Basic ergonomics says it all, and every time we get a new motorcycle, these helpful tips should be the first thing we think of. After all, we all want that luxury comfortable long distance adventure on our new bike, regardless of what bike it is.
And yes, we can achieve good and comfortable riding positions on all bikes as long as we pay attention to some details. But let's be honest, an R may get more comfortable, but I would still not take it on a long-term touring trip. Comfort can be achieved, but expectations should be kept real.
If you are an experienced rider, you know what you need to be comfortable on your motorcycle, may that be those nifty pivot pegz, the foam grips, or knowing that you like the clutch lever slightly higher than the brake lever.
Now if you are a newbie motorcycle rider, my last sentence may have seemed just utter nonsense. So let me explain.
The first thing you need to do is take your new bike for a ride, a long one. Put a couple of hours on it and see how it feels.
Statistics say that you will feel at least some discomfort after that, as it is highly unlikely that your body is 100% a match to the model the brand used to design the bike in the first place. Lower back pain, too much pressure on your wrists, or tired legs are some of the most common complaints, and that makes them some of the easiest things to fix.
There is a main triangle between your handlebar/hands, seat, and pegs that dictates how comfortable you are on the bike, so any modification to that triangle will influence your comfort, and this is where things start getting interesting.
It is a known fact that I always say that any modification done to your motorcycle needs to be done for you, and this one more than many others.
Let's take two people with 1.70m. Just because they have the same height does not mean they have the same leg or arm length so the adjustments to one may need, are not necessarily the same as the other. This should tell you straight off the bat that asking at forums "what is the best handlebar riser" for your bike is far from being good.
I would always start my mods with the seat. Make it comfortable for you. Gel, memory foam or just a different design, all of those things will modify a very central part of the triangle, as it may not only change the height to the pegs, but may also change your back angle towards the bars.
As for the pegs, I prefer the pivoting ones. Both seating down and standing up I find them extremely comfortable, and my legs much less tired. If you prefer static ones, remember that some do allow for lower or higher positioning. Use that to your advantage.
On the bars, things are slightly more tricky. If you ride just road or off road, things become easier, however, if you ride dual sport or 50-50, you may need to compromise on a position.
A key point here, is that the line from your elbow to your fingertips - when rested on the lever - should be straight. Any over bending of the wrist may cause serious injuries in case of a hit to the front wheel, and it will generate too much pressure on the wrist that will dictate an earlier tiredness point. Make sure you don't have your levers too high or too low.
It is also possible to pull the bar back to you, either by rotating it - personally, I prefer this method - or by rising it back. Pay attention that the more you pull the handlebars away from the line of the forks, the less fine control you will have on your front. It is important to keep a good balance between comfort and fine control, especially if racing or off road is intended.
Much more can be said on the subject, but if you keep in mind these basic notes, your comfort will improve, and so will your riding pleasure.
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