#139m Bill Mayer Saddle in Ojai

Fleeter Log #139m
Bill Mayer Saddle

Day 20 - Monday
May 4, 2009

When I left Virginia, I knew I had a decision to make. And, I needed to make it before I crossed the Continental Divide. Two factors I needed to consider before making this decision: 1) how many miles do I plan on putting on the F650GS twin? 2) how comfortable (or miserable) will the stock seat be during those miles? By the time I rode across the wide open plains of Kansas and Oklahoma, I had begun to do some quality bonding with the GS. So much so that it looked like we would be sharing some serious miles together in our future. How comfortable do I expect those miles to be based on the last 3,000 to 4,000 miles? Well, it seems that if I only do non-rushed 200-300 mile days, my bumbum doesn't complain too much. But, if I start rolling on 400+ miles per day or riding gas tank to gas tank (stopping only for fuel) without any flower sniffin' along the way, then my bumbum starts to feel that this touring by motorcycle stuff is a pretty lousy idea.

Decision made. While in New Mexico, I called the folks at Bill Mayer Saddles (BMS) in Ojai, California and asked about getting a ride-in appointment for a custom-made, specially built to fit My Bumbum, saddle. They already had a full schedule for the day that I planned on being in the area, but in pure "put the touring rider first" customer service attitude, they tell me to come in--they put me on the schedule. They have a policy of always fitting the touring rider into the schedule. I'm advised to be there by 7:30am. Not a problem! I'm getting a new BMS!

The night before the special day, I have a good night sleep in a very reasonably priced room at a motel in the town of Ojai. Ojai Rancho Inn is conveniently located about a mile from BMS. I highly recommend it to anyone else staying in the area . . . whether you are getting a new custom saddle or not.

I arrive at BMS and meet two other fellow riders looking for a solution to soothe the butt of the monkey. They were: Chad from Austin, Texas and Pierre from northern California. The forth ride-in canceled his appointment, and so there were just us three . . . and a whole stack of orders that were waiting to be built and shipped out to waiting bumbums across the country. The waiting orders are important, but Ride-Ins take priority. They get started on ours right way, right after determining our riding styles and expectations.

Chad, Pierre and I visited, sipped coffee, talked road stories, etc. and I even pulled out my laptop to take advantage of the wi-fi. The morning flew by. The saddle maker would come out and study the way I sat on my motorcycle, go in work on the saddle shape, come out have me try it, get my input, go back and work on it some more, repeat, repeat again, let me take it for a ride, some more fine tuning to the shape, another test, finally attaching the cover, final sit test. Done. By 12:30pm I was riding out of Ojai on my custom built saddle. Perfect fit!

Candace working on my saddle with a smile.
Candace takes a seat on the saddle she spent the morning creating. She makes many a saddle, but never actually gets to take a sit on them. She's thinking she might need a GS.

Wow! What a difference a custom seat makes! Loving the BMS!
It's a great saddle to spend miles and miles with. If you do go see Candace (or anyone else at BMS) tell them I said hello and that I'm loving my BMS!
The twists of CA 33 are waiting for me as I leave Oja heading toward Maricopa.

Copyright 2009 Fleeter Logs


  1. Hey, there's nothing like having a happy bum!! Glad yours is feeling the love. And, great to know that when on the road, we'll be assisted as we travel through. Continued comfort...

  2. I've been using custom saddles for a few years now, and I've found that Bill "Rocky" Mayer and his crew make one of the best. Rocky offers a ride in fitting service at his shop in Ojai, CA, and that was one of the first stops I made with the new GS. Ojai is a great town situated as it is near Santa Barbara in a very mild climate surrounded by orange groves and twisty roads.

  3. You got it! Yes, I listed Victoria as my LBHT just because my readers could NEVER understand that my real HT wase even little-bittier. You picked up on than right away. Good for you.

    I'll be sure to tell Joanna a big howdy for you. I adore her, and she is ever bit as "Joanna" as you remember -- and then some. Happily divorced and a big, loud, intimidating (and funny) marketing executive in Dallas. Does that surprise you?

    Stay in touch. I'll have more stories for you after my visit home. And thanks for the post.