Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

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Airhawk 2 Seat Pad Review

Review Date 5 June 2020

By Mark Noel

I am sure that all of us who have undertaken a journey of any length will have experienced Numb Bum Syndrome. This is a documented medical condition associated with limb stiffness, tingling and a Neanderthal gait as you stride towards the petrol pump. Modern sculpted motorcycle seats seem to exacerbate this problem, particularly those shaped like Pringle crisps which effectively fix your riding position. Folks I know who are long distance bikers have tackled this problem with various combinations of sheepskin covers, panels of Karrimat or similar foam rubber. One GS owner I know has changed his BMW pringle for three different aftermarket seats to no avail, finally selling the machine, presumably to a German with tungsten carbide buttocks. 

A tub of herbal pile cream

So you can either stop every 100 miles and apply fresh pile ointment, or try my discovery and shell out for the luxury of an Airhawk inflatable seat pad, made in the USA. I bought mine years ago for about fifty quid when the British pound actually had some value against the Dollar. They now sell on Amazon for near £100 but often pop up on ebay second hand (second buttock?) for very much less.

Mine is an Airhawk 2 model which lives on my Jawa 350 Retro, secured by straps that pass under the seat. This makes the pad very secure since there is a layer of super-grippy rubber that forms the base.

The smart Airhawk pad is strapped to the seat of Mark's Jawa motorcycleThe pad has a schrader valve to adjust the pressure

Inside the breathable fleecy cover is an inflatable bladder divided into cells, plus a Schraeder type valve for inflating the bladder. It takes several test rides and adjustments to obtain the optimum level of comfort: pump it up too high and you feel disconnected from the bike, rather like floating on a blancmange. The ideal setting is with just sufficient air to keep your posterior 1/4" or so above the seat beneath, or 6mm for our Continental friends with metric backsides. I cannot recommend this seat pad too highly since it transforms the riding experience and enables you to concentrate on other hazards such as the bumblebee trapped in your helmet.


If you'd like to share just a little TOO much information about your motorcycling comfort issues, and solutions, click here.

Reader's Comments

Bogger said :-
I bought one twelve months ago. They definitely make a positive difference. I'd watched and read the various reviews. They all said the same as yourself. Just float slightly above the seat.

The first time I used it, although it felt to the touch that there was not much air in in, it was still too much. By the time it felt right it was basically flat. But it worked.

The only downside is they are eye wateringly expensive for what they are. I'm glad I bought it though.

Bogger
08/07/2020 12:45:01 UTC
Bogger said :-
Can I just say. You are spot on reference modern seat design. Mostly it's abysmal. By far the comfiest seat I've sat on is the Honda CD200. All day long comfort.

Bogger
08/07/2020 12:48:37 UTC
nab301 said :-
I'll wait till Ren makes one out of an old inner tube and save some hard earned...
Nigel
08/07/2020 04:45:33 UTC
ROD said :-
I wonder if a hot water bottle would work? It would also act as a heated seat for a few miles.
08/07/2020 06:10:26 UTC
Mark Noel said :-
A cheaper alternative to the Airhawk seat pad might be a whoopee cushion, available from Amazon. Then you can combine comfort with audible alerts each time you hit a bump!
08/07/2020 06:22:40 UTC
crofty said :-
Another recommendation for Airhawk, I have two and am currently using the cruiser model on my Honda scooter.

The next best I've found is get Tony Archer to rework the seat.
Mesh covers are not bad and cheap Chinese ones are available on eBay but I wouldn't pay the large asking price for some of the UK efforts.
09/07/2020 08:07:33 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I've never been really convinced about these seat pad things but maybe I'm wrong. I'm off to find some old inner tubes and some puncture repair glue...
09/07/2020 09:50:48 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Bubblewrap and gaffer tape, bit of old microfibre cloth to absorb the perspirationing.
I have fitted thos cheap 3d mesh seats to 2 of my bikes, they do seem to help with the sweaty bum syndrome.
10/07/2020 03:57:16 UTC
Steve Brown said :-
I have always found any motorcycle seat uncomfortable after about 80 miles. I traveled to Italy on an Aprilia Shiver a few years ago and the standard seat is like concrete and by the time I arrived I was dreading the ride home, so I ordered an air hawk from Germany for the return trip. It wasn't perfect but definitely better than the standard seat. Might let Tony Archer re work it for me as he did a good job on a Honda Bros I've got.
11/07/2020 04:32:23 UTC
Marv said :-
I had a company not far from me (Bikeseatpro in Norfolk) lower the seat on my CRF250 Rally. Got them to put in a layer of gel too, for some comfort. Despite the fact that there's effectively less padding now, the seat is more comfortable than original and actually more comfortable than the seat on my CB500X! They also fitted some gripper fabric so by bum wont slide on the seat. Bargain for £85. I don't work for them, just a happy customer!
22/07/2020 09:41:05 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
...more to come on seats tomorrow Marv.
22/07/2020 04:12:54 UTC
Marv said :-
Nice! It was actually a little more than £85 to have the work done to my seat. Dunno why I mis-remembered. Was £100.
23/07/2020 04:00:04 UTC

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