When riding a motorcycle the human body’s points of contact with the machine are a very important. Sure, you think of hands and feet when riding, but your seating surface has as much to do with proper positioning as anything else. Stock H-D and Indian motorcycle seats fit a range of people. They come from the factory with comfort being the #1 order of business. We who are performance-minded detest stock seats for their lack of support and soft feel. The first thing we did to our 2019 H-D Softail Lowrider was swap the seat out to a Saddlemen Step-Up.
Of course installation was simple and the fit was top notch. After we threw our leg over the bike we found the Step-Up felt nothing like the OE Harley seat. For the first few miles it took some getting used to. The riding position was far more upright. Also, the seat felt a ton stiffer than the stock one. And the points of contact were far different. The forward part of my butt cheeks and the lower part of my back were what I was sitting on most. As opposed to sitting on the whole of my butt like a coach-ticket airplane seat like the H-D seat position did.
I wasn’t sure if I liked the new seating position at all. That is, until I rode the bike out to Phoenix from Los Angeles. I has zero pain or discomfort the whole 6-hour ride. And I only got off the bike for a gas stop and to guzzle a Monster energy drink. The seat was, no joke, the most supportive saddle I had ever ridden. I have had Step-Up seats on a myriad of Dynas, FXRs, and even baggers. But this version of the Saddlemen Step-Up seat was almost magical. It was great for straight-line highway riding. But it really shined when I was on the V-Twin Visionary Smoky Mtn Tour in Tennessee hitting some of the best roads in the USA.
During five days of 5-6 hour rides in twists and turns, pushing the limits of the new Softail chassis and my riding ability I the seat worked great. It had plenty of side-to-side clearance for sliding in the hairpins. And a ton of forward clearance for getting up on the tank when needed. But the rear of the seat offered so much support that it made the whole riding experience much better.
Since then we have had a few thousand miles on the bike and it has worn in perfectly. The top material looks brand new, the gel in both the rider and passenger parts of the seat has stayed put and we have had zero issues of any sort with the Saddlemen Softail Step-Up.
There are a lot of other good motorcycle seats on the market, but if you want a seat that is a true no-BS performer then by all means we highly suggest checking one of the Step-Up offerings out.