Setting up a motorcycle with maximum comfort in mind is all about ergonomics. That is, it’s about ensuring that the bike is tailored to your size, style, and riding preferences. That way, you can take your motorcycle out comfortably and confidently.
The seat plays a crucial role in ergonomics, and it’s about much more than its cushioning. As we cover in our guide to motorcycle ergonomics and comfort, the seat is one of three key bike components that make up a so-called “triangle of comfort.” By properly aligning your choice of seat components with the position of your handlebar and foot controls, you can achieve a comfortable fit, no matter how aggressive (or not) of a riding posture you happen to prefer.
Choosing the best motorcycle seat for you, then, is in part about aligning the seat with the rest of your components to create a sound overall design. Of course, while these concepts and general approach are important, they’re certainly not the only factors to consider.
Selecting a seat that’s made from high-quality materials should also play a significant role. At Harley-Davidson, for instance, we test our seats the way we test everything else on our bikes: exhaustively. To make it to our riders, seats must meet extensive requirements in durability, water protection and comfort. And all our tests are performed in certified labs, and all suppliers must meet stringent requirements for product and process quality.
Beyond the matters of personal fit and quality materials, motorcycle riders should also consider the following seat elements and types before they choose the most comfortable seat possible that also suits their riding needs.
Pillion seats, or motorcycle passenger seats, are placed directly behind the driver’s seat cushion and enable two people to ride the motorcycle. Pillion seats may take a variety of forms, including a simple extension of the driver’s seat to a separate seat.
As indicated by its name, a solo rider seat is a motorcycle seat intended for use by a single rider.
When you want to share a ride, the two-up motorcycle seat includes one space for a driver and one elevated space for a rider to the rear.
Ideal for touring riders, backrest pads are mounted just behind the seat pad and provide riders with lower back support for added comfort. Some backrest pads are adjustable, allowing drivers to choose the angle that’s best for them over the course of their ride. Backrest pads intended for passengers seated behind the driver are also available.
Seat covers typically protect seat cushions from rain, snow, and sun. In addition to protecting the seat’s leather from the elements, they can help riders stay dry during and after inclement weather.
Explore our recommendations for the most comfortable seats available for some of our most popular Harley® motorcycles.
Best Seats for All Day Cruising & Long-Distance Touring: Sundowner Seats
The Sundowner™ seat line, with a deep bucket design that cradles the tailbone and provides back support for the rider, is excellent for both all-day cruising and long-distance touring.
Best Seats for Long-Haul Comfort: Harley Hammock
Stay in the saddle all day with the Harley® Hammock seat. Featuring broad seating surfaces and a shallow bucket shape to distribute the weight and reduce pressure points, these seats’ revolutionary fabric suspension system supports the rider’s weight for long-haul comfort.
Most Comfortable Touring Seats: Signature Series
The perfect combination of foam density and shape has resulted in our most comfortable motorcycle seat for long-haul touring. The Signature Series® seat is shaped with a wide seating area to spread the pressure across the broad surface and a narrow nose area to keep your legs together for a short reach to the ground.
Best Seats for Short Riders: Reach Seats
Reach Seats are shaped to deliver the ergonomic position that a shorter rider needs. These sets are recommended for maximum comfort for riders between 5’2” and 5’8” in height.
Best Seats for Tall Riders: Tallboy® Seats
Tallboy® Seats offer riders with a longer inseam a most comfortable seating experience, helping them to avoid leg cramps and back strain during a long day on the saddle.
Best Seat for Reducing "Numb Butt": Road Zeppelin® Air
Developed and tested on the open road, the Road Zeppelin® Air Adjustable Seat gives passengers the ability to control the amount of air contained in each bladder within the seat with the push of a button. On a long run, occasional inflating and deflating of the seat reduces the so-called “numb butt” effect. So grab a seat. And enjoy the ride.