Buying The Right Motorcycle Seat
January 10, 2013 - San Diego, CA
Types of Motorcycle Seats
The seat construction on a motorcycle is one of the most important components of the bike. Without a comfortable seat, riding can be anything from mildly uncomfortable to downright painful. Motorcycles will come with what's known as a "stock seat," but many riders find it more comfortable to choose an aftermarket seat and other motorcycle accessories that make the riding experience more enjoyable. There are a few things to consider when purchasing an aftermarket seat for your motorcycle.
How much support do I need?
Foam or gel? If you're just cruising around town, you're not going to need the same type of foam padding that you would if you decided to ride across the country. If you pick padding that's too firm, then you'll feel like you have no cushion at all. Alternatively, if the padding you choose is too soft, there will be very little support. Either way, long or turbulent rides will be painful! For shorter rides around town, choose a foam that feels firm, but not to the point that it's unforgiving. If you want to make longer trips, you may want to consider a gel seat that molds to your body which provides more customized support.
How do I choose an external covering?
It's important to remember that the seat of your motorcycle will be exposed to the elements. You'll have the option of choosing leather or vinyl seat coverings. Many aftermarket manufacturers will provide you with these two options, though it's more common to have larger companies make vinyl covers and smaller companies work with leather. Leather can be custom dyed and is a premium product, but high-quality vinyl will require less maintenance. Your choice of seat covering should reflect your personal preferences, budget, and the amount of exposure to the elements.
Riding for a long time can be especially fatiguing on the lower back. Nothing will make your thousand-mile day seem a little shorter like some lumbar support! Finding a suitable driver backrest is something that should be carefully considered; this isn't something you want to shortchange with time or quality. Many aftermarket parts manufacturers and OEM parts manufacturers make seats that will accommodate an adjustable driver backrest that is easily removable and has several height adjustment positions. Being able to easily adjust your seat is especially important.
Motorcycle seats are constructed on a baseplate, where the passenger seat is either the continuation of the driver's baseplate, or a different one where the passenger seat is constructed on a separate baseplate. Regardless, adding a passenger backrest should provide the same comfort and support of the lower back that a driver backrest provides. In addition, most passenger backrests are attached to sissy bars which adds convenience for transporting luggage.
BikeBandit.com is the web's largest powersports store with more than 8 million factory fresh motorcycle parts online, with parts and accessories from all the major manufacturers. Refer to your motorcycle repair manual in order to get a better idea of which kind of seat would fit your bike, and your riding life, the best.