I have the stock bars and lowered them until they just clear the tank - it was a noticeable improvement. My shoulder still complains though after anything more than an hour. My right shoulder has limited movement, so I think that's the cause.
I'm scheduled for a complete shoulder replacement in December, so I'm going to wait until I can ride again before deciding if I want to replace the bars. Doc says six weeks after surgery and I should be able to try it - planned it for December on purpose.
My other bike is a Suzuki Volutia; the bars pull farther back and are more comfortable so I know that that I could improve the feel of the Thunderbird. Maybe just risers would do it - don't know.
I have back/shoulder pain that happens with all sorts of activity; motorcycling, mowing the lawn, backpacking...
Rotating the stock bars as far down as possible helps on the bike. I put on the Jims' Spacers, and they help more than I thought they would. They are only 7/8" tall, but since the yoke is at an angle they bring the bars back as well as up. They are probably the only alteration you can make without springing for the longer cables.
Having the floorboards helps, too. I am able to change my seating position frequently, which helps with the back fatigue.
Last edited by Stratofaster; 09-16-2011 at 09:57 AM.