Touring on a Harley Davidson motorcycle is a dream of many riders, and I had the same when I was young, but touring on a motorcycle is not as comfortable as on a car. The company-fitted seat is great for short rides, but not comfortable for long rides.
And then I started looking for touring seats for my Fatboy, and here I am with some of the best touring seats for Harley Davidson motorcycles.
Cruising out on a weekend can be pure bliss to anyone who enjoys riding motorcycles, and it only accentuates when you are riding a Harley. For any long ride in a cruiser, being seated in a comfortable and cushioned seat that grips you around is uncompromisable.
I have curated a buying guide that covers all the aspects of choosing the best touring seat for your Harley. Read on to find out more about the details of these touring seats and pick the best one for your motorcycle.
I have also provided a detailed analysis of the basics of motorcycle seats, and what all factors you should consider like the material of the seat, cover design, different parts of a motorcycle seat, which come in handy when you are looking for a touring seat for your Harley.
Best Touring Seats for Harley Davidson
I have made a list of some of the best touring seats for your Harley, covering all the seats mentioned above. All you have to do is to narrow down your needs from the buying guide given above, and then choose the best amongst them.
And remember, every seat has its set of advantages and disadvantages, but what you have to do is to look for the features that it offers, its type and build, so as to narrow down your choices to one. Read on more to find out about the different types of touring seats for your Harley.
1. Mustang 79006 Super Touring Deluxe
The first up on our list is the 79006 super touring deluxe seat from Mustang. Mustang seats are considered as one of the best seats when it comes to touring for long distances, and as per my own opinion, these are very comfortable for long rides, even for more than 4-5 hours at a stretch.
The mustang seats are great for tall riders, who are above 6 feet, as it sets you 1.75’’ back from the stock ones, with added cushioning. These are compatible with these Harley Davidson models:
- Road King ’08-’19
- Street Glide ’08-’19
- Street Glide Trike ’10-’11
- Electra Glide ’08-’19
- Road Glide ’08-’19
- Tri-Glide ’09-’19; Measures 19″ front width and 14″ rear width
You can consider these super deluxe Mustang seats if you have any one of the above-mentioned Harley models. From a user’s perspective, this seat is suitable for anyone who wants a comfortable riding position and needs a passenger seat as well.
Also, these seats help to keep your back in place when cornering around, and also give you an adequate amount of comfort during turns and twists. And, due to a straight backrest, you don’t feel pushed back to the seat, but instead, you remain well planted in your position.
Talking about the price, these seats come just around the $600 mark, which is in no way cheap, however, you get what you pay for:
- Extended space
- Great backrest
- Comfortable cushioning
- Good quality material.
I think this is a must-buy for anyone looking for a long-distance touring seat for Harley. Additionally, to help you figure it out, I have made a list of pros and cons for these seats which describes the things that I like and things that I don’t.
Things I like
- Great comfort for long-distance touring
- Materials used and build quality
- Backrest support
- Two-way seat for the passenger as well
- Great at the corners
Things I don’t like
- A little expensive for a seat
- Might not be suitable for everyday use
2. Le Pera Bare Bones Solo Seat For Harley
With a price tag of just around $300, this pair of Bare Bones solo seats from Le Pera is a steal for anyone riding alone in a Harley. These are low-profile seats that bring up the soul of your motorcycle by giving it an authentic look.
It might not be as comfortable as the Mustang ones, but they are great for mid to long-distance touring, and for the one who rides alone most of the time.
Another thing to note is that, due to the low profile nature of these seats, the cushioning is a little less compared to the full touring seats like the Mustang ones, however, these provide a good amount of comfort and support to the rider.
Talking about the material used, the Bare Bones are made up of marine-grade vinyl, which will support you for a great amount of time.
A pro thing in these seats is that they are handcrafted from the pan straight up to the stitching, which makes them more durable and authentic for the rider. These seats will fit many different Harley model:
- 2011 Harley Davidson FXDWG Dyna Wide Glide
- 2011 Harley Davidson FXDF Fat Bob
- 2011 Harley Davidson FXDC Super Glide Custom
- 2011 Harley Davidson FXDB Street Bob
From a user’s perspective, I really like the low profile structure of the seat along with the hand-made build quality of these seats, which would be very suitable for solo motorcycle rides. I would recommend these seats to anyone going on a solo trip.
However, before you pick these seats, I want you to note some things that I like and some of the things that I didn’t like about these seats.
Things I like
- Low profile
- Hand made
- Great build quality
Things I don’t like
- Not very cushiony
3. Saddlemen Step Up Seat For Harley Davidson
The Saddlemen step-up seat for Harley is great for someone who is into stunting and aggressive riding. Nonetheless, these seats also support you for long-distance touring and keep you an inch back and an inch lower to the ground compared to the stock ones, for better control and comfort.
These seats come at a price point of around $500, and in my opinion, these are a great mix for anyone who is looking for a seat that does city handling as well as long-distance touring with ease.
And for the fitment, these seats fit many different touring models of Harley including:
- Harley Davidson FLHR
- Harley Davidson FLHT
- Harley Davidson FLHX & FLTR (Touring Models)
From a user’s perspective, I think that these seats look dope and are comfortable for the rider at the same time, and comes with an easy 15-minute installation, which is great! Just unscrew your stock seats and push these seats, that’s all!
Talking about the interior of the seat, these have an under the carpet that holds the seat in place and doesn’t let it go loose over an extended period of time.
Also, Saddlemen has used a saddle gel inside these seats, along with the progressive density foam, which makes them softer over a long period of time, and hard enough for short city rides.
However, there are a few things that I didn’t like about these seats. Let’s sum it up with the things that I like and the things that I didn’t for you to figure out and decide whether it suits you or not.
Things I like
- Great build quality
- Suitable for mid and long touring
- Easy installation
- Saddle gel technology
Things I didn’t like
- Narrow pillion seat
- On the expensive side
4. XFMT Low-Profile Leather Seat for Harley
These low-profile leather seats from XFMT come in a budget category that ranges around the $150-300 mark and is comparable to the Saddlemen Step Up seats.
These seats push you two inches closer to the ground and are adequate for mid to slight long-distance touring.
Don’t expect to be as good as the Mustang ones, which are solely for some serious long-distance touring, while these are good for a 100-mile ride.
These seats are made for the 2009-2020 Harley touring models including:
- Road King FLHR 2009-2020
- Road King Special FLHRXS 2017-2020
- Electra Glide Standard FLHT 2019-2020
- Electra Glide Ultra Classic FLHTCU 2019
- Ultra Limited FLHTK 2015-2020
- Ultra Limited Low FLHTKL 2015-2019
- Street Glide FLHX 2009-2020
- Street Glide Special FLHXS 2014-2020.
Also, if you have any other model of Harley, then XFMT makes similar seats like these for almost all the models across the lineup.
Now, talking about it from a rider’s perspective, I think that the back seat is not lined up properly, which might be troublesome for the pillion if you happen to ride with one.
Other than that, these seats also don’t have a slot for a backrest for the rider, which is a big downer in my opinion, if you consider long-distance touring.
With that being said, let’s look at the things that I like and things that I didn’t like about these low-profile leather seats from XFMT.
Things I like
- Affordable price point ($150-300)
- Comes in a variety of options to choose from
Things I don’t like
- Not suitable for very long touring
- Pillion seat not comfortable
- Doesn’t have a backrest for the rider
5. Mustang 76145 Motorcycle Seat for Harley-Davidson
Last but not the least, we have a second offering from Mustang known as the 76145 Fastback. These seats come at a $300-350 price range and are compatible with Harley-Davidson models, Sportster ’04-’19 with 2. 1 or 3. 3-gallon tank; measures 11″ front width and 6″ rear width.
With these measurements, these seats are suitable for mid-level touring, and for comfortable city rides, due to their low-profile nature.
Speaking of the build quality, these are hand stitched and have marine grade level vinyl, which is weather repellent, and it ages well with time.
Under the seat, you get the fiberglass or steel structure, which doesn’t get laggy or loose over an extended period of time and is bolted with rivets to secure the cover.
An interesting thing is that these rivets also help in damping the vibrations from the motor, helping the rider to ride comfortably over a long period of time.
From a user’s perspective, I think that you should consider these seats if you go on mid to long-distance touring occasionally, and also want a seat for city riding. These offer a great mix of usability around town and on highways, which makes it an overall package.
However, these seats are also not close to perfect! When I spoke to some of the owners, I found out that these are not very comfortable for very long rides, say a four to five-hour-long tour. In that case, it is better to invest in the super touring deluxe seat from Mustang.
In a nutshell, I liked some of the features of these seats, while there are certain things which I didn’t like. Let’s look at some of them so that you can figure out whether these suit your preference or not.
Things I like
- Low profile seats
- Comfortable compared to other low-profile ones
- Great build quality
- Easy installation
Things I don’t like
- Not great for long-distance touring
Whether you are into a low-profile seat or a super-deluxe touring seat for your Harley, it is important for you to know the basics of how seats are made, which style is perfect for you, and how you want to use your seat.
For this purpose, I have made a detailed analysis for you about the different parts of a seat, what materials are used in the making, and how it determines your riding nature. Read on to learn more about the detailed buying guide for the best touring seats for your Harley.
Important things to look for while buying a touring seat
Now that you know the different types of touring seats for your Harley, it is important for you to know that there isn’t one seat that is suitable for every rider.
Everyone has different riding needs and for that, you might need something which is low profile, or maybe you want a touring seat.
One thing to note when looking for a motorcycle seat is that, if you are looking for some aftermarket seat for added comfort and great ride experience, then you have to consider that it might look impractical and bulkier compared to the factory fitted one, and by far there is no seat which is low profile and that gives you the comfort for a five or six hour-long rides.
So, if you are looking for a low-profile seat that will give you the riding comfort for a five-hour-long ride, then there is no such seat like that. The real thing you need to do here is to find what you want based on your needs.
The basis of every touring seat is to provide you with the comfort and grip that you need for a five-hour-long ride, which may be expensive.
But, as per my opinion, these are worth paying for because, if you are not enjoying your long rides, then there is no point in owning a $20-25,000 beast of a machine. And, if spending a little more than average gives you the joy that you want, then it’s worth it!
Basics of Motorcycle Seats
As you start your search for a touring seat for your Harley, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind before making a choice.
When you go on looking for a comfortable seat with a backrest that is going to hold you comfortably for long hours during a ride, the Mustang touring seats are a great option.
However, you may also question the size of the wide-angle seats, and for that same purpose, you have the choice of a seat without a driver’s backrest.
So, with that being said, I think the most important factor that comes up when you are looking for a touring seat, in general, is the level of comfort that it offers, and it differs from person to person.
If you are someone with a short physique, then you might be more comfortable in some low-profile seats, which will help you to remain close to the ground and at the same time hold you in place.
Another thing that you might need to consider is the custom-built seats which you can customize based on your preference, and use occasionally for some long rides, and replace them with the stock ones or any other seat of your choice, for your daily and normal commutes. Well, in my opinion, this might be a great option as well!
Now, let’s dive into some of the important factors that will help you to decide your seat of choice, and pick the one best for you.
Pick your style or need first (Single-seat, Two-piece seat, Sprung saddle, King-and-Queen)
The very first thing that you keep in mind while hunting for a touring seat is the need or style that you want. And, on top of that, you need a seat that fits your motorcycle perfectly and something that doesn’t look odd.
Now, if you are a tall person and you are looking for a comfortable touring seat that puts you further back, then you might probably consider the Mustang touring seat, which is great for taller riders above six feet.
Another touring seat option is the low down from Mustang, which puts you closer to the ground, suitable for some short riders under 5’ 10’’ or anything around that.
These were some of the single seats, however, if you are someone who likes to ride with a pillion, then there are different options that come with a two-piece seat for touring.
And if neither of these two are on your bucket list, then you can also go for a solo spring saddle, which makes your motorcycle look clean and elegant, and also provides you enough comfort for a solo ride.
And lastly, there is the king and queen style of seat that you can choose from, if you are into some flashy and attractive looking outfit for your Harley, and ride with a passenger for long rides.
These types of seats are best for long rides and provide you and your passenger a great level of comfort. However, these seats might look bulkier and might not be very suitable for short city rides.
How long you want to ride your motorcycle
Once you have chosen your style of choice, it is time to figure out the duration of rides that you do and pick your seat according to it.
If you are someone who loves to do a long tour once or twice in a month, and in that, you probably ride for four, five, or maybe six hours straight, then it is best to invest in a good touring seat with a maximum level of comfort.
Touring seats compared to stock ones have an added layer of cushioning in them, which helps a lot in providing you the comfort you need for long-distance touring. Also, touring seats have a dedicated backrest for the rider, which prevents back pain and fatigue after long rides.
However, if you are a casual rider and normally maneuver in and out of the city, or highways, then going for a well-buffed touring seat might not be a great option for you.
But, what you will actually need is balance along with comfort, and for this, a low-profile seat might be a better option for you.
Low-profile seats can be best in keeping you closest to the ground, which helps in great maneuverability in busy streets, and especially if you have a big touring motorcycle.
Materials of the seat (foam type, seat covers, design)
For touring seats, in particular, the type of material by which it is made is very important, as it determines the comfort levels in the long rides.
Be it the outer leather, internal foam, or cushioning, the material with which the seats are made plays a very vital role in determining the comfort of the rider.
In general, leather and vinyl are the two most used materials when making seats. While leather is more durable and long-lasting than vinyl, it comes at a cost and it might lock in moisture and hamper proper ventilation for the rider.
On the other hand, vinyl seats seem to be more comfortable, but if your motorcycle is mostly kept out and you ride in some extreme conditions, then vinyl might not be so great for you, due to the fact that they wear out easily compared to the high-quality leather seats.
Another thing to note here is that there are many different designs that are available when you are looking for a touring seat, and they also have the purpose of enhancing styling and also providing ventilation through the grooves.
So, I would advise you to keep these things in mind before going to select any particular touring seat for your motorcycle.
However, if you find yourself stuck in the seat that you own, and want a quick fix for that, then using a gel pad can be a corrective measure for you, as it can provide an extra layer of cushioning with the type of material that you prefer. These are two-seat pad that we can recommend:
- ASI Air Seat Innovations Seat Cushion
- CONFORMAX Motorcycle Gel Seat Cushion
- Lisyline Motorcycle Seat Gel Pad
What are the different parts of a Motorcycle Seat
You would probably question why I need to know about the details of other parts of a motorcycle seat! Well, in my opinion, if you know about the different sections of a motorcycle seat, then you will be able to understand your needs better and choose a touring seat accordingly:
- Pan: This is the base of the seat, and the entire cushioning, seat cover, and the other material of the seat are installed and stitched above it.
The pan is usually made up of either plastic or a steel frame, depending on the price range of the seat. Metal or steel frame is generally better as it supports the seat better and holds the rider in place.
- Foam: The aftermarket touring seats are generally much harder compared to the stock ones, as these are made up for long rides, and in such cases, the stock ones will sag after a long duration, which will definitely result in fatigue.
So, before choosing any kind of seat for your Harley, think about the long duration comfort that it offers.
- Cover: Good aftermarket seat cover comes with marine-grade vinyl or leather to protect the foam and cushioning inside the seat. Leather seats often look better than vinyl ones, but they need more maintenance compared to vinyl ones and are also expensive.
- Look: Now that you know about all the different parts of the seat, it is also very important how your seat looks from the outside. And look is not essentially a part of a seat, but how ergonomic a touring seat is, depends on the way it looks and feels.
Whatever seat it may be, it should always have a snug fit on your motorcycle and should not lag or look loose from any angle.