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'99 RSV seats vs '01-up Pillow Top seats

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Greetings and Salutations from Mechanicsville, VA. My name is Erik and I am humbly grateful to be allowed to be a member of this community. I'm in my early 40s now and have been riding and turning wrenches on bikes since I was 9. That being said, I'm new to the RSV. I have an 05 Triumph Rocket III but was looking for something for longer hauling. My spine is busted so every piece of comfort I can get matters to me and so I wanted to turn to the fine folks who know these bikes in and out for advice. As I said, I have a 99 with the old style seats. It's pretty comfortable but compared to my RIII, I feel pushed up against the tank. I'd prefer not to have my boys cooking from heat rolling up from the engine. So my questions are: Are the pillow top seats more comfortable than the original and does the pillow top allow you to scoot back any more than the original or do I need to look at an aftermarket seat? I've got a Corbin on my RIII which is hard as stone but is sculpted perfectly for my body type. I saw where people on here suggested handlebar risers to put the bars back further but that doesn't seem to be my issue as the bars aren't what's not allowing me to scoot back, it's a lack of seat due to it being so fat at the rear. The seat is 5 or 6 in. shorter than my Corbin. Your thoughts on this are greatly appreciated. Y'all will be seeing right much of me on here as I'm full of questions. Thanks again for having me.

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Hey there Erik....welcome to VR.  I've got a 2000 RSV that I believe came with the same seat as your '99.  I bought a pillowtop set (front and rear) from a guy who had a wrecked bike...not sure of model year but newer than my 2000.  I guess I'm not naturally padded enough because I don't fine either seat really comfortable on long runs (longer than a couple of hours).  Until I can find an upholstery magician who understands The Bike vs The Butt battle, I'm using an air cushion made by Air Innovations.  Similar to the Air Hawk but slightly less expensive.  I've been using it for 3 years or so now, and it takes a bit of the hurt out of the ride.

You mentioned bar risers..I put a set of 1 inch riser blocks on, and while it doesn't make a HUGE difference, it does allow me to adjust the bars back a bit.  The only issue with them is the bar clamps now hit the tank cover (around the ignition switch) on full -lock turns...rarely an issue.

You'll get lots of help from the crew at VentureRiders.  Read often and enjoy.

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I changed out the 99 seats for cushion top seats from a newer model and find them to be more comfortable. also have a airhawk cusion and dont find it to help all that much.

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Posted (edited)


Welcome aboard!

I have an 05 RSV. To me, the pillow top seat is perfect. I'm 5'10", 220lbs. I put 1.5 " risers on the bars which brought them back perfectly. The pillow top seat doesn't push me any more forward than the other seats I've seen. The Mustang WILL push you into the tank. 

I think the pillow seat will still push you forward a tad due to it's construction. There is a nice lip in the back padding. But I find the seat so comfortable, I have no desire to try something else. The longest stretch for me in the saddle was a day that started at 8am and ended at 10pm. Except for gas, food and potti breaks, we were on the road. My butt was fine. My buddy on his HD Ultra Classic was really sore.

My suggestion is to find a newer RSV and sit on it. Someone should selling on nearby at some point.

The other thing I did was add highway pegs to stretch out legs.

All this aside.... You can easily sculpt the seat yourself...IE...take off the cover and remove some foam from the very back edge of the seat to allow you to sit back a few inches more. That hardest part will be stapling the cover back on.

Pictures that may help.

You can see the rise in the rear on the profile.

I lowered the shocks by 1.5". Gives better slow speed handling without sacrificing high speed stability. The risers are visible as well.

Highway pegs so I can rest boots completely on pegs, or partially....

Hope this helps...




Edited by videoarizona
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A video of me riding in Michigan after 4 days on road from Arizona.

 YouTube. I can't attach so if you are interested, search using the info on the screen grabs. Plus you can see me sitting on seat, bike completely packed to hilt.




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Welcome, this is also my first large touring bike (2012 RSV) and I find it really comfortable compared to the many bikes I have had over the years. I have been riding street bikes my entire adult life and started racing motorcross when I was 11. I turn 45 this Dec & bought my first street bike (a new Yamaha FZR600) when I was 17 and have had an assortment of rockets as well as a few cruisers like vmax, shadow's, etc. I totally concur with Arizona that the highway pegs make a HUGE difference in comfort cause you can stretch out in multiple positions on longer rides and I also have the Utopia driver backrest which is also huge for me as I can use the hwy pegs to push back into the backrest and stretch my back periodically.

All that said and having the factory pillowtop seats, I also do not like the way it feels like it pushes me into the tank and after a few hours I start getting restless, I have some old back injuries from my days of riding motorcross/supercross so that definately contributes. I plan to scoop out my driver seat some and replace the stock foam with something maybe like memory foam? Any recommendations from people who have already done something like this? I have seen a couple threads where people have changed the factory design of the seat and talked about how it help for comfort on longer rides. Maybe someone already has a rough template they could share for those of us who are looking to do a mod like this?

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