Friday, April 29, 2022

Road Trip: Goldwing gets a Russell Day-Long seat

While the Honda seat on the Goldwing is okay, there is a small company in Northern California that makes the best motorcycle saddles for long distance riders. If you are the kind of person who spend hours and hours riding across the continent and demand comfort while doing so, you want the best motorcycle seat available. Russell Cycle Products has earned the reputation for making the most comfortable motorcycle seat, called a Day Long Touring Saddle, for Iron Butt riders. 

Normally one takes photos of themselves sitting on their motorcycle, call Russell and make an appointment for when to ship the seat pan in for a rework. The usual wait is a few months before sending your seat in. Then expect a few more weeks wait to get your new seat back.

 On the other hand, you can reserve a one day ride-in service. Russell takes one bike per day and will build a custom seat for that bike while you wait. I made my reservation for the one day service in the Fall of 2021, for April 20, 2022. Yes, there was a bit of a wait as their seats are in high demand. 

Originally my thinking was to ride the Wing to northern California for the new seat, then Amparo decided she was ready for a road trip. So we trailered the bike.

Of course, between the Gulf Coast of Texas and northern California, we had to cross a few mountains still with snow in April.


Did you notice that the photo does not show the trailer the rig is riding on? 
Deceptive imagery... eh?


After Colorado, we crossed Utah and Nevada with its dry desert mountains.



Finally arriving in Shasta Lake, California, near Redding, home of Russell Cycle Products.



Was surprised at the number of seats already in house waiting to be reworked. These are seats that had a reservation for mail in service. Many had been waiting for months to send in their seat. Once here, the seat will be completely reworked and shipped back out in a few weeks. The flow of seats coming in and going out keeps the local UPS drivers hopping.



The base of a Russell seat is foam formed in special heated aluminum molds, which are then set aside to cure.



Seat forms are made in various sizes and shapes depending on the size of the rider, the type of riding they do and the bike it's going on.. Here the cured foam bases are lined up for the next assembly step.



With the riders height and weight in mind, calculations are made before the seat is built up and shaped. Experienced seat builders work the shape based on the shop's formula for maximum comfort.



The seat cradles the riders bottom, spreading support across a larger area, eliminating hot spots of discomfort. Various densities of foam are used, each with its own support purpose. Some areas of the seat are made firmer than other areas. 

For heavy duty (interpret that as overweight riders), a stronger support structure is inserted in the seat.



Once the seat is shaped and molded, the seamstress takes her measurements. She then cuts, sews the covering using the type and color of fabric selected by the customer.


From here all the pieces go to the work stations for final fitting, forming and stapling. 



Finished seats are packed and shipped back to the customers within a few weeks. Since I had reserved a one day service, was able to leave that same afternoon with a new Russell Day Long Saddle with a back rest.



Once you go with a Russell saddle, there is no going back to your old seat. The Russell saddle is build on your old seat pan. To do that, the old fabric and foam has to be cut away for the new seat. 

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For putting up with my passion of long distance motorcycle riding, I took Amparo to the Lost Whale Inn Bed and Breakfast in Trinidad, on the northern California coast. This was a return visit as we had stayed here back in 2009. They have a a dozen intimate rooms, happy hour every afternoon and a delicious fresh baked breakfast. Best of all they are on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, where sea lions and elephant seals lounge on the nearby rocks. Whales migrating along the coast are frequently spotted from the deck.

The sea lions barked all night long, but the cool sea air was refreshing. 
Of course a warm campfire and a glass of fine wine will relax anyone.



Leaving the resort, it was five more days on the road before arriving back home in Texas. Exhausted!

Now to break in the Russell seat by putting a few thousand miles on it. 

Ride safe, ride far my friends

CCjon

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