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Sargent seat height options?

Dan Keen

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I purchased a 2006 R1200RT last spring and took my wife on a road trip down the coast from Canada to San Fran. Fell in love with the bike except for the OEM torture device, I mean seat. I was lucky to get in 100km before I had to pull over and take a butt break and I survived our 9 day bike trip through the intake of Advil.


I promised myself that this riding season I would upgrade the seat and have settled on a Sargent World Sport Performance Seat.


My inquiry before purchase this big ticket item is do I go with the stock height or low seat option?


I'm 5'10" and the current OEM seat height in the low setting is fine. I can manage the bike on the balls of my feet but not quite flat footed. I'm afraid if I choose the Sargent low seat option my knees would be to high in the riding position and cause problems. But then the other fear of choosing the Sargent stock set height is that the seat is wider so your legs straddle out more loosing valuable leg length to the road.


What is your experience with the Sargent seat height options, any regrets in the high/low configurations?


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First, my experience with Sargent is based on an 1150RT. So keep that in mind.


The height difference between the regular and low was somewhere in the 1/2" to 1" range, in use. IOW, when your butt is planted in it. But, it's a bit hard to measure.


Really, it just brings me to the point that the difference is made up in the pad and not the frame of the seat. I think both seats for the 1150RT were made on the same seat frame. And I didn't think the amount of padding on the low version was adequate. Please, someone correct me if I am wrong about the seat frames.


Seats, of course, are crazy subjective.

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Try an AirHawk pad.

Lot less money, will cure what ails ya.

Very little air will relieve all the hot spots etc.

Height is less relative than inseam and build wrt seat height.


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Get a BMS custom seat built for you. It is in the same price range as the Sargent. I had a Sargent on my 1100RT and it felt great, fit wonderful, an ideal seat. Bought a world seat for my husband's 1200RT and the fit was entirely different. He hated it, we sold it. He loves his custom BMS seat, I had one made for my one piece lower 1200RT, it is ride the tank empty comfortable.

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Hi Dan and welcome to the board!


I also have a 06 RT and Sargent seat. The low seat position on either seat has more hip bend than I'm comfortable with. With the factory seat in the high position (I still have one) I do have better footing - near flat foot. I do lose a bit of that with the Sargent seat, but nothing that has been an issue for me. I have ESA and always ride solo in the 1+ setting. (The 1 setting gives better footing ie: lower)


HOWEVER - When I have the ESA set to 2 and need to push backwards, I don't have as much foot contact as I'd like and the foot slipping on some tiny pebbles is concerning. So in those instances, I lower the ESA setting to 1.


My Sargent seat is the standard height. I think you lose a little bit of footing, but not much. Certainly not as much as the Russel. If you are already in the low seat setting, maybe the Sargent low seat in the high position would work?


Does your bike have ESA? If so, what position do you normally ride it in? Let me know and I'll go out and set my suspension accordingly and compare the Sargent footing with the stock footing and do my best to highlight the difference.

Edited by workin' them angels
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My bike has ESA and I usually ride in the comfort setting around town.

Do you know if there is less padding with the low version? From the photos on the Sargent web site it looks like the low seat has a more concave shape that you are lowered and locked into which results in the loss of sliding back on the seat to give your knees a change up in angle.

Maybe the standard height Sargent seat in the low setting is the way to go as long as I don't end up on my tip toes....

Sorry for the hand holding but I wish I had the ability to try before I buy...



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Sorry for the hand holding but I wish I had the ability to try before I buy...


If you are willing to put out the money, Sargent does have a return policy as long as it's standard upholstery. Buy both and send back the one you don't like. ;)


My opinion is at five/ten you'll be fine with the regular height seat.



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Dan - Any of us who have replaced our seat have had the same questions and anxiety. It's not a small investment.


All of these measurements are with the bike on the center stand, so they to not reflect the actual height when both tires are on the ground. However, the height difference between seats is what we care about, and this will uniformly measure that difference.


The Sargent seat is pretty much the same height as the factory seat. You can see the seat has a slight dip in the area between the wings that the cover bridges, so the actual seating position is a tad lower.






Stock Seat:







To be through, Here's a Russell with 'reduced' padding.






Measuring the underside at the narrowest point of the seat, shows the stock is 11 and the Sargent and Russell are 11.5. I think more important than the width measurement is the LENGTH of the narrow section. The Russell has a very short narrow section compared to the other two seats and for me, that causes foot placement concerns - specifically - for me to take advantage of the narrow section, I actually angle my legs a bit forward to get closest to the ground. Unfortunately, that position brings the leg close to the lower fairing that protects you from touching the head, leaving little room for selective foot placement (oil, gravel, uneven pavement and pushing backwards). The Russell also has the raised area in the narrowest spot, which complicates things for those of us concerned about seat height.












* Pat makes a good point about return policy, BUT - shipping these seats is not inconsequential. I returned my Russel to have the 'wings' moved back or trimmed. Written instructions and talked to the guy who modified the seat before hand. None the less, when the seat was returned to me, they had reduced the seat padding and didn't alter the wing position. I could have sent it back again, but the growing shipping costs were not worth it to me. It's been gathering dust ever since.



Edited by workin' them angels
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Thank you so much for your effort in producing these excellent visuals. You can really see the difference in the side by side models.

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You're more than welcome. I should have done it years ago since I have all three in my garage.


FWIW: My inseam is 32. My owners manual claims seat height is 32.3 and 33.1 unladen weight. That height difference of just less than an inch seems consistent with interweb google.


I would *guess* that the standard seat would work just fine for you in the same position you're currently using.


Also. Your ESA has 2 kinds of adjustments:


DAMPING: Comfort, Normal, Sport. This can be changed on the fly.




PRELOAD: one rider; one+luggage, 2 riders. This can only be changed when the bike is running and stationary. The pre-load is to adjust for additional weight on the bike - when you change it, you will feel the rear of the bike raise if going to a heavier setting or lower if going to a lighter setting.


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Butt, guys, again, it isn't about height.

It is about build, inseam, skinny/fat/etc.

I can flatfoot a GSA w/it on the centerstand just standing over it, butt,

that doesn't mean someone else my height could do so.

Not raining on the parade, I hope, butt we all know that mi casa su casa dosen't translate to saddles.

I love RDL's, butt can't stand (sic) to sit on and ride one.

Doesn't work, hits me in bad places.

This is why we see garages with 2-3-4 (or more) saddles.

I've seen riders cha$e the right $addle and go through more than 4.

So, thanks for all the great feedback.

Hope it helps him.

Butt, if not certain, I'd still suggest an AirHawk (we added Alaska Leather Sheepskin in the mix). Moves from bike to bike no issues, Can use all the time, some of, or just when.

We varied depending on distance, butt any long rides we just put them on and could ride all day.

Good thing is you can resell them and they keep pretty good value.

Part of the problem here is, the bike is an RT.

Sit up and beg will always put pressure on places that bikes w/a forward lean don't, or greatly reduce.

So, no matter which saddle (maybe not RDL?) you're still sit up and beg.

That's why bead riders/AirHawks etc find advocates.

Done properly they greatly reduce/eliminate the issues of that riding position.

Best wishes.

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Tim makes a good and valid point. I'm not an expert by any means. In my experience, the length of the narrow tunnel is significant. I've always been a stocky guy - even before I began to protect my internal organs by enlarging the size of my midsection. No doubt if I had skinny thighs, the RDL might work for me.


Given the cost of seats, I first bought seat beads from Bead rider and those offered some improvement. Sill looking, like you I was hesitant to buy new - but decided on the Russel Day Long because so many like them. It didn't work out.


I saw a used Sargent in the classifieds and I bought it at a significant discount over new. End of story.


So, there are steps one could take, increasing in cost as you go. I have a buddy who rides insane distances in 'one sitting' on his Triumph Trophy. He favors just the Sheepskin cover. What some people love, others can't stand. If buying a new seat, the very best option is to get it fitted in person.


If nothing but to reinforce Tim's point about everyone being different - there are riders who find the factory seat works for them and love it. They wonder out loud WTF is wrong with the rest of us. Smugly, I might add. :stir:


Another option would be try find someone in your area who has the kind of seat you're looking for.


Best of luck and keep us posted. And how bout posting a pic of you bike for us? Although figuring out how to post a photo on here might take as long as choosing a new seat :dopeslap:



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Hi Dan,

Welcome aboard.

I spoke with Sergeant re: the low seat. My concerns were the same as yours. They said that the frame and pan is the same, therefore the only thing they can change is the padding. They say they have consistently high reviews for the low seat.


Good luck,


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I have an '06 RT and have gone thru the same deals in trying to find a comfortable seat. Inseam is more important than overall ht as the previous rider mentioned. I tried a standard Sargent seat and found that it was too tall for my 31" inseam. I recently went thru about 3 tries with Seth Lamm and the latest seat is still slightly too tall for me. I have about given up as the shipping back and forth (especially from East coast to West coast) is getting out of hand. I think the Corbins are slightly lower and when I get a chance I will try (before I buy!!) one. My standard stock seat is ok as far as being able to flat foot it. Good luck.

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