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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all. 1st "real" post. Been looking for awhile. Anyhow...

I've had my 2005 T100 since brand spanking new. The first few years I was my only vehicle and I rode the heck out of and loved it. Even comfortably did 6-700 mile days on it stock. Alas I had kids and the riding wasn't happening nearly as much. Fast forward a few years and I have 45 miles to work one way. I've been riding some to work, but now I get back pain in my lower back and between the shoulder blades. I'm hesitant to go changing everything cause I rode it so hard for awhile with no problems. I'm also hesitant to sell it cause its awesome

I guess my question is: has anyone else had these problems and what hanges did you make? Footpegs, screen, bars? Different bike altogether? Any thoughts would be helpful.

Thanks-


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It appears to me that you are associating your back pain with motorcycle riding. Exercise should help--especially if you strengthen the correct muscles. However, if you find that the pain is there whether you ride or not, I suggest reading a book "Healing Back Pain" by John E. Sarno, M.D.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
bike

unfortunately it is the bike.

if i ride 4-5 days in a row, i'm in a lot of pain. if i don't ride for a week or two, i'm in no pain.
 

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I get back pain on all three bikes. If I remember to not slouch and hold shoulders back, lower back pain and piercing pain between shoulder blades do not appear. Don't sell 'er. It's not her fault. Get some flat track style or western bars. Helped loads for me.
 

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Bars and seats are cheap fixes. Some people do better with more forward lean, others less. Even better if you can borrow the parts. Also Airhawk or similar and changing the bar angles would be a good start.
 

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Along with the already good advice, try gripping the tank some with your knees. It helps take the pressure off your lower back and forces you into a better riding posture.
 

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The solution that worked for me was to change to BellaCorse Superbars, which brought my weight forward so that I felt less pressure on my back. I haven't had a problem since, but it's fair to say that I was lucky and hit on the right solution for me at the very first attempt. It won't necessarily work for everyone. Also, I changed to better suspension, which certainly doesn't hurt the cause.
 

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+1. Lower bars will tilt you forward, taking the load off of your lower back. You could also try resting the balls of your feet on the pegs, rather than the heels. That should also subtly shift the load.
 

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I'm pushing 61 years old. I can ride all day long on my Bonnie or my Honda NT700 (aka Deauville) and experience no back pain whatsoever. There is nothing about either bike that necessarily causes back pain. It could be something that's "unique" to your body build and posture that may contribute.
I recommend exercise.
 

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Changing the ergonomics of the bike through bar and/or seat changes may be the solution. But if you were able to ride comfortably before, and not now, then it seems obvious that something about you changed, not the bike. And that something is probably overall fitness, unless you've had a back injury or something.

Getting to the gym for some good old-fashioned barbell training cures a lot of ills.
 

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Let me clarify. These guys are saying work out and that does not mean you need to spend time away from the family.

While you may be on the floor with your kids, do 20 crunches and 20 pushups. It will take all of two mins if you are out of shape. Start by doing this three times a week.

Add leg lifts to the routine. Lay on the ground and while keeping your legs straight, lift both legs up and let them slowly make their way over your head. This helps to strengthen the core and stretch back muscles at the same time.

I noticed a HUGE improvement in how I felt after riding from doing just these back exercises. Next was to life an easy 60lbs on a bar. 20 curls, 20 over the head, 20 squats. Takes all of ten minutes and most of those ten minutes are plugging the radio in the garage and getting the space free and clear. The weight lifting takes all of three to five, not rushing, but fully extending and breathing correctly.

Three weeks and you will feel like a much younger man.
 

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I'll chime in with what others have said about the bars. The stockers look like they should be comfortable, but in reality they have you sitting bolt upright and getting slammed in the lower back every time the road surface reminds you of the less than plush suspension and seat. When I first got the bike I thought I might have to get rid of it because of the discomfort. Enter the cheap remedy of Superbars which has you pitched slightly forward in a more natural and neutral riding position thus taking the strain off your lower back. It's at least worth a try. If you are young enough to have young kids you are young enough for many more years of riding.
 

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Even though it's already been mentioned several times here, I cannot stress enough the importance of exercise. It doesn't take much to vastly improve both your comfort AND performance on any bike. A few short minutes just a few times a week is all it takes...
I'm guessing I'm quite a bit older than you - I'm in my mid 50s - so if I can do it, and know the difference it makes, I know you can, too. ;)
 

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Some interesting ideas being shared. Good info for sure.

I have to admit though that I'm kind of perplexed about how different folks view the riding position.

For me, sitting up straight is most comfortable. In fact, the stock Bonneville bars feel just a bit too low and I feel too much pressure on my hands most of the time unless I am conciously pulling off them (for lack of a better way to describe it). And I have noticed that when leaned forward my back actually bothers me worse than if I'm sitting up.

So I guess it seems counter-intuitive, and also runs against my personal experience to add *more* lean by using lower bars which puts more pressure on my back because I'm trying to keep as little pressure on my hands a possible. Maybe it's just me?

So after reading what I just typed...

Excercise seems to be the soundest suggestion!
 

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I think you might have answered your own question. Time in the saddle. When you ride a lot: not much of an issue. When you cut back: big issue.

I'll turn 59 next month and I'm pretty much a broken down wreck suffering through my third frozen shoulder -- they take me about 2 years to work through.

I recently finished an 11,000+ mile tour on my T100 and I had bad days when I broke down and took Aleve and I had plenty of pretty good days. Sometimes it was very hot and I think I got low on electrolytes so I tried to remember to drink V-8s. Sometimes it wasn't so hot, but I still drank V-8s. Other times I thought it might be exercise so I tried to remember to do some push-ups or chin ups or stretching.

I also suffered days with upper back and neck pain and couldn't really look back over my shoulder comfortably; and I had lots of no real pain days where I felt like I was only a spry 50 years old.

I know I'm mostly pretty comfy on the Bonnie and you've said that you can be too. I think if we ride a lot, it's pretty much all right, but if we don't ride a lot, we're screwed. I also think that as we age, we're kind of screwed either way.

Regards, Chuck
 

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I'm pushing 60 and suffered lower back pain since an accident in 1962.
I've ridden plenty of bikes over the years without problems until I bought a Bonnie last year. After replacing the stock seat with a King & Queen it felt really comfortable, and so it was for the first 30 miles when my lower back felt like somebody had poked it with a dagger and twisted it.
The cause turned out to be the stock bars which are too high and pulled back. After reading a few posts recommending the Norman Hyde M Bars I bought some. Initially I fitted them turned down but that put too much weight on the arms causing my wrists to ache and hands to go numb so I flipped them over and they've been great, no more back pain.
M bars have less rise and pull back than stock giving a slightly leaned forward riding position. There are other bars out there that do the same to a greater or lesser degree but I can only recommend M bars from personal experience.
 

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here in MA i can't ride because of the snow/salt/sand on the roads for a few months. when spring comes along i'm only good for short rides,everything hurts ! it takes a while to build up them muscles again, then i'm good for hrs...
same thing with my bicycle.
i'll be 59 in a couple of months
 
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