Why is my motorcycle seat so uncomfortable? This is a fairly common question, especially among new riders. Riding for extended periods can quickly turn from a fun, exciting experience to a dreadful one full of pain and discomfort.
Knowing why motorcycle seats can be uncomfortable can help you make better buying decisions and avoid certain riding habits. Read on to find out the likely reasons your bike seat is uncomfortable.
1. Your Motorcycle Seat Padding Is Stiff
All motorcycle seats are not made equal. High-end bikes usually feature saddles with more luxury and comfort. It is common to experience muscle soreness and back pain if you choose a bike with stiff padding.
Truth is, you can’t really tell if a motorcycle seat is comfortable (or not) just by sitting on it for a couple of minutes in the showroom. Besides, a cheap motorcycle is less likely to come with a high-quality seat.
In addition to stiff or inadequate padding, the seat cover can also impact the comfort level. Some covers don’t stretch, resulting in a rather rigid surface. This means you will feel the impact of every bump on the road, which may leave you sore at the end of a long ride.
2. The Seat Is Still Very New
A brand-new seat is another common reason bike saddles can be uncomfortable. Usually, good-quality motorcycle seats are stiff at first until the break-in period, even if the seats are made with high-quality seat pad materials.
If this is the case, you will have to endure the discomfort for a while, as it will eventually stop. You can expect your new seat to become more comfortable after riding for about 500 to 1,500 miles. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on how often you ride your bike and the distance you cover on each ride.
That said, something is off with your motorcycle seat or riding posture if you still experience discomfort after the normal break-in period.
3. Your Riding Posture Is Off
Besides having new or rigid seat padding, riding with your body positioned wrongly can cause pain and discomfort, especially in your lower back, upper back, shoulders, neck, and backside.
Depending on your bike type and riding style, you want to maintain an ideal sitting posture, especially on longer rides. Here are the three common riding body postures:
- Standard Riding Posture: You sit with your back upright (no leaning forward or backward) in this riding position. This reduces neck and upper back pain, even on long-distance rides. The standard riding posture works well for touring and dual bike riders.
- Sports Riding Posture: This aerodynamic position reduces wind resistance, making it ideal for sports biking or riders who need more speed. This sports riding posture involves leaning forward slightly from the chest (not the back), so there is little to no pain in the lower back.
- Cruiser Riding Posture: This riding body position is best suited for cruiser bikes, considering their higher handlebars. You sit with your arm extended and back slightly inclined backward.
4. You Are Wearing the Wrong Pants
It might not seem obvious to many newbie riders, but your outfit has a lot to do with your comfort level while riding. Helmets and gloves aren’t all there is to motorcycle gear. You should also get the right clothing, including motorcycle pants.
Improper clothing, such as frictionless or loose pants, can cause painful chafing when your backside rubs against the seat. It is best to wear motorcycle-specific pants to avoid discomfort, especially on long-distance rides.
If you want pants that offer the most comfortable bike-riding experience, check out our review of the best motorcycle-riding jeans on the market.
5. You’ve Got the Wrong Bike Type
Motorcycles may all have the same basic function ― getting you from point A to B ― but they are not designed to perform this function in the same way. Some bikes are built for long-distance touring, others for everyday city riding and more rugged types for zipping through off-road terrains.
This is why it is important to consider your riding needs before investing in a motorcycle. For example, buying a dirt bike for an adventure tour is a poor choice. There’s a high chance you’ll end up asking, “Why is my motorcycle seat so uncomfortable?” because you’ve got the wrong bike type for your riding need.
Dirt bikes typically feature taller saddles and high suspensions, making them more suitable for rougher terrains. However, they are uncomfortable for long-distance rides. An ADV or dual-sports motorcycle is a better choice for touring.
If your motorcycle seat is very uncomfortable, even after the initial break-in period, you may be using a bike that doesn’t suit your purpose.