New Road Zeppelin Seat

I have a problem when riding very far on the OME seat that came on the 2015 Tri-Glide Ultra. I did have an upgraded seat on my wish list when we were first looking at the trike. You can order a heated seat or an air cushion seat but it is one or the other, you cannot order a heated air ride seat.  The seats are not cheap and we had a budget of what we wanted to spend on the trike, well actually Minnie had a budget, and we were getting close to her budget. So, the seat was cut. Riding around town I can do okay but for any distance my rear end gets numb and I start squirming around. I did buy a zeppelin air cushion that sits on the seat and is held in place with a strap that goes under the seat. It worked well, but I had a couple of issues with it. One issue was it raised me up so that Minnie could not see over my head. Not seeing over my head meant that she needed to lean on her arm rest to see what’s in front of us. Last year we logged 14,000 miles and she was leaning to the right for a lot of those miles, which caused a problem in her neck and shoulder, that caused her to have physical therapy for a couple of months when we got home.

Here is Harley Davidson’s webpage for the Road Zeppelin Air Ride

https://www.harley-davidson.com/store/road-zeppelin-air-adjustable-seat-pa-16-52000201–1

How We Got the Extra Money for the Zeppelin Seat

Finding the money for a new seat. We had some equipment, from our welding business that we had on consignment at Vern Lewis Welding Supply store. They sold some of that equipment, and that gave us a little extra money to spend on the trike and I wanted to be able to get rid of the Zeppelin air cushion and replace it with a Road Zeppelin Air Ride seat. The cost of the seat from Harley is close to $850.00 with tax and an electric harness extension. I was convinced that I wanted to buy the seat. I had heard good reports on some of the forums that I visit, but I wasn’t sure if the adjustable back rest that we bought for the OME would fit. I posted on one of the forums if anyone knew if the back rest that I have now would fit the new seat and the replies were positive that it would fit. But I also got a private message of a forum member that said that he had an almost new seat for sale for $550.00 and he lived in Scottsdale, AZ. I was a little leery about getting a used seat but the cost savings was a little hard to pass up. Minnie met me at this guy’s friend’s house and the seat fit, it had the same part number from the parts catalog, but he didn’t have the electrical harness extension. I rode home on the new seat and it felt good and the backrest fit.  I stopped by Chandler Harley on the way home to buy the electrical wire harness extension.

Problems Connecting the Zeppelin Seat

When I got home I started to get the seat connected to some power to make sure the compressor worked.  To my surprise the connection on the seat did not match the connection on the electrical extension I just bought at the dealership. I also discovered that I already had an electric harness extension already installed on our trike, for one of the add-ons we had installed when we bought the trike. I took the harness back to get a refund and to find out what the problem was. The problem was the seat had a connection for an older bike wiring harness. The wiring harness connectors that are used on the Harley I have are the Deutsh DTP series. I do not have any experience with these connectors. The parts guy  ordered what I needed to change the connector on the seat to fit the connector on the trike since they did not have any in stock. The parts only cost $5.83 for a sealed socket housing and a secondary lock, 4 socket. So, the parts are ordered, now I must wait for the parts to arrive, before finding out if I got a good deal or not. When I got home I googled Deutsh connectors to learn all I can about them so I can do the repairs myself.

The yellow connection is the one that came with the new seat. the bottom connection is on the new electrical wire harness I bought from the dealership. You can see in this picture the seat plug will not work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This shows that I already have an electrical wire harness installed. The lower red circle  shows a wire harness already plugged into the accessory connection. The top red circle show the harness routed up to where it needs to be to connect to the new seat. what you don’t see are the three wires coming  off that wire harness going I think to the heated handlebar grips that we had ordered when we bought the trike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fix

The parts came in on Friday and I go and pick them up and take them home to change connections. Since I was spending so much time with the seat off I was able to see how I could clean up the wiring and get it more organized so the seat isn’t so hard to get back into place.  The changing of the connectors was easy after look at a You Tube on Deutsh. I was finally able to get power to the seat and it WORKED. That was a relief.

The fix was easy enough, I was able to take the old connector apart, keep track of the orientation of the wires  to go into the new plug and then assemble the new plug.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparing the seats

The seat is a little wider than the OME seat. We have saddlebags on both sides of the trike, one for each of us to store small stuff in them.  The lids of the saddlebag do hit the side of the new seat if you open it straight up but there is enough play in the hinge that if you move it to the side it opens without much effort. The riders seat has two air bags, one on the thigh zone and one for the lower back zone. Each zone is controlled separately. The passenger seat only has one air bar for the backbone and support the thigh area. When comparing the seats side by side the size difference is obvious. The riders seat has a more contoured area for the hips. I’m not sure if I sit back further on the new seat. But when I’m riding one up, and I adjust the back rest where I’m setting straight up, my finger tips are touching the handle bar. When we are riding two up I don’t have the back rest back as far and I can grip the handle bar fully, but I am leaning forward just a little. This is something I need to pay attention to, because I may want to look at getting extended handle bars. The passenger seat is about the same width but a little longer.

 

This is a picture of the OME seat that comes stock on the 2015 Tri-glide Ultra. It looks comfortable enough. Notice the width of the seat and how the seat does not get in the way of using the saddlebags.

 

This is a picture of the used Road Zeppelin seat we bought and  installed on the 2015 Tri-Glide Ultra. You can clearly see the support for the lower back. And you can see the extra width of the new seat. The saddlebags will open but they do rub the seat when opening.  I don’t think that the rubbing will mark the seat but we will keep an eye on it.

 

 

 

Evaluation of the new seat

We have not spent much time on the new seat, however I did ride on the seat for four days going to work but without being able to adjust it. ( I was riding on what pressure was in the airbags when it was disconnected) We did do a short breakfast ride but not for any distance to really say we tried it out. So, I am not able to give much of an evaluation on whether it will solve the problem of a numb behind, but Minnie can see over me and that should be making for a more enjoyable ride for her. Another option is Minnie could use the air cushion to raise herself up a little more if she needs too. I do like the way the seat feels just setting on it. The air cushion, because it was just lying on the seat, was not very stable. Another benefit of me setting lower is I’m able to see thru the windshield, before my line of sight was right at the top of the windshield. That meant I was having to movie my head up or down to get an unobstructed view of the road ahead.

Here is a picture showing the differences of the two seats side by side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a picture of the setup we were using before. You can see how the air cushion just lays on the seat

and you can get an idea of how much the air cushion raised me up.