Back pain - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 17 Old Sep 21st, 2019, 8:04 am Thread Starter
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Back pain

I can't figure it out, everytime I ride my LT I get searing pain in my upper back. Riding with a back brace helps a lot, so it must be being caused by me slumping over. But if that's the case then either handlebars are too low and/or too far away from me. The first I can fix, a little, but the second I'm outta luck.

I'm wondering if anyone else suffered this and what was your fix? I have a DL650 and Harley Softail and don't suffer on them like I do on the LT which baffles me. If I can't find a solution I will have to sell the bike, and I don't want to do that!
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post #2 of 17 Old Sep 21st, 2019, 9:19 am
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Re: Back pain

Have you tried altering your seat height. If you have it in the up position perhaps try lowering it.
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post #3 of 17 Old Sep 21st, 2019, 10:20 am Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wazza View Post
Have you tried altering your seat height. If you have it in the up position perhaps try lowering it.
I did. I also bought a Russel Day Long seat. My butt is happy with that decision, but not my back.
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post #4 of 17 Old Sep 21st, 2019, 11:55 am
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Re: Back pain

Do you have a backrest? Life saver for me.

Have fun,
Jer

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post #5 of 17 Old Sep 21st, 2019, 12:11 pm
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Re: Back pain

Since it only happens on the LT and not the other bikes it has to be posture related. Here's a thought. Pull all the bikes out and one at a time sit on them like you would in normal riding position. Have your wife or a friend take pictures of you from several different angles, but especially from the side. Then take a good look at how your are sitting on each. My guess is that something with the LT has you hunched over much more, but the pics should be a big help.

You could go see your doctor or you might try and make an appointment with a physical therapist. They would have a sharp eye to seeing what you are doing and could help by prescribing some exercise routines that may help to strengthen you torso and arms.

If the bars are too low or make you lean forward, I would look at bar risers/bar backs that can make them higher and closer to you. Not sure what is available for an LT but they do have them for the RT, which is what I ride. Good luck.
RJPsRT and crazy frog like this.
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post #6 of 17 Old Sep 21st, 2019, 1:01 pm
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Re: Back pain

You should be able to move the bars up a little bit. The limiting factor is the covers fitting back on.

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post #7 of 17 Old Sep 21st, 2019, 6:00 pm
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Re: Back pain

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Originally Posted by alabrew View Post
You should be able to move the bars up a little bit.

How do you that...??

By install a "Spacer Plate"...??

So far my "key chain" (a piece of Nylon webbing) has gotten stuck in between the 3/4" gap, now I'm wondering if I want to close it or make it bigger, can be really dangerous to lose control of your steering if something get wedge..
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post #8 of 17 Old Sep 21st, 2019, 7:43 pm
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Re: Back pain

You can loosen the clamps and move it a bit but not much or the plastic covers will no longer fit, but if it makes the pain go away ride it "naked".
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post #9 of 17 Old Sep 21st, 2019, 9:42 pm
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Re: Back pain

it is posture related as mentioned, you are hanging on too tight to the bars and slumping/arching your back, you probably need a back rest to prevent slumping your back on the seat, when it starts to ache, relax your grip on the bars and sit up straight that's what I do.

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post #10 of 17 Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 1:00 am
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Re: Back pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
You can loosen the clamps and move it a bit but not much or the plastic covers will no longer fit, but if it makes the pain go away ride it "naked".
I kind of aggre (my first and most sound theory at least) the problem is with the bar angle (two different axis actually plus the dramatic rearward location of the grips)

I used to make bars to customize the GS's and I learn a lot from the years i did it, plus I have a masters in Ergonomics science, mostly focus on "Active" biomechanics > human power optimization) I also notice the funky hand position the second I got to hold the bars but I assume they were affix and was nothing i can do in any case i get the same shoulder pain that i never got in any other of my bikes..

My hunch is that Basically the angle of your wrist, actually has to do (can have to do) a lot with shoulder pain do to the forces transmitted to your elbow, not to mention the "Tiler" style of the bars makes your whole arm move in a not so familiar arch that can create stress specially for your wrist
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post #11 of 17 Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 6:06 am
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Re: Back pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricardo Kuhn View Post
How do you that...??

By install a "Spacer Plate"...??

So far my "key chain" (a piece of Nylon webbing) has gotten stuck in between the 3/4" gap, now I'm wondering if I want to close it or make it bigger, can be really dangerous to lose control of your steering if something get wedge..

Handlebar adjustment --previous topic. The plastic covers will need some trimming to make it work, but not a big deal

https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt...ml#post1889463

Bob Johnson
Knoxville TN
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post #12 of 17 Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 7:21 am
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Re: Back pain

Are you riding with the foot pegs in the stock location? Relocated mine down 2 inches and it makes the LT so much more comfortable to ride. I have lower back pain unrelated to the bike and it helps.
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post #13 of 17 Old Sep 22nd, 2019, 8:43 am
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Re: Back pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob.K1200LT View Post
Handlebar adjustment --previous topic. The plastic covers will need some trimming to make it work, but not a big deal

https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt...ml#post1889463
Trimming.. Oh yeahn this is the reason why i got a $250 bike, so I can hack it without remorse..

Besides i'm working on version two of my instrument platform, so i'm just four bolt away to get to the adjuster..

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post #14 of 17 Old Sep 26th, 2019, 6:12 pm
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I had same issue with my lt I ended up doing several things I started wearing a back brace, I installed a back rest and I also put a air hawk seat cushion on that really helped as well, it cushioned the jolt on the back ,I think the combination of all these totally help my back. I feel your pain good luck, I do think it's kind of a poor design the handle bars should be alittle higher and farther back.
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post #15 of 17 Old Sep 26th, 2019, 7:37 pm
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Re: Back pain

Just got the K12lt less than a week ago.
Before test riding it, I was thinking that the back rest will have to go.
Mistake!!! After the first 500kms, I got convinced that the back rest was a big + added to my comfort.
I am in my 60's and start to suffer from Arthritis and spine problems. Everything that help me to ride longer is greatly appreciated.
The back rest maybe a life saver.
About the bars:
On a K bike Facebook site, I gave explanation to people about setting bars:
First, you seat on the bike in a comfortable position, and then you gently lower your arms into the riding position. The angle of your hands should be the angle of the bars (No strain on your wrists or elbows).
I don't know (yet) how the bars can be setup on the K12lt, but I will find it.
On previous K bikes, I bent the bars to fit my riding position with great success.
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post #16 of 17 Old Sep 26th, 2019, 8:26 pm
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Re: Back pain

I am in the process, almost done, writing a book on back pain... and how to deal with it.

jayfarber.com I might add a segment on, bike position but frankly, the back position of sitting on a bike is similar to setting up a computer station and sitting in front of it for hours at a time.

I come to writing it from my own long term experience.

I expect what I have learned would help you and likely others on the thread as well. It is my way of paying it forward.
There have been many here, Especially John, thank you, John, who has helped me out with the bike along the way.

Sign up for my email letter and I will keep you posted on progress.

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post #17 of 17 Old Sep 26th, 2019, 10:50 pm
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Re: Back pain

Is the LT a new bike for you? If so, is it possible you may be more tense on it versus your DR or Softail? The LT is a big bike with a high center of gravity, so it would be normal to be holding on tighter than is necessary.

I would also ask what is your physical size? That could also be affecting your comfort on the bike.

Good luck with figuring out the problem...the LT really is a wonderful bike to do high mileage touring.

Life happens...you control your reaction.

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