The dirt bike seat design, style, and seat cover materials can greatly affect the riding performance and rider comfort. The ideal dirt bike seat is designed for your riding style, uses durable, high friction materials, and is comfortable.
Each riding style—single track, enduro, or motocross and other riding styles—set unique requirements for the dirt bike seats. Custom dirt bike seats or custom dirt bike seat covers can be used to fine-tune not only the seat height but the overall fitment.
When selecting the best dirt bike seat or cover for your dirt bike and riding style, you should focus on these key factors: design and shape, grip and surface materials, and durability.
In this article, you will find answers to questions such as:
- How to choose the correct dirt bike seat style?
- and much more…
Next, we will examine all these aspects in detail. We will also help you to find the perfect dirt bike seat and seat cover combinations that best fit your riding style.
How To Choose the Correct Dirt Bike Seat Style?
Most factory or stock dirt bike seats usually work well for beginners.
So if you’re a newbie on the trails and you already set up your dirt bike height and tuned the bike to your style as instructed in our guide for the best dirt bike setup for beginners, think of the seat as an additional option for fine-tuning the dirt bike to match your desired riding style.
If you choose to replace your seat or the seat cover, we recommend keeping things simple. Ask yourself what you really need from your seat and go from there.
For example, if your bike is too tall for you, you can get a seat that lowers the ride height, or vice versa. Or if you keep sliding off from the seat, you can replace the seat or seat cover with one that has more grip.
In general, there are three key factors to consider when choosing the correct style dirt bike seat. These factors are design and shape, grip and surface materials, and durability. They make your dirt bike perform better when riding on trails or motocross.
1. Begin by Selecting the Correct Dirt Bike Seat To Fine-Tune Your Ride Height
Let’s start with the basics.
When it comes to seat ergonomics, the very first thing you need to do is to find the correct seat height. A correctly set riding height can improve your riding performance. This is even more important in technical trail riding.
The dirt bike seat can adjust the overall riding height by few inches higher or lower. By choosing the correct seat design, you can fine-tune your dirt bike to be comfortable and reach the ground properly.
It’s difficult to say what your dirt bike seat height should be just based on your height alone. That’s because some people have longer legs while others have taller upper bodies. The only way to find out the correct seat height is to sit on a bike and see if you can touch the ground with the balls of your feet.
Keeping that in mind, this simple dirt bike seat height chart gives you a general idea of what seat height works for you. As an extra, we added our top dirt bike recommendations for each height for beginner trail riders!
|Rider Height||Seat Height||Best Dirt Bike Fit|
|6′ (182cm) or Taller||37.5″ (95cm) or Higher||KTM 150 XC-W|
|5’10” (178cm)||35 to 39″ (89 to 99cm)||Husqvarna TE 150|
|5’8″ (172cm)||34 to 38″ (86 to 96cm)||Beta 200RR|
|5’6″ (167cm)||34 to 37″ (86 to 94cm)||Beta Xtrainer|
|5’4″ (162cm)||33 to 36″ (84 to 91cm)||Yamaha TT-R230|
|5’2″ (157cm)||31 to 35″ (79 to 89cm)||Honda CRF150F|
You can use this chart as a guide for what trail dirt bikes might fit you as a beginner rider. Even though it includes our top recommendations, you should definitely find out few bikes that should fit you based on the seat height and then go sit on the bikes and try them out. This way, you will find the absolute best dirt bike for you.
If the dirt bike seat does not lower or raise the riding height enough to your liking, go check out our tips for lowering or adjusting the dirt bike size or ride height in our ultimate dirt bike size chart and seat height guide. In addition to explaining the correct dirt bike ride height, it will give you great tips for how to adjust the dirt bike ride height if needed.
Also, remember to set the dirt bike sag before deciding to further adjust the seat height. This is because setting the sag will affect the active ride height.
2. Choose the Seat Design and Shape To Match Your Riding Style
Don’t choose the seat solely based on its looks—though it’s a nice way to add a personal touch or some bling to your dirt bike. Many manufactures focus on different seat shapes or covers that just look pretty. However, these seats are not really designed for performance or comfort.
Keep in mind that you should look for a seat that is durable and works well for your riding style. It should also offer great friction or grip. Here are few additional aspects to consider.
Lower and Taller Dirt Bike Seats
Short riders use seats with a lower profile because they are not able to touch the ground when sitting on the dirt bike. You can get a seat that lowers the ride height up to one inch, sometimes even inch and a half.
However, these seats can be a bit harder or stiffer, because they typically contain less cushion material in order to achieve a lower profile. They may become uncomfortable in some riding styles but are a great option especially for beginners instead of lowering the dirt bike. You can also consider cutting or shaving the foam insert to lower the seat profile and install a new dirt bike seat cover.
Tall seats are designed for tall people as their name suggests. If your dirt bike is slightly too low for you, replacing the seat with a tall one is a great way to get the seat height taller. The benefit of a taller seat is that it requires less energy from the rider to stand up and sit down. However, if you are not exceptionally tall, riding with a taller seat can feel awkward for your arms, so you may need taller handlebars to go with it.
Dirt Bike Seats With Steps or Humps
Seats with steps or humps work together with the gripper material to better keep the rider in position. They are generally more popular for faster paced riding styles and motocross.
Seat humps are added pieces of foam that are positioned under the seat cover. They are designed to keep your butt exactly where you want it to be. Humps both stop you from sliding backwards and keep you stationary and more forward on the seat.
Step seats work similarly to the seat humps. They are made by cutting the foam down in the front of the seat so that they form an upward slant in the middle that holds the rider in position.
If you plan to ride technical single track, seat humps and bumps may not be ideal design to choose. This is because in trail riding, you need to move your body all the way back and forward on the seat in many common techniques. These types of seats can affect your body movement and make you lazy. Instead, consider a high grip smooth seat or a seat with strips to increase friction and still allow a great movement across the dirt bike seat.
Soft Seat Foam and Comfort Seats Offer Maximum Comfort
Soft seat foam offers added comfort and grip. In addition, softer seats are usually easier on your body. However, if the foam is too soft, it can get crushed when landing from jumps and allow you to hit the subframe. These soft seat foams are especially beneficial to riders who have suffered an injury, such as a tailbone injury, as the softer seat foam cushions the injured part.
Comfort seats are great for long days of trail riding. The maximum comfort foam and a wide shape at the rear to distribute weight provide all the comfort you need.
Some manufacturers also offer gel based lining in the seat on top of the foam material. This seems to work well and makes the seat feel very soft but still offers a great grip and support.
3. Choose the Dirt Bike Seat Cover Material To Increase Grip
Dirt bike seat covers are another way to either improve your existing seat or match with the correct seat design. The seat cover can greatly improve the grip or friction and how easily you can slide or move on the seat. Dirt bike seat covers are also a great way to extend the life of your favorite seat.
Seat covers are installed to an existing dirt bike seat with staples. You simply remove the old seat cover and staple the new cover in place using the existing seat foam material.
Seats and dirt bike seat covers come in many shapes and finishing materials. When it comes to choosing the material of the dirt bike seat, it’s all about the grip and how well your pants will stick to the surface material. Because this is what prevents you from sliding on the seat.
Many stock seat covers are slippery and should be replaced with one that fits your riding style. If you’re sliding too much while riding and you want to improve the grip of your seat, you can simply replace the seat cover.
A pleated seat cover will give you more grip than your stock cover. Also, you want to look for custom dirt bike seat covers that are made of non-slip materials such as the gripper or vinyl/rubber material.
Gripper seats are designed to hold you in position and keep you from sliding back too much when accelerating and climbing vertical stuff. If your seat is slippery and you slide backwards, this transfers pressure to your arms as they attempt to hold you in place. When that happens multiple times, it can result in arm pump.
A gripper seat is great for enduro dirt biking style as you are able to twist the throttle more and grip harder with your legs. They also work well in muddy or wet conditions.
Installing a dirt bike seat cover is actually quite easy. All you need is the new custom dirt bike seat cover and a stapler.
4. Choose a Durable Seat Cover or Seat Surface Material
You will be dropping your dirt bike into rocks and sticks for sure. Some seat materials and covers rip easily, so durability is one aspect to consider when choosing a seat or seat cover.
Vinyl materials have been proven to be durable in most cases. Many manufacturers also have their own special durable blends that they use in their seats and seat covers. Double stitched materials are also worth to take into consideration.
Dirt bike seats usually are waterproof at least to some extent, but some are definitely of a better quality than others.
If the seat gets wet and the material doesn’t hold water, the water will be absorbed by the foam. In time, this will cause the foam to get harder and break down. This usually happens if you spray the seat cover directly with the power washer when you wash your dirt bike. In stead, use a low pressure water hose, brush, and soap to wash the seat.
Some custom dirt bike seat covers are more waterproof or include a plastic inner liner that keeps the water away from the foam material. When installing a custom dirt bike seat covers, you can use a thin plastic film and install it under the seat cover before you staple the custom seat cover in place. This can help the foam material to last longer.
Many seat covers feature additional reinforcements that prevent knee pads from wearing out the side of the seat cover. The extra underlayer also makes the foam last longer.
Our Dirt Bike Seat Recommendations
This section features affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
We recommend a stock style, regular seat without bumps to beginners. So if your stock seat doesn’t have the correct height and you need to replace it, you should look for a seat with smooth textured surfaces without ribs or humps. These are examples for KTM dirt bikes, but you should search for similar seats that fit your dirt bike model.
This simple solution is a great fit for beginner riders who need a lower or higher seat:
KTM PowerParts Factory Low Seat (click to check the current price on MotoSport.com) – If your bike is too big for you, this seat provides you a better control of your bike. It is approximately 5/8″ (15mm) lower than the standard seat and one of the most comfortable dirt bike seats available.
KTM PowerParts Factory High Seat (click to check the current price on MotoSport.com) – If your bike is too small for you, this seat is approximately 13/16″ (20mm) taller than the standard seat. It’s designed for riders over 5’11” (180cm) tall and there is also an extra high seat available.
This is our recommendation for advanced riders who have more seat time in and who are looking for a more durable solution that can take a beating:
KTM PowerParts Gripper Seat Cover With Ribs (click to check the current price on MotoSport.com) – If your dirt bike has a correct height seat but the seat material is not ideal for you, this is a great option. This is a seat cover and it only replaces the original material. The ribs give out extra grip and the cover is very comfortable and durable.
Our pick for racers is this seat that can survive even in the most heated races:
KTM PowerParts Complete X Seat (click to check the current price on MotoSport.com) – The X Seat is made from one single piece and it’s very durable and waterproof. The seat is soft and it has different kind of anti-slip surfaces that make it very grippy.
The correct style dirt bike seat will improve your dirt bike riding performance in several ways.
The perfect seat height combined with a good seat design that gives you maximum support together with a gripping seat cover material will help with your riding ergonomics and keep you riding longer. Getting these things right will also make sitting down feel comfortable and not wear you out.
Finally, the dirt bike seat is a great way to style your dirt bike looks. You can also match it to the dirt bike graphic and plastics kit to finish off an awesome looking dirt bike!
Keep you butt happy on the bike and see you on the trails!
- Ultimate dirt bike size chart and seat height guide
- Setting up dirt bike handlebars for trail riding
- How to set up dirt bike suspension for trail riding
- The best dirt bike for trail riding
- 7 best mods to make your dirt bike turn faster
Last updated: September 29th, 2022