Looking For Critique On Riding Position - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 22 Old Apr 6th, 2008, 7:27 pm Thread Starter
 
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Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Stats: 5'8", Inseam 30", Sleeve, 30", weight, too much.

Can you folks check my riding position and tell me what I'm doing right/wrong.

I'm trying to follow MYRPs (Master Yoda's Riding Position) the best I can.

Reason for question...Had GT for 9 days, rode 600 miles. Came from HD Ultra Classic. After 20 minutes of riding, using the position you'll see in the video, I get a dull ache in the area of my left shoulder blade, and sometimes the same type of ache in the small of my back.

There is no pressure on the handlebars, and I'm just wondering what time frame I can expect to be comfortable, that it, no pain in the back area, on the GT.

I'd like to keep things stock, and am hopeful my body is just telling me that it's getting used to a new riding position.

The video is not the best quality, but I think will allow you to see what I'm doing right, or wrong.

Here's a link to the video - My Riding Position

Thanks so much for your help.
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post #2 of 22 Old Apr 6th, 2008, 7:57 pm
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Need to sit with your back straight, better posture. When it gets tired, rest a little. The muscles need to get used to the change of position and takes time. Relax your shoulders, they look tense. It helps to get some robber grips on the sides of your tank and you can use your leg muscles to help with your posture during riding and braking. Most of all, relax, enjoy, good posture. You are using different muscle groups now than with the HD. I hope it helps.


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post #3 of 22 Old Apr 6th, 2008, 8:28 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Quote:
Originally Posted by spinedr
Need to sit with your back straight, better posture. When it gets tired, rest a little. The muscles need to get used to the change of position and takes time. Relax your shoulders, they look tense. It helps to get some robber grips on the sides of your tank and you can use your leg muscles to help with your posture during riding and braking. Most of all, relax, enjoy, good posture. You are using different muscle groups now than with the HD. I hope it helps.
Thanks, appreciate the comments. I thought my back was straight, at least that's what it felt like when I was riding, but looking at the video, I do notice a slight hunching around the shoulders, and that shouldn't be.

When I ride I do extend my chest out a bit, like a proud father. I thought that was supposed to straighten one's back, or it could be just my anatomy.

Thanks for the tip on the grips for the gas tank, I will try those.
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post #4 of 22 Old Apr 6th, 2008, 8:28 pm
 
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Have you experimented with the handlebar positions? All the way UP? All the way DOWN? I was experiencing some fatigue until I moved mine all of the way DOWN. My longest day was only just over 1,200 miles ... and I had zero fatigue. After sleeping 5 hours, I could've ridden another 800-1K, no problem.

How tightly are you holding the grips? Not sure? Try flipping your thumbs over on top of the grips for a change. I probably ride 50% of the time like this.

Also, you do appear to be hunched over a bit. Can you straighten your back any more than that?

Lastly, are you riding on the balls of your feet? I actually move my feet around a LOT! Probably won't solve your issue, but I thought I'd throw it out there while we're covering all of the bases.
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post #5 of 22 Old Apr 6th, 2008, 9:03 pm
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

My handlebars are all the way down, too. Just like Joe (scary, huh?) I move around a lot on long trips. Balls of feet, flat footed, hook the heels, move around on the seat, change posture and grip with the knees (where the Techspec grippers come in handy).



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post #6 of 22 Old Apr 6th, 2008, 10:02 pm
 
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

You do look a bit "scrunched up", not only your back posture but looking at your relationship between your shoulders and neck it has some overtones of a "shrug" with your neck a bit compressed. I bought a velcro closure back support from the Sports Authority. It's about 8" wide, fits well over my belly around my waist and keeps my trunk, lower back and hips upright and square. I ride with it all the time with no discomfort or fatigue. The biggest improvement to rider comfort I've experienced so far.
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post #7 of 22 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 9:11 am
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

I had the same problem with the "right" shoulder on the initial 160 mile ride home from the dealer, and after I got home, I found that dealer had put the bars in the high position. I played around with the bar height for a couple of weeks and found that the lowest position was the most comfortable for me.
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post #8 of 22 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 10:53 am Thread Starter
 
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Thanks to all whom responded. Your advice and comments have been most helpful.

I've decided to try one thing at a time, and see how one change effects my comfort and form.

My new Sargent (low) seats come today, so that will be the first change. I'm going to try that for 200 miles and see if that's the key.

If not, I'm going to lower than handle bars, starting at the lowest position, then raise them a notch at a time if needed.

I think a 200 mile test run should be long enough to tell if the changes are having any effect. Not 200 miles in one ride, but over three or four days.

I'd really like to ride the bike as it was designed, that is, with the rider in a forward leaning position. I am open to further tweaking if the low seat and handlebar position changes have no effect.

It's not my intent to have this thread go on forever, but I will post back my results.

Again, thanks to everyone for your thoughtful responses.
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post #9 of 22 Old Apr 7th, 2008, 2:57 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Quick Note:

Installed the Sargent seat (low version), and without doing anything my stomach is touching the gas tank, which brings me closer to the bars. Now mind you, I was just sitting on the bike in the garage, but I could feel a difference.

Tomorrow begins the road tests.
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post #10 of 22 Old Apr 8th, 2008, 6:33 am
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Lightbulb Re: Wrist and Elbows

I see 2 issues others have not observed.

1- The first you should try is to adjust the bar height . Adjust the bars lower so your wrists are lower than your elbows.

2- Compare the natural angle of your wrist to your wrist angle on the handlebars.
I bet when your hands are on the bars there is to much ulnar deviation ( wrist bend ). The excessive wrist bend forces your elbow's into the body,further cramping the ride position. Solution rotate the bars out .

Side note: Joe points out for comfort 50% of the time he places his thumbs over the top of the grips. This technique further reduces ulnar deviation.

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post #11 of 22 Old Apr 8th, 2008, 9:41 am
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Addign to the other's comments....

I use a throttle lock or wrist rest from Bob's BMW
Bob's BMW Wrist Rest

Of course get the one that fits the GT.

This negates the dead man throttle but is very easy on the tension of your wrist.
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post #12 of 22 Old Apr 8th, 2008, 10:26 am Thread Starter
 
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Re: Wrist and Elbows

Quote:
Originally Posted by murray
I see 2 issues others have not observed.

1- The first you should try is to adjust the bar height . Adjust the bars lower so your wrists are lower than your elbows.

2- Compare the natural angle of your wrist to your wrist angle on the handlebars.
I bet when your hands are on the bars there is to much ulnar deviation ( wrist bend ). The excessive wrist bend forces your elbow's into the body,further cramping the ride position. Solution rotate the bars out .

Side note: Joe points out for comfort 50% of the time he places his thumbs over the top of the grips. This technique further reduces ulnar deviation.
Thanks, Pete. I'm in the process of adjusting my handlebars down, but have run into a snag (see other thread).

I see you live in Stroudsburg. I live in Allentown. Perhaps we could get together for a ride.
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post #13 of 22 Old Apr 8th, 2008, 1:05 pm
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Thumbs up Re: Wrist and Elbows

Quote:
Originally Posted by stefeb
Thanks, Pete. I'm in the process of adjusting my handlebars down, but have run into a snag (see other thread).

I see you live in Stroudsburg. I live in Allentown. Perhaps we could get together for a ride.
Sounds good , Look foreword to it!

Pete Murray
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2014 RT
1973 R75/5
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2008 FJR 36 K Gone
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post #14 of 22 Old Apr 8th, 2008, 1:57 pm
 
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Can you (or will you) get a backrest for that bike in the drivers position? That would maybe help you, or lower the handlebars or get them further away from your body.
It definitely look like your body is making an turn around c, thus your probems seems obvious to what you descirbed.

Good luck
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post #15 of 22 Old Apr 8th, 2008, 2:07 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Quote:
Originally Posted by paalao
Can you (or will you) get a backrest for that bike in the drivers position? That would maybe help you, or lower the handlebars or get them further away from your body.
It definitely look like your body is making an turn around c, thus your probems seems obvious to what you descirbed.

Good luck
I'm going to say no to the backrest, but am in the process of trying to lower the bar to their lowest position.
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post #16 of 22 Old Apr 8th, 2008, 2:25 pm
 
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Quote:
Originally Posted by stefeb
I'm going to say no to the backrest
That's my boy! Backrests are for GoldWings . . . and . . . err . . . well . . . you know.
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post #17 of 22 Old Apr 8th, 2008, 2:41 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
That's my boy! Backrests are for GoldWings . . . and . . . err . . . well . . . you know.
I really want to ride this bike as it was meant to be ridden, in the forwarding leaning position. Right now, with the new seat, and with me close to the tank, I'm almost sitting upright, which in my mind, place me on top of the bike. I looking to become a part of this great machine.

If I can ever get those *(*)(*)* bars lowered, I think I'll be getting closer to my goal, or at the very least, find out that's not the answer, but from reading all the help I received here, I sort of think it just my be.

The bar saga is in my other thread.
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post #18 of 22 Old Apr 8th, 2008, 7:28 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Okay folks, I think I've got this thing figured out.

First, again, thanks to all who commented.

Lowering my handlebars all the way down has helped a lot. Much better. More arm room, etc.

I think I know, not counting the bars, where my biggest problem was. I was trying to emulate what I had seen in this picture, which is of someone on an RS.


Instead of someone riding a GT.


To my eye, there is a difference. The RS rider is leaning forward a bit more than the GT rider. I was trying to lean forward too much.

With the handlebars lowered my hands reach the bars just slightly above bar level. That is, I am not reaching up to grab the bars, but coming at them from just above the bars.

My arms are not parallel with the ground, but angle slightly upward from the bar to my elbow.

Placing the foot so the area just behind the ball of the foot is on the pegs has made a world of difference. Thanks for that advice.

About the "hunch" in my back. I'm afraid that's just part of my anatomy. Years ago I raced at our local velodrome. Track bikes, fixed gear, no brakes, etc. The position was leaning forward and as low as you could go. All the other riders backs were razor straight, but I always had a slight hunch in the upper part of my back. I could throw my chest out to Cleveland, but that anomaly of mine would still look the same. Funny, but I had forgotten all about that, since riding on a Harley it's almost a natural look.

I won't bother you kind folk with any more videos, but I think the combination of a low seat, foot position on the pegs, and lowering the handlebars was just what I needed to do to be comfortable on the GT. And, it is a great bike.

There are a few more questions about riding the GT in regards to using your knees to steer rather than countersteering, or is it better to use the foot pegs, or a combination of both, but I'll save that for another thread.

I can't thank you all enough for your patience, and willingness to help a fellow rider. This is a great community.

Last edited by stefeb; Apr 8th, 2008 at 8:16 pm.
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post #19 of 22 Old Apr 8th, 2008, 8:00 pm
 
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Quote:
Originally Posted by stefeb
There are a few more questions about riding the GT in regards to using your knees to steer rather than counterbalancing, or is it better to use the foot pegs, or a combination of both, but I'll save that for another thread.

I can't thank you all enough for your patience, and willingness to help a fellow rider. This is a great community.
Great post. I like to move around on the seat, and use the pads on the side of the tank (what, BMW ships without them?), sometimes with my butt way back just for variation. I think moving around is what saves me.

Not sure what you mean by 'counterbalancing'. Having never raced or been formally trained (except at MSF) I only steer using countersteer, and keep my body in toward the turn.
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post #20 of 22 Old Apr 8th, 2008, 8:15 pm Thread Starter
 
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Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Quote:
Originally Posted by howgus
Great post. I like to move around on the seat, and use the pads on the side of the tank (what, BMW ships without them?), sometimes with my butt way back just for variation. I think moving around is what saves me.

Not sure what you mean by 'counterbalancing'. Having never raced or been formally trained (except at MSF) I only steer using countersteer, and keep my body in toward the turn.
Sorry, I meant to say countersteering.
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post #21 of 22 Old Apr 10th, 2008, 3:27 am
 
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Smile Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

Here in the Uk we have a $50 option of a taller screen, as an experiment try a larger screen, you will be surprised how much wind pressure there is on your back caused by the pressure differences, It works for me, 6' 2" and way to heavy! 600 mile days no problem, just don't try for an iron butt award!
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post #22 of 22 Old Apr 11th, 2008, 4:24 pm
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Talking Re: Looking For Critique On Riding Position

I'm your size, but 180#.

I like my bars all the way up. I have 33" sleeves on my shirts yet a 28" inseam. I agree with Joe about thumb position helping.

I also use cruise a lot to help get freedom for movement and position changing to fight fatigue.

I added the Z-Technik screen and this cut buffetting , per my gal, 25%.

It is easy to listen to our iPods at triple digit speeds.

I think getting the factory shield off makes a difference in riding comfort in many ways.

Rob Nelson

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