Who would have ever imagined that something like hard beads could be one of the most comfortable solutions to posterior discomfort when traveling on a motorcycle? Certainly not me!
Let me start by saying my motorcycle already has a highly recommended seat upgrade from Mustang seats – both driver and passenger. The Mustang seat gives great support and, by itself, is a pretty comfortable seat. However, for longer distances, even the Mustang needs help. You see, the problem with any seat, including gel cushions (which I have spent ample time riding on) is that there is constant equal pressure on a large region of the posterior. After a while, that translates into an almost “burning” feeling and, if you let it go long enough, almost debilitating pain that will force you to take a break from riding.
When I found that a nice lamb skin covered gel seat cushion was not doing the trick for me I started looking for other options. Of course, the major options are air cushions and beads. I really didn’t have the extra money to spend on a decent air seat cushion (which, in their most basic versions, are nearly twice the price of a beaded seat cover) so I asked myself “who would know better about what makes long distance riding comfortable than the Iron Butt riders.” These are the folks that ride a thousand or more miles in a 24 hour period just so they can say they did it. So, I started perusing the Iron Butt Association web site and found that there seems to be a general consensus that beads area the way to go… and the name that kept popping up was BeadRider®.
The idea behind the BeadRider® seat covers is to significantly reduce the pressure and burning sensation by taking away the equal pressure across your butt and introducing pinpoint areas and airflow. This allows less pressure build up simply as a matter of natural body shifting that occurs as you ride. A simple shift on the beads – you don’t even have to be intentional about it – and the pressure points are relocated. In addition, the airflow through the beads helps reduce heat and moisture build-up; two contributing factors to riding discomfort.
When I got my BeadRider® seat covers and first tried them, I was still a little skeptical. Even after the first couple miles the verdict was still out. However, as I began to ride on them more and started to do longer rides I realized just how much better my posterior felt after riding for a long time. I found, if you go without breaks for more than a couple of hours, I would still feel discomfort, particularly in my tailbone region. However, it was not like the nearly debilitating pain I remembered from my gel seat cover. Usually a gas stop, getting off the bike for a few minutes to stretch my legs was all it took to be ready to hop back in the saddle and ride until the next gas stop.
At this point, I should note, if you are riding two-up, and you have the BeadRider® on your passenger seat, your passenger may or may not feel the same level of relief and ability to endure that you do in your driver seat. This is by no means the fault of the passenger seat cover but, rather, the comfort level of the passenger seat itself.
I give BeadRider® seat covers two thumbs up. They allow you to travel farther, with less discomfort and they’re reasonably priced. Give them a try. The only thing you really have to lose is the discomfort!
Keep the shiny side up!
BeadRider seat covers: http://www.beadrider.com