April 1, 2013
Choosing the Right Motorcycle Seat for Your Ride
While a seat might seem like a simple component on a motorcycle, depending on your wants, needs, or desires, a seat can really make or break the satisfaction and enjoyment you get out of your bike. And just like the derrieres that sit on them, motorcycle seats come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. When you find yourself in the market to replace your Harley motorcycle seat or any other cruiser motorcycle seat for that matter, consider these four key factors: comfort, aesthetics, ergonomics, and type of use. Once you nail these down and figure out what’s most important, you should have a better grasp of what to shop for.
The most important thing people will focus on when replacing their existing seat is comfort. There are a lot of ways to achieve maximum comfort from a motorcycle seat, from gel liners sewn into the seat to extra thick foam padding, and even memory foam. When logging lots of miles you might want some extra back support to help reduce fatigue, so a seat that has a higher back or will accommodate a rider and/or passenger backrest is a good choice. If you live on the east coast and do a lot of cold weather riding, a heated seat can mean the difference between 100 miles of toasty enjoyment or two hours of freezing misery. Maybe you’re pretty satisfied with your current seat but your back end tends to get a little numb after a while. Something as simple as throwing a gel or air pad over the top can be a much cheaper solution than purchasing a new seat.
When searching for a new motorcycle seat, aesthetics can play an important role. You want the seat to flow with the rest of the bike and not look like an afterthought. Does your bike have a certain look, or have you been following a certain theme like adding more chrome? If so, then maybe you should check out a seat with extra details such as fringe, studs, or conchos. Mustang Motorcycle Seats offers a Studded Wide Touring Seat which features a skirted trim detailed with chrome accents and would look great on a classically styled bike. Another important option to consider with styling is the type of material covering the seat, leather or vinyl? Many people love the soft and supple feel of a well-worn piece of leather. But leather often comes at a higher price tag and can sometime require additional care. With the advancements in material, vinyl can look and feel great too, and it can often take more abuse and usually requires less/if any maintenance.
Is your bike just a tad too tall? Or maybe you have a longer than average inseam and need more room to stretch out. If you find yourself teetering on your tip-toes at stops, a seat with thinner padding or a narrower profile can get you closer to the ground so you can plant your feet with confidence. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’ve got long legs and find the riding position a little too cramped look for a seat that has a recessed seat pocket or one that moves the seating position further back an inch or two to help you stretch your legs.
Whether you’re going to be doing two up or solo riding should be a concern when picking a motorcycle seat. For those that do a lot of two up riding, most seat manufacturers offer a variety of two-piece and one piece designs. Two-piece seats are nice because if it’s just going to be you heading to bike night you can quickly and easily remove the passenger seat for a cleaner look. If you’re a solo rider who tends to pick up the occasional passenger from the local tavern, a simple P-pad with suction cups on the underside will not only protect your rear fender but that precious cargo sitting behind you as well.
There are many reasons to replace your stock motorcycle seat, if you consider the factors listed above you should find that selecting the right one will be a much easier process.