Comfort reigns supreme in the long distance ride.
In Part 1 of our long distance motorcycle riding series, we focused on “The Motorcycle” and “Riding Style”. In this installment, we talk about ways to improve comfort.
In our experience, when it comes to comfort on a long ride, nothing is more important than having the right seat and foot position. If legs are cramped or our butts are sore…the ride is not going to be the fun, memorable ride you envisioned.
In this next installment, Marilyn Elmore Bragg tells us how to enhance both.
Long Distance Riding: Motorcycle Seat
I’m sure most of you have thought about the type of seat you have on your motorcycle. But did you know, the softer the seat…the less miles you’ll put on?
Now I don’t mean go out and put a solid, rock hard seat on your bike, but I do suggest you find a happy medium. A seat that you sink into allows you to sit one way and one way only. It’s like sinking into a feather mattress. Have you ever tried to shift positions in a bed that you literally sink into? You’re exhausted by the time you get up in the morning. The same concept applies to your motorcycle seat.
- Often on a long distance ride you’ll find yourself looking to move around in your saddle. Slide back a few inches to stretch your legs, or scoot forward to place your legs on the rear pegs for a total change in your posture. Molded seats are NOT the best option for your comfort. If you do have molded seats, plan on stopping often to stretch your legs and get your blood flowing.
A seat that is molded to your butt gives you no wiggle room ... think of replacing it.
Long Distance Motorcycle Riding: Foot Placement
This is an extremely important issue for the long distance rider. It’s just not comfortable to ride without repositioning your hips, knees and feet while long distance riding.
One solution is to add highway pegs. This can be done by adding crash-bars, or you can simply add a bar to the wish-bone portion of your frame and add foot pegs to that. Check with your local bike shop for more options that make you feel good on your bike.
- Many smaller machines have foot pegs located in what is known as the mid-mount. That’s just forward of the hips, with your knees bent almost 90 degrees. Others have forward mounted pegs/controls, with the feet in a forward position and knees slightly bent. Both of these positions are fine, but you’ll be looking for someplace else to put those boots after a hundred miles or less.
- Larger bikes often come with floorboards. This option allows you to slide your feet forward and back enough to allow a change of seat position. They also have crash-bars, which allow you to add highway pegs and let you sit like you’re in your recliner with your feet up. The more options you have with foot placement, the happier your butt, legs and hips are going to be.
Bottom Line (No Pun intended!)
Comfort while riding is important. Being able to change posture and foot placement help relieve fatigue and boredom, as well as prevent some serious health problems.
In Part 3, Marilyn offers more long distance riding advice for your next adventure – with a focus on route planning, rest stops and refueling both your body and your bike.
We Invite Your Comments ...
When you hit the open road, what do you do to relieve physical stress and enhance comfort?
P.S. We make over 70 styles of gloves, many for long distance riding, and some with free shipping. To learn more about our motorcycle glove styles, visit a local dealer or our online store: