Seat upgrade - Gel or Airhawk R? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-09-2012, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 15
Seat upgrade - Gel or Airhawk R?

I'm back on a Vstrom and the first thing to address is the seat...

I'm leaning towards the Suzuki gel seat or the new Airhawk R seat cushion, both in the same price range.

I've read through a lot of postings on the both the gel and airhhawk - good and bad on both.

If you were going to spend $200 ... where you you put your money?
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-09-2012, 06:41 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Glen Carbon, Il
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airhawk vs gel

Everyone I've talked to that has had the gel seat said it gets very hot.
I bought an Airhawk 2 for $100 and have been very happy with it. It is
cooler than the vinyl seat. I went from 20 to 30 minutes on stock seat
to about 2 hours on the Airhawk, then with a short break can go 2 more.
I can keep that up for 7 or 8 hours, then my knees and and butt get
to the point where it's not much fun. I don't know about the R, but I
have seen it and it looks good. Hope that helps. Dave
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-23-2012, 02:28 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Ohio
Posts: 532
I just ordered an Airhawk R. The distributor in Holland Ohio (near Toledo) has them for $169 with free shipping.

Leaving Friday for an 8 day trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway and riding in the Smokys. I'll let you know how it works out when I get back. :thumbsup:
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-23-2012, 02:52 PM
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Location: Portland, OR
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Given those two choices, I'd try the Airhawk R. About 5 years ago, I borrowed one of the original Airhawks from a friend and tried it on a gel seat because the gel seat wasn't taking care of the pain. Didn't like the Airhawk, but I realize I didn't spend enough time to get the air pressure adjusted correctly. Had too much in it and felt like I was sitting on top of a rubber ball. I've read enough in subsequent years to know that less air pressure inside is better.

But before I'd spend that $200, I'd spend $20 on a set of beads. Actually, that is what I did and it helped a lot until I could save up enough for a Russell.

2009 DL650A Grey
2004 DL650 Blue - sold
Long ago TC-90
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-09-2012, 11:56 PM
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Update: The Airhawk R was great. I used it on a 7 day, 2200 mile trip from northern Ohio to SE Ohio, WV, down the entire length of the BRP, 3 days of riding in the Smokys and north GA. Also did the ride home from Deals Gap (one day, 600 miles).

300-400 miles each day were no problem with the Airhawk. The 600 mile trip home was long and hot....but the pad performed flawlessly.

Probably the best $169 I've ever spent on a motorcycle accessory.
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-10-2012, 12:10 AM
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I'm using the Airhawk II on my gel and makes a hell of a difference
Gel is still to firm and holds way to much heat in Vegas.

2007 Blue DL650 V-Strom - running out of farkle's to do so bought the VEE
2006 SILVER DL1000 - Running out of Farkles also!!!
2017 EX300 Kawasaki Ninja
Las Vegas, NV
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-10-2012, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ellensburg, WA
Posts: 15
Airhawk R

Thanks for the feedback. I recently decided to go with the Airhawk R.
I'll have to admit I had some reservations about the Airhawk and didn't like the thought of dropping that kind of money on a pad of air - but, I'll have to admit it has increased the comfort level and so far I'm pleasantly surprised.
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-25-2012, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by vegashotwheeler View Post
I'm using the Airhawk II on my gel and makes a hell of a difference
Gel is still to firm and holds way to much heat in Vegas.
Yes and yes. They are both good. My used Wee came with a gel. I already had the Airhawk from past bikes, which hints at the Airhawk's versatility. Do NOT try standing up with the Airhawk (such as off road) for more than a moment. Mine has never fallen, but ... just saying.

They both raise the seat height about an inch over stock. If you are 6' or taller or have a 34+ inseam then the added legroom is a bonus. For average height or slightly shorter shorter riders, the Sargent may be a good choice and is better than stock hands down.

Yes, the gel gets hot. The gel seat is better the more frequently you ride, as you get conditioned (probably true for any saddle in bicycling, horseback riding, and motorcycling). But I still like it better than the Sargent. In contrast to the gel, the Sargent sits low, cramps my knees a little, and the narrow front makes my, um, nuts sore after 100 miles! Neither of these seats is fantastic in reality! I'll take the warm gel over the Sargent. For those in the market for a gel seat, many of us like the medium sized Alaska sheepskin which actually keeps the gel seat very tolerable in the summer. Further, LDComfort riding shorts (or similer technical. wicking compression shorts) also keep you dry and cool.

current: '12 DL650 Russell seat & Akra CF and '13 WR250R

Last edited by KevinP; 06-25-2012 at 12:02 PM.
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-25-2012, 02:47 PM
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Location: toronto
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yes. the gel seat is incredibly hot.

2008 Vstrom DL 1000
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-31-2015, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Southwest Virginia - West of I-77
Posts: 1,681
What's the latest / best seat cushioning / comfort option ?

Resurrection of an older thread.

So the weather's pretty nice here in SWVA and yesterday I decided to take my first longer ride of the season (been commuting all winter, as much as safely possible). I rode just over 100 miles of everything from potholed dirt / gravel to rough "paved" secondary to super twisty secondary to freeway.

Was super-sore when I got home, and I'd stopped a couple times to stretch.

I'll comment that the freeway riding wasn't fun. I'm normally able to avoid it but thought I'd try it again and really just didn't feel safe beside the 18 wheelers. If I make a longer trip it will be mostly on non-freeway roads. Overall though it was a very enjoyable riding experience. Great weather yesterday and today and tomorrow...

I'm closer to 60 YO than to 50 YO now (a fairly new situation) so maybe that's it, or maybe I just haven't ridden as much recently as I was accustomed to last spring / summer / fall, but I was feeling the numbness, stiffness and soreness big time when I got home.

I get along fine with my OEM (non-gel) Wee seat for my 10-mile daily commute, and for nearly all my riding, but if I want to spend several hours riding I want more seat cushioning.

So what's the best option out there - an Airhawk ? If so, which version ?

Any and all comments appreciated.

2007 Wee. Blue. Bought at 5K miles. Sold at 32K+ miles. Gone but not forgotten.

2012 Wee2 Adventure. Black. Bought at 26K miles. Now 44K+. Love it!
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