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Is my bike too small? - back pain

Discussion in 'Cruisers' started by matt76, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. Welcome everyone, my first question. Had a look at some old threads but couldn't come up with an answer to my problem.

    Just came back from a Sunday ride, somewhat of 200km I think, 70%city, 30% freeway, and my back is absolutely killing me, last time I went for a ride, same story, commuting to work is OK, but it's 15 min each way.

    bike is a V-star 650 Custom, I'm 6"3 (188cm) and frankly i feel like my knees are bent too much, I would like to stretch my arms some more but then I'll be leaning back.

    Now, will putting some brackets for foot pegs to move them further forward for more leg room help?, Maybe drag handle bars to stretch my arms a little?

    Puzzled about this one, maybe there's something wrong with the way I ride?


  2. Only one way to find out, mate.
  3. yeah, will probably to these mods anyway, only wondering if there's anyone here with similar problem? and how they solved it?
  4. Some excersizes or streches may assist with this.
  5. +1 You tend to harden up to particular riding positions. Kidney belt may help to give you better lower back support.
  6. Hmmm, a common problem with cruisers, unfortunately.
    I hear this same complaint about back pain alot at work from XV650 riders.
    Just yesterday I was discussing this issue with one chap, he priced a set of forward controls, $2000 :shock: and that doesn't include labour to fit them. Thats a pricey mod for a $10,000 bike.
    The reason it happens is because of the bolt upright ride position, all of the bumps and vibrations are transfered direct to your spine. Getting off the bike and stretching every hour seems to help a bit.
  7. well I guess I'll have to harden up a bit and stop whining then :))

    Will get the drag bars anyway, just look cool. Forward controls shouldn't be too hard to fabricate?

    Can't post a link but on 650ccnd is a nice write-up on forward controls, shouldn't be $2000...
  8. A friend I knew had a Virago and had to get rid of it because the cruiser seating position did not work with his bad lower back. He got a ZZR250 and didn't have the same problem as with the cruiser.
  9. Ain't gonna happen mate, rather have a bionic spine than ride a faired bike :LOL:
  10. They do make bikes that are naked and not cruisers, some of them are even pretty good.
  11. Had a similar problem on my VL250.
    I found that in an attempt to minimise wind resistance I would arch my back and crunch my lower spine - which exacerbated the effect any bumps I hit had on my spine.

    I cured it by ignoring wind, regularly sitting up & delibarately straightening my back. Sure, on a 250 it meant suddenly going from 110 to 80 but I survived the ride in a better condition.

    Now on my M50 I have a screen and ride with a straight back most of the time - much better - no pain.
    Perhaps you might consider a screen and/or a seat with lumbar/back support . Straighten your spine, don't scrunch it - it helps.
  12. Hi Matt,

    I am a little shorter that you at 6'2". I sat on loads of bikes when looking for my first bike, paying particular attention to the ergonomics of the seating position. With each bike I asked myself if it would be comfortable over an extended period of time.

    I found that the Yamaha cruisers were too small to accomodate long legs. Basically my knees were up level with the top of the tank. Both the 650 and 1100 models were problematic. It was not until I sat on the 1300 that I felt nice and comfy.

    Surprisingly enough the Hyosung GV650 Aquila was a very comfy bike. The seating position allows a nice straight back, particularly in the lumbar area, with good leg extension. Pay close attention to your low back. Any amount of forward curvature here will definitely cause pain over time.

    Ultimately, I didn't end up with a cruiser....budget dictated a second hand naked road bike instead. But if I bought a LAMS cruiser, the Hyosung would have been the one for sure.

    The other bike I liked for comfort was the Kawasaki VN900.


  13. I can swear by the quality and comfort of the after market seat from Mustang seats in the USA.

    Details for your bike can be found at :


    I would recommend part #79441 - Two-Piece Vintage Wide Touring seat with Driver Backrest for Yamaha V-Star 650 1998-2009 Custom Sold as a complete two-piece seat including solo...

    I had a seat for my Honda VT 750 C2. I now have a Vn 900 and will hopefully get a seat for that as well - soon. Extra comfort for the pillion as well.
  14. I am 6"4 on V-Star 650.
    I had some back pain during first couple of months on the bike.
    No back pain after that. (Lifestyle, excerising may be contributing factors.)

    Seating position on the bike could be higher though. For that I will be buying Mustang seat with back support probably.

    I had a problem with handlebar bumping into my knees when turning to extreme.
    Installed 4" pullback risers, it made huge of difference. More relaxed position and easier ride overall.
    Pullback risers move handlebar towards you and allow for more freedom in adjustment of angle.

    Comfort- related things to change on VStar 650:
    - Get risers and/or try to adjust handlebar.
    - Get a new seat.
    - Get highway pegs or forward controls.
  15. Thanks Ckramer, that's exactly the list I had in mind. I will do that. Thanks guys.
  16. Is it possible to raise the seat a good few inches (eg get a sprung saddle seat), and in fact have slightly rear-ward pegs such as the 883 Sportster often has? Then with forward reaching bars you can use your legs to brace yourself at times. Would also look cool!

    How is the rear suspension? Could it be set softer to dampen things a bit more? (ie might be more than one thing effecting you here)
  17. Hopefully solved the problem, moved the handle bars forward and up, and fabricated forward controls, and what a difference!!



    thanks everyone.
  18. Wow nice work. And you made them yourself?
  19. Problem with cruisers is the very upright sitting position. Your back take a lot of the shock. Has the exact same problem when i had the Boulevard. The 14 gives my legs a work out and the wrists get a bit sore when i get lazy. Now the ZRX is just sweet as, no sore back, no sore legs or wrists.. :grin:
  20. Haha sorry i mis-read the topic saying "is my balls too small for my bike?"

    jsut had to post