Custom equals long delivery time from Corbin - no?
Custom saddles means hand production. Expect three to five weeks for production, was the message from the Corbin factory. In addition came shipping to Norway, and customs clearance.
Before proceeding; we are in no way sponsored – just enthusiasts. (For Norwegian tekst, click here)
Our expectations were set for delivery at the end of March.
However, on the excact day, 3 weeks after ordering the custom saddles, we were informed that the package was ready for collection at Bunnpris in Møllendalsveien (local grocery/p.o.).
Ordering custom Corbin saddles
We have previously described in a separate article how the process was for choosing saddles-templates, how we proceeded to design the saddles, the selection of materials, colours, seams and compositions, and how Corbin’s software worked out.
Then we also got an illustration of how the custom designed saddle looked like. We also pasted a picture of the saddle onto a picture of the bike in question to assess, the overall result.
You can read more about that process in this article: «We ordered custom made saddles from Corbin.»
Corbin packing is very good
The carton from Corbin is apparently not the strongest there is; it had suffered some pressure damage here and there, and we were slightly worried about internal damage.
Luckily we worried for no reason. Inside the package, the saddles were protected by plenty of bubble wrap and form-shaped foam pads, and no space were unprotected.
The saddles were wrapped with plastic. In the picture to the right, the top foam pad has already been removed.
The excitement and tension was high when we picked up the saddles, one by one.
Better than expected - and we expected a lot from Corbin
Corbin is an expensive brand. We have read a lot of good stuff about motorcycle seats from them. Corbin-saddles are mostly about customization, that is individual taste and expression through the saddles apperance and quality. Our expectations were therefore high.
Expectations were met – by a good margin.
It smelled like a wonderful blend of fresh leather and fiberglass solvents as we opened the plastic and took out the saddles, and felt dem.
We were excited about whether the custom saddles fit the mounts on the bikes. It turned out to be no problem, they clicked straight into place, and actually sat slightly firmer than the original saddles used to.
The weight of the saddles was significant and emphasized the build quality. The original MT-07 saddle weighs about 2 kg, the Corbine saddle weighs about 4.5 kg.
On the underside you will find a solid bracing plate that is shaped to fit exactly to the specific motorcycle model. Our impression was actually that the shape adjustment was at least as good as on the original saddle.
This is probably reinforced by the fact that the custom Corbin saddle is a stronger build and consequently does not give in as much as the original saddle does, on points of extraordinary loads.
For example, on the MT-07, the saddle sits in an arc around the fuel tank. On the original saddle, this arch is relatively unstiffened and already shows tendencies to give way.
On the Corbin saddle, the goods in the bracing of the arch are considerably stronger, which means that the saddle fits snugly around the tank and shows no signs of bending outwards.
As can be seen from the pictures, Corbin uses aluminum nails to attach the cover. These will never rust, unlike the pins on the original saddle.
The saddle must be broken-in
The original saddle on the MT-07 is considered spartan and hard, consequently uncomfortable over time while driving, which can lead to pain and hence lower attention to the traffic situation.
The custom Corbin saddle is well padded with something that Corbin calls «Comfort Cell Foam Technology». Initially, the saddle appears to be on the hard side. However, Corbin’s website states that the saddle must be driven in. During 6,000 km, the saddle will move and find its shape. A relatively significant distance.
As can be seen from the pictures below, the Corbin saddle has significantly more upholstery than the original saddle. This is especially true for the passenger-part of the seat, where the thickness is almost tripled.
Also note that the strap on the original seat, which the passenger can hold on to, has been replaced on the Corbin with an arch in the seat, where passengers can hold on.
The details are delicate - only one thing to point out
There is nothing really to complain about regarding the level of detail – that is, the workmanship – of Corbin. It is as expected superb. In one of the pictures below, you can still see that some of the seams do not quite match the joints between the two parts.
But this is really to expect as it is a handmade and that it is after all a matter of hand sewing and trying to get a lot of angles to fit. It is actually a touch of desirable, to emphasize the perfect in the imperfect. This is custom!
The main criticism - significant colour differences between ordered and received
As we designed the saddles on Corbin’s website and using the saddle-building program (wizard), we got to see the result of our choice of fabrics and colour combinations.
It is a known fact that it is hard to reproduce digital colours accurately, without having very expensive and accurate equipment. There will therefore always be a difference in what you see on your computer monitor versus what you get in front of you in reality, when receiving the saddle.
We have tried to search the web (including the Corbin web-site) for pictures that examples the colorus we worked with, but with varying success. The same colour name appears very differently, from picture to picture, and also between different brands of PC-screens.
What you see is not what you get - digital vs analog
It is important to be very aware about the fact that the colours you choose, may not appear the same in real as in the pictures. Except for black and white, which usually shows little variation we believe.
Our expectation was consequently that there indeed would be colour differences and we have throughout the wait been excited about how our saddles would really look.
The bottom line is that there are relatively significant colour differences in most of the the colours. This is obvious that it is easy to see from our photos, which appears below. On a positive note, some of the colours (the seams) we hoped would look less «sticky».
In general, we can sum up that the colours that have changed in relation to the digital pictures from the Corbin site has become brighter. It can be a decent – but somewhat uncertain – summary to bring, for those who want to order a Corbin saddle.
If you go for black saddle, or dark gray, then it can hardly go wrong.
On the other hand, implementing actual colours (not black/gray or white) will apply to make the bike even more unique and possible to lift the impression even higher.
The contrasts the saddles makes towards other colours on each bike, tend to highlight each other. Using actual colours (other than black and white) is brave – and can have its rewards. But only you know what’s right for you and your bike.
We have chosen to mix in colours on our saddles. It’s a bit daring, but we liked the results.
Corbin-saddles in all their glory
Even if there are colour differences, it is important to summarize that we are all very happy. We find that the motorcycles appear to be WAY better looking, more comfortable to ride (we still have not done a lot of riding though – since it is still winter), and not least more unique.
The price of the Corbin saddles ended at the following: MT-07 and T-120: 6,778 NOK per saddle. SCR 950: 5,554 NOK, including shipping overseas to Norway, and customs duty (VAT 25%).
This appears to be reasonable in relation to what you get back and is a good investment in both appearance, second-hand value and driving comfort for some motorcycles with a sparse saddle.
Below you can see Yamaha MT-07, Triumph Bonneville T-120 and Yamaha SCR 950 with original saddle and with Corbin saddle respectively.
So, are we happy? Yes! Would we do it again? Yes, definately! And with the same colours as we got. Corbin saddle is a good thing!
We leave your opinion on this to you, and hope you enjoyed the article.