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Discussion Starter #1
I'll probably catch a bit of grief for even asking this but now 16k miles into what has mostly been a really fantastic voyage with the GT, having to make some decisions. My lower back just keeps giving me fits and I've injured it several times in the last 2 years. Anymore, the bike is still fantastic around town and fun weekend drives; yet, touring or long trips with the bike is running into some problems. I'm either going to have to make adjustments to the GT or consider getting another bike as my lower back will simply not let me ride a bike - for any extended time period - that has any, even remotely forward lean to the grips. Even with the touring handlebars I'm still slightly bent forward. My back wants to be straight up and down. The 250 mile ride back to home this weekend was maddening and dangerous as it saw me for extended time periods even raising up and driving the bike on the slab with only one hand on the throttle, giving my lower back a rest. From that upright, deadly one arm driving position, my back felt fine. Again and again I tried to estimate how much distance I'd have to add to the bars to try and get me to that upright position on the GT. I've already got the touring bars that put you in a more upright position and the touring shield I have on there raises the bars even more; yet, it's still not enough and I dunno if I can even add risers after the touring bars and the shield already? I've also tilted the bars back towards me a bit too. Any suggestions would be helpful. And yes, I'm working on the back thing myself as I've tried anti-inflammatory meds and am still trying some physical rehab stuff to try and strenghthen it.
 

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Old Fast Guy
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488 Posts
You need lower bars and rearset pegs to get your upper lower body/pelvis rotated forward to align your back straight and leaned forward to eliminate the load path into your lower back. A sportbike lean forward will help keep the weight spread out over your thighs and arms rather than straight up your spine. It is a common misconception that sitting up straight in a cruiser stance is easier on the back. It is NOT. I've had a lumbar fusion of L-5 thru L-7 vertebra and my back can't stand too much abuse.

Don't try to sit straight up and just reach for the bars. Lean your whole body forward so that you arms are bent slightly at the elbow which requires your feet to move back and your back will be fine. Try it and you'll see what I mean. It's like sitting in one of those weird ergo-designed office chairs where you bend your knees under your body and support your weight on your thighs instead of your ass.

My 1198SP "sporting" riding position is much more comfortable on a long ride than my Hyper that has a straight up sitting position.
 

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Premium Member
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1,088 Posts
You need lower bars and rearset pegs to get your upper lower body/pelvis rotated forward to align your back straight and leaned forward to eliminate the load path into your lower back. A sportbike lean forward will help keep the weight spread out over your thighs and arms rather than straight up your spine. It is a common misconception that sitting up straight in a cruiser stance is easier on the back. It is NOT. I've had a lumbar fusion of L-5 thru L-7 vertebra and my back can't stand too much abuse.

Don't try to sit straight up and just reach for the bars. Lean your whole body forward so that you arms are bent slightly at the elbow which requires your feet to move back and your back will be fine. Try it and you'll see what I mean. It's like sitting in one of those weird ergo-designed office chairs where you bend your knees under your body and support your weight on your thighs instead of your ass.

My 1198SP "sporting" riding position is much more comfortable on a long ride than my Hyper that has a straight up sitting position.
+1 on this. You probably feel some temporary relief when taking one hand off the bars and sitting up more just because you are shifting the weight somewhat, but if you were more upright for longer periods you'd feel just as fatigued. What you want to focus on is getting the weight into your legs (which are meant to be supporting your body weight) and out of your back. Just sitting more upright won't accomplish that, if anything it'll put more weight down the line of your spine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You need lower bars and rearset pegs to get your upper lower body/pelvis rotated forward to align your back straight and leaned forward to eliminate the load path into your lower back. A sportbike lean forward will help keep the weight spread out over your thighs and arms rather than straight up your spine. It is a common misconception that sitting up straight in a cruiser stance is easier on the back. It is NOT. I've had a lumbar fusion of L-5 thru L-7 vertebra and my back can't stand too much abuse.

Don't try to sit straight up and just reach for the bars. Lean your whole body forward so that you arms are bent slightly at the elbow which requires your feet to move back and your back will be fine. Try it and you'll see what I mean. It's like sitting in one of those weird ergo-designed office chairs where you bend your knees under your body and support your weight on your thighs instead of your ass.

My 1198SP "sporting" riding position is much more comfortable on a long ride than my Hyper that has a straight up sitting position.
Thanks for the advice and maybe I'll consider putting the original low bars back on the bike and rearsets for the pegs but I dunno. Again, when I was riding for those many miles sitting upright - with one arm only on the throttle - my back did great. But I totally can see the logic in your post as one of the most comfortable, but again unsafe, positions I'd sometimes assume on the touring Guzzi cruiser I used to have was to put my feet on the passender pegs and leaned forward akin to what you're describing. This only on really long, slab trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well you guys have definitely got me curious on this. I have tried to get into this position on the GT but the touring seat I have on it has a deep dip cutout and this is very hard to describe without pics but whenever I would try and do this, it would put me on the ride of the cutout and that was kinda uncomfortable...but it gives me some ideas. Gonna pull out the stock seat - which doesn't have as much of a sloping cutout, and maybe go out for a ride and see if this helps.
 
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