Posts Tagged ‘Butt’

ButtsThe title suggest implants, or something about Kim Kardashian’s butt issue, yet the reference is really about motorcycle seat pads.

Shallow as it may seem, many motorcycle enthusiasts are in pursuit of perfect seat comfort.

I’ve never been on a stock saddle for long before a butt-ache sets in.  It seems that Harley-Davidson stock seats are made for good looks and to fit your bike, but not your butt!  Custom seats do provide improved fit/placement for your booty and your bike, but typically they don’t fit budgets in this economic — taking a page from the Beatles — “Help! All I need is sales” environment.

Butt pads are more affordable and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and substances.  Their marketing claim is empowering motorcyclists to rediscover the love of the long ride.  I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that some of us have built-in “pads.”  The greater the shape and density of your derriere, the longer you can sit in the saddle, correct?  Those of you who are natural padding challenged, are likely plagued with a butt-ache within a few hours on the road.  Of course poor riding posture, handle-bar placement, and foot peg location all contribute to the comfort level.

I’m not a doctor or a vertebrae expert, but we all know comfort when we feel it!  There are all types of riding postures.  Those who sit back or upright and everything from low to high butts.   The ergonomics of Cruisers, especially those with foot boards set near the front of the engine, put most of the rider’s weight squarely on the seat.

I converted my current ride over to a Mustang seat within weeks of buying the motorcycle.  I prefer a hard seat — one where the cushion doesn’t pancake — versus the soft and quick to compress type seats.  But,  I’m interested to hear what other riders are doing to minimize the long ride discomfort.  Do you use a removable pad?  Is it air, foam, gel or wood?   What about hot or cold weather and the need to increase circulation to relieve heat-induced discomfort?

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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Butt Rider Award

Butt Rider Award

Before the final rider had packed up the saddlebags and rumbled out of Hells Canyon a couple weeks ago the local press were reporting on the arrests and accident stats.

Fortunately there were no fatalities, but several riders were severely injured and a few have a long recovery ahead of them.  I hope for the best!

As background, there were about 5,000 riders who converged on the surrounding area of Baker City.  I’ve already reported how there were widespread thunderstorms with heavy rain alternated with sunshine throughout the weekend.  There were two rally-related arrests which resulted from an intoxicated rider trying to move his motorcycle from the street lineup and crashed into 3 other motorcycles.  Yeah, that would aggravate me too!  George Twardus (Portland) was arrested for drunk driving.  Compounding that situation was one of his new friends from Baker City who decided to sneak off with the motorcycle and was arrested for unlawful use of a motorcycle and tampering with evidence. According to the reports police showed significant restraint as the riding group with Mr. Tawardus were acting out and expressing their freedom of speech.  I have dedicated a “Butt Rider” award to them!  In addition, there were a couple of other local residents arrested over the weekend for fighting outside a bar, but it was described by Police Chief Lohner as just part of a typical Saturday night in Baker City, and had nothing to do with the rally.

Baker City had 13 calls related to the rally, including eight motorcycle crashes.  The weather likely contributed to some of the motorcycle crashes, but rider skills certainly had a part too.  Four of the injured were flown out either by helicopter or plane.  In addition, there were a couple of motorcycle accidents reported in the Richland area including the hit and run accident with Rick Meigs which I reported on previously.  It turns out that this year’s rally was comparable to the number of accidents in 2007, but much worse than 2008.

And speaking of “Butt Rider” awards… as a visitor to eastern Oregon, I have a couple observations to pass along:

  1. Uninvited Guests — If a group of 4-6 riders are clearly in a group together then other riders not part of that group shouldn’t cut in to ride as if you’ve found your long lost riding buddies.  Often without warning we saw people dart/cut into our group vs. go on around – even with plenty of passing space.  Sure some riders were looking to pass and wanted to make sure there was clearance, but others cut in and behaved as if they planned to join the group?!  I know the skills of our riding group, but I wouldn’t know if the “cutter” has been riding motorcycles for 30 years, or 13 minutes — who knows and that concerns me.  I’m more than okay in sharing the roadways, but there was some stupidity being displayed and on several occasions we were forced to brake heavy to make way.
  2. Secret Motorcycle Wave — To me it is amazing to see folks waving or trying to wave at all the fellow riders when there is a big rally in an area.  And I’m not talking about the two-finger flip or the helmet nod, but the left hand high in the air “Hi Mom, I’m so excited to be out here and one of the gang” type waves!  Great way to avoid accidents on wet S-curves with 100’s of participants on the road.  Not!
  3. Hunting Season – is it me or is it you?  It must have been the time of year as I observed several riders (namely Idaho plates) displaying holstered firearms for all to see.  Sure, Oregon has a rich hunting heritage, but packing “heat” at a motorcycle rally should not be encouraged and certainly does nothing to promote conversation or relationship building.  I’m not anti-gun and own firearms like many of you.  I treat all firearms as if they are loaded and these guys were twitchy.  I don’t know these characters or what the potential target was and felt as though I should put on a blaze orange vest so as to not be confused with any live animal!

I’m of the viewpoint that a motorcycle rally has a couple of purposes beyond vendor booths and the camaraderie of enjoying wind in your face with friends  I’m sure there are others, but one is to raise awareness with the general public, that they are sharing the roadways with motorcycles.  Another might be to promote motorcycle safe riding practices and that as a large loosely aligned group of motorcycle enthusiasts, we can and are well behaved.  Some more than others I suppose…

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