Butt Buffer Motorcycle Seat Pad
Motorcycle Seats and Saddles Page
There's a conspiracy, of
course. Everyone knows it -- the motorcycle manufacturers
make their seats as uncomfortable as possible, and then they get a
kickback from the aftermarket seat manufacturers for every one of the
replacement seats that are sold!
That's got to be the only explanation,
because I can't believe that it costs any more to design a comfortable
seat from scratch. Do the manufacturers run out of motivation by
time the bike design is almost finished, and they just grab whatever
seat they can off the shelf?
Or maybe the designers overrule the
engineers, and they pick a seat based solely on showroom eyeball
appeal. Whatever it is, we'll never know, and it never seems to
get any better.
So, what's the solution? Well,
you can purchase a new custom-made seat. But they're expensive
as all get-out, and when it comes time to sell your bike,
you'll likely lose a lot on your seat investment.
not always a guarantee that a custom seat will really be any more
comfortable. So until really great seats become original
equipment (which doesn't seem likely in this century!), the Butt
Buffer can help.
The Butt Buffer is an accessory seat
pad that easily attaches to any seat. It's filled with some type
of space-age dry polymer that never fully compresses.
to distribute weight much more evenly over a larger surface area,
thus decreasing the pressure points that can cause "butt
ache", "numb butt", and even backaches and
The technology was originally designed to prevent bed
sores for long term care patients, so it is also hypo-allergenic and
fungus and bacteria resistant.
I have seen and tried various types of
motorcycle seat pads, but many of them don't really have any
scientific basis -- they're just some type of padding, which doesn't
necessarily solve any seat problems. I've also tried one of the
seat pads that holds air, but I felt like I was sitting on a
butt-sized waterbed, with a strange sensation of rocking & rolling, back and forth.
The Butt Buffer also feels a
bit strange at first, almost like it's filled with some type of
semi-liquid gel, but after a
few seconds, it conforms to the shape of your,
uh, lower anatomy. It does raise the seat height by about 1cm or so
(about 1/2"), so this may or may not be a problem. On my
Triumph Thunderbird Sport, with its slightly leaned forward riding
position, this resulted in a bit more room to the footpegs, which is a
It also takes a few minutes to get used to
the Butt Buffer once you start riding, as there is an occasional sensation like
the seat is a bit squishy, but you soon get used to the feeling.
Buffer feels like a gel pad, but works much differently; I've never
found the gel pads to help much with support, and they compress and
don't necessarily support your weight evenly. Gel pads can also
get extremely hot when left out in the sun. And gel pads can
also leak, which is not a good thing!
The Butt Buffer
is a cinch to install; simply secure the two metal hooks under the seat.
The Butt Buffer pad can be installed quicker than you can
read this sentence! The hooks slide
up and down on a 25mm (1") wide piece of elastic, so there's
plenty of adjustment.
The photo (left) shows the underside of
the Butt Buffer, which has a mesh non-slip surface. There are
also 4 loops of material on the underside of each pad, which provide
more options for attachment if necessary.
The ends of the elastic straps stick to
the bottom of the Butt Buffer pad via "hook and loop"
fastener, which provides a large range of adjustment. The
elastic should be adjusted so that it takes a bit of a pull to hook
under the seat edge. This helps ensure that the Butt Buffer pad
is secure so that it won't come off as you get on and off the
The Butt Buffer is available in a
variety of sizes, shapes and colors to fit any motorcycle seat.
Butt Buffer (the company) also offers a custom-fit service, which involves the
installation of the Butt Buffer's dry polymer padding in your existing
seat, underneath the stock seat cover.
This photo (left)
illustrates the most common Butt Buffer sizes. They are,
from top to bottom, small (12" x 12"), medium
(16" x 12") and large (18" x
14"). Butt Buffer pads are also available in a
pillion size, and there's a big 19" by 18" pad that
can be used on any non-motorcycle seat that needs some
extra comfort. I'm going to try the large size on my
next long-distance airline trip, because airplane seat bottoms
give me some really bad butt burn!
The Butt Buffer pads in these
photos are shown in the black "luster" cover, which
is has a crushed velvet texture and offers plenty of grip for
either textile or leather pants.
In addition to luster black,
the covers are available in red, gray, black, brown, green,
purple and blue. They're also available in a "super
suede" series, some with fringe for some cruiser stylin'.
By the way, the stitching and quality are first-rate, so the
Butt Buffer should last a long time.
size Butt Buffer on the TBS
size Butt Buffer on the TBS
The size small Butt Buffer
follows the outline of the original equipment seat on my
Triumph Thunderbird Sport (right). But the
medium size also fits, and overlaps the edge of the seat, which provides even more comfort.
I originally assumed the Butt Buffer pads would work best for
cruisers or touring bikes. All-day comfort is important for touring, and the
upright position of a cruiser can transfer weight and shock up
through the tailbone. But after using this product on
a couple of sport-touring bikes, I've realized that it can
also make a big difference in comfort on just about any bike, especially
long-distance ride. It works just as well on
sportbikes, and it can really help make a sportbike seat more bearable.
For example, the
Thunderbird Sport's original equipment seat looks like it should offer
some pretty good comfort -- in
fact, almost everyone who has looked at this bike has commented that
the seat looks comfortable. But I've found that it's only good
for about 30 minutes; after that, my butt starts to get pretty
Not to bore you with too much
information, but my butt is pretty flat, and those two little bones
down there that are supposed to be covered by some nice, big chunks of
meat...well, they aren't. It doesn't take long for me to feel
sore. But the Butt Buffer provides a nice
cushion, and distributes my weight in a way that takes
the pressure off those hot spots. I've been on some 2+ hour rides on the TBird
while using the Butt Buffer, and
there was no soreness at all, so that's a huge improvement.
The portability of the Butt Buffer is a
big plus for me; it allows me to move it from bike to bike
with little fuss, and the simple attachment system allows it
to be easily removed during a stop to prevent theft.
I'm not claiming that the Butt Buffer
is a miracle product that will turn a poorly designed seat into a
Barcalounger. But it's made a big difference in long-distance
(and even not-so-long distance) comfort for me. So if your motorcycle seat could use
some help, check out the Butt Buffer. There's a 10-day, no
questions asked guarantee, so what have you got to lose?
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Buffer (Hopeland Mfg. Co.)
Retail Price: $52.50
and up; discounts on quantities >1.
gray, black, luster black, brown, green, purple, blue.
Comments: An effective cure for "numb
butt"; easy to install; portable from bike to bike;
much cheaper than a new seat, and if you buy a new bike, you
can take it with you.