A survey of motorcycle riders by ComfortAir showed that most start to experience serious discomfort between 50-100 miles into a ride. To get a better understanding of why that is, the team commissioned a specialist lab with pressure-mapping facilities to carry out controlled testing.
The tests involved a rider sitting on a static bike fitted with a standard seat for ten-minutes, then for the same period with a ComfortAir Cushion fitted. A detailed pressure map was taken of each session to get an accurate reading of weight distribution.
The testing uncovered three key reasons why riding a motorcycle can become a pain in the backside;
- Most bikes place the rider's body in an unnatural position, resulting in pressure being applied to the lower torso: a sportbike position results in more pressure to the front area of the seat, a cruiser's feet-forward position exerts more towards the rear. Even an ‘upright’ naked or adventure bike position places the feet below the torso, lifting the knees up and putting increased pressure on the buttocks;
- That pressure restricts blood flow to the muscle, reducing oxygen and nutrient delivery to the tissue and causing the muscle to become fatigued and sore. The pressure can also compress nerves, leading to pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area.
- The increasing pressure can also cause a build-up of heat and perspiration. As the body sweats the loss of electrolytes and minerals speeds up, leading to further muscle pain and cramps.
ComfortAir’s Wayne Harrison said: “The test results really underline why it is that once you start to feel uncomfortable on a motorcycle, it’s difficult to improve the situation. Each factor contributes to and exacerbates the problem.”
He went on to explain; “Interestingly, the research also showed that people seem to display ‘buttock bias’ - putting more weight on one buttock rather than evenly across both. This causes a slight misalignment of the spine, which is enough to put the rider in an uneven position and cause pain to spread to the lower back and shoulders.”
The pressure mapping showed that ComfortAir seats were effective in counteracting all the three main causes.
Developed using air floatation technology originally designed to help people who are bed or wheelchair bound, ComfortAir Seat Cushions use pockets of air to evenly distribute the rider’s weight, eliminating painful pressure points on the pelvis and spine.
The strategically shaped network of interconnected air cells instantly shifts pressure from one area of the seat to another, resulting in a comfortable cushion of air which protects against shocks and dampens vibration, helps blood circulation and stops the awful ‘numb-bum’ feeling often suffered by long-distance riders.
Space between the air cells is shaped to encourage airflow - in through the front of the seat cushion, and out of the rear and sides - cooling the cells and reducing the risk of ‘hot-spots’.
Once in place the Cushion can be easily inflated and deflated, allowing the rider to find the right level of flotation for day-long comfort.
Wayne added: “We’re really encouraged by the results, which reinforced just how effective our Seat Cushions can be in reducing serious discomfort on longer rides. We definitely won’t be sitting on these results, we’ll be using the data to inform the development of the next generation of ComfortAir.”
Much less expensive than a new seat - or having an existing one altered - ComfortAir Seat Cushions start at just £65 including VAT and are covered by a 30-day money back guarantee. As an added bonus, they can be quickly removed when not needed, and transferred between bikes.
See the complete range at: comfortair-moto.co.uk