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Bad Back Question

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by swaytan, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Hey Guys,

    I come from a family of bike lovers. My Dad rides his bike everyday, my Mum is looking at buying a new bike, my brother in law rides his bike every day & I've finally decided to learn to ride.

    I rode a little when I was really young, dirt bikes, but now I'm looking at learning to ride properly and getting myself out there.

    I'm going to be booking my pre learner course thingy this week, but I'm starting to wonder what style of bike may be easier on my back. Basically I don't have the best back in the world, not through major injury or anything, but I can become quite conscious of it after say driving a bus all day.

    I love nakeds, like sports bikes & also like harleys. But I'm wondering if anybody on here has a similar back problem to me and what your experience with different riding positions is. Do you prefer to be more upright like on a naked or more forward like on a sport bike?

    Thanks guys!
  2. upright seat position seems better for back issues, can be naked, or cruiser??
  3. I have a bad back and I find the more extreme sport bikes to be uncomfortable after an hour or so.
    If you are after something that can easily be ridden by cripples, well, there's a reason why BMW sells so many bikes to middle aged guys.
  4. A cruiser would probably be the go, as long as the handlebars aren't too far to reach. I have a crook back, but I didn't want a cruiser, so a more upright riding position was the way to ride. I currently ride a VTR250 (still on restrictions), and the beauty of the more upright position is that I can also slide my bum back and assume a more agressive position if I want to (which improves my arm position for countersteering thru corners).

    I find changing around my position is helpful too.
  5. seat comfort helps too, in the way of sheepskin [can be slippery though, but AIRHAWK make a fantastic air cushion that helps with ride comfort.
  6. I think a cruiser would be a bad choice for lower back issues. Your feet are out front of you, so all bumps are absorbed with your back. A standard position would be best as your feet are directly under your hips, so, bumps are absorbed with your legs. (naked or sports tourer) I had surgery on my back about 6 years ago, and also have a disk issue in my neck. Check out http://cycle-ergo.com/. You can input your height etc and check out your body position on various bikes etc.
  7. Truly, there's a web-site for everything :LOL:

    Welcome to Netrider anwyay, and enjoy the learning and the shopping.
  8. Wow that's a really cool gadget. My height & inseam didn't even cross my mind, but looking at some of the riding positions I can just see from my measurements a naked/cruiser might be the go.

    In saying that though, I guess at the end of the day I won't know 100% until I ride something.

    Thanks buddy!
  9. I have ridden a cruiser and nakeds and a sports bike, the cruiser has a more comfy seat / saddle and while the feet are forward mine had boards, and the naked I tend to sit on not stand on the pegs, so I dont get that comment. But I have seen your neck brace and best thing since sliced bread !!
  10. Hey guys,

    Just wanted to say thanks for your advice!
  11. What I mean is that when you are on bumpy ground, you can stand on the pegs (just a fraction, not stand up) and ride them with your legs. With the cruiser, your feet are out front, so you can't do that. The bumps go up the bike and into your back. I agree that the cruisers seem to have the better sears tho. In the end, I think all you can do is ride them all and see what works for you. $0.02
  12. Np. Let us know how you go.
  13. good idea to try as many different bikes as you can, you may find a cruiser very comfy but hate the ride style and may put up with a little discmofort for a better ride style and only one way to find this out, try different bikes!!
    Good luck with the search..
  14. Ironically due to injuries I sustained years ago in a car accident ..
    riding the supersport is soooooo much better for me ,
    as it stretches out my back and shoulder which eases the pain ...
    Riding my cruiser and then the upright Suzi only enhanced it .. even pillioning aggravates the neck .. ( the brace is good though :) )
    Weird ...

    Test ride as many as you can , ride what ever is most comfortable for you ..
  15. I've got a pretty bad back.
    Used to have a cruiser. Comfortable, but as others have stated, you feel every jar in the road & can't lift yourself up on the pegs for any relief.
    Super sports have me too lent over & aggrivate my back.
    I now ride a naked (Z1000) & it's been the most comfortable bike I've ever owned.
    Even all the different styles are different between the brands. Get out there & sit on & ride as many bikes as you can.
    You'll know which one just 'feels' right straight away!
  16. I've got a bad lwr back. And my neck is stuffed (and left shoulder and left arm)

    I wouldn't go near a Harley type cruiser. A standard bike which normally has a slightly forward ergo, would be my choice, especially on longish runs.

    I've got a 675 with rear sets making for quite an aggressive rider position, but I'm in pain no matter what I ride, but the way I like to ride requires a sportsbike.
  17. I agree with Raven... I don't have a bad back and the few times I rode a cruiser (Julia's for servicing etc.) I developed pains in the lower back. Like John, I also have the D675 and find it quite comfortable ironically because of the aggressive position. My previous bike was an upright GS500F which didn't cause any grief either (apart from the occasional jarring due to the licorice suspension).

    I think at the end of the day, you simply need to ride the various styles (naked, cruiser and sports) to see which is the most comfortable for yourself. People here can give you a general consensus but only you will know for sure which suits you best.
  18. Ive got 2 bulged discs in my lower back.
    I found cruiser positions hopeless because all the weight is sitting over the spine. Anywhere between 20 and 35 degrees is fairly comfortable as im using muscles to hold myself together.

    The bad back has on ocassion prevented me from going FOR a ride, but has never been a problem if it is behaving somewhat once on a bike - what i mean is, going for a ride hasnt caused back pain.

    Id avoid tooooo aggressive an angle if your back is quite bad, but i also wouldnt sit in a position where you slouch on the bike either.
  19. Need a little more info than just "bad back" to give really useful advice on this one.

    I've got a "bad back" and I find (pretty much as soon as I sit on one) sports bikes and cruiser uncomfortable which is a large part of the reason why I'm on a bike with a very upright position, where as one of Dads bike buddies who has a terrible back (has had surgery) find a cruiser works for him.

    Give a few bikes a go, have a decent sit, then a test ride and I'm sure you'll know what works for you soon enough.

    Also, it is a good idea to check measurements on cycle ergo, I've found a couple that were wrong (at least for Aussie spec bikes).
  20. Bikes which are too upright means that when you hit bumps the shock transmit more as a compression shock up your spine. Some backs don't like that.

    I don't ride a cruiser but assume the feet forward position means that you take more shock on your bum and back rather than absorbing some with your feet/legs.

    Possibly the best position for a bad back could be a sports tourer type postion, moderately upright but with a bit of forward lean although not extreme lean.

    At the end of the day you need to shop around for what works for you but remember you can change position of pegs and use risers or different bars to make adjustments to seating position too.