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Old 10-18-2010, 02:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ultimate vs. Mustang Seat Comparo (with pics)

With a short time-out for a Corbin seat that never suited me (even though I did a ride-in fitting at their Hollister, CA factory), I've been running a Mustang seat (wide vintage solo with backrest) on my '06 Heritage Softail Classic. Once I had the memory foam update done by Mean City Cycles, it fit me like a glove.

However, I'd read many very favorable reports on the Ultimate seats, which are less well-known among Harley owners since they started with an emphasis on Japanese touring bikes. And, unlike any other seat maker I'm aware of, they offer a 14-day trial period: If you notify them within 14 days that you wish to return the seat for any reason, you're only out the shipping charges (not that that isn't a considerable cost, but at least you aren't stuck with a seat you don't want). So with that guarantee in mind and with too much time on my hands, I ordered their so-called Midrider studded seat with backrest ($505 + $40 shipping).

First impression out of the box was that the seat was very light compared to the Mustang. I imagine the difference was due to the different material used in the base pan, though I don't know what those materials were. Second impression was that the Ultimate seat was very well made. Stitching was perfect, cover was attached neatly; all in all it exuded quality.

The Ultimate seat attaches to the bike a bit differently from the Mustang. Unlike the Mustang, which uses its own large chrome bolts, the Ultimate attaches exactly like the stock seat; i.e., you leave the inserts in the side bolt hole attaching points and use screws supplied by Ultimate to secure the seat.

Next I attached the backrest. Like the Mustang backrest, the Ultimate backrest simply slides into the slot at the back of the seat. Unlike the Mustang backrest, however, which has a number of slots in the vertical post to allow for various height adjustments, the Ultimate backrest post has just one slot, meaning that there is no provision for vertical height adjustment. An email query to Ultimate's owner, Des (very helpful person), confirmed that the backrest has to be inserted all the way down in use. This, to me, is a limitation.

Other than that, the backrest itself functions much like the Mustang backrest with one other exception. On the Mustang backrest, the forward/back adjusting screw is located at the back of the post, between the backrest itself and the front of where a pillion seat would be attached if you used one. For the solo rider this is very convenient, as all you need to do to adjust it while moving is reach around behind you. The downside is that on one occasion the screw worked its way out and got lost during a ride (Mustang replaced it free).

On the Ultimate seat, the forward/back adjuster is located at the front of the post, between the post and the rider. Less convenient to adjust while riding, but also less likely to get lost and giving a cleaner look overall.

Comfort: I rode about 120 miles on the seat, which sat me slightly lower than the Mustang based on where the top of the windshield cut across my sight line. I have no idea where that was in relation to the stock seat, as I haven't ridden with either the stock seat or the stock shield for almost five years. Your guess is as good as mine.

Compared to the stock Mustang, which is a little hard (though a featherbed compared to a Corbin), the Ultimate was softer than that though not by much. By the end of the ride I could tell that eventually a nice pocket would form in the Ultimate, and that it would become very comfortable. I would say that given a little time the Ultimate would be at least as comfortable, and possibly more so, as an unaltered, stock Mustang wide vintage solo. Compared to my Mean City Cycles-altered Mustang seat, however, the Ultimate seat was, well, hard. Again, though, very comfy compared to a stock Mustang, and absolute joy compared to the stock seat.

The backrest was another story. Unlike the Mustang backrest pad, which is thinner than the Ultimate pad but which has rounded edges, the Ultimate pad has squared-off edges. I never could get past the feeling that the top edge of the Ultimate backrest pad was digging into my back in an annoying though not painful way. The Mustang pad could be a little thicker, and I note that MCC is now doing backrest pads so I might send mine along to them.

Another point about the Ultimate backrest is that I felt it moved me too far forward. The post is constructed on a slant such that the higher you move it up the more it moves back. BUT, according to the owner, you have to ride with it in the lowest position, so Catch-22. (Of course you can put it anywhere you want, but without a friction notch it won't be very secure.) Mustang, in contrast, offers an offset post ($25) if you're of the larger persuasion or just want to lean back a bit more.

Below are a few comparison photos of both seats on my bike. Looks are a very personal issue. For me, the Mustang looks like it belongs on the bike (I like the skirt and the conchos which match my theme) while the Ultimate looks a bit big and blocky to me. But again, aesthetic judgments are very personal, so I'll leave that to you.

The Ultimate is a quality seat and competes very nicely with the Mustang. I believe that its construction quality in fact exceeds that of the Mustang. With the 14-day return guarantee, I would say it's certainly worth a try. I dealt with the folks in their U.S. office in Florida who were unfailing polite and helpful. If I hadn't had the MCC alteration to my Mustang, there is a very good chance I would have kept the Ultimate, and I wouldn't rule out purchasing one in the future.

Mustang:



Ultimate:



Mustang:



Ultimate:


Last edited by Philip; 10-18-2010 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've ran Corbin, HD, Mustang, LePara, Saddleman and by far the Ultimate seat I bought for my 07 FLHTCI is hands down the best seat I've ever sat on... The back rest hits me perfect but they should have made it adjustable to fit the person... I'm very happy with the Ultimate seat and would recommend it to anyone who gets tired of their butt hurting after 250 miles in the saddle...
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Old 10-18-2010, 05:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice write up Philip. You should get a magazine job.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by WEINERDOGBONE View Post
Nice write up Philip. You should get a magazine job.
Thanks, WDB, been there, done that, have all the ratty T-shirts. Now past the age where I need any job at all except riding the bike.
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Phillip:

I agree with your review -- it echoed my findings nearly item for item (tried both the same Mustang and Ultimate models on my 07 Heritage). For me, the Mustang moved me too far forward, though I agree with your Mustang backrest findings. The Ultimate was much more comfortable for the position I like when I ride (low, leaning back); 6'2'' / 240 give or take and the Ultimate worked better than the Mustang for me. I found the differences in 'detail' in the two seats as you and others have stated -- the Ultimate was 'finer' is the way it appeared to me. I also found the 'look' of the Mustang to be more visually appealing.

I found both companies honored the "if it doesn't work for you, just return it and pay the shipping" policy. Mustang was the first one I tried and they promptly credited my account. My girl and I picked up the Ultimate at a rally and rode it for a couple of weeks and decided that it wasn't a direction we wanted to go; so paid the shipping and they promptly credited the account.

All in all, both good seats, but as we all know, seats, and ergonomics are extremely personal. We ended up switching back and forth between the OEM FLSTC, an OEM FLSTN, and the HD FLST Signature Touring seat depending on where we were going and how long we figured between stops. We usually stop every hour to 90 minutes to get off and stretch for 5 minutes finding that it keeps us fresh.

That routine changed greatly on (her) first EG ride. After the first 90 minutes as we headed into a routine stopping spot, I asked if she wanted to take a stretch break to which she responded "What for, this is great!" Go figure!
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have put nearly 20k miles on an ultimate seat on my last bike by far the best most comfortable seat i had ever had sure wished i had one for my heritage.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Excellent review/comparison. Thanks.

I was getting ready to pull the trigger on a Wide Vintage Mustang seat and backrest. I think I need to investigate further now.
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Good information, I've been considering an Ultimate seat for my bagger.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Just ordered an Ultimate 2 pce studded seat with backrest today. Should have it next week.
I've tried the Mustang Super Vintage Tour....to hard and too thinly padded, Mustang took 1" out so the rider would sit lower, that doesn't work for my 6'6" frame. Also found the vinyl was very sticky, you couldn't slide around or adjust your pants as the vinyl just grabbed the denim.

Also had the HD Hammock, it was too mushy, although it felt good the first month I had it. My lower back and tail bone would ache after an hour on it.

The stock seat, is not bad, but no good for long hauls.

I've give you my thoughts once I have it. That 14 day return policy was the deal maker for me
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Most often stock seat is better or just as good ,just doen't not have a cool name.
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty901 View Post
Most often stock seat is better or just as good ,just doen't not have a cool name.
As the OP stressed, seats are a personal thing. I'm currently in the "what seat to get state". This thread has given me something more to think about. Like finding the right bike, its difficult to have only one, I think the same applies to seats. I think I need at least two of them. I ride solo 99% of the time, but with a contingent set up in case one of my daughters wants to go for a ride. I'll keep my stock RK set up just for that purpose. I'm leaning towards a solo seat as well with backrest. Mustang was high on the initial list, but I just got started researching.

Thanks for the excellent write up and you have a nice looking ride too. I don't think this applies but you mentioned weight differences; in the case with seats for Ducatis, Corbin is playing second fiddle as a choice due to its heavy weight. Many superbike riders are really into loosing unsprung weight and one of Corbin's competitors, Sargent, has got them beat by a mile in that category. They also have them beat in fit and finish, I'm not to impressed with Corbin's detail work underneath the seat pad. I doubt Sargent makes Harley seats though, their emphasis is on sport bikes.

Last edited by JohnnyS; 09-24-2011 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty901 View Post
Most often stock seat is better or just as good ,just doen't not have a cool name.
Yes, I agree, the stock seat is good, if you fit into the standard mould of being 5' 9" tall and 155 lbs.....LOLhttp://www.v-twinforum.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif

My problem is I'm 6'6" tall, with a boney arse, my knees are higher than my butt when sitting on the bike, so this puts extra weight and pressure on my butt bones and tail bone.

I find I swish the stock foam after an hour and it feels like I'm sitting on the seat pan.

I've had 2 Corbins over the years, they were too hard for me, I think I need more padding to ride with a Corbin

Mustang 79556, I liked the position, but they took an inch of foam out so to accommodate shorter legged riders, so I found them too thinly padded and once again my butt bones were aching

The HD Hammock was nice at first, but I found myself sliding forward and slouch on it, even though I used a backrest. The slouching bothered my tailbone.

I had a Roadsofa on my old HD, it was a great seat, but I see Dennis Kirk has them on clearout and there have been several posts about their poor quality, so I'm shying away.

I'm hoping the Ultimate is my answer, as I have nothing to loose with their 14 day return policy. If this doesn't work, the next step is a custom by Russell
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty901 View Post
Most often stock seat is better or just as good ,just doen't not have a cool name.
For some perhaps. My stock seat was a 50 mile seat at best. I replaced it with a Mustang and can go 500 miles without being sore. In fact, this is my third Harley and I've never had a stock seat that was worth a ****.

Although I like my Mustang, I kind of wish that I had tried an Ultimate first. I was back and forth between the Mustang and the Ultimate for my RK Custom, but having owned a Mustang for my Sportster I decided to go with what I know.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Seat came in today, very well wrapped and protected for shipping.
Very impressed with the quality of the workmanship, even the underside has a clean finished look.

Installed the seat, I ordered the 3 pce, wish I had bought the 2 pce as I had to remove the passenger grab rails for it to fit. The seat follows the line of the bike nicely, but it was a tight fit for the passenger seat because its wider than the space between the rear speaker pods of my Limited. Also the rear seat padded extends back more than the stock making it difficult to get my hand in to install the screw. I think I'll be getting a knurled screw so that I can do it from the side.

Went for a short ride, 20 miles, it too soon to give a good review. It feels firm, but not hard. Seating position appears to be similar to the stock seat. The front of both rider and passenger seat is narrower than stock, hard to say if I'll miss the width up front.

Going for a 1,000 mile round trip this weekend, it' will be a good test, probably rain, it usually does when I go on trips.
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Went to the factory on Friday and exchanged the seat for a 1 pce, and had them install the passenger trunk cover to match. I'm very happy with the Ultimate seat, I rode 13 hrs on friday, 6hrs on saturday and 11 hrs on sunday.

Not once was I uncomfortable or experienced pain or numbness. I've had 2 Corbins, a Roadsofa, a Mustang, and various HD seats over the years. This has to be the best seat for me.

If you go to their website, the studded seats are on sale 25% off.
I have no connection with Ultimate Seats

http://ultimateseats.ca/
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