SM - T " Torture"

Squeaky back brake? Hard to control at 30mph/40kph?
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SM - T " Torture"

Post by Moby » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:41 am

Hi,

I love the bike only had it two weeks but the seat really does spoil it... did 700 miles with the wife at the weekend and she was in tears and I was close!

How can the stock seat be so bad?

Any suggestions... is the Ergo seat the way to go? Happy to spend pretty much whatever but don't want to waste money on the wrong thing.

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by Thirdway » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:44 pm

That's the truth right there :lol: there's a guy in Huddersfield that will fit medical grade gel inserts and reshape the seat. It's actually worse for the rider, but at least we get to move around and weight the bars. If you look where the seat is, essentially, except for a bit of thin plastic and a mm of foam, your sit bones will be directly over the frame rails- ouch. I've put up with it. Try shorter stints and more stops. The thinner your backside the worse it will be. It's really not a touring bike, it just looks like one, the T means travel and not tour. If you ever get the chance and have some grippy tyres it will go off road pretty well. Stand up and gas it- zero pain maximum grin. Dirt bike heritage makes you realise what it actually is and isn't pretending to be.

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by Random00 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:08 pm

It think you just need to give it time for your "posterior" to adjust to the seat. I've done 867 in one day and I had no problems with the seat, but that was after owning it for a few months and getting used to it.

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by Thirdway » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:43 am

Random00 wrote:It think you just need to give it time for your "posterior" to adjust to the seat. I've done 867 in one day and I had no problems with the seat, but that was after owning it for a few months and getting used to it.
As we say in pedal cycle parlance - it's all about the sit bones. The seat isn't the greatest for padding anyway so most people find it uncomfortable. However, if the frame rails coincide with the sit bones of your backside, then there is no getting used to it. Imagine a bed in which each skeletal joint coincided exactly with a block of solid wood. Cyclists discovered this with saddle shapes. A saddle which has glowing reviews from thousands of cyclists and accepted as the last word in comfort will suit many people, but that same saddle can be total agony for others.

The KTM seat is agony for me. I won't ever be 'getting used to it' and I've done plenty of miles on it and many other bikes. I'm not even convinced there is a cure-a seat can give a bit more padding, but then it can put the seating position an uncomfortable stretch, or make it too wide/narrow. The fact is that the frame rails can't be moved and they will always be the final arbiter of comfort.

A tank of fuel is about the limit and a good stretch, walk and rub are required to endure the next tank. After 4 tanks it's time to book a doctors appointment. I have to limit it to 2 tanks and a bit -300-350 miles and the pain is brutal enough to bring tears to my eyes. On a tour, next day I don't want to get back in the saddle.

They say you can tour on anything, but the SMT isn't great at doing long distances. It spoils a good bike and can be a deal breaker for those who want to keep it for a few years. The guy I bought my bike from had succumbed to the temptation of one of those Honda X tourer things-because of the seat comfort.

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by Gimlet » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:08 pm

I tolerated doing 1800 miles in a week round Wales last year. I was riding every day and it wasn't agony and I remember the great riding more than I remember the seat so it wasn't that bad, but for that sort of riding it could have been much better.
I've got mine up for sale again otherwise I'd get it reupholstered. I can afford to increase the seat height by an inch or more before I struggle with getting my feet down and I'm confident that would transform the comfort.

I've always found the SMT's seat cramped. I'd like to be able to wriggle further back but there isn't room. One aspect of the Triumh's Explorers seat that made it so comfortable was acres of space.

The SMT isn't a sports bike and it doesn't have sports bike suspension. My Ducati Streetfighter has track-spec suspension and a thinner seat but its more comfortable over distance than the SMT.

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by Thirdway » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:02 pm

I've said before that it's really the flaws that make the SMT what is. Stick on a comfy seat and it will show up the pitifully small tank, raw vibration, terrible wind protection and lack of room for a passenger. Sort the Screen-same thing. Sort the vibes, the seat, the wind protection and tank size then we end up with a Vstrom 1000. It's almost counter intuitive. I understand exactly why someone would prefer the explorer, the BM and many others and there's no defence for the KTM for all the things the other bikes do much better. The only reply is....but it's not an SMT :x I think it's weird, maybe it's because excepting the warts on the KTM is kind of an admission that riders never find a perfect bike and the next new one is always the answer.

By the time we have what we want, it's no longer what we want-it's to fast and handles too well for the rider which makes the rider feel a bit superfluous. If it's comfy enough for thousands of miles and only gets used for weekend rides it looks like a lot of cash for a dream that never gets fulfilled; if it's so reliable and smooth that you never need to tinker you never get a feeling of rider/bike intimacy and the bike becomes a disposable appliance with no commitment. The SMT reminds me of Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance-the challenge of long rides, performance and reliability tests the riders mentally and physically like a rock tests a hammer. I can only put it down to that. Riders of SMTs have to understand that it's a bike that has many of the attributes of a mountaineering expedition. The point of it is the challenge it presents. If the challenge was removed then what's left ? Great transport ?

I always return from a ride on the SMT feeling I accomplished something. I feel satisfied. I don't need to ride to Brazil, nor do I need to feel the bike is doing all the work with just a twitch of throttle and a look through the bend. Every ride on the SMT is an adventure, it makes me feel like I did 300 miles when in reality I did 100. It's as if I was going 150mph everywhere but actually never got much past 90mph. I felt like every corner had my elbow on the floor and the bike at the bike shimmying about as I held it there-but I only got to the edge of the tyres. It feels just more by being an awful lot less- that irks some people, but not me.

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by Magic Wand » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:02 pm

Tried one of these?
Skärmavbild 2017-04-20 kl. 15.58.53.png
Skärmavbild 2017-04-20 kl. 15.58.53.png (63.22 KiB) Viewed 4901 times
/M

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by Random00 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:59 pm

Magic Wand wrote:Tried one of these?
Skärmavbild 2017-04-20 kl. 15.58.53.png
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I was going to suggest an Airhawk if he hadn't tried one. The trick is to not "fill it full" it with air. You only want a bare minimum of air in it, just enough to keep you from contacting the seat. If you fill it with air, you'll raise yourself 2" and move around like a 1970's waterbed.

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by kennykjam » Tue May 02, 2017 7:18 pm

I got the ergo seat with mine when I bought it second hand. Have never had an issue. Really very comfortable including long european touring days ...


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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by drewsninja » Mon May 08, 2017 8:42 pm

I have got one of these made by motea Germany not tried it yet going to nw200 at weekend should prove whether it any good is a tourtecs air cushionImageImage

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by skybullet » Tue May 09, 2017 4:34 am

I could not live with the stock seat on my 2012 SMT even on day rides. Rick Mayer modified the stock seat pan with new reshaped foam and a new cover. It is now all day comfortable and does not distract during the ride. Unfortunately, it appears Rick is out of business so now I would try Sargent, Corbin or Russell. The aftermarket seat guys are specialists at getting a seat comfortable.
I also have a Super Duke GT in another location. Same deal. I could not ride over an hour without discomfort becoming torture on a 600 mile day. Sargent modified my stock seat pan with new slightly softer, wider, dished reshaped foam for about $300. I have since done a couple of 600+ mile days and Happy Days are here again.

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by Thirdway » Tue May 09, 2017 10:50 am

After all this talk of torturous seating and having broken my arse on the first long ride of the year, I decided it was time to treat my posterior to some comfort. Forthwith I snouted out a competent tradesperson in the name of saddlecraft at North Shields. Dropped my seat off today and was shown examples of various comfort approaches from other manufacturers and even examples of Tony Archers work. The KTM comfort seat had to take the biscuit for stupid design of the year. Essentially the comfort pad (I have a hard time actually calling it that) is under the standard foam wtf ??

Saddle craft allowed me to fondle their 18mm thick slab of gel material which they make to their own secret recipe. I had always imagined this gel stuff to be like silicon breat implants, but it's nothing like that. It's a cross linked polymer that is essentially distributing the load rather than compressing across a wide area, but allowing sharp, pointy bits to penetrate further. In effect it is both firmer where it needs to be firm and soft and squidgy where the sit bones are. It looks like it should do the trick to the extent it's more comfortable than our sofa.

Les tells me that the KTM saddle is made from softer foam than the nine fiddy plank. When he got a look at it he realised what I had thought was the problem. Essentially it's too soft which mean the whole thing is compressing too much and then the pointy sit bones are in direct contact with the base. It hadn't occured to me that this could make the bike feel harsher than it really is. Imagine if you had to sit on the bare frame rails from the point of view of shock absorption and engine vibration.

So, for the practical - 3 day turn around just fitting the gel insert £110 which, if it works, is worth at least £1 per mile of the final leg I travelled from Fort William back to the North East last year. I was in sufficient agony to begin thinking how nice a taxi would be.

More detailed report after I've tested it out, with my new Palmer screen it should feel like I bought a tourer.

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Re: SM - T

Post by Thirdway » Tue May 09, 2017 11:04 am

drewsninja wrote:I have got one of these made by motea Germany not tried it yet going to nw200 at weekend should prove whether it any good is a tourtecs air cushion

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It's amazing that you bought that from Germany, whilst there is a guy making them in South Shields. We have some real talent in the North East but our marketing stinks. Most of the really great companies I've come across are also loathe to expand because it means a lot more paper work and employee red tape.

Have a look at saddle craft in South Shields and compare prices and design. It would be interesting to know if they could be selling a lot more of their product-provided they want to of course.

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by drewsninja » Tue May 09, 2017 11:40 am

had seat done twice by dp leathers on hill still cannot get on with had to try something it may look shit but need comfort went over to shields was shut on week day seen there product s online tourtecs should be okay find out on Friday travelling to cainryan

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by Thirdway » Tue May 09, 2017 3:06 pm

drewsninja wrote:had seat done twice by dp leathers on hill still cannot get on with had to try something it may look shit but need comfort went over to shields was shut on week day seen there product s online tourtecs should be okay find out on Friday travelling to cainryan

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I've heard that they shut at odd times. I rang them and the answerphone said shut until August ?
It's like many of these small companies they are very personal. They don't seem to care if they get customers or not. I could sell their kit a million times over, but it's as if they really prefer not to.
Hope the kit you bought sorts you.

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by drewsninja » Tue May 09, 2017 3:11 pm

seems canny comfy blows up to suit comfort find out at weekend

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by Thirdway » Tue May 09, 2017 4:57 pm

drewsninja wrote:seems canny comfy blows up to suit comfort find out at weekend

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The Proof of the comfort is in the riding-as they say

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by eagle_awd » Thu May 11, 2017 2:25 pm

Would love to hear of the results on this gel pad. There's couple seat places around here, but all there pads are way thinner, like 5-10mm which I don't think is enough. Wonder if they would do pillion side as well?
Thirdway wrote:After all this talk of torturous seating and having broken my arse on the first long ride of the year, I decided it was time to treat my posterior to some comfort. Forthwith I snouted out a competent tradesperson in the name of saddlecraft at North Shields. Dropped my seat off today and was shown examples of ......
More detailed report after I've tested it out, with my new Palmer screen it should feel like I bought a tourer.

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by Thirdway » Thu May 11, 2017 4:57 pm

eagle_awd wrote:Would love to hear of the results on this gel pad. There's couple seat places around here, but all there pads are way thinner, like 5-10mm which I don't think is enough. Wonder if they would do pillion side as well?
Thirdway wrote:After all this talk of torturous seating and having broken my arse on the first long ride of the year, I decided it was time to treat my posterior to some comfort. Forthwith I snouted out a competent tradesperson in the name of saddlecraft at North Shields. Dropped my seat off today and was shown examples of ......
More detailed report after I've tested it out, with my new Palmer screen it should feel like I bought a tourer.

Yes they do both. I was budgeting so didn't get the pillion pad done, but, if we go touring to Spain next year I will treat the missus to something comfy.

I shall report after my ride up to Scotland - 300 miles, so I will certainly get some botty feedback.

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Re: SM - T " Torture"

Post by Thirdway » Fri May 19, 2017 6:31 pm

The Gel pad certainly improves things, it doesn't eliminate the discomfort completely-I think that's a problem with narrow seats-but it changes things from agony to bearable. I certainly didn't get that stinging pain that I normally endure. However, one issue, because the pad doesn't compress it means the seat height is taller, which is a bummer for me as I was already on tip toes. Once the panniers were on then it was fine.

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