Corbin seat for the Burgman 650
June 25th the Corbin Demo/Evaluation seat for the
Suzuki Burgman 650 arrived at my home in Las Vegas. Corbin was nice
enough to send me a complete Burgman 650 seat package. Leather seat with
"Ghost" gray piping and two back rests with the standard plastic back
covers. The seat arrived in a big white box with many pillows of
padding. Contents included instruction manual, seat cushion, two back
rests, and adjustment screws for the driver back rest. The seat and back
rests were individually wrapped.
The Corbin is no ordinary replacement seat. It is a
true professional piece of workmanship. The first thing I noticed was
how nice the whole seat felt in my hands. Leather and stitching like
that from a luxury car. It made the original Suzuki seat look like that
of a child's bicycle. The back rests are just as nice, right down to the
Corbin engraved chrome seat post. The drivers backrest folds flat so the
passenger can hop aboard with less trouble. The driver seat springs back
to a "memory" position determined by an adjustment bolt under the seat.
The driver seat comes with an assortment of different length bolts to
adjust the back stop to a position comfortable for the
drivers legs. Similar in theory to the original seat's butt stop. The
underside is a little unusual as it has exposed areas of padding. Corbin
explains this on their web site as being done on purpose so as to save
weight. I will discuss the weight of the seat later.
So out to the garage to start the process. Corbin's instructions were very simple and might be considered vague by some. For example, they don't tell you "exactly" how to remove the seat, they tell you " Refer to your owners manual if necessary." I can attest that the owner's manual is NOT necessary as there are only 6 nuts to be removed and one simple electric connection for the trunk lamp. The original seat has nuts that attach to threaded posts on the original seat. The Corbin uses high quality 10mm threaded bolts that thread into the seat. The only tools that are required, besides the provided allen wrenches, is a small 10mm socket and a 10mm open end wrench. Basically you unbolt the old seat by removing the two 10mm nuts attaching the gas shock to the underside of the seat. Raise the seat higher so you can access and remove the four 10mm nuts on the seat hinge. Disconnect the power plug to the trunk light and take the old seat away. You will then need to remove the trunk light and latch hook and attach them to the new Corbin seat. Take the Corbin seat and the new six 10mm bolts and reattach the hinge and then the gas shock. Seat is installed. Attach and adjust the driver and passenger backrests and you are finished. Approximate time should be 1 hour. It took me 2.5 hours due to picture taking and unsolicited help from my 3yr old.
A few problems were discovered after the install. The new seat will fit snugly as the rubber bumpers on the underside are not broken in. Initially you will have to slam the seat in order to close it and press down on the latch area while twisting the key to open it. All of this will disappear with a few hundred miles of you sitting on it. (This is considered normal by Corbin. Trust me you won't mind the break-in process.) The leather stitching had too much overhang near the fuses under the seat. this caused the leather to catch on the fuse holders. This was not really a problem as the leather was supple and did bend as it was pulled across the fuses. (I reported this to Corbin and it should be fixed in the production seats.) The allen wrench for the drivers seat adjustment bolt was the wrong size. Luckily I had one in my own tool box. (Corbin shipped me one promptly.) Heavy seat! With all of the extra padding and backrests, the new seat is VERY heavy. Unfortunately its far too heavy for the stock gas shock. Without the backrests attached, the stock shock will only keep the seat open at its fully extended position. With the backrests installed the seat shock only slows the slamming of the seat if you let go of it in an opened position. (Corbin is informed of this and they are working on a solution. I would guess a heavier duty shock.)
I sat aboard the seat with the drivers back rest extended fully backwards. (I'm 6'2" with a 34" inseam.). I was surprised to discover that I was too far back. "Could this be true?" I asked myself. I took out the smallest of the adjustment screws for the drivers backrest and installed it under the seat. Presto! Perfect fit! Changing the backrest position with the screws is not an easy task. You must completely remove one bolt and install another. The allen wrench must be pulled from the head of the bolt every 3/4 turn as there is not enough room to spin it constantly.
I had my 1 month postpartum wife climb aboard and sit between the passenger and driver backrest. She noticed that there was less room for her. Since the driver can now sit further back from the handlebars, it robbed space from the passenger area. To put it politely, if your passenger has a larger than normal body frame, he or she may find it uncomfortable with the limited seating area. There is a negative to this added driver leg room. You can no longer fit a full sized helmet under the seat in the forward most position. The drivers seat now occupies this area.
Standing back and taking a look at the newly installed seat and backrests. The Burg transformed from a city scooter to a mini tourer.
Time to take it for a ride! I push it off the stand, start it up and drive it down the driveway I go. As I come to rest on the street outside my home. I realize that only the balls of my feet are touching the ground with me fully comfortable in the seat. The Corbin seat is higher than the original. When coming to a stop, if the ground isn't completely level, I need to scoot forward so my feet can be firmly planted on the ground. My XL Clearview windshield needs a few more inches now due to my increased height. I know you are asking "How's the seat feel?" I'm getting there...hold on! It feels almost awkward to be able to stretch my arms out to the point of locking my elbows. My legs have gain much needed inches. I really feel like I'm now on a mini tourer, without the "mini". With all all of the gained space I completely forgotten about how my butt feels. I guess I didn't realize that I was so comfortable that the seating arrangement was of no consequence. The seat is wider and fuller than the stock. Initially I thought the seat may have been too firm. Over the next few hundred miles I realized that the seat was perfect to slightly firm. You never feel the seat underneath the cushion. I may need new windshield to compensate for higher seat.
In a nutshell: I am very pleased with the overall package. Top notch quality, comfort, and looks great! Lost cargo space but gained much needed leg room. Hopefully a new shock will be made to compensate for the heavier seat. Taller riders will love this seat. Shorter riders will need to move forward on the seat when stopping.
Heavy seat makes the stock seat shock unusable.
Larger passengers may not like the reduced seating area.
Higher seat may deter persons who already have difficulty with stock height.
Loss of cargo space under the seat.