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Air Hawk Comfort Seating System Review

Joe Michaud
August 14, 2014
Filed under Gear, Motorcycle Gear Reviews, Motorcycle Parts + Accessories + Luggage: Reviews

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Air Hawk Comfort Seating System

Air Hawk Comfort Seating System

Seats are perhaps the most replaced factory parts in the riding world. I have replaced a few myself. There must be a better way! One of my bikes has a stock seat that is “pretty” comfortable for 90 percent of my riding miles. It’s not enough of a butt pain to replace, but it can be a distraction over successive high-mileage days.

That’s when I bust out the AirHawk Comfort Seating System. It only takes a minute or two to inflate and install at a gas stop. Instantly, it’s like I have a new seat.

AirHawk technology is ingenious, a crossover from high-end medical technology. Imagine an inflatable egg-crate of large interconnected air cells. The egg-crate cells allow rider pressure to “squish” air from cell to cell. This air movement relieves pressure on hot spots and spreads additional support over more surface area. The design also provides adequate passages around and between the individual cells, allowing constant fresh air to circulate between the rider and the seat, keeping the AirHawk cool.

The medical-quality bladder is zipped into a washable cover with a non-skid bottom, a smooth polyester top cover and three-layer knit polyester mesh sides that allow cooling airflow. A series of adjustable straps secure the AirHawk to the bike seat.

Air Hawk Comfort Seating System

Air Hawk Comfort Seating System

Open the inflator valve, fully inflate the bladder, zip it into the cover, and attach to the bike. Sit on the upright bike. Open the valve slightly and slowly bleed air out until you feel yourself sink down in the air pad. Wiggle side-to-side without moving the bike. You should feel the air shift beneath you. If any pressure point touches the seat bottom, add more air. The recommended inflation level is one half-inch above the base of the air pad. It sounds tricky but it’s a snap.

AirHawk technology was designed for daylong wheelchair users to ameliorate pressure ulcers and chair sores. Long-haul truckers, military pilots and construction equipment operators quickly adopted it, since the Dry Floatation system also isolates vibration and shock, and it’s perfect for long-distance rides. I keep my AirHawk R in my saddlebag with the straps pre-adjusted. It literally takes a minute to install.

Are there downsides? The squish factor can make enthusiastic sport riding (read: “hanging off”) a bit sketchy since the AirHawk doesn’t easily facilitate sliding across the saddle. But, the AirHawk is not meant for knee-draggers; it’s meant for comfort. It will increase the seat height a tad so expect that, but I didn’t find it to be an issue.

All AirHawk products come with an owner’s manual and a patch kit, should it ever be needed. AirHawk offers a 60-day money back guarantee for any reason through the original U.S. dealer. ROHO Inc., AirHawk’s parent company, offers a 36-month limited warranty on the AirHawk R for defects in materials and workmanship. I got my AirHawk R and a smaller pillion for my passenger from Lee Parks Design. Pricing ranges from $82.95 to $170.95.

For more information: Visit leeparksdesign.com or airhawk.net

(This Gearlab review was published in the October 2014 issue of Rider magazine.)

Comments

10 Responses to “Air Hawk Comfort Seating System Review”

  1. Vlad on August 14th, 2014 2:47 pm

    We are all different in that department, but in my experience nothing beats the beads or sheepskin. Both are widely available and affordable (a fraction of the Airhawk price). They also don’t raise the seat height as much, which is wuite a consideration for inseam challenged or those riding tall bikes.

    If you insist on a “custom solution”, consider the Butty Buddy. Soft cushion may seem comfortable at first, but many prefer a firm seat that’s easier to move around on.

    [Reply]

  2. marc on August 14th, 2014 7:28 pm

    I ran with one on the front and back of my Yamaha warrior. It was absolutely wonderful and tripled my daily distance ability. Even rode the twisted sister did a 1000 miles in 3 days and anybody that’s had a warrior would tell you that’s remarkable as that bar hopper wasn’t made to ride that long or far.

    I got a road glide now with a great seat.

    Moral is the air hawk is a worthy investment. But where I liked it 4 of my friends didn’t and they didn’t like how much is raised you up.

    [Reply]

  3. Gary rigby on August 14th, 2014 8:36 pm

    On a long ride I rotate from the regular seat to my air hawk to my beaded seat. Different pressure points, nice air flow, works great . Might want to add sheepskin to the mix.

    [Reply]

  4. Wayne on August 15th, 2014 2:17 pm

    I am a recent prostate cancer survivor, Airhawk cushion allowed me to get back on the bike and start riding comfortably. Wouldn’t ride without it.

    [Reply]

  5. Steve on August 15th, 2014 2:52 pm

    I’m not getting any younger or any lighter, and I need comfort at this stage of the game. I have tried everything….expensive after market seats, the beads, sheepskin, and even a home made foam cushion. After a good friend who rides many more miles than I do started ranting about his new Airhawk R, I finally splurged for one too. I have to agree, it is honestly the ONLY seating surface that allows me to ride all day for hundreds of miles. Pressure points and the burning sensation I used to get after only a couple hours riding are pretty much gone. I think it’s the movement of your butt on the cushion combined with the airflow that does the trick. Plus it just feels great also. You really have to inflate it properly though, which means hardly at all.
    I bought the Airhawk at Americade this year, from Lee Parks as well . The next day we went on a ride over 450 miles, meandering through the Adirondaks and Vermont from 7am to 6pm. A couple of trouble spots on my body got painful enough to make me wish the ride would have ended sooner than it did. BUT not my BUTT, it was fine, pretty much had no real discomfort to speak of.
    I will have one of these cushions from now untill I die. Another buddy got one a couple weeks ago, and just the other day while on a ride I couldn’t make, he finished up a text to me with “btw, this Airhawk ROCKS!” So I guess he likes it too.

    [Reply]

  6. Jim Reicker on August 15th, 2014 4:23 pm

    My Airhawk has supported me for many, many miles. It works great. But I have two observations:
    1. disconnects rider from bike. You are by design, slightly floating. I miss the physical contact and input from my bike.
    and
    2. breaks the styling lines of the bike. The contours of the seat are integrated into the flowing lines of the bike and the eye is suddenly stopped by a black blob on the seat.

    So, having tried one, I’m now considering a custom seat.

    [Reply]

  7. Cecil Cogswell on August 15th, 2014 7:08 pm

    Next to my air bladder camp pillow which I used to get me from Toronto to Vancouver and back for a three week tour, with at least one 12 hour run and many 8-10 hour days, this is the best there is out there. I went looking for something that looked a bit more aesthetically pleasing after this experience and found the airhawk. Nothing alleviates butt pressure as well as air, maybe a water bladder might work too, but that is a bit more complicated. It does raise seat height a bit and it does make hanging off on tight corners a bit more work (like lift your butt over). I also agree with the comment of how this can turn the most rudimentary seat into a better seat (better for riding long distances if that is what you need) than any aftermarket option. Long distance riders will kiss their butt pain goodnight with this product. I was going to invent one myself, but found out somebody beat me to it. Way to go Airhawk!

    [Reply]

    Cecil Cogswell Reply:

    Oh…I also add my sheepskin pad to the top just for a bit more spoiling, which does make sliding over the seat a lot easier for hanging off on the corners. Add a sheepskin top to this product and they will be perfect!

    [Reply]

  8. Harry on August 26th, 2014 12:48 am

    I would not travel without an Airhawk and have used it on cross continental trips from South Africa to Germany and Germany thru to Mongolia via the Stans/Siberia.

    It also doubles up as a pillow in an emergency when sleeping on uneven ground.

    A word of caution if you plan to do technical riding- opt for the smaller derivative to prevent rider interference in such conditions

    [Reply]

  9. D Palmer on September 5th, 2014 7:28 pm

    I used an Airhawk with my dressed 1977 Goldwing last year on a 1,000 mile trip around Michigan. I had a king/queen seat that had recently been recovered.

    I ended with mixed feelings. I had a really difficult time finding an air level that worked for me. In the end I just stored it in the trunk and did the ride mostly without it.

    [Reply]

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