon doesn’t do that and holds up very well to constant use.
Recently we’ve added a Carbon Fiber embossed vinyl to the material choices available. Unlike the leather, this material is actually a weave pattern embossed into the surface of the material. We like to use the embossed material in the side panels to coordinate with Carbon Fiber leather seating. This is also a good option for a carbon-fiber look on your offroad bike.
To be clear, not all Corbin saddles can work with a removable backrest, the functionality needs to be engineered into the original design. If the seat in question does have this function, YES, you can add the backrest at any time.
In some cases, the Corbin seat has a type of hardware that bolts into the bottom of the seat (parts #OPL & #OPS) in which case, you just order your backrest and the required hardware. In most cases, however, the hardware is built right into the saddle and is an integral part of the basepan. In these seat designs, the internal hardware will be in place by default whether you order a backrest with the saddle or not.
Please note: For safety reasons, we can not add backrest hardware to saddles that were not initially engineered to accept them.
Nice thing about the Corbin backrest system is that even though the backrests themselved have undergone much development, the mounting system is the same! In other words, any of our current backrest models should work fine in your saddle. There are a FEW seat models that require a specific backrest type and these are noted on the seat’s product page. Likewise one of our tech reps can get this information for you if you are concerned.
Yes you may, but in most cases there is no reason to do so. Later, if you or a buyer of your motorcycle wants to add a backrest, they will not be able to do so.
If you simply want your stock seat recovered, it is best to just have it done at a local upholstery shop where you can choose your colors and design your pattern. As far as stock basepans are concerned, we cannot build a Corbin seat onto the basepan that many motorcycles come with. Most basepans do not offer the strength to support the Comfort Cell foam and provide you with the comfort that Corbin saddles are famous for. If you are building a custom chopper and have had a steel or very strong fiberglass basepan made, then we can build a seat for you on your basepan, but we cannot build in the support for a rider’s backrest. For additional information, drop us a line: Corbin01@corbin.com
In some cases (Harley-Davidson Softails & Suzuki M109 R for example) the Corbin components were designed to work with the stock pieces. This is not true on all models, however. In many cases, we have designed our components to accept the removable rider’s backrest and this may interfere with its ability to be used with the factory seats. In any case, the Corbin components make a much more comfortable and better looking alternative.
Corbin offers a lifetime warranty on the foam, basepan and hardware with one year on the cover and heater units. This warranty applies to the original owner. Normal wear & tear or physical damage due to external forces (like your dog chewing it up) are not covered under the Corbin warranty. Any problem encountered with the material or workmanship of your Corbin saddle will be repaired at no charge to you. If you have a possible warranty situation, please contact our customer Service department so they may determine the cause of the failure. Customer Service
Mike extensively tests every new foam technology that comes to market. Over the past 30+ years, we’ve done much testing on the gel padding and its possible usage for motorcycle seats and found that our advanced Comfort Cell foam is superior in both comfort and durability. Gel padding was originally developed as a prosthesis for mastectomy patients and was never intended to support more than its own weight. Gel has been tried as a cushion in running shoes, bicycle seats and gloves among other things (in fact, Mike has a gel seat on his exercise bike at home!) Gel is also very cold and is an inadequate cushion for most serious enthusiasts. Even when new, gel can apply pressure to areas of the body that are not well suited to load bearing. When subjected to heavy pounding, gel deteriorates developing pockets or holes. This situation worsens as the gel deteriorates.
Cooling air flow is blocked by gel and the material itself has what we call a Thermos Effect. Basically this means that when he gel gets hot, it stays hot and when it gets cold, it stays cold. Instead, Corbin saddles are contoured to distribute loads without applying pressure to sensitive tissue or blocking air flow. Instead of using a liquid displacement technology as in the gel foam, Corbin uses air as a cushion. (ask Nike about air pockets and support.) Corbin does this one better by combining the strength of closed cell foam and the air trapped inside to give the best possible support and impact protection! Corbin foam adapts to your body and provides you with evenly distributed support.
There are several reasons that Corbin uses fibertech as a basepan material. First off, fibertech offers us the design flexibility to fit each and every contour of the motorcycle to provide a precise fit. Fibertech is also very weather resistant and won’t rust when subjected to the elements.
When used in the proper thickness, Fibertech provides the strength necessary to support the carefully designed ergonomics of the Corbin Saddle. With good basepan strength, the seat will always support you in the right places! When making a new saddle design, Corbin engineers the basepan to ride on rubber bumpers which keep the basepan up and off of your paint job. This is a much better alternative than carpet or similar material which will trap dust and grit against your bike and ruin a paint job.
If we don’t have your saddle in stock, time in the shop can differ greatly depending on the season. During the “slow months” turn around time is roughly 2 weeks. During the peak spring and summer months this turn around can vary greatly. We will be happy to let you know what the current status is if you want to drop us an e-mail or call! If you order a seat via our secured server, we will confirm the order as soon as possible and provide an estimated delivery date.
Please keep in mind that if we cannot reach you (undeliverable e-mail address, no answer at the phone number provided, etc…) your order will go on hold! If you have not received confirmation within 24 hours (excluding weekends) then we are most likely having trouble contacting you.
We’ve recently opened a warehouse in Daytona Beach where we try to keep stock on some of our more popular models in plain designs. It is hard to predict exactly how this will effect turn around time as new bike models come out all of the time and predicting inventory can be tricky. We spent the winter stocking up, but there is an extremely wide range of options and combinations available which makes it very difficult. If you would like to find out if a particular model and design is handy, please feel free to drop us a line and ask. Just drop us a line HERE.
If you pick up a new seat at a rally or from one of our locations and take it with you, then you will pay sales tax. If we SHIP your new seat to you, you will only pay sales tax if the shipping address is within the state of California or Florida. All other states will not pay sales tax on shipped orders. For international orders, you will be responsible for any customs charges and taxes that may be applied. When ordering internationally, it is always best to work with one of our Worldwide Distributors.
Unlike many companies, we do NOT markup our shipping charges. Our preferred carriers are UPS, Federal Express and DHL. Please keep in mind that many Corbin products are considered oversize and may ship by dimensional weight rather than actual weight. Naturally, air freight orders will cost more and are always billed at dimensional weight.
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If there is information that you think we should post here for everybody’s convenience, please drop us a line!