Knees hurt while riding? - Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Knees hurt while riding?

Hey everyone, I just took the first leg of my first "long distance" ride, riding from Starkville, MS to Iuka, MS (~150 miles taking the Natchez Trace). This was the longest I've ever ridden in one day, and I discovered that the medial aspect (i.e. the inside) of my knees started hurting about halfway through. The pain did subside when I got off and stretched during pee breaks.

I put some universal floorboards on my bike which increased the comfort level 10 fold over the stock pegs by allowing me to scoot my feet back further so my legs aren't extended so much.

I had hoped that the floorboards would pretty much eliminate any pain, but unfortunately I was wrong. I resorted to sort of wedging my feet up against my engine guards, and although it provided a little relief, I don't think the problem can be solved simply by installing some highway pegs.

Does anyone have similar issues? Have I just discovered that my Marauder just isn't ergonomically suited to longer rides (for me, anyway)? Is it time to start looking at getting rid of the Marauder in lieu of a bike more suited to my ergonomic needs (and hopefully more suited to 2-up riding)?

On the upside, my Mustang seats provided excellent comfort throughout much of the trip. My arse didn't start bothering me until the last 3rd of the ride.

Current:
2007 Yamaha Road Star Silverado 1700
1984 Honda Gold Wing GL1200 (stripped) - Project

Previous:
2003 Suzuki Bandit 1200 (naked)
2005 Suzuki Bandit 1200 (faired)
1998 Suzuki Marauder 800
2003(ish) Suzuki Katana 600
1984(ish) Kawasaki KZ550
2003 Suzuki GZ250

Last edited by primalmu; 03-14-2011 at 11:47 PM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 11:58 PM
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I used to have that problem until I figured out I was buying panty hose a size too small.

OK. Never mind...
I found that floor boards kept me pushing my feet forward so the wind or vibrations or whatever it was wouldn't push my feet back and off the board. PITA. As you've discovered, wedging doesn't work for long, either. I just came to realize that that's why bikes like this are called bar-hoppers.

One thing that helped my knees a LOT was taking glucosamine-chondroitin every day.
Maybe someone makes lowers for that bike, or you could adapt something?

Anyhoo- now you understand why I like standards so much. Maybe some people can get along with cruisers for long rides, but I like my feet under my butt. &0's and 80's BMW's have the best ergonomics and stock seats I've ever experienced. Moto Guzzis are not bad, either. Europeans seem to have really studied this kind of thing.

PS; I also swear by sheepskin and a kidney belt for long rides.
I also think your body often setlles in after enough miles go by. Wait and see what happens. Stop every 100 miles (or more- what the heck?)to stretch and drink water.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Yea, I've considered that my body may just need to get used to it. I know I was quite painful riding my Katana before getting used to the seating position and building my thigh muscles from squeezing the tank with my knees.

The good thing is my bike only gets 100 miles before I hit reserve (stock should get around 130, but its so hard to find stock bikes in the used market), so I usually stop to refill at the 70-80 mile mark.

Current:
2007 Yamaha Road Star Silverado 1700
1984 Honda Gold Wing GL1200 (stripped) - Project

Previous:
2003 Suzuki Bandit 1200 (naked)
2005 Suzuki Bandit 1200 (faired)
1998 Suzuki Marauder 800
2003(ish) Suzuki Katana 600
1984(ish) Kawasaki KZ550
2003 Suzuki GZ250
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 12:22 AM
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My knees dont bother me when I ride, but what does bother me is I will start to cramp up right where the leg joins the torso if I go too long. what I want to do to fix this is adapt the controls and mounts from the shadow RS to my bike. I think this would move the pegs back far enough to make it much more comfortable for me.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 08:10 AM
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Taking a couple of painkillers before your ride should help quite a bit.
post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 09:22 AM
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We had this discussion on a ride a couple of weeks ago. I think that if you sit in the same position long enough you'll eventually start to cramp somewhere. With me it's my shoulder and right hip. One guy I ride with it's his forearms and another his knees. Just try to move around on the bike as much as possible.


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 11:31 AM
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On my Virago I had that issue with the stock pegs. I would take 1 fott off at a time and stretch it out while still riding.

Then I put highway pegs on, and used them almsot all the time, and every once and a while shift my feet betweent he stock pegs and highway pegs just to get some movement.

My new bike had huge floorboard and I slide my feet back and forth a bit on them, but really don't have that issue anymore
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 11:47 AM
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glucosamine-chondroitin ..Yep, that's the stuff to take. My knees are my problem child. I like the standard with my engine guards and pegs. I can have some variety where I put my feet and it helps my knees out. Beginning of arthritis and my right knee gives the most problem so mine don't hurt on the inside of the knee but more on top. Make sure to stretch before a ride, ibuprofen, lots of water. I wouldn't mind trying a cruiser set up with pegs tho.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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I think I may end up saving up for a new bike this summer. My girlfriend likes riding with me, and to be honest the Marauder isn't cut out for hauling both of us around. Ideally I'd like to find a Bandit 600 (or 1200 if the price is right).

Current:
2007 Yamaha Road Star Silverado 1700
1984 Honda Gold Wing GL1200 (stripped) - Project

Previous:
2003 Suzuki Bandit 1200 (naked)
2005 Suzuki Bandit 1200 (faired)
1998 Suzuki Marauder 800
2003(ish) Suzuki Katana 600
1984(ish) Kawasaki KZ550
2003 Suzuki GZ250
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 08:40 PM
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I have problems with my right knee all the time, but after 4 surgeries and now the inevitable arthritis, not much I can do. I do know that when I was heavy into cycling (pedaling) knee pain was the sign of a bad set up on the bike. I'm thinking it's the ergonomics of the bike that don't agree with you. Personally, when my knee seizes I just have to stop and walk a couple circles around the bike. Also as has been said, lots of water and i prefer Aleve.

Murph
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 08:57 AM
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I have knee pain that comes and goes and motorcycle riding can aggravate it. For me, being able to stretch out on highway pegs can help a lot. I'll have to look into that glucosamine stuff.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 12:02 PM
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I use those ThermaCare heat wraps for the knees. It helps alot
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 12:19 PM
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Personally my right knee starts to hurt when driving my car for a while, but on the bike I have no issues. Must be an ergonomics thing.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 01:05 PM
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All this talk about body parts hurting, reminds me of the old Jimmy Buffett tune ....
Quote:
My head hurts, my feet stink, and I don't love Jesus (oh my lordy it's that...)
It's that kind of mornin'
Really was that kind of night
Tryin' to tell myself that my condition is improvin'
And if I don't die by Thursday I'll be roarin' Friday night

I would rather die living, than live dying.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScrumDown View Post
All this talk about body parts hurting, reminds me of the old Jimmy Buffett tune ....

Thought you were gonna go for:
I'm growing older but not up
my metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck
let those winds of time blow over my head
I'd rather die while I'm livin than live while I'm dead

Murph
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 10:01 PM
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Thanks guys, now I need to find my Buffett CD's...

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 05:12 PM
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My problem is my fore arms start to ache. I find if I sit up straight it helps. I would like to get new handlebars but keep putting it off. Next bike I will definitely look for less wide handlebars.

The problems with my knees do not start until I get off the bike. I think I need a new pair of boots.
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 05:52 AM
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Maybe the right solution there is make a rest every 1 hour of your ride for you to rest your feet.
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 02:44 PM
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Forward Controls? My legs are straight out in front of me, LOVE IT!
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TORQ View Post
Forward Controls? My legs are straight out in front of me, LOVE IT!
Maybe for you (and many others) but that leads to bad muscle cramps for me. Also, a lot of forward controls are TOO far forward for me to use.

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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-21-2011, 08:21 PM
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I get the same issue after a long ride. I find that if I stretch one leg at a time on top of my highway bars the pain will go away. I will leave a leg up on the bar for a while and then swap. Works wonders for me. I was thinking of getting highway pegs, but this works just as well for me.
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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockrivr1 View Post
I get the same issue after a long ride. I find that if I stretch one leg at a time on top of my highway bars the pain will go away. I will leave a leg up on the bar for a while and then swap. Works wonders for me. I was thinking of getting highway pegs, but this works just as well for me.
I as well, move my feet/legs all over!! While riding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Animedevildog View Post
Maybe for you (and many others) but that leads to bad muscle cramps for me. Also, a lot of forward controls are TOO far forward for me to use.
I don't know what to tell yea. Would like to think you could find something, BUT all of the options are COSTLY!! And like I said, I all-ways move my legs ETC around while riding. I can't keep my legs in one position, for a long period of time! It's just something we all deal with differently, but we deal with it, cause we all love to ride
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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 01:24 PM
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Torq, What I was thinking is mounting the controls from the RS onto my Shadow if possible. I may have to relocate the sidestand, but thats not an issue if I can do the rest. Just a bit of welding and then pray the linkage will mount up lol

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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 01:37 PM
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I always preferred standard controls (under the engine center).

For long rides, I have the foot pegs on my highway bars. They fit nicely in the 90 degree angle created by the heel of my boot and the sole of it.

On my VF700C Magna, I would get knee pain or hip pain on a ride.

On the VF100C Magna, no pain at all. The dimensions fit me very well for comfort
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