Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Austin Texas, USA area.
I made two modifications to the horrid OEM seat (typical of nearly all Japanese sport and standard bike seats) and spent $25 USD. The seat is too firm--way too firm--for my 135# frame. I felt as if I were sitting on a wooden plank. Also, the seats on nearly all Japanese bikes are inclined upward toward the rear of the bike--definitely the wrong inclination.
I removed the seat's cover and took a 1" hole hole cutter in an electric drill and drilled 12 holes equidistant in the seat, to a depth of about 1/2". This reduced the surface area actually pushing up on my sensitive butt. Then, I took an 8" x 10" x .5" motorcycle-specific gel pad, sourced on E-bay, and inletted this into the top of the seat. I had to do a bit of trimming of the pad as it was a bit larger than the seat toward the front of the seat. Once that was done, I replaced the cover with 3/8" T-50 staples. The seat is a lot better in terms of its firmness and I now howl in pain at less frequent intervals during my rides.
What is not better is the upward slant of the seat toward the rear of the bike. This causes the rider to be angled down in front and is traditionally uncomfortable. A comfortable seat in my opinion (and I've owned 85 bikes since 1953) should be parallel to the ground or even slant slightly downward toward the rear.
After a lot of looking, it appears that only Corbin makes a custom seat for the CB-500s and Corbins still slant up at the rear and are pitifully hard, tho Corbine will assure you that their "Comfort Foam" is supposed to be that way. Well, perhaps for some. It may be necessary to have a custom seat build using the OEM pan by Renazco etc. Any forum member with another source is encouraged to comment, with photos if possible.
Later this Fall, I will replace the shock absorber with one from Ohlins sprung to my weight. Not cheap,but I believe in "pay for the berst and only cry once". I will source a bit softer fork springs, possibly from Race Tech, and that will add up to a much better ride.
It is predictable in lower cost bikes that their suspensions often are the main economy from the makers. For some they may suffice, but for many riders aftermarket suspension is the most important upgrade.
"You don't stop riding because you got old...You got old because you stopped riding,"