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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys & Gals,

I've got an '07 ST3s with Helibars and a stock windscreen & saddle. The problem I'm experiencing is rides of more than a few miles tend to wear me down, especially if I don't wear a back support. I'm 5' 6", ride solo, and my road trips though often long distance are comprised of daily rides in the neighborhood of 300-400 miles. To date they've all been on other bikes and as much as I'd like to use the Ducati for this I need to be comfortable.

The fatigue issue I'm experiencing is entirely related to ergonomics and I'm considering two things to help alleviate it:

1) Reduction of wind blast. With the Helibars installed the more upright seating position places me a few inches higher relative to the top of the stock windscreen. This in turn redirects the wind stream to the center of my chest thereby creating a higher working load to deal with. I'm thinking a Zero Gravity wind screen would be the solution but I'm not certain which one would be best. I've got one of their Double Bubble models installed on my Ninja 650R and it's made all the difference in the world. For the ST3s I'm considering their Touring model for it's extra height but I'm wondering if it might be overkill, especially when riding in cross winds?

2) Lower saddle height. Being vertically challenged (short :eek:) I can stand flat-footed at stop lights but that's it, not a MM more is available. I'm thinking lowering the seat an inch will change the position of my arms and shoulders, thereby reducing even further the forward lean position. It will also make balancing with loads easier. In the past I've used Corbin to provide a lowered seat on my Aprilia and it helped. The problem with that particular seat is it's still hard as a rock after more than 14,000 miles. I'd like to hear from any of you about different brands and how satisfied you might be with them.

Best to all, :):):)

LL
 

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Hi LL,
I have an ST3 also with Helibars,and stock seat. I got a Laminar Lip.(it is available in two formats-standard and touring, I got the standard.).it shoots the air over your head nicely. I did a two up 800 mile day and was fine. I'm about 5'8".
Hope you get a solution soon.
Cheers
Derek
 

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I mean this in a truly supportive (no pun intended :D) way, but have you tried keeping physically fit and exercising a bit? The truth of the matter is that not everyone will fit every bike and your ergonomics might not match up well despite loving a particular bike. Heck, I sold my 999 because it sucked for me as a street bike from a comfort point of view and I wasn't attending enough track days (something it excels at!) to make keeping it worthwhile. The only thing that hurts on me while riding either of my bikes "all day" now is my ass. Anyway, if not willing or unable to improve your conditioning then I'd suggest Multistrada, an actual touring bike, or another of your steeds your signature says you have. My 2 cents. :)
 

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Regarding positioning.
Try this:
Sit close to the tank, slightly grip the tank with the knees. Keep the torso, upright, but relaxed. This keeps the weight off the wrists and shoulders which is where the fatigue comes into play. Keep those shoulders loose.

I get fatigued from the turbulent air off my stock windscreen. To remedy this I am going with a LOWER screen. Zero Gravity SR (Stock Replacement) is a tick lower with less upsweep. I feel having my helmet in cleaner air will make for a quieter ride. My torso will still be behind the protection of the fairing and screen.

Even so, I can ride all day with the way she sits right now. That-is: stock screen, Heli-bars, DP touring seat.
I am 5'9" with long legs/short torso.

And also, I am a firm believer that in time one adjusts to their bike. Or at least the body self-learns how to best fit.
 

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The Heli bars may be one source of the problem by raising you up into the windblast. Did you try riding for a while with the adjustable OEM bars at various heights? I am 5-10. The OEM bars in their highest position do a very good job of keeping me in a comfortable position and out of the wind blast, even at triple digits.

Try riding with a Back-A-Line. http://www.cyclegadgets.com/Products/product.asp?Item=BACKALINE

Ditto what someone said about a starting a fitness program if you do not have one going already. Work on strengthening the legs, back, and middle body core.
 

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You can have your seat rebuilt at Spensers (greatdaytoride.com) and have him lower the seat a bit, install gel and leave appearance stock. Very inexpensive (<100) and super fast turnaround. He did the seat on my Guzzi and I am happy with the work after 2 years.
 

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It could be that you aren't getting enough of a wind blast. The wind holds you up a bit, taking pressure off of the wrists. To ride in a windless state you would want to be nearly upright, which would be hard for your height. At 6' my stock bars and windscreen work well for me, although I had to get used to it a bit.
 

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If you really are that short

Based on your description of barely being able to stand flat-footed when stopped I am wondering if the Heli-bar risers are the problem here. I have Heli-risers and I recently lowered them down as far as they would go, I think it was about an inch total. It was an interesting difference and next time I am planning to ride aggressively I'll put them back down but for my 6'3" frame I prefer them up high most of the time. You might try lowering the bars that little bit and see if it makes any difference at all. I would guess with your shorter stature plus the raised bars your head is more straight up and down and your back is left at an angle that is uncomfortable for you.

I also think you should look into a lower seat.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, you guys are the best!

Wow, what a great response from all you guys. I’m very appreciative of your suggestions and I’ll respond to all of them here by order posted:

Nikon800: You’re the 2nd one who’s suggested the Laminar Lip, the first being a friend who has one. I’m going to take a look at his and may go that route instead of the Zero Gravity windscreen.

Mad: Good advice and I’m in total agreement. According to my Doc I’m in pretty fair shape considering the mileage on my creaky old frame – I’ll be 70 next year. Often before launching a new trip I spend some extra time at the gym tuning things up a bit better. I’ve found the rowing machine works best for my particular needs. Re. the Multistrada, I like them alright but had I wanted one it would be in my garage now instead of the ST3s. I’m not quite ready to quit this model yet but if it happens that’s one I’ll be interested in.

Kramer: Thanks for sharing your thoughts, but sitting closer to the tank isn’t quite where I want to be. According to my arm lengths I should be around 6 ft tall… While that works great for driving ‘Italian’ style in race cars it precludes a comfortable position on the Duc. (I’ve tried it) You’re definitely right, spending time in the saddle is a bit like breaking in a new baseball glove, eventually things will mold into place.

Bill: I never rode with the stock bars; instead I chose to have the Helibars installed prior to delivery of the new bike. I made this ‘showroom’ decision based on how the bike felt to me as new. Perhaps our riding styles are such that your experience reflects those differences? As much as I like to go fast, and I do on occasion when no one is looking, I seldom spend much time in the triple-digit arena, I mostly ride around 65 unless I’m on the slab and the law remits. I think that due to the differences in our height ergonomic requirements won’t exactly be the same. Your recommendation of the Back-A-Line device is well received. I’ve been using one for several years and now have close to 40K on mine. I particularly like the way it helps conceal my gut…

OregonAl: Doggone it Al, when are we ever going to meet eyeball to eyeball? You need to make it to the Bikers Breakfast in Brookings, 2nd Sunday of each month, Pirate’s Cove. BTW Michael found his ST3 and I’m hoping to see it there next time. Re your thoughts I’ll check in with Spenser’s re having the stock seat modified. I’d wondered if there wasn’t someone around who offers that kind of service. I find the stock seat is more than comfortable enough, just a bit tall and I think there’s plenty of material for a one-inch adjustment.

Jasper: Boy I don’t know, if I were getting much more wind blast I might end up in Kansas! What I’d like to emulate ergonomics-wise is my Ninja 650R. I just finished an 11,000 mile ride to Nova Scotia and never experienced a moment of discomfort. On that particular bike I sit very close to upright and the wind stream is there but seemingly not as severe, thus my thoughts on the Zero Gravity or Laminar Lip.

Il Randy: Interesting observation about lowering the bars slightly; I may just give that a try. (and yes, I really am that short :D) Thanks for the suggestion.
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A friend recently asked me “If you like the Ninja so much and it fits you so well why bother with the Duc?” OMG, why indeed? Handling, brakes, power, all good reasons for sure. The ST3s suspension soaks up road surface irregularities as if they never existed; nothing seems to catch you out on one of these. And then there‘s the matter of soul…

Thanks again every one of you.

LL :)
 

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As one of the previous posters suggested, I've found that lowering the Helibars worked better for me at highway speeds. What blows me away is how the heck are you able to get both feet flat on the ground with a stock seat if your 5'6"? I'm 5'9" and can just get my toes down and that's with the rear spring preload backed off to full soft?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Flat-footed? Sure, why not?

My inseam is close to 30" so that must be about the seat height when my fat ass is settled on it. Maybe you need to gain a few lbs so your saddle compresses all the way? Nah...:D:D:D

LL
 

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My inseam is close to 30" so that must be about the seat height when my fat ass is settled on it. Maybe you need to gain a few lbs so your saddle compresses all the way? Nah...:D:D:D

LL
LOL, I have noticed that over the last couple of years, as I've matured, the seat height seems to be getting a bit lower :)
 

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Not to make matters too confusing but my Laminar Lip is sitting on my toolbox and the ZG sport touring screen is on. The performance is close to the same but the ZG is much more streamlined and I think it keeps the lines looking better on the bike. Also, the LL is more difficult to clean if you are picky about that, better to take the whole thing off and re-mount it. If you want one for a good price I will sell you mine.

Regarding comfort, I found a nice trick for riding on long stretches on my recent 4K mi ride I took last month. I had a medium sized tank bag by Tourmaster (not the HUGE ones but not the mini either). Many people will lay or lean on them, not a bad idea but try this..lock your throttle (if you have it- I used Throttlemeister), put your butt way back on your seat and lay forward, prop your chinbar of your helmet on your tank bag, also move to your toes on the footpegs. Takes a well deserved load off of your neck, back, core, and wrists, just use 2 fingers to dial in the throttle as you go up and down hills. You can actually do that all without a throttle lock as well of course.
 

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I just returned from an 1800 mile trip, it was the first long ride I had with the ST. Other than my right leg, (still recovering from a broken leg in Jan), I was quite comfortable. I installed a touring lamar lip, convertibars, lowered pegs, and I customized the seat to fit me. I found that a tank bag to lean against really helped on the straight boring sections roads. Although I wasn't able to use the rear brake this trip, I find the location and size of the pedal wrong for me. I ordered a adjustable pedal assy and fabbed a larger peg for it. It takes time & $ to get everything where you want it but once you do, it is quite comfortable. Buy a used seat and carve out/add foam till you get what you want. There are places that will build you a customized seat while you wait.
 

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Wow, what a great response from all you guys. I’m very appreciative of your suggestions and I’ll respond to all of them here by order posted:

<<snippety snip>>


OregonAl: Doggone it Al, when are we ever going to meet eyeball to eyeball? You need to make it to the Bikers Breakfast in Brookings, 2nd Sunday of each month, Pirate’s Cove. BTW Michael found his ST3 and I’m hoping to see it there next time. Re your thoughts I’ll check in with Spenser’s re having the stock seat modified. I’d wondered if there wasn’t someone around who offers that kind of service. I find the stock seat is more than comfortable enough, just a bit tall and I think there’s plenty of material for a one-inch adjustment.

LL :)
I think you'll be impressed if you use Spenser's services. I can't think of anything negative about his work, and the guy does a lot of seats. I have emailed him quite a few times about various bikes before I settled on the st3 and he had experience with all of them. Ironically I chose not to have the st3 modified because I like it as is.
Yes we will definitely meet up at some point and I just may show up at the next meeting. I can actually see the restaurant from my house so I ought to be able to make it down there...



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If you guys (OregonAL and Larry)ever make it out to the Roseburg Area Let me know and we could grab a refreshment some time.
 

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ya 138 east up to 238 and back around past crater lake is a great 1/2 day ride. Drop me a line if you're ever around here. Lots of other shorter rides too.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Zero Gravity on order

Hi Guys,

Well a lot of things have been happening of late but the net result has been I placed an order for a light smoke Zero Gravity touring wind screen today. The price was a reasonable $93.95 delivered so it's not a big gamble.

Leading up to this was a test ride on a new BMW R1200R which just happens to fit me like the proverbial glove, or as good as my Ninja 650R. I was on brink of placing my order when at the advice of a riding buddy I researched the recent failures of their shaft drive unit. Turns out they're up the their necks in misery and not yet ready to admit defeat of the design. I had been in touch with two dealers, one in Tigard and the other in Medford and after getting back to them I've decided to put the beemer on hold for awhile and try to get the Duc to fit me better.

Today it was sunshine on the southern Oregon coast and riding the red Italian beast through the local twisties was as good as it gets.

Thanks again for your continued input, lots of good advice always comes from this group.

LL
 

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