One of the top three things I have to have on the Shadow, the seat is simply begging for an aftermarket redux. The stock seat is not terribly bad, but it's simply too squishy, which is not what a seat should be. A seat should be firm with a slight give. It should be designed for support, not shock-absorbing. Believe it or not, that's the job of the shock absorbers. The key is surface area. The more surface area of your behind is on the seat, the less pressure you're putting on any individual, uh, square inch. As a result, every other square inch ends up more comfortable.

I decided to go with the Travelcade/Saddlemen Explorer Special model. Wide and butt-hugging, just the way a cruiser seat should be. The biggest feature of the Saddlemen seats is their Saddlegel cushioning. It's basically like you're sitting on a thin layer of reflexive gel which distributes your weight more evenly. I can't say it makes an enormous difference, but it does allow the seat to be firm yet still feel like it's got a bit more squishiness. The only real complaint I have is that the gel really holds the heat. If you sit this thing out in the sun all day you're in for a hot butt when you go for a ride. It dissipates after a short while so it's not that big a deal.

As for the bitch pad, anything is better than the stock bar of foam that comes standard. The replacement seat is one piece, with a nice wide passenger seat. Like most upgrades to a motorcycle, you can sell both pieces of the original and use that money toward the proper equipment

I'm normally not a metal-stud kind of guy, but I do like the studs on this model.