How to stay comfortable during motorcycle rides
A huge part of the enjoyment of riding a bike is staying comfortable while you’re doing so. There are many factors that are going to affect your comfort, not least of which is the type of bike you own. The most comfortable motorcycles to ride are often cited as being cruiser-type bikes, such as the Bonneville Bobber or Speedmaster predominantly because their design encourages a more natural upright sitting posture that’s more conducive to comfort over long motorcycle rides. But even if you’re more a fan of nose-down roadsters such as the Speed Triple, there’s still much you can do to maximise your riding comfort, and therefore, your riding enjoyment.
Whether you realise it or not, riding a motorcycle is a constant series of perfectly natural but tiny balance adjustments, which are continually engaging your physical self. But as anyone who has flown a long haul flight knows, muscles can settle themselves in a restricted position if you don’t use them significantly for long periods of time. And once they’re settled, they need stretching. Stretching is a low-exertion activity that is great for circulation in that it encourages blood flow to those muscles. That in turn increases the mobility of your joints and your ability to move all your joints quickly when you need to, and the increase in blood circulation improves your energy levels too. As a minimum, try and stop, stand up, and give your limbs a shake every now and then to loosen up the major muscle groups. Think of how most of us mortals yawn and stretch on a morning; it’s a natural way of kickstarting the body and it releases feelgood endorphins, so there’s every reason to stretch regularly!
Long motorcycle rides can cause discomfort if you have an unsympathetic seat. But it’s not all about soft padding, the best motorcycle seat pad for long rides needs to support you as well as cushion you. There’s a great deal of science surrounding such a combination, with construction features including ‘3D mesh’, ‘gel’, ‘airmesh’ and ‘memory foam’, but this is essentially a personal decision so do your research, talk to other riders, and also see if you can pop into a dealership to try before you buy. Actually, this is where the ability to personalise your motorcycle really comes into its own. All Triumph motorcycles are designed to allow owners to modify their bikes with certain specially-designed Triumph accessories, and comfort seats are an incredibly popular addition because let’s face it that’s where you spend most of your time while you’re riding. Most Triumph motorcycles can be configured with a Triumph-designed comfort seat, so you can be sure that you can change your seat and still retain total Triumph authenticity.
Try to keep out the cold and the wet as well as you can, because either of those conditions can significantly affect your concentration during long motorcycle rides. But equally, if the weather is hot and sunny then the last thing you want is to feel overheated, for exactly the same reasons. You can help yourself immeasurably by dressing appropriately, which is why huge amounts of research money is spent every year on new motorcycle clothing that can resist water, retain heat, and expel excess moisture from the skin generated by riders themselves. Most riders gradually build up a wardrobe to handle all contingencies over time.
The great news is that getting the best from your motorcycle in terms of staying comfortable is really quite easy. Luckily, it only needs a reasonable application of common sense to get even more enjoyment from your favourite pastime!