- Heated motorcycle seats offer comfort and warmth—but can be expensive and require power from your bike’s battery. Their electronics also require protection from the elements.
- Normal motorcycle seat foam naturally absorbs heat from your body as you ride, as long as you keep it in good condition.
- Since regular seats use your body heat to keep you warm, a heated seat is really only useful for the first few minutes of riding on particularly cold mornings.
- Luimoto’s premium seat covers are made from marine-grade materials designed to withstand water, making them a great way to protect heated and non-heated seats alike. They also cost much less than a high-quality heated seat kit.
Riding in cold weather can be invigorating, but it can also leave certain parts of your anatomy feeling like solid blocks of ice. Heated motorcycle seats offer an apparent solution to this problem by using electricity produced by your bike’s battery to warm up a heating element nestled in your saddle’s upholstery. But adding a heated seat to your bike can be costly, and it comes with other considerations as well—so at the end of the day, is it actually worth it?
Our team at Luimoto is obsessed with motorcycle seat covers, so we set out to explore the issue. Below, you’ll learn what heated seats can do—for better and for worse—and see how premium seat covers can often provide similar benefits at a much more economical price point.
Where Heated Seats Provide the Most Benefit for Riders
Many riders consider buying heated motorcycle seats for the following reasons:
- Enhanced Comfort: Heated seats provide quick warmth when you set out to ride in cold weather.
- Improved Circulation: Heat can promote blood flow, which may reduce fatigue on long journeys.
- Safety: Staying warm can help maintain your focus and reaction times.
- Versatility: Some higher-end heated seats offer adjustable temperature settings for personalized comfort.
Despite these benefits, heated seats also have some drawbacks. We’ll cover these next, and look at how using a high-quality custom seat cover from Luimoto can provide a lot of the same perks without the same challenges.
Investing in a Heated Seat vs. a Custom Seat Cover
Here are a few areas where a good seat cover can be just as good (or even better) than a heated seat for your bike:
The fact is, a good-quality heated seat is going to be way more expensive than even one of our top-of-the-line seat covers. We won’t even bother talking about low-quality options—we already know you don’t want to put junk in your bike, or you wouldn’t be here reading this! But to give you an idea:
- Harley Hammock Heated & Cooled Seat (High-End): $1,525.00
- Luimoto Hex Diamond Rider Seat Cover (Premium): $671.00
Installing a heated seat can be time-consuming and may require professional assistance, adding to the overall cost. On the other hand, Luimoto custom seat covers can be easily fitted over your existing foam, a process you can often do yourself with the help of our installation PDF.
Heated seats draw power from your bike’s battery, which can lead to problems:
- Shorter Battery Life: Frequent use of heated seats can shorten the overall lifespan of your motorcycle's battery—so you might want to add the costs of new batteries to what you’re paying.
- Power Failures: In extreme cases, excessive use can drain the battery, potentially leading to power failures while riding or difficulties in starting the bike—and there’s nothing fun about getting stranded in the cold.
In contrast, the foam in a standard motorcycle seat naturally absorbs heat from your body, as long as you can keep it from getting soaked—which is what a good seat cover will accomplish. This allows you to warm up after just a few minutes of chilly riding without any additional energy consumption.
Because heated seats rely on electronics, they can be susceptible to damage from the elements:
- Rain and Snow: Moisture can seep into the electronic elements, causing short circuits or performance problems.
- Extreme Temperatures: Both hot and cold extremes can affect the functionality and longevity of the heating elements.
The real kicker here is that even if you opt for a heated motorcycle seat kit, you’ll probably need to upgrade your seat cover anyway to keep the technology protected. Our seat covers are made from marine-grade vinyl that’s designed to get drenched thoroughly and repeatedly without soaking through.
Heated Seats vs. Custom Seat Covers At a Glance
Luimoto Custom Seat Covers
Up to $1500 for premium brands
$100 - $500 depending on model and customization
Several hours to a full day, may require professional help
Usually less than an hour, DIY-friendly
Ease of Installation
Complex, often requires professional installation
Easy, can be done at home with basic tools
Uses power from the bike's battery
None, utilizes natural body heat
Vulnerable to damage from rain and snow
Made from marine-grade materials, highly resistant to extreme weather
Heated Seats Are Optional (But Good Seat Covers Shouldn’t Be)
Heated motorcycle seats are a nice touch, but they’re not essential—and if you don’t take steps to protect them, they can even be a pain in the butt (pun absolutely intended). If you do add a heated seat, though (and even if you don’t), a quality seat cover is vital for keeping your seat foam dry and allowing it to do its job.
Our seat covers cost a fraction of what a good heated seat kit will run you, and they’ll make your bike way more comfortable in every season. They’re also great-looking, easy to install, and tough enough to withstand whatever the weather throws at them—the ideal way to enhance your riding experience.
Get Your Luimoto Seat Cover Today!
Frequently Asked Questions about Luimoto Seat Covers
Do Seat Covers Make My Bike More Comfortable?
Our premium seat covers can extend the life of your seat foam by protecting it against the elements, and provide more grip as well—both of which will result in better rider comfort.
To make your seat feel more comfortable immediately and enjoy better support, consider our premium Gold Gel seat inserts, which are designed to integrate with your seat foam in just a few easy steps.
Will Your Seat Covers Improve My Bike’s Performance?
The primary purpose of our seat covers is to protect your seat foam while improving the look and feel of your ride. They’ll give you more traction in the saddle, but the best way to improve this aspect of your rides is with our custom tank grips, which are easy to apply and help your knees maintain more contact with the fuel tank for efficiency in tighter maneuvers.
Is a Seat Cover the Same As a New Seat?
No—our covers are meant to work with your bike’s current motorcycle seat foam.
Do You Sell Universal Seat Covers or Are They Model-Specific?
Motorcycle seats come in a wide range of different shapes and sizes, so our seat covers are made for specific models. We also carry a few covers that fit multiple bike models with similar OEM seats.
Can I Customize My Motorcycle Seat Cover?
Yes! We offer custom stitching, embroidery, special materials, and more for our seat covers. The price varies depending on your request and the amount of work required to fulfill it. Order a custom motorcycle seat cover here.