I bought the Airhawk cushion for a motorcycle tour which I have blogged about previously. The ride was going to be considerably longer than what I had undertaken in the past. The longest previous ride being 200-250 km in one hit with generally no riding the next day. I usually felt sore after that, so I was rather getting worried about the 4000 km ride that was fast approaching. With this in mind I did a bit of digging on the net in the motorbike touring scene and the Airhawk seat appeared. There were only a handful of reviews at the time but it looked it promising. The Airhawk has been used by pilots of long flights which who it was originally designed for.
Anyway, to the seat review. The Airhawk seat arrived. I purchased the standard shape seat, this being the cheapest in case I wasn't happy with the purchase. The ‘Shaped’ version may have been a better option for my bike. The next step was to install the cushion which involves attaching it to the bike as per the instructions and then filling it with air. Then sit on the cushion and slowly let the air out to basically empty. I followed the instructions for installation to get it right but in the end you will adjust it quite a few times till it actually feels ok to ride with. What I found was that it tended to move around while riding and cause more discomfort. It took a few rides and tests to get it fitted right. This might have been as a result of the standard cushion I bought over the shaped one i could have got.
|Airhawk Cushion Attached to the bike|
The first initial tests were short rides of no more than 1 hour and in a city environment. I found the cushion to be comfortable but would move around and then cause some discomfort for the male crown jewels ;). The cushion isn't designed for this sort of riding; that being stop starting, tight cornering, and getting on and off. What I did find from the longer tests on more open roads that it was very effective in keeping you quite comfortable in the saddle. By comfortable I mean it it keeps your bottom cooler by allowing air flow under and also minimises soreness but providing an air gap between you and the seat. As a result this gave me confidence that it would be fine for the upcoming ride.
The serious test for me with the Airhawk cushion was on the 4200km touring holiday, which was basically all on tarmac. The average daily km’s ranging from 350 to 750km on winding back roads to long stretches of freeway. I realised after the first day that the cushion was very effective. There is no negative thought about getting back in the saddle of the bike at all. This continued for the rest of the trip which was great because you could focus on the road and scenery passing by. I found that you still did wriggle around a little from time to time especially when you would get back on after a stop, as the cushion might move or get caught on your clothing.
To sum up I think they are really effective on all day rides and touring. You may want to take them off when on a dirt roads and around town but that's a personal preference.
Link to the Airhawk Seats below.