Saddleup: The Ultimate Guide To The Best Motorcycle Seats

January 3, 2024
By Michael Padway
The Best Motorcycle Seats MLF

If you’re still riding on the stock seat that came with your motorcycle when you bought it, it’s probably time for a change. All of the riding time and distance traveled eventually takes a toll on that factory seat, which in turn takes a toll on your body. 

That factory seat was designed to fit all shapes and sizes of riders, so maybe it’s time to invest in a seat that fits your body and the way you ride. Replace that stock seat with something that will make your bike look better and that your body will thank you for each time you dismount after a long ride. 

Just keep in mind that the best motorcycle seat according to a friend or the salesman at your local motorcycle shop may not be the best one for you. In order to help you in your quest to find a seat to fit you and your bike, the following information and recommendations of the best motorcycle seats on the market will lead you to a seat that’s perfect for you.

Why are motorcycle seats important?

A motorcycle seat is more than just a place to sit while riding. It affects your posture and your ability to safely control the motorcycle while riding and when stopped. The correct riding posture makes it possible to comfortably reach all of the hand and foot controls without stretching or straining to do so.

Proper posture also makes for a more comfortable ride that eliminates the aches and pains that can take your mind off the ride and lead to an accident. It also means that you’ll feel better at the end of a long-distance ride without regretting the miles you just covered.

Buying what you believe to be the best motorcycle seat without first trying it out may be a mistake. If you are very short or very tall, the seat on your motorcycle must accommodate your height. Someone with short legs needs a seat that allows them to sit lower, so their feet rest flat on the ground to stabilize their motorcycle when stopped. A taller person with longer legs can benefit from a higher seat that offers them more leg room.

Getting rid of your stock seat and replacing it with comfort motorcycle seats fitted to your body type and riding style offers the following benefits:

  • Improve posture 
  • Reduce fatigue
  • Make it easier to reach controls and touch the round
  • Enhance the overall riding experience

Once you start shopping and try out a few seats, you’ll regret having waited so long to swap that factory seat for a new one.

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How to choose the best motorcycle seats

The following are the typical components of a motorcycle seat:

Base plate

Also called the “pan,” a base plate serves as the foundation of the seat that mounts to your motorcycle. You will find base plates made of powder-coated steel, plastic, or fiberglass

Seat cushion

Cushions come in all shapes and sizes to accommodate all sizes and shapes of riders. The best aftermarket motorcycle seat cushion should be designed and shaped to be comfortable and not put unnecessary pressure on your back and legs. Open-cell polyurethane is more comfortable than closed-cell, but a seat made with closed-cell polyurethane offers more support particularly for sport bikers who take their bikes to the track.

Seat cover

Chances are that the stock seat that came with your motorcycle had a cover made of vinyl. Vinyl seat covers are durable and waterproof, but they can also be hot and uncomfortable when riding in the heat of summer. Leather is a durable and comfortable alternative to vinyl.

What to consider when choosing your motorcycle seat

Now that you know the basic components of motorcycle seats, here is a closer look at factors to consider when shopping for the best motorcycle seats.

Materials and Construction 

Look for materials that will hold up over time and use. Vinyl, leather, and synthetics are the most popularly used materials. Bases made of plastic are lightweight, but they do not hold up as well as fiberglass or steel. Choose a seat made from materials that will hold up under the riding and weather conditions that you generally experience.

Shape and Size

Seat height affects your ability to reach the controls and place the soles of your feet on the ground when stopped. Width of the seat should conform to your body and allow your legs to rest against it without exerting pressure on them. 

Also consider the length and slope of the seat. Length determines how far forward or back you seat, which makes for an uncomfortable riding position. Slope determines the posture you assume on the bike. Slope and length are essential to body comfort when riding.

Seat styles differ, so get one that accommodates your body and riding style as well as your type of motorcycle. For example, a seat designed for a big cruiser may seem out of place and be uncomfortable to ride when equipped with a small, narrow seat designed for a sport bike.

Padding and Cushioning

Open- and closed-cell polyurethane padding offer different comfort levels. Open-cell is softer while closed-cell can be on the firm side. You may wish to try a seat made with gel-foam or air pockets that offer increased shock absorption and cushioning.


How a seat is shaped and sculpted affects the support and comfort a rider experiences, which ultimately makes for a safer ride. Look for a seat that distributes pressure rather than concentrating it on one or more parts of your body. For example, the best motorcycle seat for tailbone pain is one that evenly distributes your body weight to decrease pressure on the tailbone.

Additional Features

If you want the best motorcycle seats for long rides or for riding in cold weather, you can customize them to meet your specifications. Heating and ventilation can be added to most seats if you customize them, or you can shop for a seat that already has them installed. 

Various types of seat cover materials  let you have the best motorcycle seat cushions. If you want, add backrest for additional comfort.

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Motorcycle seats: Our top picks

Now that you know what to look for when shopping for a custom motorcycle seat, here are our picks to help you to choose from the available aftermarket seats for motorcycles, which we’ve grouped according to the type of motorcycle that you ride.

Sports Seats: Typically designed for the more aggressive riding position you need for a sport bike and featuring a thinner, narrower and higher profile.

Sargent World Sport Performance Seat

Digitally designed for the best fit to your sport bike, and made without using the best foam for motorcycle seat using non-gel foam to reduce weight and heat retention. Made for specific makes and models.

$286.95 – $769.95

More Info

Saddlemen Gel Channel Sport Seat

Features a slight bucket contour to provide better support for a rider. Made using gel-foam for added comfort and stability during aggressive riding. Mde specifically for certain makes and models sports bikes.

$290.00 – $446.00

More Info

V-Twin Seats: Made for the low, wide profile associated with V-twin engine bikes. Designed to let riders sit lower and closer to the motorcycle.

Saddlemen Step Up Seat For Harley

Designed to keep you in the seat while providing the utmost comfort and featuring gel-foam padding.

$367.20 – 510.00

More Info

Le Pera Maverick Daddy Long Legs Seat For Harley

The best motorcycle seat for long distance and made to accommodate taller riders because of its low profile design.

$493.18 – 845.07

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ADV/Touring Seats: The best touring motorcycle seat gives you a broad and comfortable seating surface that is durable and made to withstand the elements.

Sargent World Sport Performance Seat

Digitally designed and made using gel-free foam to maximize comfort and cushioning without the heat retention that happens with gel cushions.

$286.95 – 769.95

More Info

Mustang Wide Touring Seat For Metric Cruisers

If you own a metric bike, then this is the best touring motorcycle seat for you. Featuring a deep front seat and a rear seat that angles forward and has support wings. A foldable backrest can be tucked out of the way.

$519.99 – 1,009.99

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Dirt Bike Seats: If you plan to go off road, then you need a seat to withstand even the toughest and most challenging conditions. 

BBR Motorsports Tall Seat Assembly

Easy to install to any dirt bike and made with high-density foam to absorb shocks and vibration. It features a non-slip cover to keep you in the seat.

$99.95 – 119.95

More Info

Acerbis X-Seat

An external plastic shell and a one-piece foam cushion make this the aftermarket seat for motorcycles because of its durability and performance.

$159.96 – 214.65

More Info

Cafe Seats: Cafe racers are a special breed who demand a narrow, low-profile custom motorcycle seat offering performance and durability.

Saddlemen Step-Up Seat For Harley

Its design and construction make this the perfect seat for riders who test the limits of their motorcycles. Made from using two types of foams for added comfort and designed with ergonomics in mind.

$367.20 – 510.00

More Info

Sargent World Sport Performance Seat

Made using gel-free foam to reduce heat and maximize rider comfort. Its design lets riders assume a neutral riding posture. Its marine-grade seat cover is hand stitched and will stand up to whatever you or the elements send its way.

$286.95 – 769.95

More Info

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Your comfort and safety are too important to trust the stock seat that came with your motorcycle to take care of you. We’ve given you the information you need to know what to look for when shopping for the best aftermarket seats for motorcycles along with our picks of some of the top seats with the best materials for motorcycle seats that are currently on the market. Take you time, try them out, and buy a seat that fits you, your bike, and your riding style.

Michael Padway

Michael Padway uses his expertise in personal injury and motorcycle accidents to represent a broad spectrum of clients dealing with life-changing and permanent injuries for the first time. His offices are located at 235 Montgomery St., Ste 668, San Francisco, CA 94104 and at 3140 Chapman St. Oakland, CA 94601. For more information, please call (800) 928-1511.

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