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Handlebars and Sitting Position

5766 Views 26 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  boy_welder2000
Photos of me sitting on the VN900 Custom.....

Let me know if this riding position will cause rotator calf impingement on my shoulders..

Are the handlebars OK in their position?



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Dealing with a rotator cuff surgery myself now so this post jumped out at me. As long as you are comfortable with the reach I think your riding position will not provide any impingement problems as your arms for still lower than your shoulders.
Thanks Ol'school.

May I ask causes of your shoulder cuff injury?

As I do not install any windscreen, do you think the reactive force i need to apply on the handlebars when buffeted by headwinds would cause strain / impingement on my shoulders in this riding position?

My acromion process was too thick and turned down too much (born that way I was told) and that wore the rotator cuff down. Had to have the acromion shaved down to make more room and repair the rotator cuff.

IMHO I think that as long as your elbow is lower than your shoulder you shouldn't have a problem. Do you have shoulder issues now that is causing your worry?

i have been diagnosed with bursitis in both shoulders.

had ultrascan done on both 2 days ago and will be further assessed in 2 days time.

not sure if this has been caused by riding this bike or from rowing i took up at the same time..?

Hey Romper,
I have a generic multi fit windscreen I used on my vn for a while before I bought a genuine one of ebay.
It is just taking up room in my garage and you are welcome to have it if you want to see if there will be any difference with a windscreen.
I know it will clash with the looks of your bike,but it might provide an answer for you.
Regards Jason
Looks like your shoulder will be fine.... Your lower back will be holding you forward (upright) though. You may start to feel that more than your shoulder. As your back gets tired you will automatically try and compensate using your arms to keep tension on your body. It's too bad there is not a nice solo seat out there with a backrest.
Romper, Romper, Romper......... :)

Rowing ?????? Where do I start.....

This forum has a great support feel to it, so in the absence of anybody else saying it I will be brave, here goes....

Stop Rowing !

Rowing crunches you up into a ball, which is really bad for blood pressure, the back and the .... wait for it.... shoulders, and is even known to cause stroke in those not used to it.
Your bike is lovely, we would all agree with that, but the posture you have is really bad for the lower back, arms and shoulders.

As your medical advisor :) may I suggest that you stop the rowing for at least 3 months. It will take that long for inflammation to reduce. If the shoulder problems go away, then give up rowing. Sadly all forms of sport have some bad effect on the body.

Taking a reality check, I think if you still have shoulder problems come Spring, you will need to reconsider your bike. Sports bikes damage arms, necks , and lower backs, cruisers that are not altered only have one problem in that the footrests are often way too far forward, straining lower back and arms/shoulders. A conventional bike will cosset the body, think of something like the BMW R 1200 GS. If you can ride it when standing up on the pegs then it will give you a low stress posture when sat. I have a standard VN900 Classic , the only mod I would like is bring the footrests rearward, the opposite of fashion, to give my lower back more support and allow me to naturally lean slightly toward the handlebar rather than hang off it.
If you cannot ride your bike with completely relaxed arms, then it will always strain something. Its that old triumph of style over practicality.

Seriously though, give your shoulders a rest from the rowing punshment, and take up walking instead. Google Andrew Marr, he is a young popular UK TV commentator who nearly lost his life due to a rowing machine.
Good luck with it. This post has been written with all good intentions, so I hope it is taken that way. :)
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Thanks guys.

All posts/replies are given lots of consideration.

Jason - thanks for the offer of the windscreen, but I will decline.

Sailor - I have stopped rowing (ERG indoor machine) now for 2-3 weeks, likewise stopped riding the cruiser for the same period. Pain still lingers, etc...The bike is up for sale and the ERG is mothballed :-(

Damn life!

Throw some 16 inch apes on there and its all good.
why is this skorepeo?
You look a little hunched forward having to reach for the bars. I found that adding apes to my bike allowed me to sit back in a more upright position and let my arms hang from the grips causing less stress in the shoulder area. Recently I got hit by a truck and my shoulder scapula was broke. It still is in pain however I can ride and much more comfortable with apes. Try before you buy to get the correct size. I went to dealerships that had bikes with apes for sale sat on them to get an idea of how they felt. I ended up getting the 14 in apes with a 1 inch riser extension.
thanks for that advice will do that.

Sorry to hear of your run-in with that truck - and your shoulder injury. Must have been bloody scary!

would i need new cables to fit the 16" apes?

Try Risers

Second try at this post:
I have had multiple cervical spinal surgeries (bad day when I was in the Airborne). What I did on my vulcan was to install a set of Phat Risers (3-up/2-back), then I rotated the handle bar down (give enough clearance so as not to hit the gas tank). The result was lengthen and lower the grip. That take stress off of the shoulder, elbow and wrist. The addition of the Mustang seat which does seat one forward an inch or two from the stock seat was also a big help. I find the bike very comfortable after those mods.
HI Smokin.

So, do you have the custom or the classic?

Did you install phat risers with your stock oem bars?

Hi Romper, I saw the PM from you and tried to reply but it said your inbox was full, so am posting my reply here.

I don't have the bike anymore...sold it and bought a new Harley Wide Glide last year. I thought the apes performed pretty good. I think I had them adjusted parallel with the forks but can't remember for sure. The only thing I didn't like was they seemed a bit flimsy. I have 14" apes installed on my Wide Glide and they seem a lot more solid, likely due to the fact they are 1 1/4" instead of the vulcans 1"

I agree with others that putting on apes help sit you up more in the bike so as to not be hunched over.

I also had a rotator cuff injury, from being in a bike wreck last year. I didn't get a chance to ride it much after my bike was finally repaired, but did take it for a few hours ride and seemed to hold up ok....but my arms were sore after I got off. I do believe the apes will help....
thanks VCG.

Is there any way to eliminate that flimsy feeling of APES on the VN900?

How do you mean adjusted parallel to forks?

How did you recover from your rotator cuff shoulder injury?

Get a better quality ape hanger, mine was a cheap $60 bar. Get a set of 1 1/4" diameter bars with 1" center and controls. Get a set of low risers to match, and make sure you have an adapter set to work with the metric studs.
By parallel, I mean setting them to the same angle as the fork rake, but you would just simply adjust it to your liking.
Took lots of PT and time to heal the rotator cuff....waiting to see how I will hold up this coming riding season.
Have you sat on a classic? If it fits you better you could probably find a used handle bar pretty reasonable. Then get some risers. Also the bars with the risers you can role some. up down whatever fits you better.

I would guess that you will need risers for any other handle bar anyways. I know where you could get a set of phat risers in excellent condition. 1 1/2 inch up above stock with 2 inch of pull back compared to stock on a classic.
thanks guys.

VCG - Recommended brand of quality ape hangers to suit those diameters??

what is a low riser and adaptor set mean?

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