Harley Davidson Motorcycles

Harley Davidson Sportster Motorcycle Seats 101 Guide

Harley Davidson Sportster Motorcycle Seats 101 Guide

1. Importance of a Sportster Seat

Harley Davidson Sportster was one of the first American models to be fitted with rear-suspension and higher performance, overhead-valve engine. Because this class of vehicle was designed to race across long distances at high speeds, it needed to be outfitted with its own brand of motorcycle seats.

While Sportster seats are created with a narrow yet streamlined design to better complement the aerodynamic structure of Harley Davidson Sportsters, their primary purpose is to provide secure and comfortable seating for the rider. A Sportster seat must have a wide surface area to accommodate most of your bottom. It should be able to help alleviate numbness, promote blood circulation, and prevent soreness. If you are experiencing constant pain or discomfort, then it indicates that you need a better Sportster seat.

If you have never fitted a Sportster seat before or are in need of a replacement, this guide will provide you with information about the product, how to purchase it, and instructions for installation. If you are interested in purchasing a Sportster seat from Viking Bags, this guide will give you a detailed overview of what is in stock.

2. Customizing a Sportster Seat

The advantage of owning a Harley Davidson Sportster is that this type of vehicle is highly customizable. The capacity to customize can be extended to the Sportster seat as well. While the standard factory-made Sportster seats produced by popular manufacturers can satisfy the requirements of a good motorcycle seat just fine, it is possible to apply additional adjustments. When customizing your Sportster seat, it is possible to make changes that will affect your motorcycle’s functionality and style.

To be able to operate your motorcycle, your Sportster seat must be at a reasonable height where you can reach the handles and the footrests. If your Sportster seat is too high, you will start to lose feeling in your hands, your legs may begin to cramp up, and your bottom may experience soreness. For a Harley Davidson Sportster, it is usually best to have the Sportster seat as close to the chassis as possible.

Most Sportster seats come in the standard black color which complements the different paint colors that cover the chassis of most Harley Davidson Sportsters. Though you will be covering most of the Sportster seat while you are riding, giving it a unique design will help improve the look of your motorcycle. A Sportster seat can have a horizontal, vertical, or diamond stitch to give it a rougher texture. Altering the shape and materials of the Sportster seat can also play a role in giving your motorcycle a cool vibe.

3. Types of Sportster Seats

Though Harley Davidson Sportsters are designated as their own category of motorcycle, there are several variants that fall within this group. Thus, there are Sportster seats made to fit different types of Harley Davidson Sportsters. Aside from the options available depending on the model, make, and year, you will have the opportunity to choose a Sportster seat based on their basic style and padding type,

These are the Sportster seats available based on the model, make, and year of the Harley Davidson Sportster:

These are the Sportster seats available based on basic style and padding type:

  • Air cushion:

    This motorcycle seat is pumped with air to provide a cushion and is easy to inflate. It is designed to distribute pressure, prevent numbness, and is shock-absorbent

  • Foam:

    Either made from high-density memory foam or combined with gel, this popular option for motorcycle seats is shock-absorbent and prevents numbness

  • Gel:

    This material contours around the shape of your body which helps increase the comfort provided by your motorcycle seat while evenly distributing pressure and preventing numbness

  • Sheepskin:

    This motorcycle seat helps regulate your body temperature so you are comfortably warm or cool depending on the season. The material is also easy to dry, moisture wicking, and has good air circulation

  • Beaded:

    Considered a universal motorcycle seat, this version has massaging seat covers and provide good ventilation through the beads to make up for the lack of cushioning

  • One-piece seat:

    Considered the standard version of the motorcycle seat, it has a compact yet simple design big enough to fit the operator

  • Two-piece seat:

    Having two sections, this motorcycle seat is large enough to seat both the operator and a passenger. There is adequate space towards the back to allow you to store motorcycle luggage

  • Extended solo:

    Similar to the one-piece seat as it is meant to fit the operator, it has a tail that reaches all the way to the fender. There is enough padding to provide an impromptu seat for a passenger.

  • Sprung saddle:

    This model elevates the operator above the frame thanks to the springs that are positioned between the base plate and the frame to help with shock-absorption.

4. Most Popular Sportster Seats

Whether standard or custom-made, there are Sportster seats that stand out from the others in the market. The unique examples have specific features that either increase their functionality or improve the riding experience.

The Mustang 76145 Fastback One-Piece Seat is a customized version positioned closer to the chassis and has the rider be positioned lower than on a standard Sportster seat. The back has a high-rising wall to help provide support for the lower back. Further past the high-rising wall, there is a streamlined extension which provides a place for a passenger to sit.

The Miss Molly Brown Solo Seat Bracket Cushion is constructed from a synthetic leather and neoprene foam while made out of a steel frame. Thanks to the padding, this Sportster seat is surprisingly lightweight yet flexible when handling the weight of the rider. It is able to be mounted to most types of Harley Davidson Sportsters, but it is also compatible with Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, etc.

The La Pera Maverick Daddy Long Legs Seat is made with a one-piece foam foundation with a black vinyl seat cover supported by a 16-gauge powder-coated steel base plate. The back has a high-rising wall to help provide support for the lower back and is suited for taller riders who need the extra room to shift back and forth if necessary. Thanks to this Sportster seat’s design, the riders are afforded the luxury of an extra two inches of legroom.

The Iron Born White Diamond Stitch Motorcycle Solo Seat is built with a steel/fiberglass frame and is covered with Viking leather/foam materials. Given a sleek yet comfortable design, the padding has high quality shape retaining foam and can be stitched with a horizontal, vertical, or diamond design. The style of stitching helps to complement Sportster-specific swing arm and tools bags.

5. Tips for How to Choose Your Sportster Seat

As you are looking for your ideal Sportster seat, you will want the product that has the most features, stylish look, and compatibility with your vehicle. Selecting a Sportster seat may seem like an easy task since you just have to narrow down the options based on the model, make, and year of your motorcycle. But you also have to consider whether you would prefer a Sportster seat that prioritizes comfort, functionality, or both. The following criteria listed below may help you to figure out what exactly would suit your motorcycle:

  • The higher the price of the motorcycle seat, the better its longevity, construction, and functionality will be
  • A motorcycle seat with a large width will guarantee comfort for your bottom while less width will help reduce weight and improve your vehicle’s performance
  • The material of the cushion must be moisture wicking and have good ventilation to prevent accumulation of sweat
  • If you wish to give your motorcycle a stylish look, it is recommended you get a leather motorcycle seat as they are easily customizable
  • To help ease along the installation process, you should make sure that the motorcycle seat can be attached via buttons, Velcro straps, elastic straps, or loops
  • Depending on the type of motorcycle seat you choose, it may be able to help with your posture and prevent pain due to sitting in an uncomfortable position

6. How to Install Your Sportster Seat

After you have purchased your Sportster seat, you should be able to find the installation instructions on the back or you will be provided a complimentary instruction guide. The instructions are easy-to-followed so that the process of mounting your new equipment is quick and simple. Here are the step-by-step directions for how to install your Sportster seat:

  1. Insert the motorcycle seat from the top and push the front tab underneath the slot in the frame until it catches on
  2. Make sure that the rear hole in the motorcycle seat lines up with the hole in the fender. After lining up the holes, insert the fastener and turn until it is tightened
  3. Check that the motorcycle seat is not loose and has been properly secured

If you need to remove or replace your current Sportster seat, here are the step-by-step directions for how to do so:

  1. Unscrew the rear fastener that is keeping the motorcycle seat connected to your vehicle. Put the fastener to the side until you are ready to install the new motorcycle seat
  2. Carefully lift up the motorcycle seat from the rear and pull backwards so that the equipment will disengage from the tab towards the front

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