Air Ride Install – Air Raid!

Arnott Softair Air Ride Install

1. The complete Softair kit as it comes from Arnott with the shocks, compressor, manifold, as well as all needed wiring and lines.

2. With the OE shocks removed, we mounted the new air shocks under the frame and tightened to factory specifications.

3. The compressor came pre-mounted to the bracket and was easily mounted to the right side of the frame in the back of the transmission.

4. The compressor bracket was affixed to the frame with two bolts that normally hold the rear of an exhaust system, but we are running short pipes, so we didn’t have any brackets to deal with.

5. We installed the air lines to the manifold which also houses the system’s solenoid, we made sure to run the smaller 4mm air lines to the shocks and the larger 1/4-inch tubing to the compressor.

6. The kit comes with a universal wiring harness and relay that wires from the battery to the switch and compressor. Here we buttoned up the manifold.

7. Once the air lines were properly run, we mounted the manifold to the frame behind the rear wheel debris deflector.

8. We didn’t want the up and down control switch to be seen, so we decided to hide the switch under the coil cover on the left side of the bike.

9. The red, black and orange wires were run from the switch, compressor, and manifold up the rear of the frame to the battery compartment located under the seat.

10. We secured the red and black power wires to the battery and tested the system for any leaks.

11. With all of air in the system and in the up position, the bike sat at around 24 inches from the bottom of the fender to the ground.

12. With the system dumped of all it’s air, it laid low at about 21 inches from the bottom of the fender to the ground. This looked good while parked and posing, but needed to be raised up at least another 3/4-inch to ride.

We recently had our ’05 Softail up on the rack and wanted to install an adjustable height system on the rear. After checking out a few systems, we decided to slip on Arnott’s Softair air ride system for ’00-09 H-D Softails (MSRP $1,099.99).

The heart of the Softair system is a pair of Bilstein monotube shocks and Goodyear air spring sleeves that are housed in custom enclosures machined from 6061-T6 aluminum. Due to this style of shock, the system doesn’t require separate compression or rebound controls that other air systems may have.

To direct the ups and downs of the system, Arnott uses a proprietarily designed air compressor and a tuned manifold valve block that houses it’s own solenoid along with a waterproof switch, all of which are designed to be nicely hidden once mounted on the bike. The kit only requires removal of the stock rear shocks, seat and debris deflector to install making it a snap for someone with a fair mechanical aptitude. Our project bike already had the rear wheel off, making the installation even easier.

Arnott has been manufacturing air ride systems for quite some time and due to the company’s extensive experience we found the Softair to be a simple to install kit that allows large amounts of travel adjustment. With the supplied easy to follow instructions, we spent less than three hours bolting on the kit and once installed, we have yet to have any sort of issue with the system.