Finding the best motorcycle seat can depend on a variety of factors, including the type of bike as well as your height and strength. In this guide, we'll discuss tips for how to choose the seat that best suits your setup and comfort needs.
Before delving into the different styles of motorcycle seats, we'll first discuss the different components of motorcycle seats:
Motorcycle seats, particularly those made by Harley-Davidson, usually fall into one of the following categories:
The height of your bike seat is one of the most important considerations when picking and riding a motorcycle. Motorcycle seat height is defined as the distance from the ground to the motorcycle saddle's lowest point when the bike is positioned upright. This measurement can vary depending on the suspension settings. For example, a bike set up with more preload can sit higher and will settle less when you rest on the saddle.
The simplest method for relating seat height to body type is by taking an inseam measurement, which is the measurement from your groin to the ground. Saddles are designed in an array of sizes, shapes and heights because every motorcycle type serves a different purpose and function.
Due to a motorcycles' styling and engineering variables, saddles have different shapes, which affect your ability to reach the ground. The lowest seat heights tend to be found on cruisers because their engines are often narrow inline V-twins. These engines are located in front of the rider, leaving lots of room for the seat to be lower.
Sportbikes usually have higher saddles because higher seats allow for more ground clearance, which in turn allows the bike to lean over more when turning. Sportbikes often feature multi-cylinder engines that are transversely mounted, which also forces the seat to be placed higher.
Dual-purpose, off-road and supermoto motorcycles feature increased suspension travel, which is often great for smoothing out any surface irregularities. This also increases the elevation of the bike and the saddle. However, you should take seat height ratings of off-road motorcycles with a grain of salt.
Many bike manufacturers advertise seat height measurements to make the seats seem lower than they actually are and attract more buyers. Some manufacturer websites even have filters that show bikes with the lowest seats. But these figures don't tell the whole story.
This is because off-road motorcycles feature narrow seats, which allow riders to extend their legs more. Although the seats are tall, the figures for the seat height are somewhat misleading. The narrowness of the seats makes touching the pavement easier. Conversely, sportbikes tend to have saddles that are wider because the rider must sit over a multi-cylinder engine that is transversely configured. This width typically makes it more difficult to touch the ground, as the rider must stretch their legs around the large, flat area of the saddle.
In summary, don't take seat height figures at face value. These values cannot substitute for sitting down on a bike and seeing how easily you can touch the ground.
What height is too high? While the ability to have both of your feet firmly planted on the ground is often reassuring, it is not a necessity. The most important thing is that your bike meets your comfort needs. The only way to be sure of that is by sitting on the bike in question.
When trying out the bike, you'll notice that its weight will greatly affect your ability to keep it upright. Whereas you could probably hold up a light bike using just the tips of your toes, you may not be able to hold up a heavier bike unless you stand with flat feet.
If you're interested in learning more about our Harley-Davidson products or services, reach out to us byfilling out our online form. You can also schedule an appointment or request a quote.
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The Fat Head Cycles Team