You expect a touring bike to be comfortable, and most of them are—when they’re new. But the used GL1800 I bought last year came with a stock seat that was a few miles past its prime.
Instead of replacing it with a new stock seat I called Mustang, whose seats I’ve had on several bikes, to see if they had anything better. They sure did, something that was not only more comfortable than stock, but also warmer.
The Mustang GL1800 seat ($749.99) was designed for, and is sold exclusively through, Küryakyn. It’s a direct bolt-on replacement for the stock seat, and comes in heated or unheated versions. Küryakyn sent me a heated version ($1,099.99) with the optional rider backrest ($219.99), and a heated passenger backrest ($269.99).
Installation was easy. The stock seat is held in place by the bolts that secure the grab rails on either side of the bike. Once you remove them, the seat lifts off. The Mustang seat goes back on the same way, but first you have to connect two leads for the seat sub-harness to the battery, and a third lead—connected to a relay inside the seat—to the switched accessory terminal next to the battery. This is so the seat’s heaters operate only when the ignition is on.
Next put the Mustang seat on the bike, but don’t bolt it in place yet. First connect the sub-harness to the seat harness, and make sure the seat harness isn’t trapped between the seat and the frame rail when you bolt the seat back on.
If you’re installing the heated passenger backrest, at this point you open the trunk lid, remove the stock backrest, and replace it with the heated one. Connect the backrest wiring harness to the pigtail coming off the seat and then bolt down the seat.
The rider’s portion of the seat is narrower at the front for more secure footing at stops, and an inch farther rearward, with a more angled back section. The pillion area is wider, deeper and farther rearward than stock, while the passenger backrest is 2 inches more forward at the top for better arm and shoulder support.
I’ve put a few 200-mile days on the Mustang so far this winter, and it’s been a great place to sit while the world glides by. But what really made me fall in love with this seat is the heating. The heating element, controlled by two-position rocker switches on the left side of the seat, takes a few minutes to warm up, but when it does it’s pure bliss. Depending on whether I wear my thick or thin riding pants, I can fry myself right out of the saddle on the high setting. I usually start off on high, then switch to low once the heat starts flowing.
Comfort is subjective, but speaking as someone who really can feel the pea under the stack of mattresses, the Mustang GL1800 seat is ready for the long haul, year round. It’s available without heat for all years; with heat for 2001-2010 models not equipped with OEM heat; and with heat for 2006-2010 models with OEM heating.
The passenger backrest and rider backrest are options, and all of the components are available separately.