Posts Tagged ‘seat’

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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 Did You See that Motorcycle?

With warmer spring weather in the NW comes the motorcycles.  And with motorcycles come the accidents. Regardless of who is at fault, the motorcyclists seldom fare well.

Simply put, a lot of drivers DO NOT see motorcycles or the motorcyclist. Yeah, some of those drivers are talking on their cell phone or enjoying a two-all-beef-patty Big Mac behind the wheel, but some pay attention and still don’t see motorcycles. We’re not invisible, but every experienced motorcyclist understands that many drivers don’t see us and rides accordingly. I think we all try and remain outside of any blind spot, and give ourselves enough cushion to make an emergency maneuver – bottom line is that motorcyclists think about accidents all the time. And they think about how to avoid them.

I remember a trip to Reno a few years ago where on an isolated stretch of Highway 31 between LaPine and Silver Lake it was after dusk and difficult to see.  The posse slowed below the 55MPH speed limit in anticipation of darting deer, but out of no where we came up on a large brick sized casing in our tire path.  A couple of us had the thing bounce off the bike frames after the lead rider basically ran over it. At the wrong angle this could have tossed a rider off before they could do anything. A car driver would have just gritted their teeth and hit the object. Whatever happens to their car, the impact will probably leave the car driver unscathed, but it could leave a motorcyclist seriously injured.  We were fortunate to only have some damage to the bikes.  It turned out to be part of an old Chevy Truck transmission which had broke down about 10miles ahead of us…duh, no wonder.

So why do people ride? That’s an interesting question. Many bikers would scoff and tell you that if we had to explain it to you, you wouldn’t understand.  Much of that is true, but let me try to give you some additional insight.  Many riders began riding motorcycles in their youth and now they are returning to the hobby. They’ve worked hard all their lives, maybe raised a family and now it’s time to enjoy something they have not enjoyed in years. Some of these riders even include significant others or their spouse in their hobby. You’ll see them heading down the highway loaded down and equipped with everything from tent trailers to a CB radio to XM satellite players cranking out “Born To Be Wild”.  Or maybe you’ll see someone on a Harley looking like they need a cup of coffee as they find America and are experiencing it the adventures way. Or they are sport bike riders dressed in multi-color leather suits and bent over their bikes looking fast sitting still.

No matter how we’re dressed, or whatever we ride, we all share one thing in common: we want to get home alive that night.

So give us a break. Keep your eyes wide open on us!  When you see us look and then look again for us when you don’t.  Because we’re out there and we’re looking at you.

Drive safe!

Photo courtesy of Fensterbme

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