Whether it’s on pavement or going off-road, long motorcycle trips require a certain level of comfort. That’s why many touring and adventure bikes feature heated grips, for instance. But there is such a thing as too much heat. That’s why motorcycle jackets and gloves have vents and mesh. However, that doesn’t really work if you’re not moving. Especially not if your exhaust runs right under your motorcycle’s seat. Indian, though, is addressing that by combining heating and cooling in one motorcycle seat.
Indian’s heated and cooled motorcycle seats
To be sure, this isn’t Indian’s first heated motorcycle seat. The company has offered several heated seats for some time now. However, this is the first time Indian’s combined heating and cooling in a single motorcycle seat, Jalopnik reports.
And ‘cooling’ doesn’t mean ‘ventilated,’ RideApart explains. Indian’s ClimaCommand motorcycle seat uses a “proprietary thermoelectric module” to move heat away, Rider Magazine reports. The seat has graphene inside to help make sure the heating and cooling are distributed evenly across the surface. That’s right, Indian’s new motorcycle seat uses actual nanoparticles to keep your butt comfortable.
Indian’s new motorcycle seat works via a patent-pending process, so technical details are fairly slim. However, it likely operates on the same principles as thermocouples and thermoelectric coolers. Basically, when electricity is passed through 2 connected semiconductors, they can transfer heat from one area to another, Marlow explains. Graphene, being one thin layer of carbon atoms, is an excellent material for this purpose.
The Indian ClimaCommand motorcycle seat has 3 levels of heating and cooling, and separate controls for the passenger and rider. It’s also water- and UV-resistant.
Pricing and availability
As of this writing, Indian’s new motorcycle seat isn’t available on all the brand’s bikes. Only the Chief, Chieftain, Roadmaster, Springfield, and Vintage touring bikes can get it. The classic version of the ClimaCommand motorcycle seat costs just under $1200.
In addition, as of now, the seat controls can’t be integrated with Indian’s Ride Command infotainment system. However, Rider Magazine reports such a feature will be available for the 2020 Chieftain and Roadmaster models due “later this year.”
Is Indian the only brand to offer motorcycle seats like this?
Indian isn’t technically the first company to release a motorcycle seat like this. Corbin’s ‘Fire & Ice Saddle’ offers both heating and cooling, and even appears to use a similar thermoelectric system. Plus, not only does it make this type of seat for Indian’s bikes, but it also offers it for other makes, such as BMW. However, Rider Magazine reports the cooling effect is less effective for the passenger than the rider.
However, Indian appears to be the first motorcycle company to offer a seat with both heating and cooling capabilities. Harley-Davidson and Triumph, for example, do offer accessory heated seats. Neither, though, offer a cooled seat. And the same goes for BMW.
Hopefully, this kind of technology will spread to a wider range of bikes soon.
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