Motorcycles can be many things, but comfort isn’t the first thing you associate with these machines.
Stock seats are made to fit the motorcycle, not the rider. Looking cool and being cheap to manufacture take precedence over rider comfort.
So how do you avoid a serious case of biker butt over the course of a long ride?
Motorcycle seat pads are a good way to avoid discomfort during a long journey. But you’ll want to make sure you choose the best one.
Any list like this is bound to be at least a little subjective. Your weight, shape and size, as well as that of the bike you ride, will all be important factors to consider in choosing the best seat pad for you.
What follows, then, is a guide on where to start. These are some of the best motorcycle seat pads on the market. Which one works best for you will come down to your own needs and preferences.
Best Motorcycle Seat Pads For Long Rides 2019
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Motorcycle Seat Pads For Long Rides 2019
- 2 1. Airhawk Motorcycle Seat Cushion
- 3 2. MadDog GearComfort Ride Seat Protector
- 4 3. Pillion 1 Sheepskin Buttpad
- 5 4. Butt Buffer BF01316.00
- 6 5. Conformax Topper Excel Ultra Flex
- 7 Factors To Consider Before Buying A Motorcycle Seat Pad
- 8 Our Final Take
|Airhawk Motorcycle Seat Cushion|
|MadDog GearComfort Ride Seat Protector|
|Pillion 1 Sheepskin Buttpad|
|Butt Buffer BF01316.00|
|Conformax Topper Excel Ultra Flex|
The seat pads in question are quite simple. These air cushions can be inflated without the use of any equipment besides your mouth, thanks to a small valve. And since the seat pad is inflatable, it packs down into a small space when not in use.
The inflatable cells of the Airhawk are covered by a breathable cover with mesh sides. A non-skid base helps the pad stay put, and two straps are provided to attach the pad firmly to your bike.
The tough inflatable cells do a good job of distributing a rider’s weight, and will undoubtedly make a long motorcycle journey more comfortable. Sitting on this inflatable device feels a little strange at first, but you will quickly get used to it. And your butt will thank you for the extra padding.
The core of this seat pad is made from a high-density foam that provides much-needed cushioning between you and your saddle. The contoured shape of the pad also helps to wick away moisture and allows for good circulation.
The MadDog also functions well as a seat cover, preventing any rips and tears in your bike’s saddle. It’s a lot easier – and cheaper – to replace a seat pad like this than to try to repair or replace your bike’s seat.
The MadDog is held onto your bike by a series of straps with a three buckle quick release system. This makes it easy to put on and take off, so this versatile seat pad could go with you as you use multiple different machines.
But make sure that you tighten the straps down well before going for a long motorcycle ride. You don’t want this seat pad to move underneath you while you’re taking a corner.
Sheepskin is more than merely comfortable. It seems counter-intuitive, but sheepskin is actually great at keeping you cool during a long ride. The wool acts as a natural means of insulation and also has a fantastic ability to wick away moisture that can lead to rashes and discomfort.
For riders in colder climates, sheepskin also provides a way to insulate your butt from a cold bike seat. It’s no wonder sheepskin is such a popular choice for motorcycle seat pads.
The underside of this set pad has been left natural, and the leather adheres well to the saddle of most bikes. The single adjustable strap offers two release buckles that make installation and removal quick and easy.
It’s important to note, though, that while this 1-inch thick sheepskin offers some padding, it is not intended to function in the same way as a gel, foam or inflatable seat pad. Sheepskin makes for a more comfortable ride through insulation and moisture wicking, but for cushioning, you may need to use this item with another pad for maximum protection.
The gel pad is made to conform to the shape of the user’s body without flattening completely. Advanced latex-free polymers allow for high durability as well as comfort.
The Butt Buffer’s cover is sun and water resistant, making it suitable for use in all kinds of weather. It’s latex free, hypoallergenic and fungus resistant, too.
The Butt Buffer comes with four fastening loops and an adjustable Velcro strap which allow it to cling tightly to your bike’s seat. Most importantly of all, it’s super comfortable. The silicon gel inside keeps its shape but yields to the weight of the rider.
For those planning a long ride, the Butt Buffer is an excellent option. But its cost may put it out of reach for more budget-minded riders.
The interior of this seat combines two materials, gel and foam. A layer of gel that reshapes itself to the rider is placed on top of a layer of foam that absorbs impact and vibration while still providing support. This makes for an extremely comfortable ride, even over long distances.
The hinged part of the seat can lie flat on a conventional bike seat. But the shape of this seat means it’s best suited to a cruiser style bike, where its design can truly shine.
Factors To Consider Before Buying A Motorcycle Seat Pad
We’re all a little bit different, and so are our bikes. Motorcycle seat pads are one of those things that will always be shaped by individual preference. What is comfortable for one person is a nightmare for another.
Before you spend a penny on a motorcycle seat pad, you’ll want to think about the following factors:
More specifically, your size. And the size of your butt. The more padding you naturally carry down there, the longer you’ll be comfortable in a stock saddle, and the less additional protection you’ll require.
With that being said, the heavier you are, the more weight that seat has to support. Bigger riders may need to look at more heavy-duty pads, while smaller people can get away with something less robust.
Where do you sit on your bike? This is more than a matter of individual preference. Different styles of bike lead to different riding positions.
For instance, bikes with foot pegs set further back on the machine result in more of the rider’s weight being taken on the legs.
Bikes that have the rider leaning forward over the handlebars result in more pressure being put on the arms. Cruiser-style bikes with foot pegs set towards the front of the bike will cause the rider’s weight to be mostly on their butt.
Think about how you position yourself when you ride your bike. This will determine where you are in most need of extra padding.
Motorcycle seat pads come in a variety of different materials, and all have their own pros and cons. What works best for you will be determined by the specific discomforts you feel on a long ride.
Gel or air-cushioned seat pads are great to alleviate the ache of bruised body parts. But if your problem is more related to blocked circulation, you’ll be better off with a seat pad made of a more natural material.
Such materials include sheepskin or wooden beads. These materials are great for promoting circulation.
Summer is the season for getting out your bike. But not all summers are created equal. In hotter climates, summer can feel more like an enemy than the friend it is to those who live in cooler areas.
Heat means sweat, and sweat can mean chafing. If you ride in a hot climate, you need to think extra hard about how to avoid excessive perspiration.
The right motorcycle seat pad can help to wick away moisture from your sensitive areas and prevent discomfort.
Length Of Journey
There are long rides, and then there are really long rides. All of the seat pads listed above will help make a long trip more comfortable. But what works for a hundred miles may not be good enough for a thousand or more.
If you’re planning a coast-to-coast trip or something similar, comfort is going to be a major issue. Make sure that any seat pad you purchase can stand up to the use you intend for it.
Our Final Take
If you ride your bike every day, or routinely take extended trips, comfort is everything. A seat that doesn’t support you properly is more than a nuisance. If you’re distracted by pain as you ride, it can quickly become a safety issue.
Most motorcycle stock seats aren’t really designed with comfort in mind – especially over longer trips. If seating is a big issue for you, you might have considered getting a custom seat installed on your bike.
But if you don’t want to spend the kind of money a custom seat requires, motorcycle seat pads can do a lot to make a long ride more comfortable.
Just make sure that you carefully consider all the factors that affect comfort before you make your decision.