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Yamaha Tech Originally the Yamaha XT600 Tech Forum, due to demand it now includes all Yamaha's technical / mechanical / repair / preparation questions.
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  #1  
Old 28 Jan 2008
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XT600E - A Gel Seat or Sheepskin?

Can anyone please advise me which way to go -

1. Gel Seat
2. Sheepskin

I understand (having not ridden my new XT any real distance yet) that the existing standard seat is well, very very uncomfortable. Which above option would you recommend and where exactly can I get the work done in the case of the gel seat...

British Sheepskin or NZ? Which is the softest???????

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  #2  
Old 28 Jan 2008
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P & P Seats

Hi Neil,

A sheepskin is cheeper, but you won't want to use it in the rain.

I had a gel pad fitted into the saddle of my girlfriends XT600E last year, plus new foam and a sculptured shape. P & P seats in Birmingham, UK did the work and I am pleased with the result.
Initially the cover wasn't waterproof, but after a quick phone call they assured me that it should be, had me retur the saddle and sorted it out quickly. You can find them on the web.

I'm planning to have similar done to my Tenere saddle, but without the sculpting. Without it the rider can change their position in the saddle, but with the gel pad it shouldn't be necessary for cumfort.

Having said that, sheepskins work well too.

Mark
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  #3  
Old 28 Jan 2008
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Have you considered an Airhawk? (http://www.airhawk.co.uk/)

I use one on my XT600E and it's delightfully comfortable over long distances.
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  #4  
Old 28 Jan 2008
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sheepskin....a compromise or the way forward?

Well of course a NZ sheepskin will be softer!!!! (Being a kiwi, i would say that! )

I was going to ask what it would be like in the wet!?!?! but Mark answered that one.. dust/dirt??? not sure how practical they'd be on that front? but then again plenty of people use them.... But is this a compromise (costs???) for fitting a decent aftermarket seat??
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Old 28 Jan 2008
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Am I right in saying that this gel material is the same stuff that "Tempur" matresses are made from - Visco elastic memory foam or summit? I must admit to liking the NZ sheepskin idea... I have seen one for £30 in Maidstone as I understand it our Kiwi cousins use them to wrap babies in... Big K - The link doesn't work.
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Old 28 Jan 2008
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The quick answer - it depends on your butt. It could be that the OEM seat just is not right for your anatomy and neither cover will be the solution. [FYI - the visco-elastic "memory" foam is not the same as the gel pad.] You might need a wider seat than OEM, or a different shaped seat base for your butt/legs, or a different seat foam density due to your ischial bones and your surrounding "padding". Softer is not necessarily better - sometimes offering a firmer foam that spreads the weight feels better than softer foam (e.g., Buell Ulysses, Ducati MultiStrada). Motorcycle Consumer News had a short article on this some time ago. There is some schetchy info on the Web that gives some insight, but nothing real conclusive for individuals to do some self-determination (looks like the seat construction "guild" has that info locked up right now ). There is one person who has an innovative solution for most dual-sport seats in that it is a canvas "sling" that holds two 1-liter plastic bottles on either side of the OEM seat to create a wider perch that can be tailored somewhat with the air pressure in each plastic bottle (see the "Sweet Cheeks" info at Site For Sale). Most Corbin dual-sport solutions include wider seats. You might want to take a visit at a couple bike dealers and sit on a variety of bikes just to get a better feel as to which way you want to go. Then you can try some inexpensive experiments (e.g., custom plywood seat base; layers of firmer, closed-cell sleeping/kneeling pads; "memory"/"NASA" foam) and either go to a custom seat maker or try it yourself.
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Old 28 Jan 2008
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Visco-Elastic Memory Foam!

Now thats made me fink - I have a large NASA/ Visco-Elastic Memory Foam pillow that I don't use (cost £15). I wonder how comfortable it would be to cut the existing OEM seat and replace a small moulded area (honestly, I only have a small Arse) with some of this stuff. Then all I need to do is cut a replacement cover and staple it back on.... I would lose the White YAMAHA bit on the sides though...
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Old 28 Jan 2008
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saddles

Hello, Neil! Neither! I also had trouble with my original saddle on long runs, so I had it redone by a saddleman: Rayz zadels - Motorzadels: Look for the black XT600E in the example-section: it's now wider, higher a little bit flatter and harder, the top surface is anti-slip. What a difference and that for only 350,- euros. Now I can ride all-day long and no pain in the butt!! Greets, Hans van Langen.
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Old 29 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentfallen View Post
Now thats made me fink - I have a large NASA/ Visco-Elastic Memory Foam pillow that I don't use (cost £15). I wonder how comfortable it would be to cut the existing OEM seat and replace a small moulded area (honestly, I only have a small Arse) with some of this stuff. Then all I need to do is cut a replacement cover and staple it back on.... I would lose the White YAMAHA bit on the sides though...
I'd try some add-on experimentation to validate what would really be an improvement before I'd tear apart my seat. In addition to what I said earlier, check out what Bierdo did with his XT225: MONKEY BUTT SOLVED!
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Old 30 Jan 2008
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Hi Neil, I wouldn't write off the sheepskin option till you've tried one. I use one on my XT600E ( 2002) and last year did a 420 mile day followed by a 200 mile day and it was comfort all the way. I do also wear leather bike trousers with padded cycle shorts underneath so that also may help. The sheepskin also doubles up as a comfortable pillow ( bit tickly) or just something to sit on to save sitting on hard ground. You can also easily transfer it to another bike and the one i use covers the pillion part of the seat as well.The rain hardly gets on to the sheepskin when in use and a quick shake sees most water flicked off, the only down side is they are quite "nickable" - I always roll mine up and take it with me or stick it in a pannier. Hope this view is of some help.
Cheers Mike
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Old 30 Jan 2008
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Mike,

Doesn't it tend to also flap about a bit in the wind (not that I ever travel very fast or ever above 70 Mph).
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Old 30 Jan 2008
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velcro & elastic......

Neil, with a sheepy you can make some elastic straps that go under your seat and you cut the sheepskin to hang about 3" bigger all round seat then tuck front n rear under the elastic straps ( flat elastic like webbing about 30mm wide in black is available from haberdashery shops) you can either make em velcroable or just loops and fit them to your seat.
This stops the sheepy from flapping about

Martyn
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Old 31 Jan 2008
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I'm going to buy the sheepskin. It seems the best idea bearing in mind the limited cost involved - £30 from a rug shop in Maidstone, Kent.

Cheers lads.
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Old 31 Jan 2008
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Not to muddy the waters, but after reading this thread and doing some online research there are also gel pads with sheepskin and memory foam availble too
Cheers Steve
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Old 31 Jan 2008
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Hi Neil, On my XT I use 2 bungees, that holds it perfectly in place - the only time mine flaps at all is when I'm being stupid and stretching my legs standing up on the pegs doing 50+, then I sit back down and the two front corners sometimes have folded back, but you just flick em forward again and they stay put.
Mike
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