According to custom builder Kent Weeks of Houston-based Lucky Devil Metal Works, ergonomics are a critical part of any build, more so than many customers realize. "I make everything to be rideable and comfortable, and sometimes my customers don't know how much they like it. Some people have to be schooled and need an explanation of how things are going to feel over time," he said. "Comfortable bikes are safer and really more fun. You can get an $80,000 custom bike and it ends up being a bear to ride. Some bikers don't know how important that is. While your chick may endure the ride, by the end of the day she's going to be unhappy. The chances of her wanting to have sex with you are much higher if she gets off the bike not all sore and exhausted. Comfort will benefit you both. A lot of the time guys don't want a rear seat, and chicks don't want to ride with them to begin with. Other clients won't build anything without a rear seat. It's kind of up to what kind of fun you really want to have."
Then there is this from Rick: "I'm dating two different women-one likes to dress sexy and have guys ogle her while we're riding-tits busting out, G-string showing-but she's a 'queen' when we ride. She has to be comfortable on the seat and she wears anything that isn't comfortable when we arrive at our destination. The other one dresses like a biker and doesn't give a rat's ass if she's sitting on a bare fender or a nice seat. Hell, she'd sit on a big d^%&* if I glued one on for her."
Lina would politely disagree: "Choosing the passenger and the way to treat him/her might be the key to happiness. In my opinion, the way a rider views the bike versus the comfort of the passenger directly reflects the way the rider feels for either the bike or the passenger. For example, if the rider sees a certain seat as a sleek one, a seat that makes the bike look 'sexy and cool,' then he or she will wonder about the comfort of the same seat for his passenger? If the seat is sexy and cool but not comfortable, what does the rider chose to do? Aha! The moment of truth wrapped around a bike seat."
Not everyone measures their relationship by the size of their seat. However, Rita made another observation: "Small p-pads scare me. I always feel like I am going to fall off. Sissybars? Good and bad: false sense of security and harder to get on with a mini-skirt and no panties. Of course, it feels the best with the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and a guy's hand moving up my thigh...ahhh, sounds great."
And then there is Lilly: "This is an easy one for me. I am a high-class, high-heeled, blonde curls kind of gal, which for the most part has a huge pull on gentle and not-so-gentle men. I would have to say you can get away with a lot more-meaning wearing a lot more risqué clothing, higher heels, and looking Hollywood glamorous-on a dresser than a crotch rocket. "For most crotch rockets, the passenger seats are set higher so if you're wearing a short skirt and high heels, climbing on to the rear seat is very tricky. It takes flexibility and artistic talent to not show your hoohaa. Then you've got to consider most of these rocket jocks are all about the speed, so all that safety gear doesn't really settle well with the makeup and curls. In fact, after less than five minutes, you'll have fuzzy, lopsided curls and runny makeup. I prefer to stick with the baggers and cruisers. The rear seat is lower, so you can get away with shorter dresses and skirts, curls can be loosely pinned back, and the wind will give them a more natural look. As for your makeup, when you're just wearing an open-face helmet and sunglasses, it's less likely to run so you don't end up looking like Courtney Love."
I don't think I can add anything to Lilly's comments, except maybe her conclusion: "Riding for me, either short or long haul, is uncomfortable, which leads to my hypothesis: the lack of padding in the rear, whether it's the bike's or my own, is faulty. But as they say, pain is beauty, and there is beauty in riding."