Saddlemen Gripper Step-Up Seat Tested

When we rolled the new Low Rider ST off the showroom floor at Quaid Harley-Davison this summer, we were stoked on the overall performance of the bike. But after about 100 miles, we definitely noticed that the solo saddle was pretty flat and wide. It made for a slippery setup when needing to stay tucked in the turns. Sure, it did the trick, but could it be improved? Absolutely. We had some really good experiences from Saddlemen over the years, and we felt the Saddlemen Gripper Step-Up would be a good fit for the type for our riding style: Balls to the wall.

Saddlemen has been a leader in the performance V-twin scene for some time, supporting talented riders like Unknown Industries with purpose-built equipment to help them push the limits of both man and machine. The Saddlemen Step-Up seat was born as a result. A beautiful blend of the rider and passenger comfort you have come to expect from Saddlemen combined with ergonomics required to keep the rider locked in place, providing the highest level of bike control available in an aftermarket Harley-Davidson seat.

Overall, the looks of the Step-Up don’t impede with the lines. It’s easy for a seat to be too bulky with the overall bike aesthetics—not the case with Saddlemen’s Step-Up. Also, after sitting on the bike, I noticed it definitely pushed me further back in the cockpit than the stocker. I was a little concerned at first that this would be too much of a shift backward and would make overall reach a bit much, or even uncomfortable. But I knew I’d be swapping out the stock riser and bar setup, for taller, pullback risers from Roland Sands Design’s new Sector lineup, I was able to stick it out. Once I got the new bar/riser setup installed, the Saddlemen Step-Up was perfect. And it’s only gotten better than I’ve become more comfortable with the bike’s overall ergonomics.

Comfort is another plus. I really like the firm foam that comes standard on this seat. Plus the Gripper backpad keeps me tucked nicely in place. The front of the seat is also a bit narrower than stock. I feel like it gives me more control when leaning into turns. I don’t have any experience hauling a passenger just yet, but my wife will definitely speak up when we get the opportunity, so I’ll keep you posted on her review at some point.

We liked the looks of the seat and after a quick installation, we definitely were feeling the performance. Being the minimalist type, we kept it all black without any bells and whistles. But you can choose different overall materials such as carbon fiber or Whisper finish (shown). Saddlemen offers a variety of stitch color options too, about a dozen, for an extra $10. And you have about five options for which color the Saddlemen logo comes equipped on your Gripper Step-Up. They’re all built to order and they don’t skimp on quality.

  • Designed and made in the USA
  • The seat combines a Gel-Core interior and Ultra-Foam that creates a foam that is a perfect balance of rigidity and user compliance
  • Ultra-Foam unique molding process creates an element-resistant self-skinning process that seals the foam from water and enhances the seat’s durability as well as comfort
  • The Co-molded Gel-Core is the largest comfort advancement in motorcycle seating since the creation of the suspension
  • Gripper lumbar sticks you to the seat
  • If you are looking for the ultimate performance upgrade, look no further
  • Installs easily with all necessary mounting hardware and instructions included

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