Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience. The feel of the open road, the power of the engine, the sense of freedom – it’s no wonder so many people love to ride. But while riding a motorcycle has many upsides, comfort isn’t always one of them. The seats that come stock on most motorcycles are often hard and lacking in support, which can lead to discomfort and fatigue over longer rides.
This is where choosing the right aftermarket seat can make a big difference in your riding experience and comfort level. One of the most popular brands of motorcycle seats is Corbin, known for their quality craftsmanship and comfort. But are Corbin seats actually comfortable compared to stock seats? Let’s take an in-depth look at the materials, design, and real-world reviews of Corbin motorcycle seats.
What Makes a Motorcycle Seat Comfortable?
Before diving into Corbin specifically, it helps to understand what factors affect how comfortable any motorcycle seat will be. Some key elements include:
Seat Foam Density and Composition
The foam cushioning used in the seat plays a major role in comfort. Denser foam will feel firmer and more supportive. Softer foam compresses more under body weight, which can feel comfortable initially, but it will also break down faster. The best foam strikes a balance between support and give. Memory foam, gel inserts, dual-density foams, and proprietary materials are often used to improve seat comfort.
Seat Shape and Size
The shape and dimensions of the seat must match the rider’s body to prevent pressure points and allow moving positions. Seats with a depression or contour to fit your pelvis can increase comfort without compromising support. Having room to move backwards or tilt your pelvis helps on longer rides.
Suspension and Dampening
Some high-end seats incorporate suspension systems and shock absorbers to dampen bumps and vibrations from the road. This greatly reduces jolts and impact forces on your body.
Ventilation and Heat Management
Proper ventilation, along with breathable and moisture-wicking seat cover materials, helps keep you cool and dry during hot summer riding. Perforated leather and 3D mesh fabrics are examples of more breathable options.
Lumbar and Back Support
Your lower back takes a beating from the leaning riding position. A seat with good lumbar support and optimal rider triangle reduces strains and discomfort.
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How Are Corbin Seats Designed for Comfort?
Keeping those factors in mind, let’s examine how Corbin seats aim to provide superior comfort through their design choices and materials used.
Proprietary Multi-Density Foam
Corbin develops their own proprietary foam cushioning formulated for the ideal balance of support and comfort. Their dual-density foam uses firmer foam in the base along with more resilient foam in the top layer where your body makes contact. This provides comfort while maintaining shape and structure over time.
The foam densities Corbin uses (5-7 lb/cu. ft) are on the firmer end of the spectrum. As their website explains, excessively soft foam that lets you sink in deeply provides only temporary comfort before breaking down. Their firmer foam may not feel pillowy at first, but provides lasting support mile after mile.
Contoured Shape With Pelvic Bucket
All Corbin seats are shaped to properly fit and support the human pelvis, with an ergonomic “bucket” depression that relieves pressure points. This cradles your pelvis in an optimal position to absorb impacts while allowing you to move and shift your weight as needed.
The seat slopes down towards the front as well, supporting your thighs while allowing you to sit upstraight when desired. Corbin offers different shapes and sizes to fit various riders and motorcycles.
Traction Dots and Thigh Support
Tiny rubber traction dots cover the seating area on Corbin saddles. These help keep you locked in place and are better than a smooth surface for slipping and sliding. The dots add extra grip when braking or accelerating.
Built-in thigh supports help stabilize your body position. Resting your thighs against the curved sides of the seat takes pressure off the tailbone and reduces strap muscle fatigue.
One unique aspect of Corbin seats is that you can fully customize certain aspects to match your body. For example, you can choose different foam densities for the cushion (soft, medium, firm, or extra firm).
You can also specify the seat’s width, allowable rear slide range, and exact saddle height to dial in your preferred fit. These customizations help ensure an ideal personalized fit.
Advanced Ventilation and Rain Cover
Corbin’s dual TPU skin system promotes airflow to keep you cooler on hot sunny rides. It uses a perforated leather/vinyl cover over breathable mesh fabric with an open cell design. The covers are weatherproof yet moisture wicking.
For wet weather riding, Corbin offers a seamless rain cover that’s easy to slip on and off as needed. The transparent vinyl material allows the seat to still ventilate when covered.
Minimal Break-In Time Needed
According to Corbin, their seats have virtually no break-in period needed. The firm supportive foam retains its shape and properties from the start rather than softening over time like low-density foam does. So you get many years of consistent firm support.
Rider Reviews – What Do Corbin Owners Say About Comfort?
Beyond the technical aspects of their design, what do real-world riders who’ve used Corbin seats report about their comfort? Are the seats truly comfortable compared to stock motorcycle seats?
Here are some key themes from owner reviews:
- The firmness and supportive feel take some getting used to for riders accustomed to softer stock seats. But the firmness also equates to proper support.
- After an initial adjustment period, most riders praise the comfort over many miles and hours in the saddle. The seats help reduce fatigue on longer rides.
- The custom shaping provides excellent tailbone, back, and postural support when seated properly. But the shaping also limits ability to move around.
- The seats are especially comfortable for riders over 200 lbs who need a firmer and more supportive seat. Heavier riders report drastically reduced pain and numbness.
- Seats with the denser foam options rate as being too firm and uncomfortable for some lighter weight or bony riders. Going with medium density seems optimal.
- Ventilation and breathability are excellent, keeping riders cool in warm weather even with leather covers.
- Rain covers work great and don’t diminish venting much when on. Easy to slip on and off as needed.
- Minimal break-in time is needed. Long-term durability and shape retention are excellent.
So in summary, Corbin seats appear to provide superior comfort and support compared to most stock motorcycle seats – once riders adjust to the firmer feel. The customized contours cradle the body nicely to reduce pressure points for long rides. Ventilation is excellent as well. Lighter riders may want to opt for slightly softer foam density, but Corbin’s firmer construction better suits most average to larger riders.
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Are Corbin Seats Right for You?
While it takes some miles to adapt to the firmer, supportive feel, Corbin motorcycle seats live up to their reputation for providing lasting comfort and pain relief for many riders based on real-world use. Their design choices like multi-density foam formulation, ergonomic shaping, ventilation, and customization result in an excellent seat for reducing fatigue over long distances.
If you’re seeking maximum long-haul riding comfort, Corbin seats are certainly worth considering. Taking the time to properly customize the seat to your body is key to getting that perfect fit. Ultimately comfort depends on your individual body shape and preferences. But for most riders, the extra support of Corbin’s seats should translate into improved comfort within your first few long rides. Then you can experience mile after mile of riding bliss.