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Discussion Starter #1
Stopped in at the HD on saturday and purchased the adjustable rider's backrest for my 2012 SG. Installed it when I go home and tried it on our ride yesterday. It moves me to far forward. I really like the support it gives my back for long rides, but other than that it makes everything else more uncomfortable.

Is there any way to get this thing to either slide further back or at least tilt further back? Has anyone modified there's in some way to keep it from moving you to far forward. I'm just an average heigth guy at 5'10", no way a 6'+ guy could use one. All i've heard is that once you've used one, you wouldn't ride without it. If I can't do something to give me more room, its coming off.
 

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Did you install this?

Adjustable Rider Backrest Mounting Kit-52596-09A | Sideplates & Mounts | Official Harley-Davidson Online Store


And if so, you are saying even with it tilted all the way back, you are not comfortable?

I have a rider back rest on my Ultra, but it isn't the one that has the fancy quick tilt like that one. The up side of the one I have though is that it has multiple mounting points. I have mine mounted as deep as possible. It makes it harder to install and remove the rest itself, but I leave it on all the time anyway.

It does take a bit of getting used to. It makes you sit up straighter than most of us want to.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, chasarms, that is the one that I installed. And no, I am not comfortable. It feels like it needs to tilt back some more, or maybe even the whole thing needs to slide back a little.

I've thought about either having the arm to the backrest bent a little or maybe even drilling out the bracket frame so that the mount could be slide backwards an inch or so. just thought I would see if anyone on here has done something similar that would work better than my ideas.
 

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Imperial Wizard...
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On mine I think you can move the bracket back..there were several different mounting holes? If I remember right? that would move it back some..Oh..just looked at pic. that ones different than mine...had that type on my 04 liked it....
 

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Keep on Ridin’
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Yes, chasarms, that is the one that I installed. And no, I am not comfortable. It feels like it needs to tilt back some more, or maybe even the whole thing needs to slide back a little.

I've thought about either having the arm to the backrest bent a little or maybe even drilling out the bracket frame so that the mount could be slide backwards an inch or so. just thought I would see if anyone on here has done something similar that would work better than my ideas.
I'm of the opinion that almost anything can be modified. Just have to want to bad enough. After looking at the picture of your bracket, my first attempt would be to add some washers to shim under the front of the mount bracket to change the overall angle. In effect, tilting the whole assembly back somewhat. Then you could use the adjusting mechanism to get the recline angle of the backrest right for you. I would try that before cutting or drilling which would kill your return for refund option.

FWIW, I have the old style non-adjustable bracket and I have it moved so far back that it's only held down by the 2 side mount bolts; the front of the bracket is not bolted down. It is still sturdy enough to be functional for me. I find that having the pad in the tallest position is a lot more comfortable than in the lowest position.

Good luck getting it right. I do believe it helps me on longer rides without my preferred backrest on board -- (.)(.) -- :nod
--
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Silverback and I agree with you... when I have my preferred backrest with me, I don't need this backrest. But on trips when I'm solo, the back starts flaring up and causes discomfort. Also, the shim idea about tilting the front part of the bracket will probably be the ticket. I think I will just have someone make me a new front attachment piece that is a little taller. that will tilt the whole thing back some.
good idea
 

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I have that same adjustable backrest on my '07. I can move it so far back that I can barely touch the handlebars. Is it possible there is something interfering with the stroke of the hyd. unit?

I just looked in the P&A catalog. Is it possible you got the bracket for '08 and earlier? '09 and up use a different part # due to frame change. #52593-09A for 1997 - 2008 and #52596-09A for 2009- current.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Breeze, thanks for your thoughts. First of all, I just looked at my paper work and I got the part # 52596-09A and it doesn't seem that there is any problems. even with the seat off and nothing in the way, it will only go so far. (I guess its NOT FULLY adjustable, lol)
 

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I have the Harley back rest that doesn't adjust hydraulically. At 6'3"' it was seating me on the rear of the gas tank. Brother-in-law used a torch to heat up the two rods that fit down through the slit in the seat and into the bracket mounted on the rear fender. He bent those two rods backwards a few inches at a point a couple inches below where the bottom edge of the back rest pad is in line with the rods. Now it fits me much better.

Don't know if your back rest has these same rods.....? We used this method because the slit in the seat where the rods go through limits the adjustability of the fender bracket.
 

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There should be a 3/16 allen screw accessed through a metal grommet on the back of the seat that allows for fore/aft adjustment. See if that will help you get the rearward adjustment you're looking for.

I have the stock stationary bracket and at 6'4' have have plenty of room to keep me off the tank and well back in the seat.

Good luck!
 

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I installed the 97-08 model on my 09 Electra glide and had the same problem. I then installed a longer bolt at the front point and with an extra nut raised it up a good inch. It then fit just right.
 

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Backrest more room

I have the same backrest what you can do is take the seat off then look for the bolt that runs horizontal threw the top of the piston. on that bolt your will see on the left and right of the piston two black spacers. Remove them. find something not so thick you need them to keep the piston somewhat center. now I have too much room and now I can adjust to the perfect setting.
 

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I'm 6'2" and had the same problem. I was pretty dissapointed. If you lower the backrest to your lower back area, it seem to work "OK" but, it would rather it was back a few inches more. It seems all the adjustment is forward of the verticle line which makes no sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just noticed some of these later posts. "dmonta", I will check into the spacer thing. thanks for the info...

I have at this point taken a couple of flat pieces of metal and made a spacer to raise the front bracket. that has helped a lot, but still not to my total liking. Actually one other problem that I have is that the actual bracket (that bolts under the seat) sticks up so high that it hits my tailbone when I try to sit as far back as I like. the only idea that I have to fix this problem and be able to have the backrest itself to move a little farther back is to enlarge the holes in the mount where it bolts to the fender so that the whole bracket will slide back some. I really hate to do that, because it will basically ruin the bracket. But if it works, it works. if it doesn't, then I have some expensive scrap metal...
 

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Adj. rider backrest

I had the same problem on my 07 'glide. $240 for a backrest at Harley. Had all the same issues with aftermarket seat. Decided to alter (which you shouln't have to) the backrest rods. Cut rods after they go through the seat, 45 degree them back, followed by another 45 degree upright. Sets the cushion back so you're not so far forward. Also shortened cushion (rods) so backrest hits the lumbar area-not the center of my back. Easy to do-if you don't have a welder, find a buddy with one and just do it!! Good luck.
 

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I found a way to easily move the backrest back almost 2" on my 2014 Street Glide. email me I'll send you pictures of ho I did this using washes. it was a big help from feeling like your sitting on the gas tank. [email protected]

Set the subject as Back Rest so I don't accidently delete the email.

Dennis
 

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I put one like that on my road glide hack never did get it right went with the cheaper model put all the way back worked great
but IMHO neither one works as good for me as the one on my mustang seat and that's
a very simple design thumb screw and slot for vertical adjustment
 

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Call me Gig.
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I found a way to easily move the backrest back almost 2" on my 2014 Street Glide. email me I'll send you pictures of ho I did this using washes. it was a big help from feeling like your sitting on the gas tank. [email protected]

Set the subject as Back Rest so I don't accidently delete the email.

Dennis
No need to keep it a secret. Post it so users in the future can use it.
 

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I have both kinds of HD backrest, and both hit me too high on the back. I prefer lower back support. For my lever/hydraulic backrest, I made a shorter arm for it. Material was stock from HD or Lowes, used long arm to match angles, bench grinder to cut notch, then brazed the
"u" piece with holes on. Total cost was about $5.
 

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I have a 2014 Road King, and I bought the adjustable backrest and had the same problem until I got a new seat. The stock RK seat was the problem. I put a stock touring seat for an Ultra on my RK, and now my backrest does not push me forward. In fact, it has adjustment room to spare in both directions. Apparently the backrest was designed with the stock touring seat dimensions as the "norm."

FWIW, I ride with the backrest in the lowest position, against my lower back.
 
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