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Hi, new member here, I am 56 years old and have never-ending and fairly intense lower back pain due to squished and herniated discs L4 and L5...already had surgery to remove the herniations 3 years ago but things are kinda slowly getting nasty again...I can get by with a moderate daily regimen of painkillers.
I have been fantasizing about getting back into motorcycling, and I like the new sport touring bikes (such as, for example, the Yamaha FJ-09 pr the Kawasaki Concourse. My question is, am I nuts? Am I going to regret it? My thinking is that if I can get a bike with a soft cushy ride and the right rider position/ergonomics, I should be OK.
But I'm not sure exactly what the best riding position would be. I am assuming there is less pressure on the discs if leaning forward somewhat (ie like on a sportbike) but my intention is to have a comfortable powerful bike for longer trips so my first concern would be the plushness of the ride and softness of the suspension.
Any advice out there from someone with a lousy back?

Hi all, I'm in a suburb of Toronto, thinking about getting back into motorcycling. My previous ride was a 1980-something Yamaha Virago and before that, a Skidoo, a Polaris and another Skidoo.!. Wife had a Kawasaki Ninja for a couple years but driving a motorcycle was just too scary for her in the long run. Anyway, happy to be here. Peace!
 

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WELCOME ON BOARD, and...





We are friendly site here. Well, most of us





And thank you for giving us an introduction. We all appreciate it.

You might need to ask your question in another forum here as some members never look at introductions but we request they be made. Like going into a strangers house an introduction lets everyone be more friendly so thanks, even though I know you had help. (y)
 
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BTW... I had very good luck with a BMW K100LT. It has your feet directly under you so your knees become part of the suspension. And I have severe back issues. So bad both my neurologist/surgeons will not touch my back until I hit the ground and can’t get up again. It’s coming, they know it and I know it. But there are other brands and models that keep your feet right under you. I can’t deal with the sport bike position at all but you may be different.
 
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Welcome and good luck! I'm not able to offer advice on your back but I'm sure others are qualified or experienced in that area.
 

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I have the exact same back problem exacerbated by poor stock seats on almost every bike and ergonomics specifically made for Midgets or Jockeys or very large Japanese riders of 5 feet tall and 110 lbs soaking wet. 💩

I won't bore you with a lot of comparisons but 3 bikes stand out as the comfort winners that I have owned: Honda Goldwing, BMW K1200LTC and the Harley Davidson Electra Glide. All can absolutely EAT the miles providing a great place to do so! Downside is they are HUGE, hovering right at 900 lbs.

My new Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports bike is number 88, in 57 1/2 years of riding every type of bike. The bike is tall and a little hard for me to swing a leg over but once in the saddle, the ergonomics, ride, power and torque, brakes, traction control and especially the LONG and plush suspension, makes riding a pleasure again and at only 507 lbs it is manageable.

I recommend Adventure bikes as they can do it all and there are all kinds from fairly cheap to outrageous and docile to extremely fast and powerful.

Welcome to a great forum Andy!

Sam:)
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Hi Andy and welcome to the forum. I have problems with my lower back. I don't like cruisers, with the situp position and feet forward it puts pressure on my lower spine. I prefer the lean forward jockey position of sportbikes, but my knees cannot fold up for very long. Recently I purchased a 2020 Ninja 1000SX SportTourer, which seems to fit me better than other bikes. It is more sportbike in the foot pegs with a bit of situp. Plenty of bike for me for power and comfort.

I would recommend (probably what you have already planned) is to sit on a lot of bikes, as long as the saleman will tolerate. If you have any bike rentals in your area, renting for a half or full day will provide you with some time to see how your back will react to riding in the saddle for several hours. I can ride all day provided I get off often for short breaks. An hour at a time fits me well. If I ride longer than that, it screws me up and then I suffer for the rest of the ride. Years ago my max was like 30 minutes. I have slowly worked up to and got used to riding 50 minutes to an hour and as long as I take those breaks can do 500-600 miles in a day without severe pain. On some rides I start off feeling bad and take more breaks and feel better as the day goes on. Other rides I feel well to the start and can reduce the breaks. Good Luck with your decision and hope things work out for you to get back on 2 wheels.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Riding with a bad back takes a lot of time and conditioning. The stronger your core the easier it is on your back.
 

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I have been fantasizing about getting back into motorcycling, and I like the new sport touring bikes (such as, for example, the Yamaha FJ-09 pr the Kawasaki Concourse. My question is, am I nuts? Am I going to regret it? My thinking is that if I can get a bike with a soft cushy ride and the right rider position/ergonomics, I should be OK.
But I'm not sure exactly what the best riding position would be...
I'll essentially second Eagle Six -- I have had chronic LBP for years; cruisers can work and I put a couple hundred thousand on them, but your weight is usually carried totally on your butt, and depending on your spine and the seat/leg positioning that can be a major issue -- the more "lean-forward" bikes will usually transfer some of your weight to your arms which can (might) relieve your spine some -- no back issues for me on my Connie, but each rider is different -- as was said, suggest sitting on several bikes and see what gives...

My back has ceased to be an issue for me, but my mid-70 YO knees aren't always content with the more agressive stance (the gray blob inside my helmet enjoys it though...)
 

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The Yamaha FJ-09, Tracer 900 as it is called now, may look like a comfortable bike but it will leave you sore, it's was designed to be a sport bike that had some ADV like characteristics.

I recall a review saying this when comparing the FJ-09 to the FJR1300.

"However, for those of you who, like me, are gluttons for punishment, there is the FJ-09, a lightweight, powerful, sport-touring machine that leans heavily toward the “sport” side of the scale. It features an aggressively abrupt throttle, minimal wind protection, torque that will launch the front wheel toward the sky with ease, a stiff sport suspension, and brakes so strong the FJ-09 will teach you how to perform a stoppie, even if you aren't actually trying to learn how."

I would imagine you would want something that has longer suspension travel that is also softer to help absorb bumps while your ride, something like the Versys would be similar to a Tracer 900 but more comfortable.
 

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Good thread so far. I also suffer with LBP and stopped riding a couple years ago because of the pain. I had cruiser seating type bikes and more than 30-60 min could flare up bad pain. Did 2-up touring with the wife but had to switch to a convertible. My back has improved but i'm yearning to ride again, badly. I'm average height but short legs. I'm leaning towards lighter bikes with better stance for LBP. Something that could occasionally accommodate the wife 2-up too for short trips. Picking a bike is HARD. I'll be following this thread.

P.S. I ride a jetski too and never have back pain. Can't really make sense of it.
 

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Good thread so far. I also suffer with LBP and stopped riding a couple years ago because of the pain. I had cruiser seating type bikes and more than 30-60 min could flare up bad pain. Did 2-up touring with the wife but had to switch to a convertible. My back has improved but i'm yearning to ride again, badly. I'm average height but short legs. I'm leaning towards lighter bikes with better stance for LBP. Something that could occasionally accommodate the wife 2-up too for short trips. Picking a bike is HARD. I'll be following this thread.

P.S. I ride a jetski too and never have back pain. Can't really make sense of it.
If you were riding a cruiser the back pain may be due to the fact rear suspension did not have enough travel and sent shock of impacts right up your back through the seat.

I have met a few people who went from riding cruisers who could barely ride an hour to riding ADV style bikes all day long, they said it was night and day in terms of comfort.
 

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Or they may not have their shock preload adjusted properly. It makes a huge difference.
 
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If you were riding a cruiser the back pain may be due to the fact rear suspension did not have enough travel and sent shock of impacts right up your back through the seat.

I have met a few people who went from riding cruisers who could barely ride an hour to riding ADV style bikes all day long, they said it was night and day in terms of comfort.
I had a nice Mustang seat on my cruiser. I did adjust the pre-load. Jetskis beat the hell out of a rider but I got the ski a little while after I sold the bike, no pain from the ski. I think my lower back has improved over the past couple years cause I can't make any other sense from it.
I'd like to try different stanced bikes like ADV but my 29" inseam really limits my options. I did ride a Burgman 650 for a little while and the same issue cropped up. That's when I stopped riding.
Or they may not have their shock preload adjusted properly. It makes a huge difference.
I adjusted mine when riding solo or 2-up. Still gave me pain after 30-45min. At first I thought it was a cramp or circulation issue in the right thigh/hip. Turned out being lower back nerve pain. Riding was the 1st time it ever happened to me. At your 40's everything does start going downhill.
 

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" At your 40's everything does start going downhill." quote

A truer statement than a lot of Folks realize! Be of good cheer though as it only gets worse!:LOL:

Samo_O
 

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I had a nice Mustang seat on my cruiser. I did adjust the pre-load. Jetskis beat the hell out of a rider but I got the ski a little while after I sold the bike, no pain from the ski. I think my lower back has improved over the past couple years cause I can't make any other sense from it.
I'd like to try different stanced bikes like ADV but my 29" inseam really limits my options. I did ride a Burgman 650 for a little while and the same issue cropped up. That's when I stopped riding.

I adjusted mine when riding solo or 2-up. Still gave me pain after 30-45min. At first I thought it was a cramp or circulation issue in the right thigh/hip. Turned out being lower back nerve pain. Riding was the 1st time it ever happened to me. At your 40's everything does start going downhill.
Pre-load doesn't change rebound and compression rates, it would help prevent sag to ensure you have travel though. I think the issue with cruisers is the design is more likely to send the shock up your back.

The jet ski use may actually help your back by keeping you active and you may also be able to move around to avoid stiffness compared to when you ride for longer stretches.

If you want to check out a more comfort focused ADV, the Tiger 900 GT would be short person friendly, I have seen a rider that was 5'6" on one and they were comfortable with it.
 

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Pre-load doesn't change rebound and compression rates, it would help prevent sag to ensure you have travel though. I think the issue with cruisers is the design is more likely to send the shock up your back.

The jet ski use may actually help your back by keeping you active and you may also be able to move around to avoid stiffness compared to when you ride for longer stretches.

If you want to check out a more comfort focused ADV, the Tiger 900 GT would be short person friendly, I have seen a rider that was 5'6" on one and they were comfortable with it.
The Tiger 900 is an interesting bike, there's a lot I like about it. Surprisingly it's offered in a "LOW" version. I watched a YouTube video with a female rider with a 29" inseam like myself flat foot while sitting on the bike, very nice. I know it's not all about measured seat height but also seat and bike width. I demo'd an FJR1300 few years ago. I could reach with balls of feet so it was ok but I haven't tried many other bikes.
The Tiger is a cool bike no doubt and the type of bike i'd rather go with as opposed to another cruiser. The rider can stand up on this type of bike which could provide momentary back relief. It is a new model and I'd be in the used market but it's one to keep an eye on. Lots of electronic bells and whistles which I don't fancy or need.
One area of concern for me is reliability. I don't know about British bikes, but their automobiles have atrocious reliability. Thanks for that suggestion.
 

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" At your 40's everything does start going downhill." quote

A truer statement than a lot of Folks realize! Be of good cheer though as it only gets worse!:LOL:

Samo_O
Yeah, I'm almost 50 now. I never expected my back to act like this but years of doing something wrong when I was youngerhave come back to haunt me. 98% of the time my back is fine though.
 

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The quote is: When you get to 50, you are on a roller coaster, and you ain't going up. You can change the date to suit.
We get soft, and that does not help. It sneaks up on us. I have been mixing concrete and banging nails for about a year.
Latest excitement is climbing up and down scaffold. Going four high in a couple of days. From not much activity to working, can stop you dead with back pain real quick. Stretching is the only thing that works for me, although drugs would be nice. After a year of a lot of physical activity, I can stress my back a bunch without too much trouble. The amount of bend that upsets varies with each of us. The advice on trying different bikes is good. I will be raising the bars on my sport bike about 1 1/2 inches. My arms are not long, and I am used to riding a sport bike. My Triumph Trophy is the most comfortable. UK
 

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I think the issue with cruisers is the design is more likely to send the shock up your back.
Very true. But if you can find one where your feet are directly under you it helps a lot. The feet out front is just asking for further back issues for sure.
 
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