Riding on a motorcycle isn’t always an easy job. Hours on the saddle with no backrest and a relatively fixed position on a two-wheeler can get physically tiring very quickly—whether that’s because of riding position, road noise, or small discomforts that intensify over time. Thankfully, many parts manufacturers in the market have listened to the woes and feedback of consumers over the years, and modifications to upgrade the level of comfort a motorcyclist can enjoy on a ride out are widely available. Here are 9 simple upgrades to make your hours on the saddle a lot more comfortable.
Changing out your handlebar grips can easily be one of the quickest and cheapest ways to make your riding experience more pleasant. Riders can choose to swap the stock handlebar grips with a softer compound which will not only reduce handlebar vibrations but will reduce the friction strain on your skin or through your gloves. On top of this, other manufacturers also provide a variety of sizes in order to accommodate your hand size. Tailor-fitting the grip material and grip size to your needs can do much for your hands and arms and can create a much more pleasant riding experience for hours on the road.
If you feel that your upper body is hunched forward a little too much on your motorcycle, you should consider a handlebar riser. This modification is designed to move and angle the handlebar upwards, which will create a more upright riding position for the motorcyclist on the saddle. Riders can choose between fixed risers or pivot risers, where the latter can be swiveled back and forth for tailor-fitting your ergonomic needs. Consider this upgrade if a more upright riding position is something your body may be looking for.
Bar end weights
Often overlooked, the small weights on the ends of your handlebar actually do quite a bit of work for reducing vibrations on the bar. Bar end weights are designed to offset vibrations sent to the handlebar, which will reduce hand and arm fatigue over time. This upgrade will be especially helpful for riders who are more sensitive to handlebar vibrations, or for riders who typically ride on single-cylinder engines that vibrate quite a bit. Remember to purchase steel bar end weights, since aluminum or alloy weights are not typically heavy enough to reduce vibrations effectively.
If you’re spending many hours or days on the saddle at a time, a touring seat will significantly increase the comfort level of your ride. Touring seats are typically offered by the manufacturers of your motorcycle, or via reputable third-party manufacturers since the entire seat is usually replaced. Touring seats are designed with comfort as first priority and come with a more premium cushion material. While upgrading to a touring seat is often a more pricey decision, getting a seat that is made to fit perfectly onto your motorcycle will be worth the price.
Seat gel inserts
If a touring seat upgrade can be a bit too expensive for your budget, riders have the option of purchasing gel inserts for the stock seat of your motorcycle. Gel inserts are significantly cheaper than purchasing a whole seat and can often provide a similar comfort level to your bottom. In order to install a gel insert, foam material on your current seat will need to be cut off and a gel insert will take its place. This upgrade is a relatively simple and affordable way to improve the comfort level on your bottom when out on long rides.
If you’ve ever upgraded to a slip-on or full-system exhaust, you may understand the pain of having a droning exhaust buzzing on your ear. Noise, in general, is a significant contributor to discomfort, and motorcyclists are not absolved from this fact. If you’re looking to reduce the amount of energy loss your body will experience on your bike, you may want to consider an exhaust baffle for that aftermarket exhaust. Baffles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all aim to reduce the amount of noise that will bounce off your exhaust, which will in turn reduce the energy depletion you may experience on two wheels.
Another overlooked item that can significantly change your riding experience would be a quality helmet. After all, your helmet takes care of your head, and can do much for the quality of vision and hearing you will experience on two wheels Having a helmet that fits perfectly on your head, blocks wind noise drastically, and feels great to the touch can do so much for rider comfort regardless of the time spent on your bike.
If a quality helmet and exhaust baffle will not cut out enough noise for you, swapping your tires out to a set with less road noise may do wonders for your hours on the saddle. Road noise caused by your tire, typically through a humming noise in the background, can be a silent killer over time and can drastically reduce the quality of your ride when it gets excessive. If you’re looking to reduce road noise caused by your tires, you may want to look into the sport-touring segment of tires, as these tires are most typically designed with road noise reduction in mind.
The last upgrade you can make for rider comfort would be to refresh your suspension set up. Worn out suspension can provide the rider with an uneasy and wobbly ride, since worn out suspension components are not able to dampen bumps on the road with finesse. Front forks can benefit from a fresh set of high quality fork oil, and rear shocks can either be replaced or refurbished. Ensuring top notch suspension quality will do much for the enjoyment of your ride, and the comfort that comes with.