10 Things To Know
Your motorcycle seat can be as wild or mild as you can dream. But whether it be solo, two-up, sport, or touring, there are a few basics to know.
Leather Is For Show, Vinyl Is For Go.
You may call it an Iron Horse, but don't mount a leather saddle. Marine Grade Vinyl comes in hundreds of colors and styles. There are vinyl styles that mimic the look of leather which will hold up much better in the Florida weather and be easier to care for.
Not All Foam Is Created Equal
Most seat manufacturers use an open-cell polyurethane foam or closed-cell polyethylene foam of various densities. Custom seat builders can insert a gel seat pad or install high grade foam which will give riders a longer, more comfortable ride.
Not All Seat Pans Are Created Equal
The pan, also called the base-plate, is where the seat attaches to the bike. They are made from metal, fiberglass and plastic. While metal won't crack like some plastic pans, it can rust if subjected to moisture.
Uncomfortable Seats Can Be Made Comfortable
With some limitations, the foam in the seat can be rebuilt and/or reshaped. Riding positions and seat height can be changed. These modifications may require a new cover. For the DIY'ers there are seat pads made from various materials (sheepskin, gel pads, beads, etc.) that can be placed over the existing seat.
Ugly Seats Can Be Made Beautiful
If the seat pan is in good condition, the most beat up and worn out seat can be refurbished. For many seats, all it takes is a new cover. Adding the look of carbon fiber, snakeskin, gator hide, or your favorite team colors can give your old ride a completely new look.
The Passenger Seat Is Called A Pillion
The word 'Pillion' can be traced back to two language sources. It means “little rug” in Scottish Gaelic and “animal skin” in Latin. Whatever you use, we suggest you fasten it securely.
Why Is There A Strap On The Seat?
Theoretically, it's to serve as something for the passenger to hold but not many people actually use it. Some bikes have the strap, others have hand rails for the passenger. For most passengers, it's get on and hold on to the rider.
Water Is The Enemy Of Your Seat
Water that gets under your cover through tears or seams can deteriorate the foam. Salt water can corrode a metal seat pan. Keep your seat as dry as possible when cleaning and avoid high-pressure bike washes.
The Sun Is The Enemy Of Your Seat
Just as the sun's ultraviolet rays can damage your skin, they can do the same to your seat's cover causing it to fade and crack.
Clean Your Seat With Care
Choose a cleaning solution that's compatible with your seat covering. Leather seats require more attention than vinyl to make them last. There are many commercial cleaners on the market that will keep a new seat looking new and some products that can even restore the luster to an old worn seat.