It may not make it onto the performance statistics, but real motorbike riders know that it’s not long before the quality of a bike’s saddle becomes an essential concern. Riding off into the sunset is all very well, but it just doesn’t feel quite so glamorous if your seat is uncomfortable, uncool or just falling apart. Pay no attention to your saddle, and there will be no ‘easy riding’.
More than any other part of a bike, the seat should express your individuality and style, and should be tailored to your physical requirements. Let’s face it, not every rider fits their leathers in the same way, and the longer you stay in the saddle, the more you will notice a seat that doesn’t fit the bill. It’s a feature of pushbikes that is increasingly being recognised – we’ve all seen those beautiful-looking leather saddles – and there’s no reason why motorbike riders shouldn’t be paying the same attention to the part of their bike to which they’re most intimately acquainted.
South West Upholstery provides a service that deals with every aspect of motorbike upholstery. Every rider is familiar with the sight of a seat with a torn or damaged cover. The elements, ageing of upholstery material, vandalism – it can all take its toll. The state of your upholstery might not make it onto the MOT, but riding with a damaged seat will only result in the damage getting worse, and eventually in an increasingly uncomfortable ride. It’s better to get a damaged saddle sorted than to leave it until the foam starts to disintegrate and you’re sitting on your rear mudguard. Upholstery repairs are the bread and butter of our long-established Bristol upholstery company.
Still, concentrating on function over form isn’t entering into the spirit of biking. Motorbike upholstery can be so much more than just the business of keeping your seat dry. There’s a balance to be struck between making sure that your saddle is robust and functional, and ensuring that it is stylish. Why not choose a colour of upholstery that complements or contrasts with your bike’s paintwork? Why not indulge in decorative touches that make your ride stand out from the crowd? Or choose leather over PVC? You could even add text or a logo to your beloved set of wheels. There are, of course, other ways to personalise your motorbike, but so many of them are either likely to affect the performance, invalidate the insurance, or flirt with the niceties of the road-traffic act. A stylish saddle is a classy way to make your bike unique, and with the added benefit of giving you a comfortable ride.
More practically, it’s worth thinking carefully about making your motorbike upholstery not only fit your style, but also your profile. It might take a team of Italian engineers to understand performance, but it takes a business with generations of experience in seating and upholstery to understand comfort. Inadequate or crumbling foam is quickly going to start taking the joy out of a bike ride, and it may well be that you simply don’t find a seat designed for a test rider particularly comfortable. It’s possible to alter the profile of a saddle to more closely match your requirements. We all know what sort of mattress we prefer. It shouldn’t be any different with a motorbike seat, because one-size so rarely fits all. Bespoke custom-made furniture for your bike? Maybe it sounds a little ridiculous. A Chesterfield travelling at 70mph. If I’m parking a bike after a two-hundred mile journey though, I know where I sit on the subject.