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  1. #1
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    Question Are rider backrests really comfortable?

    Morning Peeps – I’m still (thoroughly) enjoying my Custom but long rides tend to generate some lower back pain. It’s not too bad but it’d better without. I have a Mustang Solo, which is really good, but I note they do a model with a backrest:

    Mustang Solo & Rest.jpg


    It’s the wider one than I've got but that’d be okay (not looking at the price, that is…). I’ve also just found that Harley do a Quick-Release Rider Backrest: 52300245 (Riders on eBay):

    s-l1600.jpg

    The blurb says: ‘… This detachable rider backrest is shaped for maximum lower back support and keeps you in place without shifting you forward in the saddle… The backrest’s forward/back position can be adjusted up to 4.5" with a simple fingertip adjustment. The fold-down pad clears the way when throwing your leg over the bike and the backrest can be removed from the bike with the push of a button–leaving behind just two elegant docking points…’

    It won’t fit (nearly all!) Harley seats, nor many aftermarket ones, but it’s an interesting idea and being detachable & adjustable seems ace. So, gents, do backrests work? (For instance, if I sit in a chair with a very low backrest, it just hurts real bad.) Do you use a rider backrest (as opposed to passenger sissy bars, etc.)?

    If it could be a comfort bonus, I’ll look into it - maybe a cheaper aftermarket item.

    Cheers,

    Chris

  2. #2
    Senior Member rosswg's Avatar
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    I have one on my bike. They are indeed very comfortable and supportive, enough to get you thru to refuels on a long ride.

    They just look pants when you are off the bike. imo

  3. #3
    Senior Member K9F's Avatar
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    I have a Dainese back protector which are basically a series of interlocking plates that you wear under your top garment. It also provides excellent back support on longer journeys as it retains your posture with no effort. Also makes you look a bit like a Ninja Turtle a bit with nothing over the top. They are not cheap but another option you may wish to consider given that it is approximately 50% cost in comparison to your option and will protect your back in a mishap and nobody will see it?

    Last edited by K9F; 06-16-2018 at 03:48 PM.

    IF YOU GO THROUGH LIFE WITH YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND.....ALL PEOPLE WILL SEE IS AN ARSE!!
    TREAT EVERY DAY AS YOUR LAST.....ONE DAY YOU WILL BE RIGHT!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Gettin'onabit's Avatar
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    I think I would rather have backache than fit a rider backrest.

    I could also see me catching my leg on it when getting on the bike - I ain't Nureyev, you know.

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    bluenose-1956 (06-16-2018)

  6. #5
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    I just stretch if I need to at fuel stops. I'd never get my wee legs over the rest
    FTW )

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    bluenose-1956 (06-16-2018)

  8. #6
    Senior Member bluenose-1956's Avatar
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    Sorry Chris,

    I'm with AL (Gettin'onabit) on this one, don't like the look of rider backrests or passenger sissy bars. They might be ok Stateside, but on this side of the pond the just look odd.

  9. #7
    Senior Member rosswg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluenose-1956 View Post
    Sorry Chris,

    I'm with AL (Gettin'onabit) on this one, don't like the look of rider backrests or passenger sissy bars. They might be ok Stateside, but on this side of the pond the just look odd.
    it doesnt matter where you are, the backrests serve a beneficial purpose, for a bike of my sitting position. i'll have mine on for the rides to hamburg and prague, but once i arrive, it will come off straight away, till departure. Same goes the windshield too.
    Last edited by rosswg; 06-16-2018 at 06:55 PM.

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    bluenose-1956 (06-16-2018)

  11. #8
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    Thanks gents - once again you're a mine of helpful information. This time the conclusion is surprisingly clear and quick: backrests do work but look 'orrible. Interestingly I was going to say that I really dislike sissy bars & the like (selling mine on eBay right now) but I didn't want to cause a stir - ironic that everyone (in this thread) doesn't like them either.

    That said, I can't see any point in riding with discomfort if it can be avoided. I can sacrifice aesthetics for comfort - it's starting to look like (yet another) cost issue. [sigh] We'll have to see...

    K9F: In the thirty-odd years that I've been off a bike, things have certainly changed. I do not remember anything like 'Ninja Turtle Armour' back then! I had a look on eBay (there's tons of it!) and your Dainese offering is very... turtle-esque... but it does look effective (not to say bullet proof). I fear I would look like the only double-sided turtle in history though. (But without backache, I suppose.)

    Al: Honestly, I have never come that close to confusing you with Rudolf Nureyev. Perhaps if we were more intimate?

    The rest of you gents: I generally agree with you, backrests do look 'a bit odd' on the whole, although I don't understand why you want to get your leg over me Whistler, nor why you want to look at my pants when you get off your bike rosswg.

    You guys are starting to seem very strange to me...

    Cheers,

    Chris

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    bluenose-1956 (06-16-2018)

  13. #9
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    My own take on back pain during riding is your riding position is not correct somehow.

    It could be that your arms are just stretching out. With forward controls I assume an upright riding position and with that I think your forearms should be level with the hand grips.

    With the stock seat on my bike I get back support. If I fit a sundowner I cannot push back into the seat and it does affect my back. I will need to rotate the bars down a bit more to get them closer to me for correct arm position.

  14. #10
    Senior Member
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    Afternoon Andy - that's quite an astute observation. I spent some considerable time looking for new bars for the Custom as I wanted more 'pull-back'. I only found one set that offered 6" of pull-back (compared to the stock drag bars 3", or so). Other bars also add rise, but I don't want to raise the bars any more than the (enormous) stock handlebar riser already does - maybe 6". I went with the 6" pull-back bars, but another couple of inches would have been nice. (There were some bars modeled on classic Harley style with 36" (or more!) width, but that's just too much for me.)

    As it happens, a more pertinent problem was the control lines (clutch, throttle, etc.): not too much more pull-back or height would have needed new lines. These are easily £100 each for Harley items - but the real expense would have been extending the ABS brake lines. Because of this, I got the most pull-back I could without extending the ines. So, in repsonse to your point, yes, my riding position is not perfect as I'd like it to be a little more upright, but what I have will to do for now, at least.

    As for the stock Custom seat, it was an uncomfortable beast. I only rode it with the stock bars (so leaning more forward), and without a screen, but it didn't work for me.

    I suppose I could change the bars (again) and extend the lines, but that'll cost a fortune. Similarly, I could get a seat with a backrest - also a fortune. (My seat does not fit right so I might be able to exchange it - we'll see at the end of the month.)

    Anyway, like most things in life, it seems, there are no simple answers!

    Thanks again for your input gents,

    Cheers,

    Chris

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