After two months of ownership, and much, much longer waiting for the product to be available, I wanted to give my opinion on a subject that seems to have generated a lot of interest. I bought the full package from Sargent; the rider seat, the pod, the pillion seat and backrest. The main reasons for buying it were twofold:
1. To have a more secure and better looking way of carrying phone, wallet, camera, visor cleaner, disk lock and the accessories needed to cope with a very changeable climate, than a tank bag. The pod appeared to offer a better alternative.
2. I wanted the wider passenger seat and backrest to give my wife, an occasional pillion, a greater feeling of security.
My observations so far:
* The pod is excellent as a mini boot (trunk). As it is smaller than a tank bag it has forced me to be more selective about what I carry but that's no bad thing. If you had a few minutes and a large screwdriver you could probably force it open but for a filling station stop it is a much more secure.
* My wife is much more confident with the new seat and backrest in place - result!
* Yes it looks weird to have the backrest in place but that would be true with any backrest, on any sports type bike. In my case it is mounted for maybe 10% of the time and after use I quickly revert to the rider seat/pod combo.
* IMHO the rider seat/pod is better looking than the original seat.
* The original seat is a b***h to remove/refit. The Sargent seat works first click every time.
* I would say the Sargent seat build quality is similar to the stock seat
* I didn't have a comfort problem with the stock seat but the Sargent is a little more comfortable for me on a longer ride (200 miles plus)
* The shape of the Sargent, with more defined edges, seems to make it easier to hang off in cornering, knowing exactly where you are positioned. Plus the taller rear stop on the rider seat gives some stability under hard acceleration
* The Sargent seat has slightly more friction than the BMW seat and I slide forward a lot less downhill and under braking
Downsides? Well its not cheap, especially for anyone living outside of the US. But apart from that I am very pleased with my purchase. It was worth the wait.