Born 1945 in upstate New York, Tom Seymour was a science nerd who received a full scholarship to Cooper Union and a jock who lettered in Wrestling and Football. He earned his BSME in Engineering in 1969 and his MBA in 1973. He went to work for several large corporations as an Engineer, Test Engineer, and Engineering Manager. He was Chief Engineer of engine development before moving west and switching his career to marketing, which better suited his personality, overseeing international operations of McCulloch within Black and Decker,
What none of the teachers, coaches, professors, engineers, and corporate executives knew was that Tom had another life. You see, when Tom wasn’t wearing his lab coat, studying, or working, he would shed his tie and pocket calculator and go ride and race motorcycles. He commuted to work and school on a motorcycle and on the weekends raced short track, Enduros, motocross, and TT Scrambles.
He even joined a motorcycle club, the Yonkers MC, the oldest motorcycle club in the United States. Tom would eventually rise in the Yonkers MC to Road Captain and President. Even as a corporate executive, Tom would shed his suit, put on his Yonkers vest and jump on one of his bikes and lead rides to rallies and events.
Tom was highly successful in the corporate business world, but wanted to be his own boss and work in the motorcycle industry. So he bought a small motorcycle accessory company in 1977, which he eventually sold and used the experience to launch Saddlemen years later.
Tom’s business and motorcycle lives had come together at last. With Tom’s marketing and engineering skills combined with his enthusiasm for motorcycling, Saddlemen grew more and more successful. In the beginning Saddlemen was small but their products were excellent. In life, when someone helps you out of a painful situation, we often say, “He saved my butt.” With Saddlemen, Tom Seymour used his engineering skills and experience of thousands of hours on good and bad motorcycle seats to make the best seats he could design. Over the years with Saddlemen, Tom literally saved thousands of butts.
Saddlemen seats are designed to enhance the motorcycle experience because the seat is one of the biggest connections between the rider and the machine and Tom was personally granted several patents on innovative seat technologies. Soon Saddlemen added motorcycle luggage, saddle-bags, tool bags, and trunk and tail bags.
As Saddlemen grew, Tom hired motorcyclists at all levels believing that riders with street smarts would make the best representatives for the brand. Over the years hundreds of motorcyclists have been employed by Saddlemen.
Tom also wanted to give-back to the industry and sport so Saddlemen sponsored racers, teams, and races, even whole series and championships. With Tom at the helm Saddlemen sponsored racers at every level from top professionals to up-and-comers with Saddlemen teams, Rookie of the Year Awards, product sponsorship and financial support.
Legendary racers have worn the Saddlemen patch on their leathers while racing on a Saddlemen seat. Saddlemen sponsored Flat Track, Road Racing, Speedway, Hooligan, Land Speed Challenges, and stunt riders. Saddlemen provided sponsorship to more than 1,000 riders over the years since 1990.
Tom didn’t just sponsor racers and racing he invested in shows, rallies, and rides as well. He sometimes personally rode as much as 20,000 miles a year to different events like Daytona Bike Week, the Colorado 500, the Kenny Roberts Peace Ride in Japan, Americade. And Tom has been going to Sturgis since 1971.
He has also been a member and leader of many motorcycle industry organizations. He is on the Board of Directors for both the Trailblazers and the AMARookies of ’79. Tom is a Charter Life Member of the AMA, and he has been a V-Twin Committee member of the Motorcycle Industry Council.
Tom received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Peterson Publishing and the Leadership Award for the Class of ’79 Charity for Injured Racers. He was recently inducted into the Trailblazers Hall of Fame.
Today, Tom has retired and turned leadership of Saddlemen over to the capable hands of David Echert. He continues to ride and collect motorcycles and participate in industry events. Tom Seymour would like to thank his many friends in the industry, Lemans Corporation, countless Saddlemen employees, racers, and the Sturgis Hall of Fame.