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AIRHAWK R Motorcycle Cushion Review

By Wom Battle

In October last year I did my first IBA SS1600 on my Harley-Davidson® Road King®.  During the trip and after it the only really annoying side effect of the 19 hour ironbutt ride was, well discovering my butt isn't made of iron.  I'm starting to commit to longer rides than the 700 - 800k days I currently enjoy, doing the SS1600 has got me hooked.  So after discovering that the seat off a Harley-Davidson® Ultra-Glide®, while way more comfortable than the Road King® stock seat, needed some help.

I read about gel seats, air seats and all manner of things but came across AIRHAWK Seat Cushions and looking at the cost thought as a first solution they'd be worth a go.  The one I decided on was the AIRHAWK R, the latest edition to their range of motorcycle cushions.  The selling point they use, cutouts fore and aft to benefit the tackle and the "backle" (am I allowed to say prostate in public?).  The information confirmed that it was a suitable size for my Harley-Davidson.

So I got one online from the AIRHAWK Guy that was delivered in tact in a few days. Sweet online shop, all secure. Cost was $229.89 delivered the free gift was a bottle opener.

It came packaged well, with plenty of instructions in English not Chinglish which is always a good thing. The package included the bladder, the cover, 2 straps, puncture repair kit and instructions.  I mucked around with in on my chair at work, at the dining table and various locations before I put it on the bike.  Here goes;

Installing it was relatively easy. Blow the bladder up a bit, or let it down a bit.  Put it in the replaceable cover and put it on your bike seat.  The included adjustable straps weren't long enough for both of them to go around the Ultra seat I have without unduly stressing the "lightweight" securing mechanisms.  So I had to leave the rear one off and only use the front one.  The straps and hooks they connect by don't seem very solid.

I remember many years ago the ribbing one of my uncles got from the family because he needed to use a donut pillow after a rather sensitive operation.  Looking at the installed cushion I wondered if people would secretly think I had similar health issues, or perhaps just think I was a bit of a pussy. Luckily I'm already an old fart and beyond caring what people think, even if it comes to mind occasionally. Ego packed away!

My first use of the AIRHAWK R was a 940k or so trip down the Hume Hwy. I had my favourite LD Comfort undergarment on and my Harley-Davidson Road Warrior Pants, which I knew were already a good comfortable combination for longer days.

The first thing I noticed when sitting on the cushion is that that air moves between the cells in the cushion as you move.  This was a little disconcerting at first, particularly at low speeds, but it didn't take long to get used to and as the day wore on it was actually nice to include the lower body movement as part of the stretching routine I use to ward off fatigue. 

I had too much air in it when I started off, so along the way I used the simple screw mechanism on the side to let some out to adjust it until it was "just right".  300k's in, no sore bum. 600k's in, no sore bum.  Sometimes after fuel stops it was a bit grabby getting on, took a few minutes to find the comfortable spot, discomfort then goes.  After 940k's some very slight tenderness but nothing to complain about and it didn't linger.  Amazing!  With similar gear and no cushion the next day my butt ached more after 240k's.

My second test was 1130+ k's on the way home from Phillip Island a few days later.  The day started very wet and while it was "boot filling" rain the big thing I did notice was that I didn't end up sitting in a puddle with water sloshing around my, um, you know the feeling if you are rider!  The cushion's bladder has channels, water got away and the cover stayed relatively dry.  Very nice indeed in the wet.  At the end of the day, some 13-14 hours, once again the butt was absolutely fine.  I'm not intending to do any long rides without my AIRHAWK any time soon.

Only having the front strap on was almost enough to secure it.  At one point in the wet did it slide back a bit and when I was getting onto the bike after a stop. It was a little difficult to get it to where it was supposed to go while riding, I should have stopped to do it! The non slip surface on the bottom of the cushion cover other than that once occasion worked well even in the wet.  Remember to take it off the seat when you get home though, there will be water under it.

The AIRHAWK R is an awesome product that does what it says.  The AIRHAWK R is the most expensive of their range, there's two other suitable products for my Harley-Davidson, a polyurethane one @ $139.89 and a neoprene one @ $199.89. Can't comment on them personally, but if the budget didn't extend to the R I'd have one of them tomorrow.  I think I'm going to get a pillion cushion for Zander, for him I'll go the polyurethane :-).



Disclaimer: This non commercial website and its content is not affiliated with or associated in any way with the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Harley-Davidson Australia, the Harley-Davidson Owners Group® or any Harley-Davidson® Dealers in Australia.  The use of the terms Harley-Davidson, and Road King® are unavoidable because that's what I own and ride.  This website,  called "My Harley Davidson" , and any opinions or comments expressed herein are purely about my Harley-Davidson Road King ownership experience, a truly great experience at that. I have no intention whatsoever to infringe on any trademarks or copyright ownership of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company or anyone else.

March 2024