Saddlemen SaddleGel Comfort Pads Review

Few things detract from a motorcycle ride as much as a sore bum. Motorcyclists bemoan the ravages of “monkey butt” as if it were the plague, and you can even buy soothing, friction-reducing Anti Monkey Butt Powder. Saddlemen offers several solutions for the pain in your behind, such as a wide variety of replacement seats for everything from cruisers to sportbikes and its line of SaddleGel Comfort Pads.

Last summer I embarked on a week-long tour test to Redwood National Park on a Kawasaki Concours 14 with my girlfriend Carrie. We added a taller windscreen, tankbag and top trunk, as well as a prototype replacement seat. Although well-sculpted, the seat was very firm. Fearing a week of misery, I asked Saddlemen to provide me with two of its SaddleGel Comfort Pads, one for me and another for Carrie. Thank goodness we had those pads! After just a couple hundred miles on the prototype seat, Carrie and I had the worse cases of monkey butt we’d ever experienced. After strapping on the Saddlemen seat pads, we traveled in relative comfort.

SaddleGel is Saddlemen’s trademarked name for gel that was developed for the medical industry. It helps distribute the rider’s/passenger’s weight evenly to avoid pressure points and “hot spots,” especially where the hip and tail bones are located. They are easy to install: just secure the strap over the seat by hooking the ends to secure points, and then attach the pad (which has a non-slip backing) to the strap with hook-and-loop. The strap stays in place, allowing you to reposition the pad or remove it altogether. My only complaint is that the strap needs to be pulled taut, but weaving the strap through the adjustment buckles takes some effort that can inadvertently loosen the strap. I wish the strap was elastic, similar to ROK Straps. Also, if there are not convenient anchor points for the strap, then securing the pad will be difficult.

SaddleGel Comfort Pads better distribute rider/passenger weight to reduce pressure points.
SaddleGel Comfort Pads better distribute rider/passenger weight to reduce pressure points.

Once the straps were secured, the SaddleGel pads proved to be a real boon for comfort, and since they can be put on any motorcycle, they can be swapped from bike to bike, unlike a replacement seat. Saddlemen also makes seats filled with SaddleGel (or you can buy the raw gel to fill your own seat), pads filled with pillow foam or memory foam, as well as pads covered with synthetic sheepskin.

More recently, I used a SaddleGel pad to add comfort to the Victory Judge, which has an unusual seating position, with arms stretched out to the bars and knees up high due to the mid-mount pegs. The seat rolled my hips back and I begged for mercy within half an hour. The SaddleGel provided extra cushioning and additional support that made the ride much more bearable.

For the passenger seat, we used the Medium SaddleGel Soft Stretch Pad (p/n 100RJ, 9 x 7.5 x 5.5 inches, $74.95). For the rider seat, we used the Large pad (p/n 100FJ, 10 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches, $89.95). An Extra Large pad is also available (p/n 200J, 12 x 15 x 8 inches, $99.95).

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