I want to start off by saying that my ass hurt for 3 days after this ride. My longest had only been a few 60 mile rides so my butt didn't know what it was in for. I'm thinking about getting the airhawk medium cushion. Good remedy for my crappy stock seat issue? I'd rather not spend 500 on a custom seat.
Also,how would you know if you need to raise up your handle bars?
Highway peg(s) are a must.
I agree with those that suggested maybe your arse will acclimate with more mileage. This really does happen. I spend hundreds of hours a year on HARD dirt-bike seats, and ride 75-100 miles everyday getting to and from work plus errands, and my butt rarely gives me trouble. In fact, I did an IBA Saddle Sore 1,000 on the stock seat earlier this year. Some people might find that surprising. Yeah, there were times I got some discomfort, but nothing a riding position shift every hour or 1/2 hour and a short walk around every gas stop didn't cure. When I finished, I wasn't "walking funny," nor did I suffer any discomfort the following days. My point is when it comes to riding, everybody's butt is different and has different "tolerances," and a lot of that has to do with how much you ride IMO.
Now, having said that.... I just completed at 970 mile (probably something more like 930-940 with speedo error) ride in a little over 26 hours--we took in a baseball game (a little over 3 hrs.), ate two sit-down meals, and slept for 5 hrs.
I knew I was going on this ride, and I had read reports here from people who had decided on different seat mods (from their own, to Baldwins, Corbins, Airhawks, sheepskin, etc.) to gain "all day comfort," so I decided to give "that" a try. I ran across this (see pic) gel seat pad at Wallyworld and it was like $20, so I thought why not? OMG it was incredible! I found myself draining tanks of gas and not even thinking
about my butt or changing positions because by backside was grumbling. This will be my new companion on future distance rides. I won't bother with it on shorter rides though. Might be something to consider as a "budget option."
As far as bar position, here's what I do: I sit on the bike in a natural, comfortable upright riding position. I then lift my hands putting the back of my hands towards my shoulders and then just let my hands fall forward naturally. Where ever they land is where I put my bars. Sometimes I might feel like I want to stretch my arms a bit more, so I will roll the bars forward a bit, other times I might want a more aggressive posture, so I roll them back a bit. That's one of the things I really enjoy about the V: you basically have unlimited bar position options, in really tiny increments if you desire: you can experiment until you find something that works for you.