Corbin has been making replacement seats since the late ’60s. I’ve put Corbin seats on several of my motorcycles over the years, from Harleys to dual-sports and adventure bikes, and I’ve always been impressed with their quality. Recently Corbin released the Fire & Ice seat that offers both heating and cooling.
Corbin has offered optional heating on its seats for years, but cooling is a unique feature. The cooling function results from the Peltier Effect, a thermoelectric cooling phenomenon in which heat is transferred between two different conductive materials. When electric current is run through the Peltier element, it moves heat from one side to the other, resulting in a temperature differential of up to 15-20 degrees. Peltier devices are commonly used in electric-powered coolers, and they’re ideal for use on a motorcycle because they have no moving parts or circulating liquid and they’re durable, small and have flexible shapes.
Installation of the Fire & Ice seat on my 2017 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra was easy and straightforward. It’s a direct replacement so I was able to keep my stock seat, and it includes a pigtail that plugs right into the bike’s fuse box. Once installed, I went for a ride on a hot summer day here in Southern California, with the mercury pegged at 99 degrees Fahrenheit. A single, lighted toggle switch under the left side of the rider’s seat is marked red (up) for heat and blue (down) for cooling; the middle setting is “off.” With the switch on “cool,” I went for a half-hour ride and the seat felt noticeably cooler. At home, I pointed a laser thermometer at the ground and got a reading of 99.6 degrees; pointing it at the surface of the seat, the reading was 78 degrees.
Unfortunately, the cooling effect wasn’t as noticeable by a passenger. On a long weekend ride with my wife, the outside temperature got up to around 95 degrees. I turned the toggle switch to “cool” and within minutes I could feel the seat cooling off. Even after
45 minutes in the saddle, however, my wife felt little to no difference. When I contacted Corbin about this, a representative said there’s more padding between the passenger’s seat and the cooling element which likely accounts for the less noticeable cooling effect, but he assured me that both rider and passenger cooling elements are tested before Fire & Ice seats are shipped to customers.
Corbin seats, which use closed-cell Comfort Cell foam, have a reputation for being firmer than stock seats. This one is no exception. Corbin says the break-in period typically lasts 1,500-2,000 miles, and after logging 3,200 miles it’s still quite firm—a bit too firm for my tastes. The Fire & Ice seat is also heavier than my Harley’s stock seat, which weighs 8.4 pounds—the Corbin weighs 17.8 pounds.
Although the limited passenger cooling is a drawback and the firmness of the seat may not suit everyone, overall the Corbin Fire & Ice seat delivers good support and can help you stay comfortable year-round. It’s available for 2009-2018 Harley-Davidson Touring models and the 2014-2017 BMW R 1200 RT, and pricing starts at $993.
For more information, see your dealer or visit corbin.com.