Having a comfortable saddle can make or break any bike trip. That’s why an innovation like BMW Motorrad’s January, 2022, patent application for adjustable-width motorcycle seat is so intriguing. Not all saddles are created equal, but if the device outlined here finds its way into the real world, it could potentially be an interesting solution for riders.
The saddle outlined here is narrow up front and widens out toward the back—as many motorcycle saddles do. The adjustability doesn’t affect the narrowest front portion of the saddle, but is instead relegated to the back section. It’s located where a rider’s cheeks may remain planted on those long, straight stretches of asphalt. Additionally, it can also extend back to pillion seating, if desired.
The basic design describes a base pan with two pivoting sections that sit directly on top of it. Through either manual or electric actuation, these pivoting seat sections can increase the seat’s width as desired. Regardless of which method is used to adjust the seat’s width, the settings are lockable once you’ve dialed everything into where you want it.
Since BMW is no stranger to things like electronically adjustable suspensions, the idea that an adjustable-width saddle could also be electronically adjustable seems almost quaint. I mean, it’s comparatively simple—but of course, the purpose of a patent application is to spell all the details out in no uncertain terms. Thus, BMW envisions the possibility of remote electronic adjustability of your saddle’s width on the fly via the hand controls that modern BMW riders are already familiar with.
All of this shifting and movement would be covered by the seat cushion, which is equipped with a slot between the two pivoting chunks that runs their entire length. With this design, BMW envisions that it’s possible for the pivoting parts to move as a rider wishes, without the need for the seat cushion to stretch too much. The cushion, as well as the rest of the seat mechanism, would of course all be located underneath a seat cover.