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Aging & Worn
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure there are studies out there, that show the number of folks who have had serious bodily injury from "riding" itself. Not accident related issues, but just the stresses that are put on the body, no matter HOW comfortably you rig out your bike.

There is some belief in my own head, that any trouble I had with my back in the past, (being one of those guys who was always found in an engine well, or on the floor of the garage working on exhaust systems or whatever) is enlarged by anything that puts uncommon stresses on it.

There's lots of ways of course, that we do damage to our bodies over time. We are physical beings that are constantly in a state of aging, even at the moment of birth, and motorcycling is NOT "public enemy number one" in that regard.

Still, I wonder if any studies were done (perhaps some of you have looked into this, and can point out these studies that YOU might have seen), about trouble with (in my case) the spine; compression of the vertebrae, etc..

I'm not looking for ammunition here to have something to blame, and I certainly am not looking for "reasons not to ride!" I'm just contemplating the upcoming year of riding, in light of the continuation of my own issues (whatever those packets between the spine bones are called that are compromised, compressed, ruptured, etc).

What I DON'T want to do, is aggravate an already bad situation (the Steroids I've been on, have helped, but they have not alleviated the problem). I've done stretching exercises (although admittedly, not the inversion table "yet") and have fought thru the pain, and am hoping to be riding in the Spring, like the rest of you.

This Thread is NOT about "me" though, and I want to stress that. I was hoping for a discussion for the sake of ALL of us, about riding with our bodies in mind as a collective. I'm hoping that we can put some input in here that will help the newbies in some way, to be able to avoid some of what we have done that might have been per-maturely destructive to our bodies.

Someone will grab on to the last line of the previous paragraph and likely make jokes about money, girlfriends, booze, or drugs, but that's not (hopefully) the direction I'd like us to take this.

What negative impacts have YOU noticed, in your years of riding, that have affected you physically, and thus impared your ability to ride in some way, in your current riding lives?

Are there choices of motorcycles out there, that will increase or decrease the odds of physical issues (back, neck, spine particularly) down the road, BECAUSE of the way the seat is designed, or lack of the use of back rests ,etc.?

-Soupy
 

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The first smart-aleck remark l can think of is to say, "That new Softail you want will fix everything!"

I personally have always wanted a sport bike. From the time l was 13 and l found the Motor Cyclist magazine that had a 1984 Yamaha FJ600 on the cover with a caption that said, "Less Weight, Less Wait" that is what l wanted. I bought a CM450 to start with, but it wasn't a sport bike. I moved up to a Sabre 700, which was every bit as much bike as most sport bikes, and more than most, but it wasn't a sport bike. Now, l finally have my sport bike, and every time l get on it l say to myself, "I'm too old for this. Why the hell did l buy a sport bike?" Soon l will put a handlebar riser on it and it will be much better, and l will make due until l am ready to buy a new bike. The next bike will be all about comfort...as long as it's still cool ;-)
 

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I don't think I've suffered any ill effects over the years from riding. I've noticed I'll occasionally get a hip cramp on a longer ride, but I think that has more to do with age than riding itself.
 

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Aging & Worn
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Discussion Starter #4
Certainly we "age" and that has a LOT to do with it.

I often wonder if the folks who ride leaning forward (on a "Rice Rocket" for example) are doing LESS potential long-term harm to their spines, because the pressure is on their arms and shoulders more than their backs, are on to something!!

-Soupy
 

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I've always owned standard-style motorcycles, so my feet are below me. The tailbone doesn't take all the weight, especially over rough spots since weight can be shifted to the legs. I do not have highway pegs or floor boards, so I think riding for a long time with the legs in basically one position causes my hip to cramp.
 

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I honestly think riding helps me keep core strength up. I've had too many times where after extended time off due to surgeries to be reminded of that with the first rides after extended rehab. Rehab being exercises of all kinds and still it never strengthened whatever muscles are used with your body blocking wind motoring down the road. And for me riding is the only time I'm not in pain. That is after those muscles stop hurting.
 

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Aging & Worn
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Discussion Starter #7
..............for me riding is the only time I'm not in pain. That is after those muscles stop hurting.
I have actually personally experienced this, and wondered if it was an rouse. After I got OFF the bike, came the pain; but DURING the ride, not!

-Soupy
 

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Friend had a hip replaced. During an examination the doctor asked it he rode as the hip had a wore spot.
 

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Aging & Worn
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Discussion Starter #10
Friend had a hip replaced. During an examination the doctor asked it he rode as the hip had a wore spot.
I have to say this delicately.........so bear with me..........

I recall a conversation, having something to do with the number of wrinkles on a gentleman's "part." Apparently there is some correlation between the number of wrinkles, and the amount of use..........

There........was that delicate enough?!

-Soupy
 

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I have a cruiser. I ride with a backrest, or a leather bag (on the dual seat) behind me. that support from the rear - on your back - helps a LOT .. in my opinion. Good luck bro!

dT
 

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I ride a more standard position as well (feet under me) and don't have any issues. I have had sciatic issues in the past so I know what you are feeling.
 

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...bodily injury from "riding" itself. Not accident related issues, but just the stresses that are put on the body...
Ergonomics play a big role in riding comfort and avoiding injury. I'd sometimes get a hip cramp on my right side during long rides on my Road King. It would hurt so bad that I'd be forced to stop and walk it off. That bike had floorboards and forward controls. Maybe the seating position and the leveraged weight of lifting my heavy boot forward to operate the rear brake would tire my hip over time. I've never had that problem on my BMW with the pegs directly under me.

Fitness and conditioning are important to help avoid injury for ordinary street riders and crucial for racers. Simple everyday motions like lifting your bike onto it's center stand or head checking over your shoulder can cause a back spasm or stiff neck if you're not in good condition.

 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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There is some belief in my own head, that any trouble I had with my back in the past, (being one of those guys who was always found in an engine well, or on the floor of the garage working on exhaust systems or whatever) is enlarged by anything that puts uncommon stresses on it.


I highlighted what I believe caused most of your back pain. You probably spent a lot of time bent over and lifting things in that position,

A back rest on the bike helps.
 

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I've heard that riding a HD for too many years causes your teeth to loosen and eventually fall out. I know that this is not seen as a problem by all Harley riders, but I'm sure it bothers some.

Seriously, I think the most common, and likely physical damage from riding is hearing loss. Not from the sound of the engine or pipes, but from the wind noise. In fact, wearing a helmet, while it unquestionably protects your head in the event of a crash, can actually make the wind noise more pronounced and likely to cause hearing loss. It makes sense to always use ear plugs.

I find that after many hours of riding I am more likely than not to have soreness in my shoulders, and sometimes pain in my lower back. Both of these issues are more related to my choice of ride, i.e., a cruiser, rather than just riding itself. I've toyed with the idea of a rider backrest, but ever since I had my knees replaced I don't want to do anything that would make it harder than it has to be to swing my leg over the seat when I get on or off the bike. If I could find a seatback that folds into the passenger seat, that I could then flip up after I mount the bike, that might be a good solution for me but I don't know if that would render the passenger seat less comfortable or unusable.
 

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Nice subject Soupy and comfort or lack thereof is something that is probably on all of our minds. (And backs, shoulders, hips and BUTTS):biggrin:

When we are young, most feel immortal and aches and pains are very few. Then there comes a time (Psychologist say for men it's 28 years) when we all of a sudden feel different and realize our mortality, with the aches and pains that come with it.

Some of us have worn our bodies out as a result of our occupations, in my case, years and years of heavy lifting from construction: Glazier, Glassworker, Architectural metal worker and ornamental Ironworker, where it wasn't uncommon to carry heavy (200 +- lbs) loads all over construction sights.

Right handed people tend to wear the left side of their spinal column and the right side of their neck vertebra and not to mention ruining their right shoulders. hips and knees out! Is there any wonder that lots of us have problems finding a ergonomically comfortable mount??

I am on my 78th motorcycle/ scooter since I started riding, legally, on the street and I've had every 'Genre' of 2 wheel transportation known to man.:wink:

Comfort is my #1 priority now and my 2012 Goldwing that I recently sold was in my very humble opinion, the epitome of riding comfort and I could do 750+ mile days and feel fantastic.

Of my Cruisers, My past VTX 1800R would cripple me in 75 miles due to the classic "C" position: Legs forward-arms forward and the spine severely bent.

Of my Superbikes, My past Buell 1125R bike would kill my shoulders very quickly due to the position.

My adventure/ dualsport bikes were all comfortable due to the upright. legs straight down and arms straight out position, with my BMW GS being the most comfortable.

Any of my past UJM's, Universal Jap bikes, with their good flat seats and comfy position were great but I was a lot younger then.

Now, this will probably seem funny to you but here goes: Now, at this age and condition, I find my new 2012 Suzuki 650 Burgman Executive to be almost as comfy as my past Goldwing and 90% capable of doing whatever a prudent man would do on a Goldwing @ a little over half of the weight.

So, to sum this diatribe up, yes, under certain conditions and on certain bikes, any preexisting physical disability can be exacerbated by riding a motorcycle.

Knowing ones limitations I guess is the key---that and having nothing to prove.

Sam:coffeescreen:
 

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I have arthritis problems in my hips back and neck. I have had an artificial hip for 12 years and am starting to need the other hip replaced as well. I find that riding position is very important and about 100 miles in a stretch is all I can handle and I'm adding crash bars with foot pegs for more riding positions. I'm hoping that, and Advil is going to let me takes longer rides, but I'm old and may be just a short ride kinda guy.
 
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