Ape hangers/backrest combo for bad back? - Victory Forums - Victory Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Default Ape hangers/backrest combo for bad back?

Hey there all,

So, in the 11 months and 16k miles of my '15 XC ownership, I have come to the conclusion that I have to do something to save my lower back.

It feels like I'm leaning too far forward when driving. I currently have a Grasshopper backrest, which although is better than nothing, it doesn't come close to fixing the problem. I have even added a lumbar roll to the back to push me forward, and put some pressure on my lower back.

I'm thinking that some Ape hangers and maybe a Utopia back may do the trick.

A couple of questions I have about it:
  • Has anyone here had this issue, and if they have found the solution (for them), what was it?
  • If it is apes... which handlebars work best? I'm thinking that giving me about 4 inches of lift over stock, and a couple of inches back would work
  • What apes are the easiest to change out? I'm OK with a wrench... but the thought of tearing and replacing the cables/wires is daunting... I would prefer not to do that
  • Do the Utopia backrests give enough support/adjust-ability that I could go with shorter apes, and just get some that are 4 inches or so over stock?

Sorry for sounding like a nincompoop. I have never done handlebars before, and need some advice.

Thank you all for your input
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 09:30 AM
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You didnt mention height, etc & that really matters when selecting bars. Im 6' with 32" inseam. I went with FMB mid-apes (called 10" vs 14 or 16" apes). Wanted a better angle, but still behind the fairing. They are just a touch forward (arms straight when using backrest) but I may be able to pull them back a little more - hasn't been enough of an issue to mess with before winter. Most of the aftermarket pullback bars will give you 4" of lift WITH pullback - you have some adjustability there. Most of the pullbacks don't need longer cables/hoses. Getting my knuckles out of my lap helped me, but I'll point you more directions! Grasshopper backrest is fairly hard foam (have one on Vegas). I use the vic backrest on my XC and it's much more comfortable and adjustable. You can pick them up used for cheap, or get some padding on your grasshopper one. Be sure NOT to set up your backrest to push your butt forward off the seat curve, or you'll be putting pressure on your back directly as well as pushing yourself off the sweet spot of the seat, which ends up putting more pressure on back also. You didnt mention the seat itself, but that is probably a factor also? Maybe the east coast guys can point out a seat shop in your area that can shape/pad it for you? They can also move you forward, up, down to get you adjusted if that helps how you sit on the bike. I'd volunteer to help, but you're a long way from Boise! Good luck!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 11:43 AM
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Adding a backrest did wonders for my back, but I'm with you - the full relief will eventually include some 2" pullback bars so I can sit all the way back in the seat without having to lean forward (unless I choose to). I used to think I wanted taller bars too, and I still might, but an even bigger problem for my physique is the angle of the grips....they're turned in too much for me, forcing my elbows to twist inward, instead of a more relaxed outward flex. I think if I could correct the grip angle, the height would not matter as much. That grip angle is one thing I don't know how to determine when comparing different bar specs. Honestly, I am about to pull off the controls and try modifying the angle myself by sticking a pipe inside the hollow bar-end and grunting till it moves an inch.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 12:15 PM
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I just replaced my XCT handlebars a couple of weeks ago. I bought the Klock Werks Klip Hanger bars. They have adjustable clamps which allow me to fine tune the grip angle, pull back, and lever angle. Not quite finished tweaking them, but I love them. Cost was about $400 shipped and I am still using my original cables/wires.

Klock Werks Klip Hanger Handlebars for Victory - Iron Aces Speed Shop



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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 12:32 PM
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You don't mention what bars you currently have so I assume they are stock. If you are looking to lean back a little bit, try the Victory 2" pullback bars. They can be installed quickly and don't need any lengthening of wires/cables. They made a HUGE difference for me. I'm 5'-9.5" tall with a 32" inseam. With the stock bars, I was leaning slightly forward which caused my head to have to tilt slightly upward which gave me neck and shoulder strain. The 2" pullback bars solved this. You have some amount of up/down movement capability with the stock and the 2" pullback bars as well.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by id-man View Post
Adding a backrest did wonders for my back, but I'm with you - the full relief will eventually include some 2" pullback bars so I can sit all the way back in the seat without having to lean forward (unless I choose to). I used to think I wanted taller bars too, and I still might, but an even bigger problem for my physique is the angle of the grips....they're turned in too much for me, forcing my elbows to twist inward, instead of a more relaxed outward flex. I think if I could correct the grip angle, the height would not matter as much. That grip angle is one thing I don't know how to determine when comparing different bar specs. Honestly, I am about to pull off the controls and try modifying the angle myself by sticking a pipe inside the hollow bar-end and grunting till it moves an inch.
The wrist angle was why I i usually changed mine. By the time I lifted the stock ones out of my lap, the heel of my hand was higher than my thumb. The new ones are better, but I would still like a more angled grip position. Building a set for my Vegas so I get what I want instead of my firearms being angry of the $300 ones. I looked at Bright's klips also, but just can't get past the price. For $400, I just need to sacrifice a day & build some or cut/re-angle mine & TIG them up, & powder coat them again.
For the Vegas, I'm going to start with my factory XC bars & angle-cut the bend. Goal is to get mid-height with a good angle. Should be doable on any cold winters day!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broggyr View Post
I just replaced my XCT handlebars a couple of weeks ago. I bought the Klock Werks Klip Hanger bars. They have adjustable clamps which allow me to fine tune the grip angle, pull back, and lever angle. Not quite finished tweaking them, but I love them. Cost was about $400 shipped and I am still using my original cables/wires.

Klock Werks Klip Hanger Handlebars for Victory - Iron Aces Speed Shop
Broggy, why did you pick the klips over the ness modular? Probably a difference but I've never seen either in person!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 03:10 PM
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Well, honestly I hadn't really known about the Ness modulars, but @PaiN actually bought the same ones and I liked how they felt.


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2013 XCT, Boardwalk Blue w/ Vicwrapz
S&S Cams, Lloydz filter & ATS +3, PCV, UD pulley, Alto Red Eagle clutch plates
Madstad Windshield, 5000K HID, TriOvals, Memphis Shields wings, Ultimate seat
JVC KD-X35MDT, PBR300X4, Polk DB6502, DaytonAudio ND140-4 rear
HyperLites, LED driving lights, Lloydz dyno 105+H and 117+T
Arlen Ness blinkers, KlockWerks KlipHanger bars, Avon grips

Spectro Golden 4 20w40 for Victory L.SG424, Kury Sabertooth LEDs
THE FEW, THE PROUD, THE OBSCURE. TTWFO2
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 08:08 PM
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@broggyr I really like how those bars look man. Are the clamps splined to adjust incrementally, or do you have to eyeball it?

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-29-2016, 08:11 PM
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I have the Victory riders backrest and Victory apes on my CCT. It's a very comfortable riding position with excellent back support and no shoulder pain at all. Fill the tank, ride till empty, fill it up again, repeat.

All the best,

Mark


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