Roho Airhawk Pillion Seat Cushion - Product Review

Roho Airhawk Passenger Seat Cushion

THIS PRODUCT SAVED MY ASS! Literally! 

I read a post on Keep the Rubber Side Down that discussed the painful expression often seen on the faces of women riding on the back of a motorcycle with thier significant other.  For those women fortunate to ride pillion on a touring bike they probably look happy as a clam. But for those of us passengers riding on a stock Harley Davidson seat on either a Sportster or a Dyna… in a word:  it SUCKS!!!! 

So far, I have been traveling on the back of Jay’s bike whenever we go on any long rides or overnight trips.  My hiney would last about 45 minutes before it really started to hurt, and if we rode more than an hour I wanted to kill people if we didn’t stop to stretch soon.  That 4 x 5-inch foam pad (OK, so it’s really 7 x 10) is the culprit.  It does absolutely nothing to absorb any of the shock from hitting any kind of bump.  Not to mention the fact that a passenger’s “squat” position exposes the boniest part of her lower pelvic bones to pound against this seat constantly throughout the ride.  Those “butt breaks” would do wonders for refreshing the situation, but by the end of a 300-mile day I needed several Advil and a serious ”butt rub” in order to face the next day of riding.  And it would take several days to recuperate after a trip.

Before our trip to Rhode Island, Jay got me adjustable footpegs that swing out into “cruise” position.  This helped a lot!  I now had the option to reposition my legs which resulted not only in less leg-cramping, but also allowed me to vary the pressure points on my rump because of the different positions.  It was a fabulous improvement, but the prolonged journeys without much padding still got to me.  Jay and I knew we had the big West Virginia trip coming and started researching more comfort accessories like the Cramp Buster Throttle Boss. If only I could get a pillow for my tooshie!

Enter Roho.  This company manufactures a line of products called Airhawk Motorcycle Seat Cushions.  Basically, it is like an air mattress that is shaped to fit a motorcycle seat.  Depending on the size and shape of the pad needed, the Airhawk retails for $170-190.  It comes with a cover and straps for attaching to your bike.  Jay & I did some research and found on MotorcycleCruiser.com a comparison of 5 different styles of seat pads that concluded the Airhawk was “the Cadillac of butt pads.”  But they are so darn expensive!

After A LOT MORE research, I finally hit paydirt!  I found a small cruiser pillion Airhawk seat cushion (new) at Motoxgoods eBay store for $79.99…less than half price!  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to decide to click “Buy It Now” on that one!

A few days before we left for West Virginia, my newest acquisition arrived.  It has a very easy to use valve that you blow air into with your mouth (so no extra air pump or anything is needed to lug around), then you simply screw the valve closed by turning to the right.  The directions say to blow it up (which only takes one good puff), then sit on it and let about half of the air out by turning the valve slightly left, and close the valve when you have about 1/2-inch of air between your buttocks and the motorcycle seat.  I actually did this on a kitchen chair while I had a friend over for lunch.  She laughed hysterically as I sat on the cushion wiggling side to side, saying “oooooo, this feels niiiiiice!”

The next day Jay and I went about trying to figure how exactly to strap the thing to the seat on his Low Rider.  The Airhawk comes with two adjustable straps that simply slip around the seat and tighten up.  I believe that the straps are universal to whatever style seat cushion you get.  The problem is that those straps are too long for the small pillion seat.  Even in the tightest position, the forwardmost strap was not snug and the rear strap flapped in the breeze.  :-(  We ended up criss-crossing the straps to get a snug fit, then we took it out for a test spin.

It was fun (and super-comfy) zipping around town on the Airhawk.  It sits me up higher so although I still can’t see over Jay’s head I can see around it better instead of looking directly into the widest part of his helmet.  My seat pad acted as a shock absorber to block the effects of every pothole and bump we went over (and there are a lot of them in Delaware).  The cushion was a little bouncy at first, so I let some air out of it.  I also slid it back so the end was actually between the sissy bar sideplates.  After a few adjustments we were ready for the big test–a 5-day/1200-mile trek through West Virginia….

The pad held air for the entire trip and needed no further adjustment.  It did not slip out of place.  It did not spring any leaks (though it comes with a small patch kit, just in case).  The cloth cover actually didn’t get as hot at the stock seat does in the sun.

Most importantly, how is my tucchus, you ask?

My ass is very happy to report that the product definitely lives up to its credentials.  I actually went into a few rest stops thinking “wow, is it really time to stop already?”  By the end of our 370-mile first day in the saddle, my glutes just starting to feel the way they used to after 50 miles.  At the end of the trip I still wanted to go home and get on my own bike and ride some more!  There were no ill-effects to my rear, I was just tired of riding bitch!

Jays Notes:

1) Super excellent product but I was disappointed in the straps. Roho should make a much better strap system that would allow you to easily attach and detach the seat cushion and tighten it up on the fly.

2) Without the air cushion your passenger is one with the bike, with the air cusihon you will feel a little wobble as she is now a little less secured to the bike. She is floating on a air cusion! This may sound bad, but the difference in comfort for the passenger is well worth it. This is a great product! I highly reccomend it.

3) You can get your Roho Airhawk at JC Whitney or J&P Cycles


Accessories for your Harley Davidson®

Welcome the Newest Member of the R/C Family!!!

Diana Biker Babe

We picked up my new baby today, and I must say she is FABULOUS!!!  A pewter pearl shining star with 6-speed tranny, fuel injection, and a rubber-mounted 96-cubic inch motor.

Diana purchases new Harley Davidson

Diana at Mikes Famous Harley Davidson in New Castle, DE

Diana loves her new Dyna Street Glide

Diana’s first ride on the new scooter

I was very jealous watching Jay ride her home from the dealer (we had to take the highway and there were threatening severe thunderstorms, so I let him do the dirty work).  It was obvious as I rode behind him in the Honda Civic that he was having a lot of fun!  It also gave Mr Worry Wart a chance to check out every button, lever, and control before he deemed it safe to turn over to me.  Problem is, the bike whore didn’t want to give her up!!

The storms never materialized, so we stopped at an empty parking lot a few blocks from home so I could try her out.  Jay reluctantly handed over the keys, and then watched as I added 5 miles to her odometer driving in circles and figure-eights around the parking lot.  I felt like I was leaning really hard into some of those turns and wondered if I might come close to scraping pegs, but the bike felt so much more stable compared to my Sporty.  She handles like a dream!

Diana is grinning from ear to ear

It was pushing 8 o’clock and I was starving, so I rode her home and maneuvered her perfectly into her spot in the garage.  I got her up to third gear and 45 mph, which isn’t much…but it sure feels good after riding in circles in a parking lot for an hour!  She makes the most beautiful sound when she is actually moving.  It is like music to my ears.

I guess I’ll keep her.  ;-)

Diana hitching a ride

Goodbye to an Old Friend

The plan: take the cash from selling my beloved 883 Sportster and put it down on a new ‘08 Dyna Super Glide while the dealers are trying to reduce inventory and make room for the 2009 models.  Well the ’09s are here (as Dave well knows), and the sales month is coming to a close… so what better time to leverage a good deal than now? 

The Problem: after a few weeks in the paper and on Craig’s List, we had several inquiries on my Sporty… but no takers. 

Not wanting to let the perfect opportunity go by, we gave our friend Tony Parmegiani a call.  He is a member of First State HOG and also a “motorcycle planner” (aka bike sales dude) at Mikes Famous HD in Smyrna.  He located the bike I wanted at the New Castle location. Exactly one year to the day from when Jay bought his Dyna we hammered out a deal for my Dyna. We still need to go over some paperwork and it might take a few days before I actually pick up my new “big girl” bike… but it’s a done deal!  (As a bonus, this sale should put Tony in place to win Salesman of the Month for July… congratulations Tony! We hope you win!)

So this evening I bid adieu to my first motorcycle.  I stroked her fondly on the handlebars and fender before walking out the door.  I will miss the little gal.  But alas, it is time for me to move on to bigger and better things…

Anyone interested in buying a Harley Davidson in Delaware is encouraged to call Tony Parmegiani at Mikes Famous Harley Davidson in Smyrna, DE at 302-659-6400

West Virginia Wrap Up

First State HOG 2008 Summer Trip

It would be hard to top Day 3 of our trip, so the trip winds down a little on days 4 and 5. On Saturday morning the crew from First State left New River Gorge Quality Inn at 9:00am. Our mission was to make it to Triple S Harley Davidson in Morgantown before they closed at 5:00pm. It would be tight.

We rode some more fantastic roads heading back to Snow Shoe. As we started getting closer to Snow Shoe where Freedomfest was now in full swing we ran into groups of bikes everywhere. They were in front of us, behind us, going the opposite way, at intersections… my arm was getting tired of waving. I almost stopped waving I got so sick of it, but I didn’t. At one point I think we had a group in front of us and one behind so that we had a parade of 3 groups of bikes riding through the twisties. We stopped at the gas station at the base of the mountain for a quick lunch. It was mobbed with a few hundred bikes. Then we were off again.

We got out to the country and rode hard. We stopped at a scenic overlook near a windmill farm but the bathrooms were out of order. The guys used the woods. The girls were not happy. We moved on looking for the first available facility but we were deep in the country going through one horse towns. Finally we came to an old elementary school that was converted into an antique store and flea market. They had bathrooms and cold drinks for $.75 as well as really neat junk to take pictures of. Everyone had to pose with the bear!

Diana & The Bear

Gordy, Dolly & The Bear

Nic & The Bear

[Read more →]

Riding WV with First State HOG

On behalf of the staff here at RoadCaptainUSA.com I am proud to bring you our latest state of the art high tech gadget affectionately known as the Dianacam. I put the Kodak equipped Dianacam on the passnger seat of my bike and the rest is history. Now you can come along for the ride! It’s almost like you were there leaning over my shoulder watching as I navigate my trusty Harley through the twisties of West Virginia with the crew from First State HOG. 

New River Gorge Bridge - Fayette, WV

The new River Gorge Bridge

Day three of our West Virginia trip was the climax of the journey. It was Friday July 18th, 2008 and we were off to see the world’s longest single arch steel bridge!

First State HOG in West Virginia

Our group of eight motorcycles left Snowshoe Ski Resort at 9:00am and headed back to Marlinton on Route 219. This was our third time on this road and we were beginning to memorize where the really funny trailer homes were. My favorites are the trailer home that have the old refidgerator on the patio and the one that has all their old trash piled high inside theirs. Riding along the river in Marlinton is beautiful. From 219 we got on Route 150 which is the Highland Scenic Highway through Monongahela National Forest. I really can’t describe how incredible this road is, so I will quote www.byways.org

Travel through a wild and undeveloped portion of the Monongahela National Forest. Hardwood forests cover rolling, mountainous terrain capped by dark spruce at high elevations. Traverse a narrow and steep-walled valley with views of clear mountain streams. Sights include Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, Summit Lake and Falls of Hills Creek.

Monongahela Forest

Diana in Monongahela National Forest 

We approached civilization around lunch time which was a good timing. We took over a Wendys and refueled our bodies. Then we continued our ride to New River Gorge Harley Davidson in Hico. I was riding sweep again and it was at this time that I felt a burning sensation hit my inner thigh. I grew up with terrible allergies and my parents always told me I would die if I got stung by a bee. I have never been stung by a bee, wasp or hornet as an adult… until now. I was riding sweep waiting for my throat to swell up and choke me to death. I affectionately patted my wifes leg and enjoyed the ride as much as I could thinking this could be it for me! This could be my last ride! We arrived at New River Gorge Harley Davidson safely but I still wasn’t sure if I was gonna live. I told Diana I got stung by a bee, she should pick out a cool t-shirt for me in case I live and then I shook hands with some of my friends and said goodbye to everyone in case I was to keel over right then and there. I had a huge purple welt on my inner thigh. Darlene gave me some bug bite ointment to rub on my leg and I was as good as new. New River HD was selling mens tanks and sleeveless shirts at Buy 1 get 1 Half Off… so I got two cool shirts. It was at this time that Lem started asking the employees if they had seen our three members that were going to meet us here. They asked what our friends looked like and he started to describe Gordy who always wears shorts. They asked what kind of shorts. Exactly at that moment here comes Gordy, Al and Chris pulling into the parking lot. “Shorts like that guy is wearing!”

New River Gorge Harley Davidson

We were now 11 motorcycles with 17 members total. It was time to cross the Gorge! I was expecting to cross a rickety old plank eight feet wide by 3000 feet long connecting the two mountains. The ride across the bridge on Route 19 was anticlimatic.

Crossing the bridge

You could see we were high up with the river hundreds of feet below, but other than that it was just another piece of highway. We pulled a U-Turn and crossed the bridge again and pulled into the Canyon Rim Visitor Center.

Once you see the bridge from the two scenic overlooks at the visitor center you grasp the enormity of this structure. The second of the two overlooks is 177 stair steps down… well worth the work out. This was the highest vehicular bridge in the world at 876′ until 2004 when a higher bridge was built in France. Check out the view… you can see the old Fayette Station Bridge down below. OK, lets go down there!

Bridge scenic overlook

A women who worked in the visitor center showed us on a map how to follow the Fayette Station Auto Tour. I will now quote the New River Gorge Scenic Drives brochure…

To travel Fayette Station Road is to travel back in time before the modern New River Bridge was built in 1977. This one hundred year old road of hairpin turns winds down to the bottom of the gorge, across a narrow bridge, and up the other side. Visible along the way are vistas of the river and bridges, a hardwood forest, and a few remnants of the New River Gorge communities that once teemed with activity.

Brake lights

 Fayette Station Road

Twisted road

This road was the high lite of the trip for me, but you have to realize I need professional help! I like a good adrenaline rush to remind me I’m alive. For most of our members riding Ultra Classics with a full load of luggage this was flat out scarey. Imagine descending down the face of an 876′ mountain on a single lane one way 8′ wide 100 year old road that has not been maintained in any way with no guard rails! You are riding along rock cliffs and heavy foliage like a trip back in time. The winding turns were more like a stairwell than a “hairpin” or “switchback”. The road was decorated with pot holes, gravel and sand at every turn! It was awesome! A true test of riding skills.

 Old Fayette Bridge

View from old Fayette Bridge

We finally got to the bottom and crossed the replica of the old Fayette Station bridge. Then it was back up the other side of the gorge. Diana and I were whooping it up and woo hooing when we got to the top! We loved that ride; I think we were the only ones.

The Quality Inn in Fayetteville was close by and a great place for bikers. It’s not a five star motel, but it has a swimming pool, laundry facilty, bar & grill and store. There is a gas station, convenience store and Dairy Queen next door. There is a Walmart 1 mile down the street. There were at least three different motorcycle clubs using the motel on Friday. One group was a Boiler Maker Union with over 30 motorcycles. Diana and I went to the White Water Bar & Grill for dinner while our club went for a second ride. This was a fantastic bar. Lots of beer on ice. I ordered Hawg Wings and I wish I could show you a picture that described how good they were, but you will have to take my word for it. They were kick ass! I drank Mountaineer Pale Ale which was pretty darn good, but I would have preferred Yuengling. Apparently Yuengling is not only unavailable in West Virginia, but it is illegal! After dinner we rode down to Walmart where I bought a pair of jeans and Benedryl cream for my leg which was getting itchy. I tried to wear one pair of jeans for 5 days straight but didn’t succeed. Remember by this time my jeans were full of Gold Bond medicated powder and bug bite ointment. They needed to be switched out or washed. Next we hit the swimming pool which was warm and relaxing, especially since we shared it with some bikers and there weren’t any whiney ankle biters splashing around. I don’t like ankle biters or splashing around. Then we put on dry clothes and headed for the DQ. Some clubs like to drink lots of beer, we like ice cream! Having a DQ next door to us was the bomb! What a great way to end an almost perfect day. Diana and I shared a chocolate covered strawberry sunday in a waffle bowl. We almost called it a night, but instead a few of us went back to the bar for one more round of beers. Killer day! I wish I could relive that day a couple times… without the bee sting!