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Discussion Starter #1
I hate to bring up seats in a new thread, as I've read all of the old ones (Literally, I went through every search result linked to seats) but man the geometry of this bike is KILLING me. I love the looks, love the performance, I just wish I could get comfortable.

A bit about what I'm working with. I'm 6'1 and 175lbs, so tall and skinny. I'm riding a 2014 Classic with the stock seat. I also have 2" risers under the handle bars. I don't remember why exactly I wanted them, it wasn't for the looks, it had something to do with comfort. This is relevant because, this severe discomfort is kinda new. I've had the bike for about two months now and I really didn't notice anything until about a week ago, on a long (200 mile) ride. Ever since then, even my short 20 minute commute in the morning is causing me problems. Now, I had the risers on for about two weeks before the discomfort started, to I don't know if they're relevant.

Now the actual problem: a lot of folks complain about being too high, or tailbone problems, or even shoulder issues. I have none of this, hence the new thread. My problem is only in my lower back, just below my shoulder blades, down to my waist line. It's just a stiffness, and I can't seem to get comfy. Every time I come to a stop I find I push myself up and back, so I'm actually sitting on the part of the seat that is rising up more than in the bucket, and that makes me a lot more comfortable. I find I also feel a bit better leaning forward rather than slouching back. I did the same things on my old 750, but that was just to get more comfortable. I didn't have this back discomfort when I didn't do it.

So... what can I do? What I seem to want to do to get comfortable seems to be the opposite of what everyone else has said makes them comfortable. I know the Kawasaki gel seat moves you forward, so that's out, but would a Mustang work? Or are there any other options that could get me there? I'm not even sure what it is I want from a seat.
 

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For a quick and cheaper solution have you looked at an airhawk seat cushion? I've used the same one on a Vulcan 500, 900, & 2000 now and its life saver. I would also take the risers off and see if anything changes. Subtle changes can make a big difference in either direction.
 

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My lower back caused me some discomfort on short rides and it got worse the longer I rode. I changed to a Mustang Two Piece with a Driver backrest. No more discomfort. I'd suggest that you look into a backrest.
 

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My lower back caused me some discomfort on short rides and it got worse the longer I rode. I changed to a Mustang Two Piece with a Driver backrest. No more discomfort. I'd suggest that you look into a backrest.
I agree....

When I had my 900 I used a Mustang and a Saddlemen Solo seat. They're both very comfortable. The Mustang seemed to sit me a little higher and a little further back than the Solo seat.

If you make a seat change you may want to dabble with the risers to get where you want to be.
 

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The continuous curve and poor padding in the stock seat was unacceptable to me. I got the Mustang seat and it solved my lower back problems. Had to install 1" risers to bring the bars back and then the bar angle (height) to get my arms in a comfortable position. Once that was done I was fine. I found I was sore after 30 minutes on the stock seat, and I mean sore, not tired. With the Mustang I don't get sore but like any seat I need to get off every so often. For your specific back pain, my guess it is a combination of not being able to settle in comfortably on the seat, and also the bar reach and height. Subtle changes can make all the difference. When considering risers I didn't think just 1" risers would make much of a difference and almost opted for 4" risers but after installing the 1" I was amazed and how much more comfortable I was. No more upper back pain from over reaching. So, it takes some experimentation but I think you got to figure out what works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My lower back caused me some discomfort on short rides and it got worse the longer I rode. I changed to a Mustang Two Piece with a Driver backrest. No more discomfort. I'd suggest that you look into a backrest.
Being a young 21, I REALLY don't want to go the backrest option, just because I think I would look a bit silly with it.

For a quick and cheaper solution have you looked at an airhawk seat cushion? I've used the same one on a Vulcan 500, 900, & 2000 now and its life saver. I would also take the risers off and see if anything changes. Subtle changes can make a big difference in either direction.
I'll pop the risers off today and see how things change, if they get better, great. Otherwise, it sounds like mustang WILL move me a bit up and back?
 

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Txsailor,
I am 6’4”, 270 lbs. with very similar symptoms and I feel for you brother. These are just my experiences and my solutions, so take them with a “grain of salt”. But, when I read your post, it brought to mind that few vehicles, 2 or 4 wheeled, are stock designed and configured for persons our size.

Concerning the seat, I tried the Air hawk on top of the seat, but it was not entirely satisfactory. The Air hawk softened the seat but, except for sitting a little higher, it did little to change the sitting position. My solution was to cut and remove foam from the center and back of the stock seat and insert the Air hawk over a stiff closed-cell foam (it was actually an old arrow target) inside the cavity that I had dug out, then stretched and stapled the vinyl back onto the seat frame. I have been riding on my modified seat this summer without discomfort. I sit further back against the rider’s pillion, which serves as a backrest (for me). Your solution may very well be an after-market seat, which I probably have essentially pseudo-duplicated after much trial and error.

Concerning the risers, I had read of the benefit of risers to raise the bars from several sources, so I installed a set of 2” risers. It did raise the bars, but also brought them back somewhat. I commuted 50 miles a day to work (one way) and started noticing sore wrists and especially reduced radius in slow-speed (parking lot) turns. A few times the handle actually hit my knee in a turn, causing some instability. I like to ride with my arms relatively straight, but the risers caused me to have to hold my arms and wrists slightly bent. I recently removed those risers and went back to the stock configuration, which allows me to ride sitting up with my arms straight. Those issues then disappeared.

I realize that my height and weight have a lot to do with riding anomalies on my VN900 Classic. My 16yr old son is also my height and a few pounds lighter. He is riding an EN500 this summer with similar negative seating issues.
Good luck
Bill F.
 

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txsailor....I have the Mustang Wide Touring with the backrest on my Classic and I am 6'2" 210 Lbs. and it works great. The backrest is removable and adjustable in 2 seconds and can be stored in your saddle bags when you want to look cool. I thought I would remove it sometimes but once I sat on it with the backrest it was there to stay. Ergonomically these cruisers are not really very good but this seat allows you to move around and adjust your position for longer rides. I have done three 500 mile days back to back to back and not only survived but walked normal afterwards. I was ready to get off each day but it was easy to get back on each morning. I do recommend getting the 2" risers if you are running the stock bars...my arms are fairly long but I needed the extra inch these risers move the bars back to avoid my arms getting tired from stretching to reach the grips. The seat moves you away just a bit and it really helped me plus for only $17 and 10 minutes to install its a no brainer.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Txsailor,
I am 6’4”, 270 lbs. with very similar symptoms and I feel for you brother. These are just my experiences and my solutions, so take them with a “grain of salt”. But, when I read your post, it brought to mind that few vehicles, 2 or 4 wheeled, are stock designed and configured for persons our size.

Concerning the seat, I tried the Air hawk on top of the seat, but it was not entirely satisfactory. The Air hawk softened the seat but, except for sitting a little higher, it did little to change the sitting position. My solution was to cut and remove foam from the center and back of the stock seat and insert the Air hawk over a stiff closed-cell foam (it was actually an old arrow target) inside the cavity that I had dug out, then stretched and stapled the vinyl back onto the seat frame. I have been riding on my modified seat this summer without discomfort. I sit further back against the rider’s pillion, which serves as a backrest (for me). Your solution may very well be an after-market seat, which I probably have essentially pseudo-duplicated after much trial and error.

Concerning the risers, I had read of the benefit of risers to raise the bars from several sources, so I installed a set of 2” risers. It did raise the bars, but also brought them back somewhat. I commuted 50 miles a day to work (one way) and started noticing sore wrists and especially reduced radius in slow-speed (parking lot) turns. A few times the handle actually hit my knee in a turn, causing some instability. I like to ride with my arms relatively straight, but the risers caused me to have to hold my arms and wrists slightly bent. I recently removed those risers and went back to the stock configuration, which allows me to ride sitting up with my arms straight. Those issues then disappeared.

I realize that my height and weight have a lot to do with riding anomalies on my VN900 Classic. My 16yr old son is also my height and a few pounds lighter. He is riding an EN500 this summer with similar negative seating issues.
Good luck
Bill F.
I'm certainly not handy enough to do all of that myself, but who knows, I may end up needing to learn...


txsailor....I have the Mustang Wide Touring with the backrest on my Classic and I am 6'2" 210 Lbs. and it works great. The backrest is removable and adjustable in 2 seconds and can be stored in your saddle bags when you want to look cool. I thought I would remove it sometimes but once I sat on it with the backrest it was there to stay. Ergonomically these cruisers are not really very good but this seat allows you to move around and adjust your position for longer rides. I have done three 500 mile days back to back to back and not only survived but walked normal afterwards. I was ready to get off each day but it was easy to get back on each morning. I do recommend getting the 2" risers if you are running the stock bars...my arms are fairly long but I needed the extra inch these risers move the bars back to avoid my arms getting tired from stretching to reach the grips. The seat moves you away just a bit and it really helped me plus for only $17 and 10 minutes to install its a no brainer.
It looks like Mustang is my first choice. I already have the risers actually. I just took them off a few minutes ago to see if that helps any.
 

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When are you coming to Pensacola? I still have my Corbin (for sale on craigslist) if you want to sit on one and at least see how it feels. It felt liked I was moved down and back on it, with a good shape and back support.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When are you coming to Pensacola? I still have my Corbin (for sale on craigslist) if you want to sit on one and at least see how it feels. It felt liked I was moved down and back on it, with a good shape and back support.
I report NLT Nov 5th. If you still have it when I get there I'd love to check it out!
 

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get rid of the risers and work with dropping / raising the bars a little .... posture vs ergonomics is critical in a comfortable ride .... my bars are set for me ... slightly lower ... there is no fatigue, no sore or numb wrists and I can put down 6000 plus miles over 14 days with no issues. The seat is a whole other issue, I run a mustang.
 

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Before I swapped away from the stock classic handle bar, my lower back and butt would go numb fairly quick. I'm one of these carry all my weight at the belly and none on the seat type guys. I'm 6' 2" at around 250lbs. After switching to a taller bar that forced me to lean forward a bit, I found I could ride a while longer than before. I still get butt burn; but that is mainly due to having such small butt.
 

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Hey I know EXACTLY what you mean with this as I had exactly the same problem with my Harley when I first bought it. I am 6'3" and about the same weight as you.
I always felt I couldn't get my arse far enough back in the seat to get comfortable, and even re-sculpted the seat to try and make more room.
The solution I found, and one I still use today, was to sit my backside just a little further forward in the seat, rather than trying to shift back all the time, which in turn allowed more of a curve in my lower back, which is actually very good for posture.
The final part of the solution was to have a back rest. That initially was my bag on the rear seat when touring Europe for the first time. I was amazed that I could do 500 mile days in total comfort by sitting as described and leaning on my soft luggage, which actually had a backrest built in, and then when I got home I went over to having a bed roll as no one made a back rest that I liked the style of for the Fatboy.
I know sitting further forward seems the opposite of what you need to do but give it a try.
 

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I found it to be much more comfortable with my 3.5" pullback risers and the 8" mini apes. Hands are higher and closer together, which made steering easier. I am now no longer leaning forward and stretched out. Might be all you need to do, is to get yourself sitting more upright. But seat changes will also help. I had the mustang seat, which was good, but eventually put on an ultimate seat. Very happy with that. The differences in rider position were night and day tho between the 2. The mustang definitely puts you lower and back a little bit. But the risers and bars are easy enough to compensate for either seat. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey I know EXACTLY what you mean with this as I had exactly the same problem with my Harley when I first bought it. I am 6'3" and about the same weight as you.
I always felt I couldn't get my arse far enough back in the seat to get comfortable, and even re-sculpted the seat to try and make more room.
The solution I found, and one I still use today, was to sit my backside just a little further forward in the seat, rather than trying to shift back all the time, which in turn allowed more of a curve in my lower back, which is actually very good for posture.
The final part of the solution was to have a back rest. That initially was my bag on the rear seat when touring Europe for the first time. I was amazed that I could do 500 mile days in total comfort by sitting as described and leaning on my soft luggage, which actually had a backrest built in, and then when I got home I went over to having a bed roll as no one made a back rest that I liked the style of for the Fatboy.
I know sitting further forward seems the opposite of what you need to do but give it a try.
Interesting, I'll have to try moving forward a bit.

Thanks for all the replies folks! I really appreciate the info and recommendations.
 

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As an older guy (almost 47), at 6'2" and 350#, I can honestly say a driver's backrest will save you a lot of pain. :)

I went with the Ultimate Seat with a backrest. Love it. and if you don't want it on there all the time, the backrest just slides right out and can be stored in your bag.
 

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I'm with Dirtwhiz. I'm 6'2" and went with a Mustang Touring seat. I take the backrest off when muddling around locally, but it's a life saver for long trips. Rode 700 miles in one day up to Pittsburgh last year. Could not have done that on the stock seat.
 
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