When it comes to rider comfort, the most crucial part of a motorcycle has to be the seat. The parameters that influence a rider’s comfort are much more than that, as you can include the rider’s posture, suspension setup, and the placement of the footpegs. But, the final part that touches your body is the seat and even without starting the bike, when you swing your legs over, the seats provide the first impression. Now, we all know how important first impressions are. Here we discuss the pros and cons of split seats vs single seats.

Initially, we had only a single seat setup, as you can see on old bikes like the Splendour, 1st gen of Pulsars and Apaches, even the Bullet has a single-seat layout. With the evolution in the design of motorcycles, the split-seat setup took birth. How are these two different from each other and which has more advantages is discussed in this article.

Split seats

KTM Duke 390 Split seat
KTM Duke 390 Split seat

Pros

  1. Looks

    TVS Apache RTR 200 4V

    The first and foremost reason has to be the looks of a bike with a split seat layout. A bike with a split seat layout feels more sporty and overall has better looks unless the motorcycle we are speaking of is a commuter or an ADV. This might be a debatable topic, but we’re sure that the majority will agree that it looks better.

  2. Comfort

    Split seat comfort

    Yes, it is comfortable, and the primary reason being, the rider and the pillion enjoy spaces allotted for them. This means that the rider won’t slide into the pillion’s seat under hard acceleration, and the pillion, if seated correctly, won’t jump into the rider’s seat while braking.

  3. Practicality

    Pillion rider has a good view of the road ahead
    Pillion rider has a good view of the road ahead.

    A split seat is more practical because it provides the pillion with a better view of the road ahead, and it is more of a feel-good factor that you will understand only if you have even been a pillion.

Cons

  1. Ease of use

    The only disadvantage is removing two seats instead of one to access the tiny storage compartments below the seats. This also doesn’t become a hassle when the seats are individually removable, which is the case in most bikes these days.

Note: We are not referring to the pillion seat height as a topic at all since these days, you get even a single-seat layout with the pillion seats positioned relatively high. So please don’t ask how the pillion seats of R15 and KTM RC are comfortable because we know they are not.

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Single seats

KTM 390 Adventure Single-seat accessory

Pros

  1. The single-seat setup offers a lot of space for the rider to move around while riding, and it is most commonly seen on Adventure bikes or daily commuters.
  2. Easier to remove since it is just a single piece for accessing the under-seat storage
  3. The single-seat layout is more cost-effective to replace in case of damage as they are more affordable.
Yamaha FZ

Cons

  1. Looks are subjective, and we are not saying they look bad, but the design is old.
  2. Under hard acceleration or braking, the rider and pillion move about a lot, which is not good, especially while commuting or during long distances.
  3. Installing aftermarket products like air-seats or gel-seats is a hassle.
Hero Xpulse 200 Exhaust
Hero Xpulse 200

Thankfully, these days even the single-seat setup offers a higher positioned pillion seat, making it easy for the pillion to view the road ahead. Also, the cushioning of seats and the overall design, including the length and width of the seat, is an essential factor to be considered.

We understand these are very minute things, and we are nitpicking among them, and that is because when it comes to split seats vs single seats, these days, the difference between them is a very thin line. We are happy about this, yet we believe that a split seat setup is better not only because of the looks and other points mentioned but also because installing air seats or gel seats that help us so much during long distances is easier on a split-seat setup.

If you’re planning to buy a bike, you can consider these points just as an opinion, as there are many more factors that need to be considered in shortlisting the bike that fits your requirements. Let us know what else you would like to hear from us, and we will do our best to give you an unbiased and honest response.

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