Well over a decade ago, I followed double Guinness World Record holder for endurance motorcycling Kevin Sanders on a section of a ride down to the Bavarian Alps for a BMW biker meeting. He wasn’t going particularly fast on his GS, but he kept on riding for hour after hour, without stopping. How could this be…?
I was on a fully-dressed touring bike with a massive fuel tank, but I was saddle-sore and forced to stop for a comfort break long before a refuel was necessary. I overtook Kevin and motioned to him that I was pulling into the services.
He followed me in and when I removed my helmet I asked him how he did it; how he kept riding for hours on end without stopping. He showed me his Camelbak and stated the importance of hydration – not gulping down a litre of water at a time but just taking small sips regularly – and then pointed to his saddle, on top of which was an Airhawk seat, which he said allowed him to ride long distances without suffering from ‘numb-bum’ syndrome.
I got one of these Airhawks as soon as I returned home and used it for years, until someone stole it off the bike in London (I’d been complacent and hadn’t secured it). Ever since then, I’ve really missed it because I also used it on my office chair every day and even took it to long meetings and events like school plays and presentations, where sitting on those hard plastic chairs is a tortuous affair, especially for someone with a skinny butt like mine.
If you’ve never experienced an Airhawk seat with its dry floatation technology, let me explain. You inflate the seat only to a level that when you’re sitting on it, your bum doesn’t touch the seat below but literally floats on a pocket of air between the two surfaces. This minimises numbness and painful pressure points. Furthermore, the Airhawk’s breathability reduces moisture and body heat build-up, offering you more comfort for longer rides. Don’t quote me on this but I’m pretty sure the technology comes from the care industry and was originally developed for patients who were suffering from bed sores due to prolonged periods of inactivity.
From a motorcycling perspective, it’s a simple idea that just works. Your bike seat is made of hard foam covered with vinyl, while aftermarket seat pads containing gels can get hot, but an Airhawk allows you to literally ride on air. You can also get Airhawk bespoke seats to permanently replace your bike’s original saddle, but I like the portability of the standard unit, which can go with me wherever I need to sit down, or cover with a towel and even use as a pillow when camping.
There are different sizes to fit all sorts of bikes, as well as pillion versions, too. I opted for the dual sport version and so far, it’s doing exactly what it says on the box. In fact, the manufacturer of these
premium handcrafted quality seats is so confident about its product that it offers buyers a fantastic guarantee. Test ride any Airhawk seat for 60 days and if it doesn’t double the distance you are able to ride in comfort, simply return it for a full refund. Is that a good guarantee, or what? You bet your arse it is!
If you’re reading this in the UK, you can get an Airhawk via any of the local dealers. Go to the UK distributor’s website at www.motohaus.com to see where to shop.