As I roll gently into my retirement years, I’ve taken to scouting used motorcycles on Craigslist to stock up my garage. I never know what will grab my attention and tickle my heart, and as I unearth hidden two-wheeled treasures, I’m usually delighted to inherit a rich assortment of accessories previous owners have lavished upon their bikes – now to become my next ride.
When acquiring used bikes, the one item that often requires my attention is the seat. Many riders work at lowering reach to the ground, but I’m 6 feet tall with a 31-inch inseam and grouchy hips. I like legroom. So when a newly acquired bike doesn’t fit me correctly, I head over to Legendary Best Motorcycle Seats in Ventura, California.
I’ve been using BMS for seat alterations for decades, beginning back in their Ojai days under Bill “Rocky” Mayer (BMS used to stand for Bill Mayer Saddles). Now, longtime stalwart Adrian Mercado handles the business, turning out the same quality work he’s crafted for all these years.
The personal fitting service at BMS is terrific. If you can devote a half day or so on site, Mercado and his crew will craft a custom-made seat built to your liking and personal fit while you wait. BMS also appears at rallies and other riding events across the country to provide custom services, or you can also send in your seat with your necessary personal dimensions for mail-order service.
Mercado listens to your requests, then makes suggestions based on his decades of seat-building experience. He’ll give you what you want, but I’ve learned to follow his advice, typically after some give-and-take regarding comfort versus aesthetics. The decision often comes down to a simple question: Do you want the bike to “look right,” or do you want the seat to coddle your rear end over a full day’s ride? Personally, I tend to lean toward the comfort side, but you can have it your way, exactly so.
Custom-built BMS seats absolutely transformed my new-to-me 2015 Ducati Multistrada 1200 S and 2017 KTM 690 Duke. Due to an extra-low seat at purchase, I found the Multi virtually unrideable, while the 690’s aftermarket rearsets shortened the seat/peg relationship and made things too cramped. Mercado fixed all of that, making both bikes more enjoyable – and “all mine” in the process. Nice. Problems solved.
Pricing begins at $595 to build a solo seat, pretty much in keeping with other custom seat options.
For more information, visit the Legendary BMS website.