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July 21, 2005 in Bike Related Things
I don,t like mine yeat.
i love mine, one of the best purchases ive made for my bike. It takes the stress of the shoulders and back. im glad bought mine.
I don't like them on principle. I don't have a bike that requires them nor have I ever owned one.
Here is the deal in so far as I see it. The RT standard seating position requires a slight forward lean from the upper torso to reach the bars. Since most people don't know how to do this properly (bending at the hips) they wind up bending at the waist causing all manner of havoc with postural muscles and trying to support the weight of the upper body on their wrists and arms rather than using the torso and leg muscles to provide the correct support.
There is a subset of those who use barbacks that actually require them, hereinafter referred to as short people. Anyone over about 5'7" or so with normal torso to arm proportions shouldn't need them.
Back to more reasons to dislike them. Installation moves the bars both up and back rocking the upper body back on the seat. Much more pressure is now applied to the tail and sit bones as weight is shifted from the back of the thighs to the tail bone. This causes the body to lose the natural hinge that occurs when you bend at the hips, transmitting all the shock loads that get through the suspension right to the spine, which is not designed for that. Lastly, the bar backs do nothing to change the angle of the bars which is the real source of the upper back and shoulder pain most folks experience on the RT.
In conclusion, adding bar backs will force you to spring for a custom seat you didn't need, place you in an anatomically bad position while seated on the bike and do little or nothing good unless you are a small person who physically cannot reach the bars.
Well... I'm on the other side of the fence from Kyle here:
Bought an R1100RT, didn't like the ride position, so I bought bar-backs. That wasn't working so I took them off, and used Yoda's Riding Position. >>>See This Thread For More.<<< That helped a bunch.
But I didn't really enjoy my RT (go figure) so I bought a K12RS. Again, didn't quite like the position, so I bought bar-backs. Eventually took them off, and - again, using better riding posture - even adjusted the bars FORWARD all the way! Now I am a Happy Boy.
My conclusion is that it takes a good month or two - or more, depending on how much you ride - for YOUR BODY to adjust to the motorcycle ergos. Trying to do it the other way around didn't work for me. Strange that it took so long for me to learn that lesson!
Interesting approach you have there. Without hijacking this thread, I have the bar backs and a rider backrest. Lately I find the backrest almost useless. When I try and lean against the backrest I get a backache after a while radiating from the little muscles near the shoulder blades. When I ride with more forward lean I don't get an ache in the back. I am 6-4 and don't know what, if any benefit would come from removing the bar backs, but, may try this soon as an experiment.
Read and, most importantly, understand the Master Yoda riding position. It applies even to your long self. I don't imagine the reach to the bars is any issue for you assuming arms in proportion to torso, i'd guess 36 or 37" sleeve length. The key element to becoming comfortable with the forward lean position is the bend at the hips. All the rest flows from there. The hip bend allows you to retain an erect posture so you don't have to tilt your head back to see where you are going. Neck, shoulder and upper back pain go away. The lower back muscles and spine now assume a natural relationship and the spine is no longer subject to the jarring from the suspension movement. It also shifts your seat pressure off your sit bones, I don't know the technical terms, to the muscular area of your thighs (ham strings) where you are much better able to support the weight. Some pressure on the pegs helps alleviate that weight as well as improving the bikes ability to move under you. When you are comfortable, the balls of the feet will wind up naturally on the pegs rather than your heels which helps promote all of the above. It will take a while for you to adjust to this new position and it'll feel a bit creaky at first. Keep at it and you will have found both the secret to control of the bike and long distance comfort.
As an aside, on another thread, I mention the position is easy to practice at a bar stool. It was meant tongue in cheek but, in fact, works rather well.
Position yourself on a bar stool just sitting on the front half. Set the stool so your knees are just even with the front edge of the bar with your feet up on the rungs. If there are high and low rungs, pick the distance that more closely matches your bike's and place those rungs on the side. Now put the balls of your feet on the rungs up forward where the legs join. Bend forward at the hips with your forearms parallel to the floor until your forearms contact the bar. Lift your arms, easy wasn't it? Put a little pressure on your feet and see how easy it is to raise your butt. Order a beer. Easy to drink it isn't it? Your head is nice and erect and all is matched up pretty well. Now reseat with your butt all the way back, bend over at the waist with your forearms as above. Notice you are now looking down at the bar not at the cute barmaid who by know thinks you are a moron. Try another sip, hmmmm, much harder cause you have to tilt your head way back and doing so throws all your balance off. You didn't fall over did you? Go back to the Master Yoda riding/drinking position and practice, practice, practice. Just remember which is which when don't mix indoor practice with riding practice.
Thanks for all the answers, they all make good since, but heres the deal, i road my bike 3 hours today and here is the outcome, tailbone not happy, and pressuure on my wrist now.
so off to the forsale bin.
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