Maximum Comfort On The Best Motorcycle Seat Pad
Not so long ago, the choice of motorcycle seat pads was very limited. Sheepskin was in, particularly for customs and cruisers, and the other choice was a hideous looking air seat pad. Riders that used the air pad swore by them, but fashion conscious sports bike riders just couldn’t bring themselves to use them. Thankfully, things have moved on radically and a much wider and stylish choice of motorcycle seat pads are now available.
Best Motorcycle Seat Pad Quick Review
|Product||Best For||Our Rating|
|1. Airhawk – R-REVB Cruiser R Large Motorcycle Seat Cushion||Best Motorcycle Air Seat Cushion|
|2. Air Seat Innovations Air Motorcycle Seat Cushion||Best Motorcycle Seat Pad For Long Rides|
|3. CONFORMAX”TOPPER EXCEL” ULTRA-FLEX Motorcycle Gel Seat Cushion||Best Motorcycle Seat Pad for Tailbone Pain|
|4. Maddog Gearcomfort Ride Seat Protector||Best Motorcycle Seat Pad For the Money|
|5. Motorcycle Gel Seat Cushion||Best Motorcycle Gel Seat Cushion|
|6. ULTRAGEL Motorcycle Seat Gel Pad||Best Motorcycle Seat Pad For Protection|
Best Motorcycle Air Seat Cushion
Best Motorcycle Seat Pad For Long Rides
Best Motorcycle Seat Pad for Tailbone Pain
Best Motorcycle Seat Pad For the Money
Best Motorcycle Gel Seat Cushion
Best Motorcycle Seat Pad For Protection
Why Do You Need a Motorcycle Seat Pad
Spending the whole day in the saddle, cruising your favourite roads, is one of the top attractions of riding a motorcycle. You may have spent thousands on your latest ride, attracted by the racing pedigree, or the long distance capabilities, but did you consider the seat? Modern sports bikes closely follow their racing heritage and usually offer just a small pad of foam that quickly turns into a device of torture! Even if you’ve bought an overlander, such as a BMW GS, the seat may not suit your shape or size. Changing the complete seat is an expensive option, and this is where motorcycle seat pads can help.
If you ride a Harley Davidson, you’ll be well aware how uncomfortable the stock Harley seat is. Looking for a bit more comfort or a little extra height in the form of a new Harley seat could be an expensive purchase. However, we’ve reviewed some of the best Harley seats for taller guys if this is something you’re looking into.
You may well also be looking into a seat pad if you’re a shorter rider to give you that little extra height when cruising. The only issue here is that it will raise your feet of the ground when stationary making it more challenging to find balance with a flat foot. If that’s the case you could look into getting a pair of Harley boots with a thicker sole. Check out our review of some of the best Harley boots.
What to Consider When Choosing a Motorcycle Seat Pad
So what should you be looking for in your new seat pad? With plenty of choice out there, you need to consider what is important to you, so let’s take a look at some criteria to consider.
Fit to Your Motorcycle
A seat pad that is perfect for your supersport bike won’t suit a cruiser, and vice versa. Modern sports bikes have just a small pad that manufacturers laughingly call a seat! It’s normally rock hard and small. There are seat pads shaped to retain the sporting look, but add gel padding for extra comfort, and have been designed for sports bike seats.
Owners of tourers or cruisers will be looking for something very different, and will have more space available. Also, with this type of bike, your pillion may need an upgrade also, so perhaps a one piece pad that covers rider and pillion positions is suitable?
Motorcycle Seat Pad Material
Foam is the basis of almost all standard motorcycle seats and has been the number one choice for decades. It’s easy to shape, cheap to produce and when covered in a tough plastic is very durable. But the standard seat is made to fit the motorcycle, not you! Aftermarket motorcycle seat pads made using foam are often made with more expensive memory foam to improve the fit to you and improve comfort.
Gel motorcycle seats are the newest type of material and very quickly mould to your shape when you sit on them. It’s the same material you’ll find in computer keyboard wrist rests, and many other uses.
Air pocket motorcycle pads have been around for decades and where the first attempt at providing anything other than foam to increase comfort. The early examples were bulky and ugly, but have come on leaps and bounds in recent years.
Breathable, Washable Motorcycle Seat Pad Cover
Along with a choice of seat pad material, the manufacturers use different cover materials. Most popular are the mesh style cloth covers that allow air to flow around the seat pad aiding comfort. This is also a non-slip material, so perfect on a motorcycle, particularly for pillions.
Best Motorcycle Seat Pad Review
This large air pocket style motorcycle seat pad has been designed to fit large touring saddles.
The Air Innovations Seat cushion is an air pocket type of motorcycle seat pad. Once attached to the motorcycle using the two straps provided, add a small amount of air and adjust to fit. Internally, there are several small air bladders that provide optimal comfort, plus a removable washable cover. A smaller version is available for sports bikes.
The air pockets are great for removing engine vibration that can quickly make your butt go numb and allows all day riding in comfort. The other benefit is that air can circulate between the pockets, keeping you cool and comfortable.
- Brilliant long distance comfort
- Variable firmness/height
- Air may need to be topped up on long rides
Air Hawk are one of the first companies to provide air pocket motorcycle seat pads and now offer a double your ride money back guarantee.
Air Hawk is the original motorcycle seat pad, first produced in the 1970s. The system has been refined over the decades and now provides all-day long comfort.
The pad is designed to relieve pressure on specific points, such as the tailbone and prostate for enhanced comfort and allow longer in the saddle. Again for comfort, the pad tapers slightly towards the centre, removing pressure from sensitive areas.
You can adjust the height of the seat, within reason, by varying the amount of air in the pad. However, Air Hawk don’t recommend adding too much air as it will make you unstable in the seat.
- Easy to fit
- Simple adjustment for air pressure
- Straps need to be adjusted carefully to secure to the seat
A slightly different option, this motorcycle gel seat pad goes under your original motorcycle seat cover.
This gel seat pad requires a bit more work to fit, but will save you money in the process. Instead of fitting on top of your seat, it must be fitted under the original motorcycle seat cover. This does of course mean opening the seat to insert the pad and then resealing it. As most motorcycle seat covers are stapled on to the base, this shouldn’t be a problem, but do check first.
The biggest advantage of this type of pad is that it retains the original look and shape of the seat and motorcycle. It can’t be stolen or lost and it’s protected by the original seat cover. The downside is that it won’t add as much comfort as the air type seat pads.
- Retains original style of your motorcycle seat
- Has to be fitted under original seat cover
- Not as comfortable as the air pocket seat pad type
Right at the budget end of the market is this foam seat cover/pad. It adds basic additional comfort at a low cost.
The cheapest option here is this simple foam seat protector. It attaches to the seat using three quick release straps and gives added protection to the original seat.
From the point of view of comfort, this will only add a little, but that may be enough depending on your needs. The air seat pads are aimed at riders thinking of covering long distances or have a medical issue. If you simply want to do an hour or so longer with a little more comfort, this could be perfect for you.
- Only made of foam
- Only improves comfort slightly
Really comfortable, soaks up bumps, and the additional seat height is a bonus
For a basic motorcycle gel seat pad, this product could hit the mark. You can attach and remove the pad without detaching the motorcycle seat, which is sometimes not easy. The fitting straps are adjustable using reliable velcro strips, so no buckles or clips to break.
Underneath, there is a neoprene base to provide great grip on the original seat and prevent it sliding around. Any motorcycle item is bound to get dirty, so being able to remove the cover for cleaning is a useful feature. At a reasonable price, this could be perfect for increasing your motorcycle comfort without breaking the bank.
- Easy to attach and remove
- Cover removable for cleaning
- Neoprene base for grip
- Not as comfortable as air seat pads
A combination of foam and gel makes this motorcycle seat pad different to the rest.
This is certainly at the high-end of the motorcycle gel seat pad range, but that brings quality and features. The pad features a combination of foam and gel, designed to utilise the best features from both materials in one pad. Attachment is with two straps and the pad folds to accommodate seats with a built in back-rest section.
Foam is used as the base to give a firm but comfortable bottom layer, with a ½” layer of gel on top to mould to the riders body. The removable cover provides good airflow between the rider and the seat pad to aid ventilation and keep you cool.
- Hinged design to fit awkward seats
- Easy to attach
- Possibly less comfort than an air seat at a similar price
Ending the Day On a Comfy Cushion
It’s clear from the results above that the air pocket type of motorcycle seat pad gives the biggest improvement in comfort for most riders. But they do come at a cost. If you are planning on touring for long periods, or simply long days in the saddle, then the investment could quickly pay you back.
For that reason, the Airhawk – R-REVB Cruiser R Large Motorcycle Seat Cushion is the winner for us. It provides outstanding comfort from a company with a long history of making motorcycle seat pads. The company even backs this up with a money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose!