Upgrade Your Harley-Davidson Suspension With an Air Ride Kit

Upgrade Your Harley-Davidson Suspension With an Air Ride Kit

Scott Beaddles
7 minute read


Harley-Davidson has been making the Sportster line since the late 1950s. The iconic bike series is a testament to the mindset of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but that old adage says nothing about not improving things.

Installing an air suspension kit on your Sportster upgrades the bike’s comfort, utility, and performance — all without making any permanent modifications to the body or frame. In other words, you can improve your Harley without messing with perfection. We’ll tell you why and how in the article that follows.

About the Harley-Davidson Sportster Suspension

Your Harley-Davidson Sportster comes from the factory with a passive coilover suspension. This traditional suspension system uses mechanical resistance from coil springs to keep the bike at its proper ride height and absorb impact from the road surface.

While the stock suspension does the job it is designed to do, it has some notable drawbacks:

  • Lack of adjustability: Your stock Sportster suspension is tuned and set for one level of resistance and can’t be adjusted without modifications.
  • One-size-fits-all build: The stock suspension on your Harley is designed to support the “average” rider, but may not be ideal for larger or smaller riders.
  • Single ride height: On its stock coilovers, your Sportster can’t be raised or lowered to accommodate riders of different heights or for aesthetic purposes.

Harley-Davidson Sportster Air Suspension Kits: What You Should Know

The Sportster is a bonafide joy to ride and has been for decades. But more and more Harley owners are looking to air suspensions to make that ride even better — and add more functionality to the bike. But before you decide whether or not to install a new air ride kit on your Sportster, it’s important to understand what air suspensions are and why people install them.

What Is a Motorcycle Air Suspension?

An air suspension on a motorcycle does the same jobs as the stock suspension, such as keeping the bike at the proper ride height, absorbing impact from the road, distributing weight while maneuvering and more. However, rather than coil springs, an air suspension uses pressurized gas in inflatable chambers to get the job done.

These chambers, known as air bags or air springs, can inflate or deflate on command. This allows the rider to make adjustments to the amount of resistance the air springs provide and change the height of the bike whenever needed or desired.

Harley-Davidson Sportster Air Suspension Upgrade: Key Benefits

The adjustable nature of air suspensions means that they offer some major advantages over the stock coilovers on your Sportster. These improvements in fit, function, and form are among the top reasons people choose to convert their Harley suspensions.


Your Sportster, like all bikes, is designed to fit the “average” rider. But there are many riders out there who are either smaller or larger than the person the bike is designed for. Shorter riders may have a hard time getting on and off their motorcycles, or standing at stops. Taller riders may be forced into uncomfortable positions.

This air suspension kit allows you to quickly adjust the height of your Harley. That means that you can raise or lower it to make it easier to mount or dismount and safer and more comfortable to ride. 


As touring bikes, people take their Sportsters through a variety of roads and scenery around the country. While different types of roads require different types of riding, your stock suspension is built for general purposes. 

With the ability to configure the resistance and height of your suspension, you can adjust your air ride to meet the demands of the road. Increase air pressure to tighten the suspension up when your ride calls for a sportier approach. Lower the resistance before a long, flat journey for a comfier cruise.


The stock suspension on your Sportster may do a good enough job of supporting you as a rider, but it isn’t designed for you in specific. But with an air suspension, you can tailor your suspension to perfectly fit your height, weight, and riding style.

In addition, an air suspension allows you to make adjustments for passengers. With the touch of a button, you can increase the resistance to account for the extra weight and return it to normal once they hop off. The result is a ride that’s safer and more comfortable for you and whoever you’re riding with.


Adding an air suspension to your Harley-Davidson can also improve its handling and stability. With the ability to adjust the pressure in the air springs, you can adjust how the suspension distributes weight going through turns, coming to a stop, and more. 

This means you can easily tune your suspension to provide exactly the amount of feedback and resistance you want. As a result, you’ll have a Sportster that is optimized for you and your driving style and preferences.


Air rides offer a lot of functional improvements, but style is still one of the main reasons people choose to convert their stock Harley suspensions. Previously, achieving the sought-after lowrider look came with a lot of drawbacks. It required permanent modifications to the bike and limited the ways riders could drive it.

With an air suspension, you can drop your Sportster down — or, “slam it” — at the flip of a switch. Once you’re ready to hit the road, you can raise it back up just as easily. That means you can arrive riding low without jeopardizing the performance and safety of your Harley.

The Harley-Davidson Sportster Ultimate Air Ride Lowering Kit from Strutmasters

This kit allows owners to convert their Harley to a fully-adjustable suspension that offers more functionality and better performance than their stock coils. Also designed to be quick and easy to install, the Sportster ultimate air ride kit is one of the most cost-effective upgrades you money can buy.

Recommended Solutions

What Comes With the Harley-Davidson Sportster Air Suspension Kit?

When you buy this kit for your Sportster, you get everything you need to fully convert your Harley to an air suspension — from the components themselves down to the hardware needed to install them. In fact, many customers choose to do the installation themselves with just a few standard tools and a sturdy jack.

Each kit includes:

  • Two custom built air shocks
  • Air compressor
  • Compressor control switches
  • Air pressure gauge
  • 200 PSI blow-off valve
  • Wiring harness and connectors
  • Electrical and air line diagrams
  • Air delivery lines and fittings
  • Detailed installation instructions

Quality You Can Count On

Strutmasters is known for high-quality and affordable suspension products and has been a leader in the industry since 1999. The “Suspension Experts” have now released this air suspension conversion kit for one of the world’s most popular motorcycles to enable Harley-Davidson Sportster owners to get even more out of their bikes. 

Like with any product we sell, this kit is backed by a limited warranty against manufacturing and quality defects. We offer this to let you know we stand behind the quality of our products and to make sure you get exactly the suspension you want. 

We also support our customers before, during, and after the sale through our team of Suspension Experts, located in our Roxboro, NC headquarters. You can reach them over the phone at 866-597-2397, Monday through Friday 8 AM to 9 PM, or on Saturdays from 9 AM to 6 PM. 

« Back to Blog

Have a Question? Call (866) 597-2397 to Speak to a Suspension Expert