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fastlarry

A return to Master Yoda

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fastlarry

I just turned 70 a few days ago (hard for me to comprehend) and have been riding motorcycles since I got out from under my mother’s influence, and I didn’t wait till I was 26, either. In the last few years riding long distance rides across this fair land I in every case experience some, actually a lot of, pain in my upper back, centered between my shoulder blades. At various times I tried bar backs on different bikes and they didn’t improve the situation one bit. What seems to help is the acclaimed “Master Yoda Riding Position” talked about extensively on this forum at various times. I was wondering if you successful practitioners of the “Yoda Position” could reassure me a bit. When I get on my bike fresh and rested and assume the “position” I can ride for several hours in relative comfort. Gradually I tire and regress back into my customary slouch, until I correct myself. This goes on off and on in a day’s ride. Now, if I’m on a multi-day or weeks ride some of the fatigue carries over from day to day. Is this a fitness issue? Does one need to work on some kind of core strength to ride with this posture day after day in comfort? Is it even possible? For a guy of my age? I am fairly fit; particularly my legs, and I don’t carry a lot of extra weight. Are there exercises one can do to achieve the strength to ride the “Yoda” position without tiring? It is an active position requiring muscles to maintain.

 

Larry

 

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realshelby

I cannot say I am a Master Yoda convert, seemed to aggravate my tailbone more than my normal position. But that is another story...

 

I CAN say that being in a state of better shape REALLY makes a difference. I am 57 and if I were honest I am 50 lbs fatter than I should be. I got away from regular exercise a couple years back and found I lost a lot of leg strength and arm strength. This absolutely shows up on long days in the saddle. Been doing exercises again.....

 

 

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chrisolson

I am an advocate of the MYRP practicing it for the last 14 years of my return to riding ... and I'm not far behind you in age :Cool: Yes, there are times when you will revert to a slouch and that's OK.

 

I've found that taking some additional weight off my rear through my legs for a short duration helps. Also changing position works - moving around on the saddle - as well as consciously relaxing the shoulders and maintaining a light grip on the bars (key factors).

 

I don't think that there's any _one_ magic solution to riding 10-12 hours, day after day in comfort without it catching up at the end of a riding day. If you're on the stock seat you might investigate some alternatives like Sargent, Russell or various others out there. Also the type of riding gear you are using can make a difference.

 

Comfort takes a multi-faceted approach and, for me, the MYRP is an important factor.

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hopz

Larry...

 

Back when I was only 70 I used to worry about MYRP... actually I still do "consider" MYRP, or rather slip into/out of thinking about it.

 

MY formula seems to work for me... your actual mileage may vary.

 

Keep physically in shape as much as you can.

 

Learn that the saddle has enough room to slide your butt forward, even to the point of having "the boys" crowd the fuel tank, and also feel you can slide back. Notice the different sensations on your wrists, center of the upper back, lower back etc. So what? Move around- don't get set in one place and stay there. Don't zone out and forget about it. There is no one-right posture... use a variety.

 

Get off the bike every now and then... enjoy the view, stretch, do some squats, drink more water... (this is a big one- we/I sometimes forget to hydrate.)( there is a bonus in that if you DO drink more liquid you will have to stop to eliminate the excess)... I do not know if it matters or not but I do not drink sugary things like soft drinks, or even coffee or tea. Water is good... for me.

 

Check yourself every now and then to see if you can lift your hands off the grips and not fall forward. I greatly exaggerated terms- your hands are not there to hold you up. They are there to help in steering, clutching, breaking etc. The less support you get from your hands the better.

 

In sort of a summary... try not to get set in one position and stay there, on the bike or off.

 

etc.

 

Edited by hopz

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realshelby

Good words, hopz!

That is why I like my ugly highway peg setup. Toes on the pegs, back of my heels on the pegs, one leg up other on the footpeg, etc. You have to make a conscious effort to move BEFORE you get tired or sore in one position.

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bwpsg42

agree with Hopz and realshelby. I was a competitive swimmer in my youth and college days and as a master(meaning old) and learned the benefits of general fitness. I am now approaching 70 and still work hard at maintaining overall fitness and flexibility, especially core strength. If I have a big multi-day ride coming up, I may workout harder for a few weeks preceding. Something special I learned years ago, between water or gas stops, I physically lift myself an inch or so out of the saddle for a mile or so every hour. This will be hard the first few times you do it, but increases the blood flow to the large muscles in my legs and butt. Consciously relax your grip on the bars as Hopz points out and I think this will help with the pain between the shoulders. Good luck.

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Mike

For those of you who may be wondering what the heck these guys are taking about, here ya go.

 

 

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Craft

Per advice here, I ditched the bar backs on my 04 RT and started applying the MYRP techniques. It fixed my butt and shoulder blade pain!

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fastlarry

Craft, can you maintain that MYRP for a day, a week, weeks of riding. It really helps with my shoulder pain, but it isn't natural to me and takes conscious effort to maintain. Does it ever become second nature?

 

Larry

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Craft

I can't maintain the position. It is something that I constantly strive for. But, the constant striving (or remembering to maintain) has removed my pain. The biggest contributors to pain removal being using my legs to remove weight from my butt and leaning forward, which relieves shoulder/neck pain.

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tallman

My R50, R75, and R 100 RT were all sit up and beg.

The odo on the R100 broke at 189,000 and was never fixed.

Tailbone pressure, just part of riding, right?

Then R1100RSL w/slight forward lean.

Hmmm.

Better.

Then K1200 GT w/more.

Talking w/Dick (Master Yoda) and then the readings...

Better still.

YMMV but when done properly, there is basically no tailbone pressure, IMO.

Fitness important.

Practice helps.

For me, even after hundreds of thousands of miles in sit up and beg, MYRP was the ticket.

Best wishes.

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tom collins

Riding a K-RS model, I find that good stretching of the core muscles before riding helps a lot the older I get. Lie on your back, pull your knees to your chest and rock fore and aft. Then relax the knees so they are over your hips and slowly rotate your knees in the air from one side to the next keeping your back flat on the floor if you can, spreading arms helps this. 1 minute max is all it takes. Some people will think you look silly, but repeating this during a ride will also help to keep the kinks out.

 

In regard to the Yoda position, our roads have many pavement heaves and frost heaves that are deadly on backs especially having owned cruisers. In the Yoda position, your legs absorb much of this shock and it is easy to post up in the seat if you see it coming to avoid the shock almost entirely. You can't really do this with your feet in front.

Edited by tom collins

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Gfoxsteve

Anyone got a photo or diagram of the yoda position ?

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Bill_Walker
38 minutes ago, Gfoxsteve said:

Anyone got a photo or diagram of the yoda position ?

See the pinned article in the "Ride Well" subforum.

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TEWKS

The sticky Bill was referring to. Seems the pictures are missing from the post so I found one on the web. Only thing you might add in is to open your eyes. :grin:

BTW, Welcome to the site!

19e81d5a11a9367afd74e7d84c7bb81c.jpg

 

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Gfoxsteve

🤦🏼‍♂️🤣

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Selden

Not applicable to all models, but if you have a bike with tubular handlebars (like a GS), it's amazing what a small change in position can make. After 9 months with my F700GS, I finally achieved the "perfect" angle, which got disturbed when trailering up, when the bars rotated while tied down. It took me several days of experimentation to get them "just right" again. A rotational difference of one degree or so is noticeable.

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szurszewski

image.thumb.png.dbf7de81b5ecf934d56aa9596c3bf045.png

  • Like 1

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Gfoxsteve

This is the yoda position?? I got the impression from the description that it was meant to be more upright and less on the handlebars? 

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Bill_Walker
5 hours ago, Gfoxsteve said:

I got the impression from the description that it was meant to be more upright and less on the handlebars? 

That's going to depend on the ergonomics of the bike to some extent.  You can't sit more upright than the reach to the bars allows.  But in general, MYRP does involve some forward lean.

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lkraus

Forward lean, but you are not placing any weight on the bars. Your back is providing the support while slightly arched rearward, not in the the usually seen C shape.  It can take some conscious effort until you've broken old habits.  Keeping your weight off the bars really makes steering light and precise.

 

The principle is helpful for correcting back pain caused by poor sitting posture: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/08/13/636025077/to-fix-that-pain-in-your-back-you-might-have-to-change-the-way-you-sit

 

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szurszewski

The pic I posted is a little deceptive because of the blousing of the jacket, but that rider, if you look at the alignment of head/neck and hips, is not bent forward. 

 

On a GS or KLR or whatever you can sir up and beg, but as stated above you can’t sit up straight and reach the bars on a sporty ergo’ed bike. You can still keep weight off you arms and onto you hips/legs by not curling/bending your spine forward. 

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Paul De

On my RT, I will go to standing like I'm riding a dirt bike to stretch for a few miles and to get off my butt.  But when seated avoing slouching and keeping  my arms loose with a light touch on the bars helps mitigate back and shoulder fatuge.

 

I always found the desirable forward lean is directly dependent the fairing's wind protection and speed. Since we are speed limited and have a typical cruising speed on the highway it comes to the right lean in balance with amount of wind protection of the fairing   My RT needs only a slight forward lean to keep your tail bone from going dead. My old Kawi GPz had a SPORT-touring forward lean and it's bullet faring at highway speed produced no weight on my arms and wrists.   Haha- my neighbor's 916 Duc is pretty much a street legal track bike and anything under 100 MPH will have your arms go dead in 20 minutes, but by then the roasted butt is ready for BBQ sauce and slicing anyway!

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Bill_Walker
1 hour ago, Paul De said:

Haha- my neighbor's 916 Duc is pretty much a street legal track bike and anything under 100 MPH will have your arms go dead in 20 minutes, but by then the roasted butt is ready for BBQ sauce and slicing anyway!

 

I recall one of the bike mags referring to it as a "Weapon of Ass Destruction."

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Miguel!
On 10/21/2016 at 9:06 AM, Mike said:

For those of you who may be wondering what the heck these guys are taking about, here ya go.

 

 

The link above good to a dead page unfortunately. 

 

Miguel 

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TEWKS
2 hours ago, Miguel! said:

The link above good to a dead page unfortunately. 

 

Miguel 

 

From the article.

 

 

The keynotes to "the" Riding Position are:

  • Bend at the HIPS, not waist
  • Maintain a SLIGHT arch to the back, not allowing it ever to "curve"
  • Move the butt AFT so the weight is OVER YOUR FEET.
  • Apply pressure to the feet, using the THIGH muscles, so you are sitting "lightly"
  • ELBOWS BENT, now DROP the hands to the bars.

Try this Link here.

 

 

 

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Twisties

Balls of feet on the pegs, slight arch to back, relaxed arms, light on the bars, IIRC

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Charles
On 7/4/2019 at 6:48 PM, TEWKS said:

The sticky Bill was referring to. Seems the pictures are missing from the post so I found one on the web. Only thing you might add in is to open your eyes. :grin:

BTW, Welcome to the site! 

19e81d5a11a9367afd74e7d84c7bb81c.jpg

 

The dog certainly sleepwalks ....

On 7/4/2019 at 6:48 PM, TEWKS said:

 

 

  • Haha 1

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