Burning between shoulders - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 41 Old Jul 14th, 2007, 11:27 pm Thread Starter
 
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Burning between shoulders

I just got home from a 3 day 1500 mile ride and am looking for a solution. My left shoulder blade is burning. This happens to me on all my longer rides. I try to relax my arms and drop my elbows, but I have a longer torso and short legs. I feel like I have to slouch down to stop from putting pressure on the bars. I feel like the seat needs to be lower and the bars need to be higher. I want a custom seat but worry about height. I only have about a 31" inseam and don't want the seat to be any taller. I need more padding and the sharp edges of the stock seat cut off circulation.
We rode Deals Gap and The Blue Ridge Parkway and I love the way the LT handles. My buddy on his Electra-glide could not keep up. The way the LT handles like a sports bike is amazing but at the end of the day he seemed more comfortable.
I know I just need to set it up for me but need some ideas.
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post #2 of 41 Old Jul 14th, 2007, 11:32 pm
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burning issues

I have the same problem. It has been mitigated somewhat by relaxing my arms more and altering my position on the seat. Sometimes I scoot up closer to the bars, sometimes I slouch a bit. But always I try to stay relaxed. Still my burning comes in by upper back somewhat above the place between my shoulder blades, like closer to the base of my neck. The seat is comfortable. I hardly ever feel much discomfort there, but the neck thing is definitely a problem.

Greg
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post #3 of 41 Old Jul 14th, 2007, 11:43 pm
 
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Work Out

Bent over rows or a good rowing erg. This soreness is muscle fatigue.

Or ride more with some aspirin.
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post #4 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 12:02 am Thread Starter
 
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You must have been talking to my wife I guess it couldn't hurt my golf game either.
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post #5 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 12:20 am
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Do you use a backrest? Do you have lowered pegs or lowered floor boards?
I have the backup backrest and Illium floorboards. It cured my problems. You can ajust the backrest to make you sit forward and take the load off your arms and lean in to backrest and relax. Hope this helps.

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post #6 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 2:47 am
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Swedish deep tissue massage!!!!
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post #7 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 3:16 am
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Originally Posted by DaFlake
Swedish deep tissue massage!!!!
Yah baby, I'm with you on that , , , , but I can't afford to go all the way to Sweden every time I take a long ride. . . . So, I guess it's time for some more Advil. . . . sure like the sound of the valumpsous blond with those long legs wrapped around my legs and . . . .

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post #8 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 5:44 am
 
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do you...

Backrests are helpful for long distance rides like that. Do you have use one?
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post #9 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 7:56 am
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Custom seat - many times pain can all be traced back to your ischial tuberosities (sitting bones). It can affect your legs, hips, back, neck, shouler blades, etc.

BakUp backrest adjusted with lots of forward pressure to make you sit up straight. An "S" curve to your spine is what you are after. Remember how Mom always told you to sit up straight?

Foam grips.

Dod64K floorboards, either standard or extended/lowered.

Your handlebars CAN be raised or lowered.

Shift leg positions frequently between the front and passenger pegs.

.. and last but not least - about a hundred stomach crunches and dumbell rowing lifts from the ground (while bent over at the waist) every day.

I think you'll find that it sometimes takes a bit of experimenting to get to where you feel "just right" on the LT - for some it only takes one or two items, for others more...


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post #10 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 8:43 am
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I have a similar problem but between my shoulder blades. I have found this is only a problem on long periods on the slab... riding where I have to work through corners results in no pain. This must be due to muscle tension in a single position. Ibuprofen taken before the ride, seems to help.

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post #11 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 8:57 am
 
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I get SWMBO on the back to massage me as soon as I get any stiffness. Works a treat!

My problem is calf muscle cramps from gear changing. Right leg is fine, left leg is a problem. I don't want to lower the pegs as I scrape the boot on corners as it is, but would love a higher seat...
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post #12 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 9:52 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnybgd
I just got home from a 3 day 1500 mile ride and am looking for a solution. My left shoulder blade is burning. This happens to me on all my longer rides. I try to relax my arms and drop my elbows, but I have a longer torso and short legs. I feel like I have to slouch down to stop from putting pressure on the bars. I feel like the seat needs to be lower and the bars need to be higher. I want a custom seat but worry about height. I only have about a 31" inseam and don't want the seat to be any taller. I need more padding and the sharp edges of the stock seat cut off circulation.
We rode Deals Gap and The Blue Ridge Parkway and I love the way the LT handles. My buddy on his Electra-glide could not keep up. The way the LT handles like a sports bike is amazing but at the end of the day he seemed more comfortable.
I know I just need to set it up for me but need some ideas.
A suggestion for you to experiment with. On my longish day rides (725+ miles) several times a year, I used to experience the same conditions as you. After a coupla years, I got some tips from feller LTers about hydration. I never considered hydration as a key ingredient to comfort. During normal daily routines around town or around the 'hood, it just wuzn't necessary.

In advance of one trip, I decided to begin the 'hydrate' process a day or so before lift off. And then kept up the routine during the ride, with either using a Camelbak or frequent slurping at tank fill-ups, or both, etc. That would have been sometime in 2001. Since then, no more muscle and deep tissue soreness during nor after a ride. This works for me and is not necessarily for everyone's regimen; butt the advice came from a coupla of IBA riders I know and I figgered they had the diagnosis and solution tried and true. YMMV, butt give it a tryout some time when you can plan ahead.
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post #13 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 9:55 am
 
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I had the same pains. My solution was what the others are saying that was to add a back rest. Pain went away. When I had day-long make my seat I rode about 300 miles without the back rest and the pain showed up all over agin.
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post #14 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 11:29 am
 
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back rest, floor boards and good chiropractor keep mone in check

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post #15 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 12:10 pm
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I've ridden motorcycles since I was a young boy, and have been endorsed for 35 years officially this year. The burning between the shoulder blades comes an goes on , or usually after long rides. The hydration regimen really works, and so does upper body excercize. The best fix I've personally found is trying to relax the shoulders, and keep them relaxed.

Having owned many bikes, my testament is that the LT is the most egonomically correct I've ever ridden.

Sometimes our bodies have to adjust, and if we dont ride constantly, we dont excercize the muscles that we use more in our riding that we do in our other daily chores....if you are a skier, this is self explanitory, you never start the season skiing like you did when the last season ended.

Drink water, and plenty of it.

Plus Advil is always in the stingray.


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post #16 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 1:12 pm
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One possibility not mentioned is the position of the windscreen. I find if too high, a slight back pressure (pressing helmet forward) occurs. After a day of fast riding I get the pain in the neck/shoulder area. Lowering the screen slightly makes a big difference.
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post #17 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 1:49 pm
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Can you suggest a backrest?

Are these aftermarket items. If so, which one works on the LT and which is best? Thanks.

Greg
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post #18 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 1:56 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
A suggestion for you to experiment with. On my longish day rides (725+ miles) several times a year, I used to experience the same conditions as you. After a coupla years, I got some tips from feller LTers about hydration. I never considered hydration as a key ingredient to comfort. During normal daily routines around town or around the 'hood, it just wuzn't necessary.

In advance of one trip, I decided to begin the 'hydrate' process a day or so before lift off. And then kept up the routine during the ride, with either using a Camelbak or frequent slurping at tank fill-ups, or both, etc. That would have been sometime in 2001. Since then, no more muscle and deep tissue soreness during nor after a ride. This works for me and is not necessarily for everyone's regimen; butt the advice came from a coupla of IBA riders I know and I figgered they had the diagnosis and solution tried and true. YMMV, butt give it a tryout some time when you can plan ahead.
Emphasis on the hydration a couple of days before leaving (if you pee clear, you're well hydrated). Many make the mistake of drinking lots of water the day of a dehydrating activity and thinking that's all they need. This helps, but will not replace fluids you're missing from the prior couple of days. This is even worse when riding at higher altitudes, which of course are where the best motorcycle roads are.

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post #19 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 3:28 pm
 
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Left sholder blade and between hurt

Mine would kill me on longer rides. The LT's riding position has you sitting more up right. I found that it felt like I was sitting on a stool for hours with no back support nor arm support. Bought a Bakup Backrest and the problem went away. Now if I can just get the seat issue fixed I will be in great shape.
Had Russel re-work my seat but it still is not right.
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post #20 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 3:39 pm
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I have recently returned from a 1500 mile tour of Germany. I started to suffer the pain between the shoulder blades towards the end of the journey.

Came on really suddenly and the pain prevented normal head movement.

It is over one week since my return and although improved, the pain has not yet subsided fully.

I've ridden all sorts of bikes on long distance journeys but have never experienced anything like this. I suspect it is related to riding the LT as there was no other significant physical activity during the journey.

The Black Forrest roads were superb. The LT is a special bike in the twisties.

BDC
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post #21 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 10:01 pm Thread Starter
 
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WOW this site is awsome! I knew you all would have the answers.
I find it hard to believe that my conditioning could be the problem because I am in perfect shape (round is a shape right) Now that many of you have mentioned it, I think hydration could be the biggest culprit. I definitely did not drink enough water. I guess a $150.00 cup holder and a backrest should do the trick.
I do try to sit up straight, I have pretty good posture. I'll give those a go first and work from there. I did think about my wife's camelback that she never uses while I was riding and thinking of water.
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post #22 of 41 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 10:28 pm
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I am just happy knowing that I am not the only one who experiences this on long rides. Guess I need to adjust my backrest forward and drink a lot more fluids...okay and do some upper body...geez!!!

Jerry
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post #23 of 41 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 8:51 am
 
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pain between the shoulders

My pain would be in my lower neck (close enough to between shoulders). Would start a couple of hours into riding. Temporary fix was to stretch my neck by looking downward, just long enough to feel a stretch. Butt hurts, too. (No, it is not because my head is inserted there!)
Have Bakup & Suburban footpeg lowering kit - I put on when bike was brand new.
Tried pre 04 seat - better for my butt, but (is that a like a double chin) still not super comfy after several hours in saddle.
Tried Hiway Ottomans - not really comfortable for my hips.

Tried XL jpegs - what a difference!

As soon as I get in high gear, up go my feet to the jpegs and I stretch out and get comfortable.
I'm now more comfortable and the pain between shoulder blades -lower neck pain doesn't bother me, at least not nearly as bad, now.
One thing about the jpegs - having my foot so far from the back brake with the attendant issue of stability in an emergency stop (like for Bambi and the like) with feet up.
(We have a LOT of deer in NW Colorado)
I'm still working on spending the funds on a redone seat by Kontour, just haven't decided on whether I should send Ron K the pre 04 seat or the original seat..
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post #24 of 41 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 8:03 pm
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yep me too!!!

Tell you what helped me. My Doc told me to tuck my chin. Seems as though I was pinching a nerve. Give it a try and good luck

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post #25 of 41 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 9:53 pm Thread Starter
 
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I try to do that to stretch but not until I notice the pain. I was wondering if the weight of the helmet might contribute to this a bit. I don't wear my full faced helmet all the time. Only on long trips. I know the whole safety thing, I'm just being honest.
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post #26 of 41 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 9:58 pm
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I had this problem last year until I raised my handlebars about 1.5 inches. I had to take all the tupperware off to do it but it solved the problem for me right away.

Good Luck,
Kevin

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post #27 of 41 Old Jul 17th, 2007, 10:49 am
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I have the same exact pain - upper back, along spine, between shoulder blades. Diagnosis: Mild Arthritis between 3 discs! Weight lifting, visits to chiropractor, changes to riding position, etc. haven't offered much relief - but I'm still searching ... in the meantime, there's no way I can ride more than about 300 miles at a stretch - what a bummer!

Mike
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post #28 of 41 Old Jul 17th, 2007, 6:18 pm
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I had the same problem and a friend offered a simple solution, don't slouch, keep your posture straight. I thought I had been riding with okay posture, but my problem went away when I started really concentrating on what I was doing.
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post #29 of 41 Old Jul 18th, 2007, 4:44 am
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We find that stops every 90-120 minutes for a coffee make all the difference. We've done 450 miles in a day like that and got off the bike feeling absolutely fine. Considering that your concentration drops dramatically when you've driven for more than a couple of hours at a stretch, I don't understand the aversion to pit-stops many people on here have. Just getting off the bike, stretching and having a quick drink can be the difference between a corrugated backside (my problem with any vehicle) and feeling great.

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post #30 of 41 Old Jul 18th, 2007, 4:55 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikec826
I have the same exact pain - upper back, along spine, between shoulder blades.
I suffer with mid back, below the shoulder blades. I have tried sitting up and different other postures to no avail. It tends to come on within an hour of starting. Makes it painful to look round for the "lifesaver" sometimes.

Just pussin' through.
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post #31 of 41 Old Jul 18th, 2007, 8:22 am
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I had a get off at 60 mph and wouldn't have been hurt if I hadn't found a grapefruit size rock on the side of the road, that when slidden into, put out some ribs on the left side. From that day on, into the 2nd tank of gas, the most excruciating pain in the middle of the back, where the ribs were put out, developed. I tried everything, handlebar adjustments, backbelts, backrest adjustment, Aleve, you name it. I ended up just gutting it out. Needless to say, it made long trips a leetle less fun.

The first time I sat on Randy's GT, there was an instant feeling of relief. Funny that I had already ordered one without sitting it. I can ride the GT tank to tank without any pain at all. The bars are all the way in the down position.

A radical way to cure the pain, but it worked.



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post #32 of 41 Old Jul 18th, 2007, 10:56 am
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A radical way to cure the pain, but it worked.
One of my buddies in Colorado had some back surgery and fused three disk to where they will not move. He can no longer sit "up". He had three bikes, a HD ultra, Yamaha Virago, and a BMW R80RT. He could no longer ride them and ended up with a Honda ST1100. If he is sitting in the forward position, he can ride all day but he cannot sit straight.

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post #33 of 41 Old Jul 18th, 2007, 1:29 pm
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Quote:
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One of my buddies in Colorado had some back surgery and fused three disk to where they will not move. He can no longer sit "up". He had three bikes, a HD ultra, Yamaha Virago, and a BMW R80RT. He could no longer ride them and ended up with a Honda ST1100. If he is sitting in the forward position, he can ride all day but he cannot sit straight.
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post #34 of 41 Old Jul 19th, 2007, 9:02 pm
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Pain

All these are great, I think ultimately the right riding posture will do the trick. My bride and I did 570 mi. coming back from MOA last weekend and stoping every 90 min or so along with paying attention to how you're riding does the trick.

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post #35 of 41 Old Jul 20th, 2007, 4:22 pm Thread Starter
 
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I think it is the stopping that helps. I was riding almost three hours with out a break because we were on a 45 mph road and there were no gas stations to stop at anyway so might as well keep riding. Next time I will take more pictures
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post #36 of 41 Old Sep 11th, 2007, 10:13 pm
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I am bringing this thread up again due to some recent problems I have been going through and something I think you all need to be aware of.

About a week before CCR I got that same stabbing pain between my shoulder blades that I would get on long rides. Went to my Chiropractor, but he wasn't able to find anything and nothing he did seemed to help. Went to my medical doctor, because I started having some numbness in my finger tips. X-rays showed some problems, so he sent me for an MRI. The diagnosis wasn't good. I have Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD) in three disks in my neck, one of which is where the nerves separate from your spinal collum and go out to your arms (Between C-6 & C-7). I now have a burning pain down my left arm all the time, my left hand is pretty much numb, and I can't sleep due to all the pain in my shoulder and arm. The doctor put me on anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and pain killers, but nerve pain isn't that easy to get rid of. The burning in my back and shoulder is gone as long as I keep taking my meds, but the numbness and radiating pain down my arm is always there.

So, if you are getting this burning pain between your shoulder blades it could very well be more than muscle weakness, dehydration, or lack of exercise causing the problem. As we age our disks get dried out and eventually squeeze out between the vertebra and get pinched and sometimes they get pressed against a nerve which is what is causing all my problems right now. This is a normal aging process, but if you played college football, or jumped out of too many perfectly good air planes, or got into some spectacular accidents in your youth (experience talking here) it could speed up the process. Do yourself a favor and get it checked out before it becomes a major issue like mine. I have had to give up to long rides (CCR and next week to a conference in St. Louis) and an upcoming RTE, because of this and I am afraid a doctor is going to say something like "You know a motorcycle will only make this worse" in front of my wife.

Jerry
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post #37 of 41 Old Sep 12th, 2007, 6:03 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BDC
I started to suffer the pain between the shoulder blades towards the end of the journey.

Came on really suddenly and the pain prevented normal head movement.

BDC
Your condition sounds like a Chiropractic case.

Although the other ergo and hydration recommendations are prudent . Due to the unilateral involvement and lack of neck mobility suggests otherwise.

Pete Murray
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post #38 of 41 Old Sep 12th, 2007, 8:33 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjdm
One possibility not mentioned is the position of the windscreen. I find if too high, a slight back pressure (pressing helmet forward) occurs. After a day of fast riding I get the pain in the neck/shoulder area. Lowering the screen slightly makes a big difference.
WE HAVE A WINNER!!
Go out on the road solo, sit in text book riding position (AKA motorcop).
Put screen all the way up, run at 60mph, slowly lower the screen until you feel the push from behind stop. You could also tape a streamer to the side of your helmet, for test use, you'll be amazed at the air flowing forward inside the cockpit.
Rock

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post #39 of 41 Old Sep 12th, 2007, 8:43 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleRock
WE HAVE A WINNER!!
Go out on the road solo, sit in text book riding position (AKA motorcop).
Put screen all the way up, run at 60mph, slowly lower the screen until you feel the push from behind stop. You could also tape a streamer to the side of your helmet, for test use, you'll be amazed at the air flowing forward inside the cockpit.
Rock
When Sandar the mag rode long trips with me, I had to keep the windshield up to reduce buffeting on her at high speeds. The back pressure was murder. Parabellum makes a windshield with two port holes. Open the portholes and the back pressure stops.



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post #40 of 41 Old Sep 13th, 2007, 5:48 pm
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A lot of good advice here Jon. One thing I discovered after many years of suffering with very similar pain. I have a herniated disc between my 5th and 6th vertebrae, which is at the base of the neck. The pain radiated down into my shoulders. You might want to go get a good check up. The only way they actually found the culprit was an MRI. I rode 6000 miles out west last year and took Excedrin along the way. It has a little caffeine in it too. The LT is a fantastic bike but the position of the bars is just, plain weird. I have thought from time to time that I would like to raise my bars about 3/4 inch. That's not a lot but I think it would be enough to make the pain less of an issue.

Good luck,

Brian
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post #41 of 41 Old Sep 13th, 2007, 6:25 pm
 
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shoulder pain

Hi
Try to stretch yr upper body at least 30 seconds for each position specially during long rides it will help a lot ... I think it is yr scapular muscles that ache. Let me know if I can be of help its my line of work Physical/occupational therapy

A
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