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Long rides are soothing and relaxing, so it’s no wonder that most bikers jump at the idea of it. There are many things you should consider when preparing for one such ride, and comfort is very important.
Seat pads are possibly the most important when it comes to comfort during long-distance rides. Think about it – you’re supposed to sit for quite a long time.
If your current seat pad prevents you from enjoying the ride, you might want to consider replacing it.
Take a few minutes to check out some of the top motorcycle seat pads for long rides. We’ve also included a detailed buyer’s guide to help you pick one of these models.
7 Top Rated Motorcycle Seat Cushions for Long Rides
Airhawk – Best Pressure Relief
This one is meant to relieve pressure from long-hour riding. It has built-in stress relieving features that reduce pressure on scrotum, tailbone, and prostrate.
Its patented air cell technology prevents pressure injuries. In the long run, the cushion ensures a more comfortable and enjoyable ride without pain.
The center cutout area goes from front to back while the back cutaway allows tailbone relief. Overall, the construction enables increased comfort, especially during long-distance rides.
It’s made of polyurethane and breathable spacer mesh cloth. Another thing worth mentioning is that the cell height lowers on the front.
This is more comfortable on your legs while also improving airflow under you.
MadDog – Best Protection
If you’re looking for a durable and comfortable seat, you might want to check this one. It’s made to fit plenty of different bikes, including dirt bikes and ATVs.
Its core is made of high-density foam, providing enough cushioning and comfort for your long-distance rides. On top of that, it features a contoured shape that wicks away moisture, improving blood circulation.
It acts as a seat cover, preventing tears and rips in your saddle. It features a set of sturdy straps and a Three Buckle Quick Release System, which help the pad cling to your saddle securely. This also makes it easier to put on and take off the pad.
Overall, this is a good choice if you’re looking for a way to cover existing rips in your saddle. It’s also ideal for providing additional cushioning between the saddle and you.
Air Seat Innovations – Best Comfort
You might want to consider this Air Seat Innovations if you’re often riding across long distances. It’s ergonomically designed to deliver comfort and cushioning by reducing shock from the terrain, engine vibration, and the road.
The inner bladder is made of neoprene rubber that’s durable and enduring. It’s covered with a breathable and machine washable cover, custom-designed to transfer heat.
Overall, the seat pad is quite easy to install with its two straps that go under your seat. This allows you to install and remove the cushion whenever you need to.
This one measures 14.5×14 inches in total. It’s made to fit most bikes, large cruisers, touring models, UTVs, and many more.
It has an air pocket that allows pressure relief for tailbone, sit bone, and prostate and scrotum areas. The technology helps improve blood flow by dispersing weight.
Diamond Plate – Best Durability
This memory foam seat cushion is thick and contoured to proved comfort and reliability during long rides. It’s a four-layer pad with a thermoplastic elastomer that supports your body, absorbing shock from the road and engine vibration.
The durable construction features a honeycomb TPE gel cushion, which helps maintain shape. On top of that, the memory foam ensures a comfortable fit with a non-slippery base.
It measures a 16×15½x2 inches and weighs 3 pounds. Plus, the cushion has removable hook-and-loop fasteners that allow you to attach it to any large cruiser seat.
Thanks to its construction, the seat pad is ideal for long-range travel and prolonged rides. It’s also ideal for covering already existing tears in your saddle.
SKWOOSH – Best Breathability
This Skwoosh pad is ergonomically designed, maintaining its shape regardless of how frequently you ride. It’s a thick pad, but it won’t change the height or distance to lower controls.
This one is especially useful in warm weather because the AirFlo mesh fabric is breathable and allows a cooler ride. Its air channel design directs airflow to wherever you need it the most.
Another important thing to note is that this one has a cutaway tailbone relief, so you don’t feel any stress during long rides. It’s also easy to install and remove, so you don’t have to use it at all times if you don’t want to.
It’s a welded construction featuring durable fabrics, so there’s no maintenance required.
CONFORMAX – Best Pain-Free
These topper-excel gel cushions provide comfort on all touring and cruiser seats. They are meant to provide relief to your lower back and buttocks, while also protecting your sitz bone.
It’s the gel-on-foam technology that delivers such superior comfort during long rides. Precisely, the manufacturer used ½’’ gel on ½’’ foam, ensuring a comfortable fit suitable for the rider’s anatomy.
This one has a low profile being only 1¼’’ thick and some 15’’ long. It has a non-slippery bottom, so it’s unlikely to slide off or move around on your seat. The AirMax 3D cover provides airflow and ventilation, which is especially important during long rides in summer.
It’s quite easy to attach thanks to the adjustable strap system, including Velcro-type hook and loop fastening.
Sturgis – Best Cooling
If you’re looking for a passenger seat pad for long-distance rides in the sun, you should give this one a try. It’s a gel pad cushion, featuring memory foam for additional comfort and pressure relief.
It measures 11×9 inches, so make sure to check if your bike is compatible. Also, it only comes in black, but it’s breathable, so it’s unlikely to attract heat. This means you can leave it in the sun without worrying it’s going to get too hot.
It features three layers of gel and memory foam, working together to deliver superior comfort and relief.
Also, this one has detachable quick-connect straps that make it simple to install and remove.
Guide for Choosing Comfortable Seats for Long Rides
When it comes to comfort, the key is to choose the right materials. As you probably noticed, there are plenty of options on the market, so make sure to choose based on your needs and preferences.
Air pads are among the most popular for comfort during long rides. However, people often opt for gel cushions, sheepskin, memory foam, and other such materials.
Make sure to consider the cover material because it’s critical for air circulation, which adds a lot to the overall comfort.
The design has a lot to do with comfort and pad’s pressure relief abilities. However, there are many different designs, so you’ll find pads that are triangular or even round.
For this reason, you should check if the pad of your choice is compatible with your bike. Make sure that it’s ergonomically designed since those are usually the most comfortable.
Size affects how the pad will fit, which then affects how comfortable it will be for you. You should consider its size carefully because pads that are too thick might affect your height.
Also, you want it to fit your bike properly so that it doesn’t slide during rides. Luckily, most manufacturers state the exact dimensions so that you can measure your saddle and check if it fits.
Much like with everything else, you also want to pay attention to your overall budget. In most cases, these pads aren’t expensive, but some are a bit pricier than others.
It usually depends on the materials used, as well as the technology behind the pad. The price might indicate built quality as well.
As we mentioned, there are plenty of materials to choose from. Probably the most popular are gel and memory foam. These pads are quite comfortable because they take the shape of your body and adjust to it.
Other materials include sheepskin, leather, breathable mesh, polyester, polyurethane, and neoprene. Choose one of these depends mostly on your needs and preferences.
You want the seat pad to be somewhat adjustable, especially if you’re opting for a versatile model. These usually fit all bikes, which in other words means that it won’t ever fit perfectly.
However, they’re easy to adjust to your saddle so that you can get the most of them. In most cases, pads feature adjustable straps, which help ensure it doesn’t move.
Features of Motorbike Seat Pads
Breathable pads allow better airflow so that you don’t get too warm when riding across long distances. It’s a good comfort feature that you might want to consider if you live in warm weather conditions.
You want a pad that can absorb moisture in case you ride in hot weather. Many pads for long rides can absorb moisture or have moisture-wicking abilities.
Provides Weight Distribution
Your pad should distribute weight evenly so that you’re comfortable at all times. This helps relieve stress and pressure, as well.
This can be both a good and a bad thing, depending on whether you need it or not. Some pads are too thick and might add height.
Easy to Install
Installation is always essential, so make sure to opt for the one that’s easy to put on and remove when needed.
Importance of Motorcycle Seat Pad
Gives Cool Feeling
Cooling pads reduce the risk of heat rash and skin irritation, so they might be a good choice for riders who live in a hot climate. Some models you can pre-cool while others regulate the temperature on their own.
Provides Comfort in Long Ride
With a suitable seat pad, you’ll find it easier to ride across long distances. It’s one of the best benefits that a seat pad brings.
Lessen Body Pain
These are designed to make long rides more comfortable and less painful. The layer between you and the saddle should increase comfort while relieving pressure points.
A good cushion should reduce the pain most people feel during long rides, so you’ll probably find them more enjoyable if you use one.
Help Increase Circulation
Motorcycle seat pads can also help improve your circulation. A cushion should relieve the hot sensation that you might feel in your buttocks when you ride for a long time.
Tips on Making a Motorcycle Seat More Comfortable
As we mentioned, long rides are often exacting but rarely comfortable. For this reason, you might want to do a few extra things to make this experience a bit more comfortable in the long run.
One of the first things you should do is cover your saddle. Most people choose to cover it with a sheepskin pad because they’re breathable and versatile. Sheep’s wool keeps you warm in the winter and cold in the summer, which is as perfect as it sounds.
However, keep in mind that these aren’t as comfortable, so you might want to use them over a more comfortable pad.
Another thing you could invest in is an air cell cushion. These innovative pads are quite expensive, but they’re super-durable and comfortable. It’s what some hospitals use to avoid bedsores.
In most cases, an air cell pad features a small valve, which lets you adjust the amount of air in the cell. This allows riders to adjust height and firmness that works the best for them.
These don’t attach to your saddle but rely on the friction to grip the seat. It’s not the most reliable system which might end up in you losing the pad.
You can also use a gel pad to make a motorcycle saddle more comfortable. These are thick and heavy, filled with a gel that distributes your weight evenly across the seat. It helps avoid discomfort and pressure on the tailbone.
In most cases, you can pre-cool or pre-heat them to cool or heat you in different weather conditions. However, these aren’t the most breathable options, and you might even find them heavy. Some people also say that they take a while to get used to, so you might want to test them on a short trip first.
Although it doesn’t seem as comfortable, you can use a wooden bead pad as well. These are often found in cars, and people use them to increase airflow and keep their bodies cool.
A bead pad isn’t really meant as padding, but it’s there to massage you and keep you awake. It’s a good thing to have during long rides because it will keep your muscles awake as well as your mind. In most cases, they attach with straps and are quite cheap.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make a DIY motorcycle seat pad?
You could make your own seat pad if you want something a bit more custom but without paying as much. You’d only need a few tools and materials for the job.
The first thing you should do is use a screwdriver to remove your seat cover from the seat. Cut a piece of memory foam that would fit and place it in the middle of the uncovered seat.
Outline the memory foam and lengthen the front and back lines on one side using a marker. Cut the foam with an electric knife. Cut out two sections of the seat with the same knife.
Glue the smaller section back into place and then glue the bigger one as well. Reattach your seat cover with a heavy-duty staple gun.
How to make a motorcycle seat more comfortable?
As we explained above, there are several ways to make a motorcycle seat more comfortable. Getting an adequate seat pad is, by far, one of the most popular and easiest ways.
Make sure to carefully consider the type of seat pad you want and need so that you can choose accordingly. Use seat pads with gel, air cells, or memory foam to achieve more comfort and better pressure relief.
Are seat gel pads recommended for long motorcycle rides?
Gel pads are great to use for long rides, but make sure that you’re well used to how they feel. In other words, these pads might be a bit tricky to use for people who have never used them before.
However, once you get used to the jelly texture, you probably won’t have any issues using them quite often.
Now that you understand why comfort is as critical when it comes to long rides, you probably already have a seat pad in mind.
The ones we included in our list are the top of what the market has to offer. These are versatile, comfortable, and mostly easy to use. As such, every pad has a long list of benefits that it brings to the table.
It’s up to you to figure out which of these products would suit you the best. Hopefully, the information in our buyer’s guide helped you get a better idea of what makes a motorcycle seat pad suitable for long rides.