There are some great benefits when using an air ride for Harley Touring. An air ride, or sometimes referred to as “the smooth ride,” consists of a kit that adds an air suspension system in your motorcycle, which uses inflatable air springs and air to raise or lower the bike, depending on your preference. Air rides can help improve the handling of your bike, provide more firmness, increase passenger comfort, and make your bike look even better all at the same time.
If you are considering adding an air ride to your bike for your next Harley tour, and want to find some of the best air rides in the industry, Gear Sustain has got you covered. Now let’s take a look into some of the best contenders for your next Harley Tour.
Conditions To Consider
Price. Because air rides are growing in popularity and have such tremendous benefits, they can be a pricer addition to your Harley. The average price of an air ride is approximately $250, and the range between high-end and economical is between $450 to $75. Price is certainly a factor to keep in mind when determining what brand you want in an air ride.
Installation. As discussed below, a faulty installation can be detrimental, and expensive, to your motorcycle, both in the short and long term. When choosing the correct air ride for your bike, the installation might be one of the most important factors. If you skim over installation or purchase a more difficult air ride to install, you will likely end up paying for it later. So, it may be best to have a professional, or expert friend, handle the installation or offer advice from personal experience.
Things To Keep in Mind
Buying and installing an air ride can also come with a few risks that are good to know beforehand.
- Maintenance. Not necessarily a risk, but maintenance can be something to keep a close eye onto after installing an air ride. When you purchase an air ride, you will need to keep the kit that comes with it for proper maintenance, especially when the seasons change. Adjusting the psi depending on the conditions will help avoid any damage. Be sure to look into sustainability and required maintenance when looking at an air ride.
- Air leaks. There is a greater chance that you may face an air leak in your suspension after an air ride is installed. Of course, this is dependent on proper installation, but the fixing process if there is a problem can be frustrating, time-consuming, and even more expensive than the air ride from the beginning.
- Moisture damage. This is far less likely than air leaks, but your motorcycle can be more susceptible to damage after installing an air ride. And this, just like an air leak, can be a costly endeavor to handle.
1. XFMT Adjustable Rear Air Ride
The XFMT is by far one of the best Harley compatible air rides on the market. It comes with a complete kit with easy-to-follow instructions so that the installation process is more efficient (if you choose to install it yourself).
A manufacturer and exporter that provides high quality, XFMT is proud of and continuously upgrades their adjustable air ride.
Riders will be able to lower their motorcycles 2 to 3 inches with the air release and can easily and quickly adjust for a smooth ride.
With metal, aluminum, and stainless steel, this air ride kit has solid durability that will last you a while. Plus, it uses all nickel-plated brass and a manifold-style dump valve for incredible performance.
This air ride kit is also compatible for Harley Touring from 1994 to 2020, so riders love it for its use on classic and newer models.
2. Monroe Air Ride
We put the price first on this one because the return on investment from the Monroe air ride is almost unbelievable. And while it may seem cheap, it’s quality and performance are not to be underrated.
This air ride is built to last with a hardened piston rod, sintered iron, and a lubricated air sleeve for reduced friction.
The MA785 operates smoothly all while having enhanced durability. Another aspect that customers appreciate about this Monroe is the handling.
With ease of adjusting and a maintained ride height under load, this air ride gives the rider great control while operating. Finally, the Monroe’s all-weather fluid has a modifier to handle extreme temperatures that give a consistent ride no matter what the conditions are.
It’s astonishing to compare the affordable yet exceptional Monroe to the Strutmasters Store Air Ride which costs $499. You can get a phenomenal performance with this Monroe air ride all while not breaking your budget.
3. American Suspension AR-70 Air Ride Kit
Compatible with the 2000 to 2013 Harley, this American Suspension is efficient and affordable.
American Suspension has a good reputation of having a smooth approach to air ride kits, and they certainly don’t fail here.
It can be installed easily, has a reduced noise production, and has a short neck kit included.
Customers give this a 4.3 out of 5, praising it for its clear instructions, kit that includes everything, and the durability for a lasting performance.
4. SLMOTO Rear Air Ride Suspension Kit
The SLMOTO Air Ride Kit can lower your bike up to 3 inches, includes a Manifold-style dump valve, and has a fully adjustable height.
When collapsed, this Air Ride will give you 9.64 inches and 14.17 inches when extended.
In addition, this Air Ride Kit includes easy-to-follow instructions and fits a broad range of Harley bikes, specifically the Touring from 1994 to 2020.
Customers enjoy how this air ride has zero air pressure, an easy installation, and a fully adjustable height.
Similar to other brands, especially the XFMT, the SLMOTO has quality materials, including a manifold-style dump valve, for good performance and nick-plated fittings for durability.
While there are plenty of different air rides to choose from, the best air ride will really depend on the model of your bike. You can find various air rides that will fit different sets of needs, but it is essential that you inform yourself first about your kit and check back to see if it fits the requirements for your bike for your next Harley tour.