Much as we love motorcycling, there are times when things get a little uncomfortable.
Holding the throttle steady at 70mph on a long motorway journey can make the wrist ache, for example, and some bikes can set up vibrations that make fingers tingle.
Many bikes use seats that are fine for a short ride but spend more than a couple of hours in the saddle and you can end up with the dreaded ‘numb bum’ syndrome, so that may need addressing.
Winter motorcycling can mean cold hands which are both uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, especially if you can’t feel the bike properly and can distract from concentrating on riding.
Luckily, there are aftermarket solutions to almost all of the comfort-related issues that you might encounter on your bike. Some are very simple while others involve a bit more fitting but all should help to improve comfort and have you yearning for more miles, not the need to get off the bike.
Here is a selection of products to help you carry on riding...
Atlas Throttle Lock
Holding the throttle at a steady setting on long journeys can become tiring u2013 thatu2019s why many manufacturers offer cruise control either as standard or an option. For older bikes, it may not be available but this mechanical throttle lock can help.
A push-button design, it uses friction to overcome the strength of the throttle return spring, effectively holding the throttle at a set opening though it can easily be closed. I’ve used it and it’s very good on a bike with no cruise control.
Prevent wrist ache
Easy to fit and use
Maintains throttle position, not speed
Oxford Throttle Assist
Another method to remove strain from the right wrist on long, steady-speed journeys, this wrist support from Oxford fixes to the throttle twist-grip and rotates with it, allowing you to rest your wrist on it to maintain a set throttle opening rather than gripping the bar end and holding it open. A neat solution to a potentially painful problem.
Rest the wrist
Reduce strain and fatigue
May get in the way of the grip
Gel Seat Cushion
Many motorcycle seats are built to suit a certain size and weight of rider and if you are slightly heavier or a different size, then you can often find the stock seat uncomfortable.
This gel pad sits inside a mesh pouch to promote airflow and helps to provide a softer seat for you. The cover is fixed to the bike’s saddle with straps underneath and the gel pad goes inside.
Mesh cover promotes airflow
Gel insert improves comfort
Disconnected feeling from bike in corners
Designed to do a similar job to a gel cushion, this inflatable cushion from ComfortAir can be blown up by the mouth to give whatever firmness of seat the rider wants. The air cushions sits inside a mesh cover which is fixed to the bike and the cushion inflated.
The ComfortAir cushion is available in four designs; this adventure/sport version, a tourer design, one for cruisers and a universal one for off-road style bikes or pillions. Blow the cushion up for long rides then deflate for connection with the bike when cornering.
Use for long rides of corners
Set own firmness
Increase seat height
For many, riding in winter is as enjoyable as in summer but you do need to make sure youu2019re ready for it. Cold hands can be a nightmare but British kit giant Oxford has a range of aftermarket heated grips for a variety of bikes, including these for sportsbikes as well as ones for adventure, touring and cruisers.
They replace the original grips and wire into the battery, with nine heat settings. They also have a power-saving mode so they don’t drain the battery.
Keep your hands warm
Sets for different bikes
Direct replacement for original grips
Become addictive in winter
Bike It Bar-End Weights
If your bike is one of those with handlebars that seems to pick up vibrations at cruising speeds, then it can be a nightmare; numb or tingling fingers or hands can have obvious safety implications as well as a huge effect on comfort.
Adding heavier bar-end weights to the ends of the handlebars can often help alleviate some of these vibrations, by changing the nature of the bars and the vibes that are set up at speed. Simple to fit, they can have a big effect.
Easy to fit
Can remove or reduce bar vibrations
Can clean-up look of bars
May interfere with bar-end mirrors
Sometimes, you simply cannot get the right position for the standard u2013 or even aftermarket u2013 screen on your bike and you either get blasted by the air, itu2019s super-noisy or you canu2019t get any cooling air to the face.
But with an adjustable spoiler, you can tailor the airflow exactly how you want it; over your head, on your face or even on your chest – it’s up to you. This version fits any screen and clamps on so there’s no need to drill holes.
Tailor air flow
No need to drill holes
Still needs a main screen to fit
If you need to carry some gear with you, you could use a rucksack or larger item of luggage but that can often affect your comfort as you ride. This tailpack from Held is expandable and when fully expanded, will house a full-face helmet.
It is sturdy, doesn’t move around on the bike and comes with a fully waterproof cover. I’ve used it and it is impressive.
Quick to fit and release
Temptation to over-pack
Universal Bar Risers
If your bike feels like the handlebars are too far away or are too low (or both) then a set of bar risers can help put them in the right position to help alleviate a sore back if you find yourself leaning forward.
The fit to the top of the yoke and the bars fit into them with these ones a universal fitting for bars 28mm in diameter. Just be aware that you may need to re-route or extend the pipework for brakes and wiring for the bar switches to fit these.
Can improve comfort
Bring bars higher or closer
Easy to fit
May need cables and hoses re-routing or elongating