It takes time and miles to truly evaluate a motorcycle seat. An aftermarket seat that feels harsh and unyielding at first can become a joy in the long run. Conversely, that factory seat that feels so plush on the showroom floor (a subtle sales ploy) can become a posterior torture device in no time. I have now spent more than 3,000 miles with an Adventure Track Seat by Saddlemen mounted on my BMW R 1200 GS. Needless to say, its seat and mine have become intimately acquainted.
Saddlemen offers a wide array of seats that incorporate a center channel designed to alleviate pressure in a sensitive area. As Saddlemen’s sales director, Randal Smothers, told me, “We designed the Gel Channel, which incorporates a split piece of SaddleGel and a channel in the base foam to relieve seating pressure on the perineal area, increase blood flow and keep the rider in the saddle longer.” You can Google the specifics of the anatomical makeup of the perineal area, but suffice to say it applies to both male and female riders.
I can be a bit of a Luddite when it comes to new and trendy designs. As such, the distinctive channel in the middle of the Saddlemen Adventure Track Seat was a bit off-putting at first. However my resistance was somewhat assuaged when I took a quick look at the split design of my mountain bike seat, which has made my life much more comfortable with very similar engineering. It makes sense that the design could work well in adventure and dual-sport applications in the motorcycle world.
My early miles on the Adventure Track Seat were comfortable, and I am pleased to say that early impression has solidified over time. The foam and gel structure of the seat has proven to be an improvement over the stock platform, and the center channel has lived up to its pressure-relieving design goal. Discomfort in the saddle comes on much later than it did with the stock seat on my BMW. When fatigue does set in, it is more generalized than specific. Clearly, pressure points have been reduced. I also find that the seat’s design makes subtle shifts in seating position more productive for fatigue relief and the seat is markedly cooler in warm riding conditions.
While the Saddlemen Adventure Track seat has proven to be a great aftermarket alternative, I do have a couple of nits to pick. First, while clearly a high-quality saddle, it is a bit harder to latch into place on my bike—maybe it’s my technique. Also, that groove that does such an admirable job in relieving anatomical pressure can become a mini reservoir in rainy conditions. However, the company does offer models that do not leave the channel exposed.
All in all, the Saddlemen Adventure Track Seat is a fine aftermarket alternative to factory foam. In many applications, it can be purchased as a solo or dual seat setup; prices start at $375. It’s well designed, well crafted and competitively priced for a highly technical motorcycle seat. It is available for most popular adventure and dual-sport applications, and heated versions are optional.
For more information, call (310) 638-1222 or visit saddlemen.com