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Hello, have had my first Harley (19 sport glide) for about a month now. Unfortunately I get low back pain fairly quickly when on it. I'm talking like 20min. I'm in decent shape, 34yrs old former collegiate athlete still workout regularly with a few lingering back pains but nothing major. I come from sportbikes and still currently ride a panigale it's never an issue.

Love the sport glide but sadly when I'm on it at times I can't wait to get off. I read that the feet forward position places extra weight on the spine which can cause it but I used to own a boulevard m90 for a little while and didn't have this issue. Question is what should I look at first to modify to help with this, seat, handlebars, foot positioning? I try to focus on posture as well but it doesn't seem to help.
 

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Mississippi Cajun
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I have recently encountered the low back pain thing, but I managed to overcome most of it by wearing a back support brace. Available at Wally World or most sporting goods places. The forward controls may be having and effect, but having little experience with them, I can't really give you anything useful. BTW, I also have a back rest on my Ultra that helps a lot for all day riding.
 

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Now you know why so many bikers in those old pictures are wearing kidney belts.
 

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Hello, have had my first Harley (19 sport glide) for about a month now. Unfortunately I get low back pain fairly quickly when on it. I'm talking like 20min. I'm in decent shape, 34yrs old former collegiate athlete still workout regularly with a few lingering back pains but nothing major. I come from sportbikes and still currently ride a panigale it's never an issue.

Love the sport glide but sadly when I'm on it at times I can't wait to get off. I read that the feet forward position places extra weight on the spine which can cause it but I used to own a boulevard m90 for a little while and didn't have this issue. Question is what should I look at first to modify to help with this, seat, handlebars, foot positioning? I try to focus on posture as well but it doesn't seem to help.
If you sit on your wallet (hip pocket) , it is shifting your hips/ spine out of alignment. And with forward controls on your bike ,every bump you hit in the road is transferred from the road to your butt, then your lower back, your feet and legs can do little to soften the impact like you could if you had floor boards.
 

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Yea I never hold anything in my back pockets. I will start with a back brace before dropping $400 on a seat. Do floorboards make a difference?
 

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weird member
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Don't worry about the bars yet. Find somewhere (since it's a 2019, start with a Harley Dealer) and see if there's some seats for yours you can try. Find one that when you sit on it, it naturally puts your lower half in a comfortable position (where you don't have to focus on maintaining posture, it naturally puts you in a comfortable one).

Then, find handlebars that are comfortable after you square the seat away. You can't really judge what bars are comfortable until after you know where and how you'll be sitting.
 

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I can relate to low back pain--I have bulging and/or herniated discs. Try to sleep on my side at night. If I sleep on my back when I get up it really hurts and I can't stand straight up, walk around like a crippled guy for maybe 30-40 minutes.

But, strange as it may seem, unless it is one of those times I maybe strained my back a little and have light/moderate pain for several days or a week, riding doesn't really hurt my back. Even all day rides.

Not long ago I put a backrest on. But not one of those expensive HD backrests where ya gotta buy the really expensive mounting kit for it. I bought a "Grasshopper" brand backrest. It is not adjustable. They make backrests for about all HD bikes. And the really simplified mounting kit comes with the backrest. And you can mount it in maybe 5 minutes, don't know why Harley couldn't come up with something simple and cheap like Grasshopper did. You can get the whole kit for about $85. And if you want to remove it just pull it off but, so far since I put mine on, I have no reason to take it off. And IT DOES make my back feel better after being out several hours. Here is a Grasshopper link:

Harley Davidson - GRASSHOPPER LIMITED
 

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Depending on how tall you are. Forward controls and bars causing you bend in middle. I sat on one and felt right at home being 6'. Bending forward puts a strain on lower back. Doesn't take much pressure to damage lower back. Orthopedic doc said less 30# put immense pressure there. Leverage at work. Try backing off the preload on rear suspension.
 

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I can relate to low back pain--I have bulging and/or herniated discs. Try to sleep on my side at night. If I sleep on my back when I get up it really hurts and I can't stand straight up, walk around like a crippled guy for maybe 30-40 minutes.

Not long ago I put a backrest on. But not one of those expensive HD backrests where ya gotta buy the really expensive mounting kit for it. I bought a "Grasshopper" brand backrest. It is not adjustable. They make backrests for about all HD bikes. And the really simplified mounting kit comes with the backrest. And you can mount it in maybe 5 minutes, don't know why Harley couldn't come up with something simple and cheap like Grasshopper did. You can get the whole kit for about $85. And if you want to remove it just pull it off but, so far since I put mine on, I have no reason to take it off. And IT DOES make my back feel better after being out several hours. Here is a Grasshopper link:

Harley Davidson - GRASSHOPPER LIMITED
Only way I sleep is on my side with knees pulled up slightly. One herniated disc. Reason Harley doesn't make things easy? They like your money. :devil
 

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I can relate to low back pain--I have bulging and/or herniated discs. Try to sleep on my side at night. If I sleep on my back when I get up it really hurts and I can't stand straight up, walk around like a crippled guy for maybe 30-40 minutes.
I could have written that myself Joe. I like laying on my back once in a while, but can't walk upright for a while when I do. :mad The back rest in my Ultra sure helps when I ride.
 

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Hello, have had my first Harley (19 sport glide) for about a month now. Unfortunately I get low back pain fairly quickly when on it. I'm talking like 20min. I'm in decent shape, 34yrs old former collegiate athlete still workout regularly with a few lingering back pains but nothing major. I come from sportbikes and still currently ride a panigale it's never an issue.

Love the sport glide but sadly when I'm on it at times I can't wait to get off. I read that the feet forward position places extra weight on the spine which can cause it but I used to own a boulevard m90 for a little while and didn't have this issue. Question is what should I look at first to modify to help with this, seat, handlebars, foot positioning? I try to focus on posture as well but it doesn't seem to help.
Just my opinion here...
I think maybe your issue is that your body is accustomed to the lean over/stretched riding position.
While riding your cruiser you are more in a "straight up" riding position.
Gravity transfers the upper body weight straight down your spine to your lower back/hips.
Since you workout you will know generally pain comes from the weakest link in the muscle/skeletal combination of our bodies.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert. This is not advice. It is a personal observation for what worked for me alleviating lower back pain while riding and in general. I have been lifting weights/exercising for over 30 years.

What worked for me was doing lower back exercises to strengthen this area supported my upper body weight.
A backrest did nothing to eliminate the lower back pain for me on any of my motorcycles.
 

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I love the addition of my backrest . . . it makes for a much more comfortable ride and keeps me sitting more "upright". Without the backrest I was always "hunched over" and made for a sore back.
 

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And I would argue against floor boards making a significant difference. My Heritage had the floor boards and my Break Out has the forward controls. I have arthritis in my neck and back. My back starts feeling the miles after about 2 hours, same as the old bike. The seat and posture make all the difference really. I felt rough after only 25 minutes on my buddies Road King. I know when I sit on a bike if it gives me good posture.

Agree with the stretches too. I know if I don't keep my hamstrings reasonably limber my back is much quicker to act up.

The seat, bars, foot pegs, back rest, all have the potential to alter your overall posture so all of the suggestions are worth a look, although it is certainly different for everyone. I am 5'8 and about 240lbs. I think the longer folks benefit more from the bars.
 

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Keeper Of The Kept.
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I knew a guy who had the same problem. Ape hangers fixed it for him.
 

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For you guys that have a backrest and state that it helps with back pain,I have a question.
Is your pain in your Lower back as the OP stated his was?
The reason I ask is because if your pain is in the lower back,it makes no sense to me how directing more weight downward to the lower back can possibly be better.
Please explain if this applies to you.
I understand how a backrest can help if your back pain is elsewhere in your back.
I have scoliosis so I know back pain.
I live with it every day.
Some days are just a little better than others on the pain scale.
 

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Maybe we should start a back pain club here. My back hurts sitting in my easy chair. I just try to live with it along with sore neck, ringing ears, numbing fingers/hand and so on. My strategy is :seehearspeak
 

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I have a bad back problems now for over 20 years I suffered a prolapsed disc when I was 40 years old I wasn't able to work for 4 months due to the damage and what they called foot drop on my right foot ,I couldn't drive at all or ride.
The doctors told me I needed an operation to fuse the discs on my spine but having it done would be 50/ 50 when I asked what they meant well if it went wrong then I would have come out in a wheel chair .
Well F @@k that I ended up with numerous visits to physio and the only thing that helped me was Pilates it got me back to work .
I still suffer with my back in fact I am right now at the moment I use a TENS Machine when I go riding it works for me and nock's out the pain from the back I also use it to get some sleep for a few hours a night .
Try that I hope it helps you because suffering bad back issues isn't pleasant and gets you really down
 
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