A motorcycle may be a fast and thrilling mode of transportation, but it isn't exactly the most comfortable way to get from place to place.
The stock seats that are factory-fitted to most motorcycles don't do much to improve the situation, as these seats are designed primarily with durability and longevity in mind rather than comfort. Consequently, many dedicated motorcycle enthusiasts replace their rigid stock seats with more comfortable, custom-designed aftermarket seats.
If you design and/or manufacture custom motorcycle seats, choosing the right materials to create your seats is vitally important to their longevity and usability. The materials used to create the internal padding of your seats should be carefully chosen.
Flexible expanding polyurethane foam is one of the most popular materials used to create padding for motorcycle seats, and its popularity is well earned. This unique material has a number of advantages that make it an ideal padding material for any custom motorcycle seat.
What are the advantages of using flexible expanding polyurethane foam to create custom motorcycle seats?
Flexible expanding polyurethane foams start their lives in liquid form. When this liquid plastic is mixed with solvents and other reagents, a remarkable chemical reaction occurs, causing the plastic liquid to expand massively in volume and transform into a soft, pliant foam.
This chemical reaction creates an extremely soft material filled with millions of tiny air pockets. This unique structure makes cushions made from expanding polyurethane extremely comfortable to sit on.
While soft enough to provide comfortable cushioning, custom seats made from expanding polyurethane foams have enough dimensional stability to prevent excessive lateral motion, helping riders stay comfortable on winding roads and uneven off-road trails. They also spring back into shape extremely quickly once weight is removed, and are resistant to flattening caused by long-term use, ensuring that your custom seats remain comfortable for years to come.
While stock motorcycle seat manufacturers often compromise on comfort to ensure high quality and long-term usability, custom seat manufacturers using flexible expanding polyurethane foams can enjoy the best of both worlds. These unique plastic foams are extremely durable and resistant to physical damage, and a well-made custom motorcycle seat with expanding polyurethane foam padding will last for many years.
Polyurethane foams are also prized for their ability to resist intense heat and cold, making them ideal for use in any climate. They are also non-absorbent and do not retain moisture, preventing any mold or fungal growth from damaging the foam. This property also means polyurethane foam motorcycle seats dry very quickly, which can be very useful for riders who do not have access to sheltered storage space.
Variety of Foam Types Available
All types of flexible expanding polyurethane foam are both durable and comfortable to sit on, but there are several different varieties of polyurethane foam available to custom motorcycle seat builders. Each of these varieties has different properties that can be very useful for specialized applications.
For example, if you want to create custom seats for touring motorcycles, you can choose polyurethane foams with added rigidity and lateral stability to prevent rider fatigue during long journeys. At the opposite end of the spectrum, custom seats for lightweight racing motorcycles and streetfighters can be made from ultra-lightweight foams that are also resistant to oil and gasoline exposure.