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Old 11-14-2012, 07:41 PM   #21
Bogman
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Default Try a Crampbuster

I was having issues with cramps in my right hand. I got a Crampbuster for ten or twelve bucks. It works well. Also, after using it a few times I found I grip less hard even without it.

I picked up the Vic drivers backrest a couple weeks ago. I have not had much seat time since then due to crappy weather, but it felt promising.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:01 PM   #22
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Make certain your wrists are straight, that's very important. You may need to raise or lower the bars to attain that. Have you adjusted the foot controls for a comfortable reach? There's 3 fore and aft settings. As previously stated, good posture is critical - its too easy to slump. Good physical condition definitely helps, not only for long rides, but life in general. Shed those extra pounds, if you've got 'em.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:24 AM   #23
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From your symptoms - hand issues as well as back pain - I think you have two different things going on, both of which have been commented on before:
#1 you have to reach too far to the handlebar which gives you lower back pain.
#2 your wrists are not used to this and put into an unnatural angle.

I'm same height as you, and I replaced my handlebars pretty much immediately because of the reach issue. I got the HMD520 pullback bars. Did a 400 mile day with them and it felt much better, but not great. Adjusted them as low as they could go, and it is much better now. However I would still like another inch or so (keep it clean here, please...), so I might still have to have the seat modified as another poster suggested. For now I am trying a backrest to see how that improves things.

As for problem #2 Victory also offers pullback bars, however HMD claims their wrist angle is better/more natural. Bars for these bikes are expensive (and a royal pain to swap), so if you have anyone with these bars in your area, it might be very worthwile to meet up with them and check out the wrist position for yourself.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:32 AM   #24
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I have to commend you for starting out on a XC - I have ridden for many years and still had to adjust quite a bit to the heft of the Vic.

Not sure if you took a class like the MSF class to obtain your license, but even if so, these classes are taught on small bikes that have very different handling characteristics from our bikes.

I think you would benefit immensely from some rider training that is targeted specifically at bigger bikes, the 'ride like a pro' program.

They sell DVDs but also do classes in various parts of the country.
I took their class in Atlanta and it helped me a lot with bike handling - and being more relaxed while riding.

https://www.ridelikeapro.com/locations
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:09 PM   #25
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Hey NGA. NGA was kind enough to let me take his for a spin. While the HMD520 bars were better, I still need a more ergonomic grip. The cams, however were a thrill.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:35 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wspollack View Post
+1 to what everybody said.

You need to relax and be comfortable for maximum long-distance riding ability. To help in that respect, these are some options:

- Try pullback handlebars. You need to be able to have some bend in your elbows, so you're not stretching to reach the grips.

- Try the Utopia backrest. I don't find the need for one (yet?) on my XCT, but I had a Utopia on my Valkyrie Interstate for seven years. Good company, quality stuff. (And if you search here, you'll come across a lot of people getting the Utopia with the smaller "police" pad, which doesn't seem to be advertised.)

- You might also want to try a pair of overpants. There are a lot of these pants; I wear the First Gear HT Overpants ( http://www.webbikeworld.com/r2/firstgear/ht-overpants/ ), but any will do. I find it much easier to do 500-, 600-mile days with overpants. They add cushioning, and also let you slide around in the seat more easily; anything that tends to trap you into one position is going to get in the way of comfort after a couple of hours.

- No "death grip" on the grips. In my first few years of riding, I would remind myself of this by making a circle with my right thumb and forefinger, and just holding the throttle for a while with that circle.This is a reminder that just a little effort will get the job done when just cruising along. (And don't forget the cruise control. And don't forget that your left hand, especially, can be rested on your thigh, with or without the cruise on.)

- You may want more cushioned gloves. I mostly wore an Olympia "gel pad" pair for a couple of years; other brands make gel pads, too. My current three main pairs go one step further, with special placement of padding, for better cushioning and carpal-tunnel-syndrome prevention. I have a summer and a cooler weather pair from Qwi ( http://www.qwinerveprotector.com/MotorcycleGlove.html ) and a summer pair from Bionic ( http://www.bionicgloves.com/shop/?cat=35&id=35 , which is the pair I wear most often).

- The Vibranator keeps getting sterling reviews in the various motorcycle magazines (I subscribe to Rider, Cycle World, Motorcyclist, Motorcycle Consumer News, and get the AMA monthly as part of membership, and several of these have reviewed it in the last few months). There were devices with similar function in earlier years - Bar Snake, lead shot, etc. - but the Vibranator is more sophisticated and weighs less.

- To make sure your XCT doesn't have a personal problem that should be addressed by the dealer, it'd be nice if you could ride someone else's bike, or maybe your dealer has a demo available; another XC or XCT would be nice.

- It's possible you may need a custom seat, but that's a last resort, after trying some or all of the above. That will be the most expensive option, and also might entail your losing the heated capability.

[EDIT addition: Another thing came to mind. What RPM do you cruise at? IMHO - and others may disagree, of course - you should be tooling along somewhere between, oh, 2,200 and 2,900, in general. At any rate, if you typically cruise at, say, 4,000 RPM, you're going to subject yourself (and the bike) to unnecessary vibration. I'm not talking about rolling-it-on periods - for fun, passing, just upshifting, etc. - I'm talking about steady-state cruising.]

- And, as mentioned, you have to work up to long rides, just so your body gets used to the position(s), and maybe you develop a little more muscle tone in the areas that get taxed by just sitting straight and (lightly) holding the bars.

How 'bout you help us out, by providing your height, inseam, sleeve length, and age, if you don't mind?

That's a mighty big bike to start out with. Have you been riding other bikes before, e.g., that you didn't own?

Handlebars probably too far away. Stretching your arms forward will make you have poor blood flow and give you back aches so I would maybe try pullback bars before a back rest.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:18 AM   #27
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For me I do exercises program. Spending some time with weights and a good walk run makes a difference in how long and far I can ride.
I learned from others and watching them the healthier you are makes a difference.
Yes bars grips can help but stretching our body's before riding really makes a difference.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:44 PM   #28
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Your back just wasnt used to the riding position and the actual core muscles are in need of some exercise. My back did the same thing until I did some core exercises and I rode frequently. No more back pain now.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:31 PM   #29
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I have ridden many bikes on long distance trips. I recommend relaxing the best you can. Dod two and a half hours on my XC last Sunday with no problems.. Posture and getting the bars and seat position is key to not having the problems you mentioned.
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