Installing an Explorer Seat from Saddlemen

Photos and text by Rogue 2/8/2012

Reprinted with permission from www.bikernet.com

This is how Rogue heated his seat in the '70s.

Saddlemen seats have been the choice for me since back when I was riding rigid frame motorcycles. They were one of the rare, primarily, comfortable components that allowed me to ride and enjoy a lot of miles in a single day.

When I got a new Harley FLHT in 2004 the factory seat was okay but nothing to write home about, and that turned out to be the same with the 2009 FLHTC.

When the opportunity came up for me to do this article on a Saddlemen seat, I jumped at it. Those of you who know I live in Florida, may wonder why I wanted a heated seat and the answer is simple, my lifestyle takes me to a lot of cold weather states and the thought of a heated seat would make these chilly trips seriously more enjoyable. A major feature of this seat is that the heat controller has a five (5) level adjustment that can be removed when it is warm and adjustment is no longer needed.

Installing the seat is straight forward, but I did take the time to read the instructions and suggest you do so as well. We also spoke to Ron Benfield, the marketing manager at Saddlemen.

The Saddlemen Explorer heated seat installed.

"The seat is called the Explorer, it's a re-designed version of the seat that put Saddlemen on the map," said Ron. "It is our top-of-the-line touring model with large bucketed sitting areas, lumbar backrest and heat in both driver and passenger seats."

I removed the factory seat and put the new seat in place to see how it fit. Good. Next, I installed the rear seat bracket followed by the power cord linked to the wires coming out of the underside of the seat.

There are a couple of options while installing the Fused battery lead. I could hook it directly to the battery which means you need to remember to turn the heater off when you turn off the motorcycle. I thought this could be an issue for me, due to me faltering memory. I decided to hook it to a source I turned off power when I turned off the motorcycle, for instance the lights, or the brake light circuit, or the speedo circuit.

 

There were wires available for my tourpack available for an accessory I was not currently using. This allowed me to mount the fuse out of the elements, and should I ever need to change a fuse it would be easy to get to. I decided to use connectors as opposed to soldering and made sure they were connected in a secure manner, so as not to become improperly connected. It made for a neat and easy solution, plus I made sure the wires would not be in a dangerous position, rubbing against anything. I routed the front wire out by the saddlebag guard, and all were secured with plastic ties so they would not move.

"It uses 34 watts, which is approx 2.8 amps," said Ron. "There are no special wiring considerations."

Using Velcro on the back of the rear controller, I mounted it to the tourpack. I made it easy for my wife to use while seated on the motorcycle rolling down the highway behind her man. The controllers come with a clip for those who prefer to have the controller on their person. I opted to use the clip to mount the front controller to the pouch mounted on the saddlebag guard.

I then turned the motorcycle on and checked each controller for proper operation.

Nice Easy Installation. It actually took me longer to shoot the photos than install the seat.

As I sat in the seat, I noticed it had a gel pad installed and the design supported my back better. Life was looking good.

My wife Doris and I went riding later in the evening, and though it did not cool down much, the temperature did drop enough for both of us to try out the new heated seat. It definitely did the job and the controllers were easy to reach.

The Saddlemen Explorer heated seat installed.

You can't imagine what a difference heated seats or grips make to the comfort level of any chilly ride--it's amazing. It will be much more enjoyable to ride on cold nights with this Saddlemen heated seat.

 

--Rogue