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Left Shoulder Blade pain


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Hopefully someone has already figured this out. On any trip longer than 1 hour, I developed a severe sharp pain at the bottom of my left shoulder blade.


I have moto bar backs and a Russell daylong seat. My butt is happy, my back is happy, but my left shoulder blade ain't.


Any clues?



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The standard BMW seating postion for the RT places the bars somewhat forward and down from what most people think they should be riding in. So we put bar backs on our bikes to "correct". The resulting seating position places a good deal of stress on the lower back and spine since we lose the hinge at the hips designed into the original position. Now we have to spring for some $500 custom seat to make our butt and lower back feel better.


One of the problems with bar backs is that the bar angle does not change, just the veritical and horizontal positions. With the new bar position, the hand grips are at a very poor angle in relation to the geometry of the wrists, elbows and shoulder muscles and skeletal structure. End result is the bottom of the latisimus dorsai are placed in constant stress trying to keep your hands aligned on the grips. As you move the bars up and towards you, you need to change the bar angle to one flatter, larger included angle.


The simple solution is to throw away the bar backs and learn to sit properly on your motorcycle. I won't go further here as there is too much attachment and emotion involved and too little science in the use of the things. You could also have a decent machine shop duplicate your bar backs with a different mounting angle and that might well satisfy your needs.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)

While the Ed offers some good ideas about what to do, I will respectfully disagree and suggest that it's probably a matter of teaching your body the ergonomics of riding your bike. If these items are new additions, they have changed the position of the controls on your bike, and your body is not yet used to sitting in the new position. Try this: Make a special effort every few minutes to relax your arms, your grip on the bars and shoulders. Maybe even "flap" your elbows a bit and shrug then "drop" your shoulders just to confirm that they're loose.


This method has helped me on some of the longer rides I've done to keep the fatigue at bay a little longer.

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No argument from me in that relaxing will help to make up for the poor angle. YOu can learn to live with anything over time. I don't understand not correcting root cause as opposed to "learning to live with it". But that is more a personality thing. I'm not a grouch for nothing after all. grin.gif

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If memory serves me correctly, that'd be the rhomboid muscle that's ailing you. Some simple exercises and stretching will probably do the trick. My knowledge of that stuff is way obsolete but a few minutes online should surface what to do.

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I had the same problem, but figured it was related to the PTTR issue. My problem was solved by 1) removing rear wheel, 2) removing spacer between rear drive and rear wheel, and 3) re-installing rear wheel. As usual, YMMV.

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This may or may not help, but you could try adjusting your windscreen.


After 4 years of riding my RT, I started noticing occasional pain in my left arm when doing long rides, but it wasn't happening on EVERY ride. It took me a while to figure out what it was about those rides that made my left arm hurt:


I realized that for each of those rides it was cold, raining, or both. I would put my windscreen in the highest position, and the air would go up and over me, then very lightly, come around and push me forward. My pain was from the long term exertion of holding myself up with that arm, while the other one was busy with the throttle.


When it is nice out, I ride with the screen all the way down; the air hits me in the front, holding me up. So, now, when it is cold or raining, I raise the windscreen, but not all the way. No more pain.


It helped me anyway.

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