Happy Valley, Calif., Dealer Rides Out Recession On Custom Seats

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Customers come to Rick Mayer Cycle in Happy Valley, Calif., with one major complaint: Monkey Butt.

A Redding couple that recently pushed a bright red Ninja into Mayer Cycle complained:

"The seat's too hard on that thing. Ride it too long your butt turns blue."

Mayer has a long history with the business. He says he’s logged 2.5 million miles of riding on 38 bikes since he was 16 years old.

"Northern California is some of the best motorcycle country in the world," Mayer said, pointing out Highway 299 and Highway 36.

His father owned a motorcycle seat business in the 1960s, and Mayer blended that experience with knowledge gained in his former occupation as a registered nurse. He uses memory foam and other materials that are used in wheelchairs and hospital beds to reshape or recreate his saddles, at an average customer cost of $270.

He interviews each seat customer about his or her riding style. Even for online orders, he requests a photo of the rider sitting in a riding position, according to the Anderson Valley Post.

"Every seat presents its own challenges," shop manager Seth Laam told the newspaper.

The ultimate goal of the new seat is to connect the bike to the rider, Mayer said, so riders don’t work so hard to ride comfortably.

Posted by Holly Wagner