Are you excited to take your motorcycle on a trip across town, the state, or even the country this summer? You're not alone.
Research shows that 8.6 million motorcycles were registered in America in 2021.
To ensure a comfortable ride, though, you'll need the right motorcycle seat pad. Seat cushions are one of the most important motorcycle essentials because they can affect your back's health.
Let's examine six tips for picking the best seat cushion and explore the other seat-related motorcycle indispensable items you may need.
1. Consider the Motorcycle Type
Your motorcycle type will determine the seat cushion shape you'll need. You'll need a cushion that will fit your seat's dimensions while still giving you as much protection and padding as possible.
For instance, let's say you are riding a sporty bike, like a Dual Sport or Sport Touring, or perhaps you are riding a small cruiser. Your seat size will need to be narrower and smaller than most.
This is important because if your motorcycle seat cushion doesn't fit your bike type properly, you may experience pain during your motorcycle ride.
A properly sized seat cushion will absorb or evenly distribute the shock produced when you hit bumps so that you're not repeatedly feeling the impact on one part of the body.
2. Consider the Motorcycle Seat Pad Materials
As you look for the best motorcycle seat cushions, pay close attention to what they are made from. Ideally, the brand you choose will have multiple material options so you're more likely to find what you need.
Two of the best motorcycle seat cushion materials are neoprene rubber and polyurethane. Let's take a look at the benefits of both.
Neoprene Rubber Seats
Neoprene rubber is among the best motorcycle seat cushion materials available today. This synthetic rubber is extremely flexible and durable.
High-quality motorcycle seat cushion brands use neoprene rubber to make their seat pads ergonomic. That's because neoprene rubber can easily bend or twist, so manufacturers can make it fit a motorcycle's seat and rider perfectly. This will give you the cushion you need where you need it.
Neoprene is also waterproof. This means neoprene seat cushions won't lose their value after being in rainy weather.
In addition, this rubber material is great at absorbing shock so you can ride comfortably.
Some high-quality motorcycle cushions also feature a layer of polyurethane, a plastic material.
This material was introduced in the early 1900s and has since been used to create flexible foams. Your mattress might even contain polyurethane.
Companies that use polyurethane often combine this plastic with gel pads to create a floating yet firm feel (more on gel pads later).
Polyurethane, like neoprene, is durable, so it can easily withstand tear and wear. This means it can be an excellent investment, lasting for years on your bike seat.
3. Consider the Seat Height
Another important factor to consider when choosing a motorcycle seat pad is whether the pad will increase your height. That's because being even just one inch too high can cause complications during your bike ride.
Unfortunately, this factor is often overlooked.
Let's say you bought a certain bike because it was comfortable and fit your riding style. If your new seat cushion elevates you, your back may hunch over when you're trying to reach your bike's handlebars.
This may lead to back pain. Unfortunately, more than 72 million Americans experience constant lower back.
This is why you should search for a cushion that will not add more than 0.25 inches. It will allow you to comfortably rest your foot on the ground when you stop your bike.
4. Consider Your Anatomy
Yet another important factor to consider when choosing a motorcycle seat cushion is your anatomy.
Many riders mistakenly believe that their seats or seat cushions will protect them from pain long-term if they have padding. How a seat cushion distributes pressure is more important than how much padding it has.
This is why you should search for a cushion manufacturer that focuses on organizing their cushions' padding around the user's anatomy.
For example, the best seat cushions will give you plenty of leg passage. These cushions have certain parts cut out to keep sections of your body from touching the motorcycle seat while still allowing your legs to move.
In addition, consider buying a cushion containing multiple padding cells. This may be more effective than a cushion containing one large padded cell.
If you don't choose a seat cushion that's built around your anatomy, your hips and back will absorb large amounts of stress during your ride. If you don't correct this, you may develop serious back pain. Other spine complications may also develop.
5. Consider Ease of Installation
Your chosen motorcycle seat cushion should also be simple to install. If installing it is easy, then removing it when it needs to be cleaned will also be easy.
To clean your seat cushion, check the pad label for instructions. Cleaning instructions may vary from one cushion to the next depending on their materials and fabric.
However, portable cushions can generally be machine-washed using the gentle cycle and a mild laundry detergent.
You can then dry the pad using low heat. You may also air-dry the pad.
If your cushion picks up dust, pet hair, debris, and dirt from an outdoor event, for example, you can vacuum it. Use the vacuum cleaner's brush attachment to loosen and remove any deeply embedded dirt particles.
Whenever you want to freshen up the seat cushion, sprinkle some baking soda on the cushion, and leave it there for an hour or more. Then, vacuum the baking soda. This step will remove odors from the fabric.
6. Consider Your Budget
Your motorcycle seat pad should additionally fit your cushion budget. '
You can find seat cushions ranging from as low as $39 to as high as $70 or more.
Additional Motorcycle Indispensable Items
A couple of other motorcycle seat–related essentials include gel pads and motorcycle seats designed to support your tailbone. Let's explore these indispensable items here.
As we mentioned earlier, gel pads can be an excellent addition to a motorcycle seat. Materials like silicone, soy, and latex can be used to make these pads. You may even find a gel pad that contains vegetable oil.
A gel pad can be an extremely helpful shock absorption tool. When your motorcycle hits bumps on the street, you won't have to feel this from the tailbone to the braincase -- the back and upper part of your skull -- when you use a gel pad. The gel pad will absorb most of this and distribute the weight evenly.
Gel pads aren't just good for absorbing shock, though. They can also support your buttocks. This can prevent numbness and soreness in your buns.
In addition, gel pads can encourage good posture. If you have good posture, your back can remain healthy rather than constantly hurting.
Having good posture means your spine is neutral. In other words, your ligaments, joints, and muscle groups are properly aligned, which reduces stress on these areas.
This will help you stay flexible and reduce fatigue. It can also help with maintaining your balance.
When your posture is off, this can lead to joint or muscle strain. In addition, it may lead to back, head, or neck pain. You might also injure yourself during activities like exercise or work.
You can find a gel pad in various sizes and thicknesses to keep your posture healthy. These pads are also simple to install, making them one of the best motorcycle accessories.
Tailbone-Supporting Seat Pad
Another must-have motorcycle essential is a seat pad specifically designed to prevent tailbone pain. These types of pads provide support and cushioning for your tailbone to reduce discomfort and pain during a long ride.
Note that some of these seat pads also feature extra foam or gel padding. This can further decrease pressure on your tailbone area.
How We Can Help with Motorcycle Essentials
When looking for the best motorcycle seat pad, consider your motorcycle type, as different types of bikes have seats in varying sizes and shapes. In addition, consider choosing a neoprene seat material for ultimate comfort.
You may also want to invest in motorcycle indispensable items like gel pads or motorcycle seat pads that provide tailbone support.
At CycleMate, we take pride in offering numerous motorcycle essentials, including motorcycle seats. Get in touch with us to learn more about our products, and order today!