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Thread: Not sure I like my new Russell

  1. #1
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    Not sure I like my new Russell

    The NC700 is the second bike I've owned (the first being a CBR250). In both cases, I could only ride for 30-45 minutes before my back-side began to become very uncomfortable. I tried an after market seat on the CBR with no improvement (the brand escapes me at the moment). I've been riding the NC for 3 years now and finally decided to do something about it. This time, I wasn't going to mess around. From what I read and researched, the Russell Day Long seat seemed to be the way to go. So I sent in my seat at the beginning of June and just received it back last week. And I don't think I like it.

    As far as riding goes, I can see why the RDL has a reputation for being very comfortable. Where my previous stock seat put pressure on my tail and inside legs, the RDL distributes weight on the back of the thighs with the seat spreading out to the sides in a shape I've seen many folks call "wings." It's these wings that I have a problem with particularly when backing up the bike. In order to get around the wings and stand up, I have to slide all the way forward which places my man parts up against the frunk. I don't have any issue touching the ground, but I'm getting a ball buster everytime I try and back up the bike. Once I'm on my way, the seat seems fine although coming to stops isn't as easy as simply kicking out a leg or two. I fear having to do a power stop and needing to suddenly plant both legs on the ground as this would probably result in a very painful sensation between my legs. Up to now, I rode my bike every chance I could get. Now I dread using it for a quick trip to the store as I don't feel like dealing with the hassle.

    My questions:
    1. Anyone else has this experience? Suggestions?
    2. The documents from RDL state that the seat needs to be broken in for 500-1000 miles. Would this break-in period help and I should just stick with it? My gut reaction is no, that the wings are integral to the design of the seat and this is just the way it is.
    3. RDL states they would like 2 chances to adjust the seat before accepting a return. Would these adjustments include changes to the wings? I'm guessing not as the wings seem integral to the comfort design of seat.
    4. Does anyone have experience returning an RDL seat? Since it was built on my original seat pan, what would I get back if I returned it?
    5. There is a "sport" version of the RDL that doesn't appear to have the wings. Wondering if there would be an option to exchange?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Not sure I like my new Russell GgarryP's Avatar
    Bike: 2016 NC700X
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    Good luck either way. If you can't return it I'm sure someone will buy it from you. And you should have no problem finding an oem seat from someone here.

    Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk
    Garry

    Two wheels and keels

  3. #3
    Senior Member melensdad's Avatar
    Bike: 2016 NC700x DCT + 2018 NC750x DCT
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    I dunno. But I looked at the Russell Day Long and noticed the wings and they were one of the reasons I opted for a Corbin. I used to bang my legs backing up a Harley, didn't have the problem on the NC, thought the RDL would cause me some issues like you describe. The Corbin is wider than stock too, but nothing like the wings. If you can exchange it for a Russel seat without wings it might be a good option. Good luck, I suspect they will stand behind their product and help you out.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Not sure I like my new Russell 670cc's Avatar
    Bike: NC700X, GL1800, KLX140G, CRF250L Rally, Ruckus 50
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    To answer your question #1, yes I tried an RDL and found the experience to be the same as yours. I felt I could barely ride the bike with the side wings in the way. Since I got my RDL as part of a used bike purchase, I sold the seat here on this forum. As much as I want to join in with those riders who can happily ride an NC across the US and back on an RDL seat, I sadly do not have the right body build for it to work.

    My GL1800 has a wide, somewhat “wingy” seat, but it works fine because it’s foot pegs are farther forward than on the NC, and the seat height is lower.

    My conclusion from the RDL experience on an NC700X is that it would probably work well for a rider with a 34 inch or more inseam. Riders with legs 32” or less may not be happy with this seat. People may have different opinions on that, but that’s how it looked to me.

    I may have investigate that Sport version option.
    Last edited by 670cc; 12th July 2019 at 17:38.
    Greg
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  5. #5
    Senior Member GregC's Avatar
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    It seems the RDL is more in the vein of a “cruiser seat.” Those wings would appear be a problem for any bike with a >30” seat height for a lot of folks.

    I can flat foot my 700x with its Ohlins shock, but with those wings in the way I don’t know.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Super Moderator
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    If we are comparing Russell to Corbin..........they both can be comfortable. But they accomplish in two completely different ways. The Corbin gains support using extremely stiff foam while Russell uses softer foam and very wide wing support. It’s a little like mattresses........firm vs soft.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Not sure I like my new Russell ld_rider's Avatar
    Bike: 2014 Black ABS/DCT
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    Quote Originally Posted by rnizman View Post
    I sent in my seat at the beginning of June and just received it back last week. And I don't think I like it.
    One week?

    Not enough time for your backside to get used to it. But, it sounds like the comfort isn't an issue for you, more like an inseam issue, and there isn't much we can do about our inseam!

    I wear a 31 or 32 inch dress pant and can flat foot on my RDL if I move up to the frunk. In my normal position I am very comfortably on the balls of both feet. No issues walking it backwards or if I suddenly have to put a foot down (or both). I even had my front part of seat pan built up a bit to help get rid of the slope. The wings were bothersome at first, but after riding out to Minnesota from Maine and tacking on another 10,000 miles or so the following weeks it was fine ;-)

    You wouldn't be the first rider that had a custom fitted seat made and it turned out not to be as comfortable as you hoped. Nice thing about the RDL is that you can probably sell it for nearly what you paid and move on to something more to your liking.

    Others will purchase a used RDL thinking that it will work for them. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. All RDL seats are custom made to fit one individual, the original buyer. It is not just about height/weight but also about how you sit on the bike, your position, your arm angles, knee angles, etc. That is why you send in all the pictures ;-)

    Two riders the same height/weight will not necessarily have the same seat designed for them. Buying a used, custom made suit from a guy your height and weight won't fit the same as the one custom fitted to you. Sorta the same thing with the RDL.

    One other thing about the RDL (or any custom seat) is that your entire rider triangle changes when you do a seat modification. Since the RDL lifted me about 2 inches higher, it screwed up my arm angle and reach, knee angle and back angle. These things I never considered. I had to mess around with different pegs, risers, etc to get back in a comfortable riding triangle. My butt was fine, just a lot of other stuff was out of wack ;-)

    A year after I installed the RDL I removed my risers, and my riding position and comfort on the bike was much improved by going back to the stock handlebar height/reach.
    Last edited by ld_rider; 13th July 2019 at 08:33.
    Rob in New England
    IBA# 540

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rnizman View Post
    The NC700 is the second bike I've owned (the first being a CBR250). In both cases, I could only ride for 30-45 minutes before my back-side began to become very uncomfortable. I tried an after market seat on the CBR with no improvement (the brand escapes me at the moment). I've been riding the NC for 3 years now and finally decided to do something about it. This time, I wasn't going to mess around. From what I read and researched, the Russell Day Long seat seemed to be the way to go. So I sent in my seat at the beginning of June and just received it back last week. And I don't think I like it.

    As far as riding goes, I can see why the RDL has a reputation for being very comfortable. Where my previous stock seat put pressure on my tail and inside legs, the RDL distributes weight on the back of the thighs with the seat spreading out to the sides in a shape I've seen many folks call "wings." It's these wings that I have a problem with particularly when backing up the bike. In order to get around the wings and stand up, I have to slide all the way forward which places my man parts up against the frunk. I don't have any issue touching the ground, but I'm getting a ball buster everytime I try and back up the bike. Once I'm on my way, the seat seems fine although coming to stops isn't as easy as simply kicking out a leg or two. I fear having to do a power stop and needing to suddenly plant both legs on the ground as this would probably result in a very painful sensation between my legs. Up to now, I rode my bike every chance I could get. Now I dread using it for a quick trip to the store as I don't feel like dealing with the hassle.

    My questions:
    1. Anyone else has this experience? Suggestions?
    2. The documents from RDL state that the seat needs to be broken in for 500-1000 miles. Would this break-in period help and I should just stick with it? My gut reaction is no, that the wings are integral to the design of the seat and this is just the way it is.
    3. RDL states they would like 2 chances to adjust the seat before accepting a return. Would these adjustments include changes to the wings? I'm guessing not as the wings seem integral to the comfort design of seat.
    4. Does anyone have experience returning an RDL seat? Since it was built on my original seat pan, what would I get back if I returned it?
    5. There is a "sport" version of the RDL that doesn't appear to have the wings. Wondering if there would be an option to exchange?

    Thanks.
    In response to #2, doesn't sound like break-in will have anything to do with your key complaints. I'd unload the seat on here and try another brand. I'm pretty happy with my Seat Concepts, although you'd need yours (or another) oem seat pan. Next in line I'd suggest would be either the Shad comfort seat or the Sargent. Corbins probably not too shabby either, just not a fan of how they look.

    Also, after extended rides, I find that standing up for 15-20 seconds every now and then while going down the road helps gives the bum a break when it's really starting to bother me. Less so woth the seat concepts seat now, but I don't think any seat will be 100% comfortable for the bulk of us to the point that we can ride all day and not even think about it. I don't think it's necessarily the seat, I think its the entire ergos of the NC. Cruisers are built around all day riding ergos, NC's are not. Just find which seat works best for you, ride the piss out of it, and you'll build up your endurance for sitting on the NC. I don't think that would be possible on the stock seat however, but I do think any one of the few aftermarket seats mentioned above will allow you some major improvement and ability to adapt.


    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Super Moderator
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    In the case of seat “break in” ..........I think you butt has does more “breaking in” vs the actual seat surface changing.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Not sure I like my new Russell
    Not sure I like my new Russell

    Bike: 2015 NC700X DCT, 2005 R1150R, 2011 R1200GS
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    A few rambling thoughts from an NC700 / RDL lover with a 29" inseam.

    It took me one long day (500 miles) to fall in love with my RDL. I would never switch back.

    Our experiences differ.... I actually rode down to the Russell shop and spent a day to have my seat built. They held my bike upright with me in 'my' riding position, they looked at the whole picture, they asked where I wanted to be positioned, built a seat, had me come back to test-sit it, made a slight modification, covered it and then I rode it 500 miles home. I can honestly say they never asked me how often I back up or asked me to demonstrate said backing up.

    They also built a pillion seat for my wife, who was not there for an actual custom fitting. Before I went down, we took several pictures of my wife sitting on the bike. I wondered if they wanted to see her "riding position" or if they just needed to know how big her butt was. Either way, she also loves her seat. She is now comfortable for an entire tank of gas where, before the RDL, she could not handle 60 minutes on the stock saddle.

    It may be that you just need the leading edges trimmed back a little.

    I am also of the opinion that a seat should be built for riding, not backing up (riding time = 99.9% / backing up time = 0.1%). If I have to back my bike up any significant distance, I get off the bike and walk it back. This is especially true with Trigger, my R1200GS - who is really tall and really heavy.

    As a short guy, I also built a pair of "lowering links" for the NC and slid the forks up in their clamps so I could get both feet on the ground without stretching too much.

    The leading edge of the wings have, in fact, softened over time and I don't even notice them now. That softening also has no effect on the overall comfort when I am in the riding position.

    I don't know anything about the RDL 'Sport' version but the most comfortable thing about the RDL is the internal suspension and the outboard 'sides' of the wings that distribute your weight. If the Sport version is just a stock style seat with additional padding, you might as well get a Shad, or just an aftermarket pad - but those will still add height to the seat, making it more difficult to tiptoe backwards.

    You will lose at least a couple hundred bucks selling the seat here.

    My vote would be to give it a longer test period and enjoy the actual ride.... Or give them a chance to modify the seat after you've actually tested it and can describe exactly what you are concerned about.
    My humble opinion..
    >Thom

    P.S. You did not mention where you live, but if you are within three states of Shasta Lake, CA, you could also take a day or three and go visit them so they could get any issue resolved.
    I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up.

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