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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone running around on their bikes who has a bad back? I know I'm not running a heavier bike like a lot of you are, but my stock seat etc gives about zero shock absorbtion. It rides like there's no springs. My disk in my lower back is gone so I need to soften the ride. I was thinking one of the pillow style seats might give enough cushion or what have others done to resolve the problem? I sure don't want to give up the bike, so I'm hoping others have had successful cures. I run a '01 Sportster 883 XLH, Thanks
 

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I've had a bad back for years and understand your problem.
The best thing for a bad back and riding is 1) Posture 2) back support (back rest)
The flex in your suspension can not help much. Besides, if you try to get a really soft suspension thinking it will make riding easier on you, you'll end up with a big surprise when you bottom out the first time on a hard bump/hole.

Try different seats & handle bar combinations and add a back rest for longer rides. It's a search for a personal combination that will help, not solve, your back pain when riding.

Good luck
 

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There have been several posts on the seat issue now and in the past.
Mustang seats with the back rest are rated very good as are the Saddleman with 6-8 inch seat back support. The Saddleman tends to sit lower and closer so that could be good or bad depending how you fit your bike. If seat height is not an issue then there seems to be more in favor of the Mustang with back support. If cost is no problem then a custom built is hard to beat.
However, as stated earlier, posture is very important. Back exercises can also help a bad disc by building the muscles and giving the disc more muscle support. If you can get to a major rally, you could try several seats to see which if any seem to help your back.
 

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My back has seen better days. I have the HD Pillow seat with the backrest and I have had no problems with it. Like the others have said...emphasis on posture. I think my combination is condusive to good posture.

YB
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I appreciate the replies, as the back tells me about the riding in just a few city blocks. I am ordering some buckhorn handle bars tomorrow to make it more comfortable to ride by bringing the handle bars back so I can sit straighter. I went for a ride this afternoon, just a couple of miles, and my legs are still tingling from the ride. Those of you with nerves being hammered by jarring action know what I mean :)

I wish money was no object but unfortunately it is, so I have to pretty well stay with pre-made seats. The Sportster acts like a hardtail, maybe the springs are to stiff?

Thanks for the help.
 

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I got an 05 RKC, which comes with a stock seat that makes a good torture device. I have a Corbin Dual Tourer on it now, and couldn't be happier. My back is pretty much shot too, and this seat is better than anything I've ridden (on a motorcycle!) in 30 years. Corbin is also willing to work with you on padding, profile, etc, if you need extra help. The best part of it is, every time I get on that bike the seat just seems to get a little better. Looking forward to see what it'll feel like after 30,000 miles or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I liked the dual tourer from the start, but have always heard how stiff they were. I need something that is reasonably comfortable from almost the get-go, so have stayed away. You mentioned Corbin would work with a person with extra padding etc; all I would need to do is call them or did you special order it through a discount place?
 

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I also think you need a different bike. The 883 is light and stiff. A touring bike would probably suit your needs better.

Good luck,

YB
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You're probably right, the larger ones sit really nice. They are to heavy for me to move around; the Sportster is about all I want to wrestle when it's not running. I was told to get a Honda or Yamaha, both nice bikes, but I still wanted a Harley. The Sportster might be to small for me, but it seems to work o.k. if I can get the ride improved.
 

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You might want to try one of the gel pads that you can place on top of your existing seat. I rode my Fatboy with the stock seat out to Sturgis this past summer and picked up a gell seat pad from one of the local vendor's booths and used it on the way home. It helped a lot and allowed me to ride several 100 mile bursts without having to stop due to lower back pain.
 

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the solution to managing my long time back problems was to add a saddle with a back rest - I've got a Mustang as well as a couple of Corbins. The Mustang is a much softer saddle, but the Corbins contour actually feels better to my behind. I also had a lot of shoulder pain with stock bars so I changed the bars and have totally eliminated that.
 

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ctd said:
Anyone running around on their bikes who has a bad back? I know I'm not running a heavier bike like a lot of you are, but my stock seat etc gives about zero shock absorbtion. It rides like there's no springs. My disk in my lower back is gone so I need to soften the ride. I was thinking one of the pillow style seats might give enough cushion or what have others done to resolve the problem? I sure don't want to give up the bike, so I'm hoping others have had successful cures. I run a '01 Sportster 883 XLH, Thanks
I've got the Mustang Wide Vintage w/ backrest on my '05 XL 1200 Custom. Greatly improved the ride with the stock shocks. I'm medically retired cuz of my back.
The combination of the seat , backrest and forward controls with Kuryakyn
'switchblade' footrests help a lot.

http://www.mustangseats.com/hdcontst.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have the forward controls, but I don't know what the "switchblade" footrests are, so I'll have to do some looking. I ordered some buckhorn handle bars to help with the posture part. I had originally been looking at the HD two up seat with backrests, but from the posts on the forum, I have gave that idea up. I guess their seats aren't as well built or comfortable or something. Mustang seems to enjoy a good reputation. LePera offers a nice seat as well. Sure would be nice if there were places a person could see them or try them out but most dealers don't stock the seats. Harley has the "you order it, you bought it" policy. Not good.
 

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I also have a bad lower back and have found that foreward controls are a bad idea. Rubber mounted engines seem to irritate it also. The most important thing for me has been selecting a handlebar, seat footrest relationship which makes it possible to maintain the natural curve of the lower spine while riding. As far as the seat goes, I've found a Lepera Daytona gives me the support I need on my Fatboy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I wondered about the forward controls, but I'm tall so figured it was the thing to do. I bought the bike with them on, so I have no reference to the stock controls, but do have them. But you are happy with the LePera seat with a bad back?

Thanks
 

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Switchblades

http://www.kuryakyn.com/category.asp?bn=harley&cn=Footpegs&sn=Footpegs%2C+Boards%2C+and+Components

The heel rests are hinged and fold back into the pegs. I use them on the highway, but not too much around town......They are kinda like having mini floorboards. I also own a '03 Ultra, which I have two sets of highway pegs on so I can move my legs to different positions. Sitting in one position too long is painful.....I only use the Ultra on trips, the sporty the rest of the time, for the same reason as you, it's easier to manuver (besides being a lot faster)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the site referral, the pegs look more supportive than the stock round jobs. Probably a Ultra or a bike like that would be better for longer rides, but the weight is more than I can handle at the moment. I'm pretty happy with the Sportster if I can improve the ride.
 

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Here's something else you can add to the mix. My son bought one for long-distance riding.

http://backalign.com/

Usual discalimer- no affiliation
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'll check out the site, thank you for the link. Seems as we get older, the backs aren't as forgiving as they once were:)
 

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progessives

The seat is important and you've got some good recommendations but you might want to think about the shocks too: progressivesuspension.com

Good luck
 
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