Comfort, Comfort, Comfort – one of the keys to a memorable ride. As we all know purchasing a new bike is a very exciting event, so much we overlook some of the needs to satisfy our wants. We all want more chrome, more power, and definitely more time to ride, but unless we have a great saddle, none of the others matter. Sure going from a Soft Tail or Dyna to a Touring Bike will undoubtedly be a nicer ride, there is still something lacking in a stock seat. What seat to purchase is a topic everyone has an opinion on and can be debated till the end of time, with no clear winner leaving us just as confused as before. My goal is to give you enough information and solid comparisons to make your upgrade decision easier. So sit tight and hang on as we explore the world of accessory/after market seats available from K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com).
Let’s get started with a few questions that should be answered before you choose the right seat for you and your bike. First and foremost will you be a solo or two-up rider? Your answer to this could literally cut the field in half. Solo seats are just that, a seat made for the rider only. These seats typically give you a custom look, while focusing only on the rider. Inside the category of “Solo Seats” you will notice many different profiles and shapes, along with different cushion materials. Because they are more effective in lower profile seats, memory foam and surgical gel pads can be found in quite a few of the saddles available. Many of today’s options offer a rider backrest option, so it is possible to gain added back support allowing longer, more enjoyable rides. So if it will be just you or you want that clean low profile look, a solo seat could be for you.
If two-up is your answer, the next question you need to ask yourself is “How often will my passenger ride with me?” If your passenger won’t be on board much, you may be able to opt for a low profile seat that offers you a custom fit and a fender hugging design. Like the solo seats, because of the sleek profile there are a lot of units using memory foam and surgical gel pads. Now if you answered “often” or “all the time” you have to consider the passenger comfort level when shopping for a seat. A noticeable trend among 2-up touring seats is the seats being wider than stock offerings, not by much, usually 3″ for the rider and 2″ for the passenger. The additional surface allows reduced pressure points, additional lower back support for the rider, as well as an increased seating surface for the passenger. The main idea behind the bigger passenger seat is it places more surface under the thighs, reducing pressure on the the lower legs, minimizing leg fatigue. Most two-up touring seats accommodate detachable backrests, adding additional support for the rider.
Another concern to address is whether your height mandates a changed in the seat. A lot of manufacturers make available a seat that is narrower in the horn, allowing the feet to come closer together, “giving” you more height and reducing the reach distance to the handlebars. While an option for the taller individuals raises them up and away from the bars to decrease the cramped, slouching feel they are experiencing. Almost an industry standard these specialty seats are referred to as “Reach Seats” “Reduced Reach Seats” or “Tallboy Seats” .
An emerging trend in the motorcycle world is custom built seats from local merchants. Many of these custom shops can tailor the seat to match your specific needs whether you need to sit lower in the bike or if you need a taller seat. Often times the stock seat covering can be retained, have custom stitching applied, or swapped out for a more exotic skin. Like the big guys, a lot of the local shops are utilizing memory foam and surgical gel too, so your comfort is their concern also.
Now that you have all this great, helpful information, all you have to do is hit K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) choose your design, style, and manufacturer, and get a great seat upgrade that will allow you to enjoy many more miles comfortably.