The Spoked Wheel

Russell Day Long Saddles – The Ride Home

Dam at Shasta Lake, morning

Dam at Shasta Lake, morning

Yup, it’s just gotta be the ugliest motorcycle seat ever made, well, perhaps the Saddleman with the central groove is uglier but it’s a toss.  So why did I ride 615 boring slab miles along the Interstate 5, well, it’s because it would my second Russell.  It’s a custom seat, custom built, and is easily a 1,000+ miles/day seat, no joke, it’s true.

RDL Shasta Lake

Terry, the new owner, bought the business in 2002 and has been providing members of the Iron Butt Association with a comfortable saddle ever since.  His son Michael, company VP, has been building these seats for 13+ years and built mine this week.  The secret is the spring in the seat, kinda like the spring in the long-haul truck seats.

Seats are received via UPS in the morning, sorted into the bins awaiting a build.

Seats waiting to be built

Seats waiting to be built

The builder studies the data sheet, pictures, then removes  part of the foam down to the pan, places a custom seating surface and spring setup, adds foam, reshapes until it’s just right.  It’s quite involved and can only build about two seats per day.  The seat is then passed off where the cover is added.  It will take about 1,000 miles for the break-in period.



Shasta Ride Map

Leaving Redding headed south along Interstate 5, then west on Hwy 20 to Clear Lake.  From Clear Lake south along Morgan Valley Road eventually taking Knoxville Rd. This road is a poorly maintained road which becomes impassable during rains because of flooding.  Although rains were not encountered I did have to cross 5 water crossing, and dodge potholes.  No services for 30+ miles.  This stretch of road is listed on the Butler Motorcycles Maps, it’s remote, beautiful and a perfect route to Napa for those who insist on traveling the road less traveled.


From Napa to Santa Cruz then along Pacific Coast Hwy South until reaching Hwy 46 to the 101.

From here Hwy 58 was picked up, get fuel, no services for over 80 miles.  Into Ojai via Hwy 33 over the mountain and south and home.

Wheels and Axel

Hwy 58 and Hwy 33 Map

Hwy 33 Overlook

Total of 817 miles, most technical, on the new seat, not a blister, but lots of smiles!  This seat should keep breaking in over the next 1,000 miles and easily be ready for my June / Colorado ride of 2016.

New Russell saddle

New Russell saddle

One comment

  1. A good comfortable custom seat is worth every cent! Probably not a big deal for short rides but once you get over 600 or 1000 miles in the day it comes into its own!!


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