Back Pain - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Back Pain

I took my Versys on a 400 mile trip over two days and my back is killing me. Any advice? I'm a beginning rider so I'm not really sure if there is a problem with my bike suspension, handlebars, seat, etc. or a problem with my body. Anyone have this experience with longer distances on the V? What did you do to improve the situation?

Will
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 06:10 PM
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Will,
I use a Back-A-Line back support belt for long rides, it helps a lot. I also think it would be best to start out with some shorter rides, condition yourself for the longer rides, you will lose the pain..

Gary

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 06:29 PM
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gary...link ot the support? that's a good idea, hadn't thought about that.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 06:30 PM
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Lower back or between the shoulder blades? Does the pain start immediately or only towards the end of the ride?

Try a more relaxed grip on the handle bars, with wrists slightly down.

If its lower back and you are tall, peg extensions might help. You can also play with the height of the bike and there are numerous seat optionts to raise or lower your riding position.

As DBD says, 200 in a day is a long ride if you aren't used to it. Frequent stops will help a lot, say every 50 miles or hour, get off walk round for a minute or so.

You might also be a bit tense being a new rider on a new bike, the more you get used to it and relax the more comfortable it will get.

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 07:09 PM
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Josh,
I ride a lot, could not do it without back support. Webbikeworld has a good article about the Back-A-Line.

http://www.webbikeworld.com/r2/back-...ack-a-line.htm

Gary

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Last edited by DBD34; 02-14-2009 at 12:04 AM.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 07:15 PM
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machog View Post
Lower back or between the shoulder blades? Does the pain start immediately or only towards the end of the ride?

Try a more relaxed grip on the handle bars, with wrists slightly down.

If its lower back and you are tall, peg extensions might help. You can also play with the height of the bike and there are numerous seat optionts to raise or lower your riding position.

As DBD says, 200 in a day is a long ride if you aren't used to it. Frequent stops will help a lot, say every 50 miles or hour, get off walk round for a minute or so.

You might also be a bit tense being a new rider on a new bike, the more you get used to it and relax the more comfortable it will get.

Machog
It's lower back pain. I felt some discomfort while riding, but I really felt it the morning after the second day. Thanks for the responses; I'll look into the Back-A-Line.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 08:33 PM
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Make sure you sit up straight when your riding and like above, relax your grip. I find that I get stiff in the shoulders and neck after riding for a while and it's mostly from tension. Getting off the bike occasionally and stretching will help. Don't try to keep going and stretch while your riding - just take a break.

You'll need to take breaks more frequently as your ride progresses. It sounds like you just over-did it.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 08:35 PM
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until you get in shape or get supported, you can pre-medicate before the ride with an aleve (naproxen) or pop a 200mg advil (ibuprofen) every 2 hrs. or 400mg every 4 hrs.
If you're on anti-coagulants, etc., and can't do OTC's that retard clotting, then just try making a stop every 25 miles and getting off for a few minutes and walking around. moving around on the bike helps, too.
if you've got the stock seat, foaming up the front so it's flat and neutral will help, too.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 09:25 PM
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Relax

If you have a long term consistent back pain problem I can't offer any solution. Except what I say does apply to back pain too to some extent, but a bad disk is a bad disk and a positive mental attitude can only go so far with that.

Relax. The most important thing is to relax. Any pain or discomfort can snowball due to a feedback loop sort of mechanism. You feel discomfort and the area tenses. The tension increases the discomfort. You really start to think about it and the tension increases some more.

Relax and keep in your mind that you are going to adopt to the bike. Don't start searching for ways to change the bike to make it adopt to you. This might work somewhat but mostly because of the placebo effect.

Get a really good shearling wool seat cover and wear modern moisture wicking breifs to avoid chap ass.

Will yourself to relax. Mind over matter.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 09:54 PM
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I don't know anything about the back supports everyone above is talking about, but probably a good idea to check on.

Being a new rider myself, I did feel the way you did on my first couple long distance rides. I learned two things: shift riding position from time to time (sit up straight, slouch a bit, relax the elbows, relax the wrists, etc) and get off from time to time and walk around.

I was originally under the impression that I could ride indefinitely; now it's about two hours maximum and I have to get off for a bit.

After a couple of long rides, I think my body got used to it and I don't have those problems any more.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 10:20 PM
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I get lower back pain too... like everyone said... relax more, get off the bike more... and... on long rides I like to wear bak support (like the back a line)...

another thing i've noticed... the pain takes much longer to kick in if I'm wearing a lightly packed back pack, without it.... it hits me fairly quickly. I think the pull on my shoulders helps me to keep my back straighter... hmm...
I've got a mild case of scoliosis.


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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 11:15 PM
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Haven't read all the responses, but seeing as you're a newb, if the pain is worse the day after, it's likely muscle fatigue, so you'll have to build the muscles. I have massive back issues (several herniations, reduced disc height, and bone spurs that dig into my nerves at a couple different levels), but still ride with the support of the Back-A-Line. For longer rides, I think it's a good idea for anyone.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 07:36 AM
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If you haven't already done so you might also consider adjusting your suspension so that you have a softer ride. Almost everyone seems to agree that the V comes set-up pretty stiffly....before I adjusted mine I used to get beat up on rougher sections of roads and had gotten to where I'd tense up when I knew I was approaching more jarring sections that I ride. Last Saturday I rode 600 miles with no back pain whatsover.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 11:18 AM
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I've got some lower back problems and sold my cruiser due to the curved spine position during riding. The V is much better for me. I stretch and work out to keep the back in shape, but then I play racketball which does me harm. I always take Ibuprofen pre-ride and it definitely helps. Interestingly, my back does not hurt during the ride, only the night or day after. Massage therapy helps, too.

Gary, thanks for reference to back-a-line. I'm orderingone today.
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 02:22 PM
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Back pain

Ive been riding for years, but on long rides I still get lower back pain, back supports are great and really do help, but I still take frequent breaks and stretch the legs. This is also a good excuse to check out the local views,
still once ive got the grin factor going the back pain goes, yahoo,,,

Life is not measured by the number of breaths
we take, But by the moments that take our breath away,.,.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 10:34 PM
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I don't know about "Back-aline", but I've been using motocross back supports whenever I ride, for years, and I have a chronic 'bad back', but NOT when riding with the support (as long as 10+ hour days!). Presently I have a "Malcom Smith" from the '70s, and a "Fox" I bought at Cycle Gear for $25 about a week ago.
Try it - you'll like it...!
Ed
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 10:49 PM
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This article: http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthread...at&Number=2739 does a pretty good job explaining good posture. The trick is actually training oneself into mastering it.
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-15-2009, 10:12 PM
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I tried the Back-A-Line but didn't like it. What works best for me is a stiff weight lifting belt. Mine is a nylon Niki that is light and breaths.
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 02-16-2009, 12:49 AM
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I find that I'm not up to really long, uninterrupted rides and I last about an hour to an hour and a half before I need to stop and take a break. Then I'm good to go for about another hour or so it takes me a little longer to get somewhere than most folks. That's ok with me because I enjoy stopping along the way in small towns and chatting with people. I usually ride solo anyway except when my two sons come along and they humor me.

Sometimes I think I would like to ride longer than that but the schratnel that almost severed my spinal cord in Vietnam along with a broken back later in life has pretty well limited that. At least I am alive and can still ride. So it ain't so bad is it?

'09 Versys -Green

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