I have been riding for a long time and in my youth I could hold my own on IRON BUTT rides. Which are LONG distanced rides with few breaks in between, usually gas, water or something to eat then back down the road I go. It wasn’t always fun but I could do it and that made me feel better about going places that where a LONG way away. My youth left like the RUNNING OF THE BULLS participants and reality sank in. There has got to be a better way to do this? I spoke to all my friends and family that ride and wrote down much of what they had to offer as again MEMORY is a terrible thing to waste. There was an abundance of things I could do to improve my travels and make my ride more comfortable.
Although many STOCK seats seam comfortable I found they were lacking in the LONG distance comfort I needed. There are SO many aftermarket seats out there it can get confusing at times. Some of my friends have several seats and they can change them as the need arises as on Harley Davidson Motorcycle such as mine it is a single screw to remove and replace to change seats. Now I haven’t ridden a lot a lot of other brands of bikes but I still think the SEAT replacement is worth whatever work it may take to switch out!
I found that not only was the aftermarket seat more comfortable for myself but also for the passenger, and believe me that makes a BIG difference on how the trip will go! Depending on if you are riding ONE UP (by yourself) or TWO UP (with a passenger) the upgrade is well worth the investment. There is nothing worse than going on a long trip only to find you are Worn OUT from just getting there that you really don’t want to do a lot of riding to see the sights.
Now I have always had a backrest for my passenger as I believe they are safer for both travelers. Sometimes the passenger gets distracted and is unaware you are taking off and (BAM) no more passenger as they forgot to hold on and FELL OFF. This also helps the driver as there is less jerking and pulling while attempting to TAKE OFF due to traffic conditions. The passenger back rest can be helpful when packing as well, since I travel with a luggage rack on the back and the Luggage I carry has a wrap/strap that goes around the passengers’ backrest to keep it in place while traveling.
The driver backrest was something NEW to me, so don’t ‘t get me wrong I have seen them just never used them. So again I did my research as there are literally hundreds of after market driver backrest out there. I also found that the backrest helps my posture when traveling long distances as I apparently Slouch more when I do not have one? It was also clear that the passenger would need a place to store small things like phone of money so a backrest with a pocket was ideal! I went with Kurakyn which covered all the needs!
Solutions for Pressure Point Relief
Although the aftermarket seat was much more comfortable, I asked around and found that there was still more I could do to alleviate the SORE areas that I would have to deal with otherwise. It is important to note that the individual will have to make up their own mind as to what is best for them and I am just trying to provide some IDEAS and what worked for me! Not all REARS are created equal so to speak. I tried the gel seat cushion and unfortunately the one I bought did not have a way to secure it to the actual seat, so every time I would swing my leg over the seat I would KICK the gel cushion into the next parking lot?
I could have made the adjustments and added straps and so on, but I am a more PLUG and play kinda of person. Whatever I buy I want to be a simple install or with as little modifications as needed to work the way it is supposed to work. Besides the obvious it really didn’t do the trick, although more comfortable it didn’t fulfill my expectations and I was still working on improving the RIDE. I finally went with an AIR cushion for the driver seat, it is also capable of being filled with cool water for those extreme HEAT days. This provided the relief I was looking for and allowed me to RIDE to where I was going, as well as RIDE around and see the sites after I reached my destination!
If you have ever rode for long distances you know how HOT the engine can get! It’s nice while traveling on HIGHWAYS but as soon as you get to Cities it can seem like the heat is going to catch you on FIRE. There is really no where you can run so I had to investigate some solutions for that as well. I am a FAIR weather rider which means I usually don’t ride in rain, snow, extreme HOT or COLD but sometimes things just happen. If you are on a long trip and going through several states the weather can change abruptly! So in these times it is always better to HAVE AND NOT NEED THEN NEED AND NOT HAVE! So although the heat from the engine on cold days may be nice I usually dress or pack for such occasions, so I HEAT SHEILD for the engine was the next step on the way to comfort.
Always remember that if you are riding TWO-UP the passenger is feeling the heat more than the driver as their legs are further back from the engine and thus more exposed to the heat. Happy passenger equals Happy ride in most cases! I have a great deal of chrome on my bike so I went with something to match the theme, but there are again hundreds of options out there for you to chose from.
See you on the ROAD
These things I have mentioned worked for me! There are several other ideas out there and many I may not have heard of. This road is ours and the more we share the better we can make it for us as well as others. I welcome your ideas and even some tales from the TRIP, as the more we know the better prepared we are in the long run. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to travel and see what the world has to offer and I look forward to hearing from you and possibly even seeing you out there.
Founder of toptravelvacations.com