The Pig Seat: D.I.Y Air Ride Seat for Your Chopper


Our friend Ed wrote up this great tutorial about the home brew air ride seat he created for his rigid chopper. Read it all behind the cut.

The Pig Seat
An inexpensive way to create some seat travel.

My first rigid bike did not have a typical seat. It was basically a flat metal pan on top of the frame. No padding, no springs and the fillings in my teeth were about to give up. I had an old Air Hawk seat cushion laying around that I would use now and again for long rides on my sport-tourer.

So one day I put the Air Hawk on the seat pan and it made a big difference.  That small cushion of air provides a nice pillow. So why not just use a spring seat?   I’ve seen many spring seats look great but I’ve also seen nice bikes ruined by a poorly executed seat. A spring seat on my Buell-powered bike with a pro-street stance just didn’t seem right. A few weeks passed and I stumbled upon an air seat set up that the guys from Gasoline Alley were using.

See more details here.

Fast forward six months and I was low-siding my bike at 40MPH. The bike was shot so it was time to start over. Now was the perfect time to see if the Pig Seat would work. I did a bit of research and determined the HD Road King police bikes had a similar approach minus the electronics. Off to eBay and sure enough I scored the set for $100. The set included a huge seat, the seat hinge, the seat bracket, an air tank (includes air pressure gauge), air tube and the all important air bladder. Here are the parts from the kit that you will need: air bladder, air tank, and air hose. 

Airtank Airhose Airbladder 
Air Tank, Airhose and Air Bladder

I originally wanted to use two air bladders for purely cosmetic reasons.  Two gives it a more balanced appearance. I ordered the fittings from HD and made a trip to Home Depot. Mocked it up and they would not fit between the frame so I went solo.

Here are the parts you need to make your pig seat:
1. Seat and pan
2. Seat hinge
3. Air bladder
4. Air tank
5. Air hose

You can buy them new from HD but the bladder alone is close to $200. The air pressure gauge is $40 but I digress and you know what they say about the factory….

How to put it together:
1. Find a place to mount the air bladder.  Many frames have a cross member and that’s what I used as a starting point.
2. Determine mounting location for the air tank. Keep in mind the air hose is plastic and it’s only about 18inches long.
3. Get a good seat hinge. My friends and I always use Fab Kevin’s stuff so I recommend using his seat hinge set. He even has a hidden seat hinge that looks very nice as well but it was not available when I started the seat portion of my bike project.
4. Find a seat. I just wanted a pan so Kevin at baasmetalcraft provided an economical and strong solution that fit the bill.
5. Start the mock up and remember that the actual seat will be a bit lower while you’re riding it. I set mine up to be about ¾ an inch higher than I wanted it. I’m 6ft 170lbs and at 28PSI the bladder gave me more than an inch of travel.
6. Weld it all up and make pigs fly.

Seat pan and hinge

Long story short:
I’ve been using it for about a month now and I continue to be amazed how well it works.

The finished product.

Contact info: Ed at

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