Motorcycle seats are one of the most important parts of your bike–you can’t ride one without one. You can put almost any type of seat on a cruiser: one that suits your style of riding and comfort level and one that complements your bike’s style. You can also customize sport bike seats to your riding preferences to some extent, opting for leather, synthetic or even wood and metal seats shaped nearly anyway you like.
Motorcycle seats have come a long way especially in terms of options. They used to be simple metal pans and for cushion a stuffed leather exterior. As plastics and synthetics came into use the exterior changed to be more weather resistant and user friendly. However, many people still prefer a genuine leather seat. Today you can choose from custom studded leather seats and nylon and synthetic leather seats in a range of colors.
The seat of a motorcycle impacts two things: comfort and performance. A good seat on a sport bike can improve wind resistance or give you an extra bit of comfort for tighter crouches or longer rides. Your seat can also reveal your personality. Decorate your seat with graphics, exotic leather or animal skins, or even diamond studs and turn a boring bike into something that is fun to ride and to look at.
The most common types of seats are nylon with springs and foam for cushion. They are cheap to produce, provide a simple, comfortable ride and can be cleaned and maintained with a cloth and everyday cleaners. More expensive seats include custom made leather seats that involve a tough, cowhide or saddle leather exterior riveted to a metal seat pan. These are most common on cruisers and road bikes. Sport bikes typically have a long seat that wraps around the bike frame to provide added padding to your inner thigh, or very small “saddle” like seats that are shaped like a bike seat. Each can be made of leather or synthetic materials.
A good seat matches the rider. If you seek performance, a smaller seat that simply gives you a place to sit with enough range of movement is perfect. The seat should have enough cushion to allow you to stay on the bike during tough turns without sliding off. Strutted leather that grips your favorite riding suit is a good option. Other custom seats have a cupped seat pan, studded leather or fur and embossed or dyed graphics. Seats can also include room for passengers and back rests, as well as room for saddle bags and other accessories such as helmet holders.
If you are going to get a custom seat made, it is best to go with a professional that has been in the business for a long time. Making a seat involves skills in shaping and cutting metal for the seat pan, as well as upholstering the pan in the skin of your choice. Embossing or dying the exterior to add graphics involves a whole other set of skills. Choose a custom seat maker that can show you examples of his work and how it is made.