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How do I get rid of the pain in my upper back? If I can't find a way I may end up on a Wing or Harley. When I ride for more than 45 minutes, which is most times I ride, I get a pain at the base of my neck at the top of my back. If I relax and drop my elbows it seems to help, but I'm always raising my shoulders to firm up my arms to brake. I had this problem on my RT and now for 16k on my GT, bars up or down doesn't seem to matter. I bought gripster tank pads and use my knees to take some pressure off my arms but it doesn't help. I have long arms, 37 inch sleeves, so it's not the reach to the bars.

I recently did 2600 miles in the Smoky Mountains over nine days and had to take ibuprofen twice a day in order to ride. Does any one else have what I affectionately call 'a BMW spot'? Any suggestions for how to get rid of it?

I rented a Wing for a week, about 1800 miles, and have rented a Road King twice for about 500 miles and never had an issue.
 

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Lower back pain for me

2wheeler said:
Does any one else have what I affectionately call 'a BMW spot'? Any suggestions for how to get rid of it?
I don't have that BMW spot. The only aches I get from riding are in my lower back, but I get that frequently from other things too. I don't take a lot of breaks, and often ride for an hour or two without stopping, but I do move around on the bike from time to time, e.g. ride one handed and sit up more, move my arms around and behind me to stretch, take my feet off the pegs to stretch my legs, or stand on the pegs.

Over time I've noticed that the more I do sit ups and crunches and other abdominal exercises the less my back hurts...

[Note: I have a corbin seat, but only for about a month and the only pain it seems to have changed is butt pain.]
 

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Those backaches

2wheeler said:
When I ride for more than 45 minutes, which is most times I ride, I get a pain at the base of my neck at the top of my back. ... and had to take ibuprofen twice a day in order to ride.
I have the same problem 'cept I require more Ibuprofen... Installed barbacks but without any improvement. I've begun to believe it's related to the slightly awkward BMW seating position compared to that on a Wing or Harley. Never had it on the Harley's I owned, including a XLCH, FLXR and FLHTC (small, medium and large frame). When I sit completely upright on my 2006 GT the web between my thumb and first finger is still about 3/4" shy of the grips.

By 'awkard' I mean too that the GT rider's feet are fairly high (thus bending the spine a little) and he is leaned just forward enough (whether barback equipped or not) to have to tilt his head back to see forward when wearing a full-face helmet. I think the strain of that tilt, slight as it is, is soon aggravated by the weight of the helmet bouncing up and down and quickly tiring the neck muscles. I installed a Russell seat hoping for improvement (though it's even higher). Now my butt holds up fine, but my upper backache is unchanged.

Now that I've written this, I believe I'm going to first compare the height of the vision opening between open and full face and if it looks better then switch back to my old (and much lighter) open-face helmet. A ride like that might show improvement. I arrived at the recent K-Bike Rally in Snowshoe, WV in real pain after a 520 mile day to get there. On the Harley's I could (and did) do half-again that distance many times without a sweat.
 

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I had that pain initially, but barbacks and a Corbin seat made it all better. I found that the soft BMW OEM seat was not providing firm enough support which was radiating into the middle and upper back.
 

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Been there...got that.

I've got it too. The back pain has been on ALL my BMW's. '02 LT with both stock and Corbin seat. '05 RT with stock seat and bar backs/risers. '06 Kawi Vulcan Nomad w/stock seat. '06 RT with backs/risers, stock seat and Corbin seat. Now with '07 GT and stock seat. The best setup was on the '06 RT with the barbacks/risers, pegs lowered, and Corbin seat. Did a couple 500 mile days with less discomfort.
Had an '06 Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad and had to put a Mustang seat with backrest on it and was perfectly comfortable. Now, I HAD to get BACK to BMW so sold the Nomad.
I have pretty much chalked up the back problems to 1. Age, 2. Chronic bad back, 3. Tendency to "slouch". I HAVE to have a substantial backrest to ease the back pain. By substantial I mean STRONG enough for me to put some of my weight back into. I'm 57, 6'4" and 265. The Corbin backrest on my '02 LT did not fit the bill. The Mustang on the Nomad was the ticket.
Guess I'll just go as long as I can with the GT and then retire(again) to the LT or a...damn I hate to say this...Gold Wing.

Bill
 

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neck & back pain

It is quite relative and depends on the previous bike you have been use to riding. It takes a lot of tweaking to get the GT closer to an LT or GW ride. Bar backs, new seat, lower pegs, bigger windscreen etc. It will never be as comfortable as those bikes, sometimes what the mind wants (152 hp, etc.) just doesn't meet the bodies comfort needs. Throughout this site there are lots of things people have done to get that LT type ride.
Sometimes it takes ergonomic changes to how you sit on the bike, don't slouch, don't stiff arm to hold yourself up, and a real surprise, the more you hydrate, the more comfortable you are. (Could be because of the extra "rest stops" to dehydrate)

Those of us coming from a "naked bike" or a 'crouch rocket" think these things are the absolutly a comfortable ride with out the extra heft of the GW, LT, Roadking etc. and we don't need to see the Chiropractor every week anymore.
 

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2wheeler said:
How do I get rid of the pain in my upper back? If I can't find a way I may end up on a Wing or Harley. When I ride for more than 45 minutes, which is most times I ride, I get a pain at the base of my neck at the top of my back. If I relax and drop my elbows it seems to help, but I'm always raising my shoulders to firm up my arms to brake. I had this problem on my RT and now for 16k on my GT, bars up or down doesn't seem to matter. I bought gripster tank pads and use my knees to take some pressure off my arms but it doesn't help. I have long arms, 37 inch sleeves, so it's not the reach to the bars.

I recently did 2600 miles in the Smoky Mountains over nine days and had to take ibuprofen twice a day in order to ride. Does any one else have what I affectionately call 'a BMW spot'? Any suggestions for how to get rid of it?

I rented a Wing for a week, about 1800 miles, and have rented a Road King twice for about 500 miles and never had an issue.
Have you tried asking an orthopedist or chiropractor. Sounds to me its about how you tense up when you ride. relax your shoulders and drop you head some. Work on strengthening neck muscles (put on your helmet and do bridges!!!). Ask a doctor.
 

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I am job security for my chiropractor, and man was I crooked two years ago. Much straighter now, with a lot less pain and quicker recovery than before. 300 miles today and my back and neck are good. Gotta get into shape though, I just bought this thing and can't believe I rode 300 miles. I used to do that in a month, not a day. :bmw:
 

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Resurrecting an old thread.

Seems I got some neck pain going on now. Painful looking 90 degrees to the right or left, base of skull to shoulders. Not so much pain to and fro. Makes lane checks looking back a bit painful in car or bike.

Doc took some x-rays and says there is compression of disks C4-C6 in my neck along with the "Old age" speak. Only thing that has changed recently was a new helmet, a Shoei X-12 Martyr in size XL which is one heavy sob as they grew the shells to the helmet size rather than padding adjustments. Probably even heavier than the Shoei Multi-Tec flip-up. Very nice helmet, but I wonder if the sheer weight of these things is a contributing factor?

The doc's suggestion was neck exercises (he said to look on the web for them) to protect mobility, Rx'd me some Somo 350mg (initial 2 doses have had no effect?), and some Motrin. Maybe take some calcium and vitamin D too. A pillow seems to aggravate it.

These neck things, do they actually raise the helmet off your shoulders and stretch your neck out, or are they just a limiter to protect one from whiplash? I've seen some squids with them and a back protector. They still wear shorts and T-shirts though.


Mack
 

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GMack said:
Resurrecting an old thread.

Seems I got some neck pain going on now. Painful looking 90 degrees to the right or left, base of skull to shoulders....Only thing that has changed recently was a new helmet, a Shoei X-12 Martyr in size XL which is one heavy sob as they grew the shells to the helmet size rather than padding adjustments. Probably even heavier than the Shoei Multi-Tec flip-up. Very nice helmet, but I wonder if the sheer weight of these things is a contributing factor? Mack
I do think the heavier helmets can become an issue on a long ride. [What-do-ya' say Meese?] I have a Schuberth C2 which is a great helmet, but don't use it on rides over an hour much as I have noticed "neck fatigue" with it. I also have an Arai Vector which is a lot lighter, and seems to be much better for long days in the saddle. It seems that even just a pound or so extra resting on your cervical vertebrae all day long is significant. Also, IMHO a good after market wind screen helps to decrease any "bobble head" which adds to the problem. Hope this helps....coach :)
 

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I've had a C2 for the entire time I've had the GT. It's noticeably lighter than my previous Concept was.

Yes, adding all the extra weight up on top of your head can add fatigue and neck strain. But it sure beats the alternative. :wtf:

Your choices are to find a lighter helmet (there are some great Carbon Fiber helmets out there, some are even affordable) or to strengthen those neck muscles by getting out and riding more.

Guess which one I chose. :ricky
 

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back and neck strain

All of the above are correct. I would imagine that each of us has our own faults especially going from one type bike to another.
Seats - no 2 bottoms are the same and if they where we would sit on them in different ways.
Handlebars- The ideal is one in which you do not have to reach forward putting tension on your arms. Forearms should be level and wrist relaxed.
Legs- thighs slightly at a downward angle and knees relaxed no matter which way they are bent.
Back- ideally in a position where the hips are rotated back and shoulders are held back. Looking from the left side it would look like a C. This requires strong stomach mussels not strong back mussels. If you allow your hips to rotate forward you incur pain at the base of back. If you hunch shoulders you get pain in between shoulders and also your neck.
Overall you need to be relaxed at all limbs and joints. Just last week I forgot and the left side of my neck was really tight and in pain. Could hardly turn left. The fault was I had my right hand and wrist locked to the throttle. Relaxed the right and 2 miles latter I was fine.
Helmet- many time neck gets sore from wind pushing at top of helmet. Tilt helmet forward on you head and get relief.
Hope this helps.
 

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I had the very same pain in my back/neck. It came as odd to me as I'm really not old nor do I have any neck or back issues to speak of. I learned to pull my shoulders a bit back (sticking my chest out a bit) when I ride. This simple technique has made a huge difference in the ability to ride long distances.
 

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I inadvertently started a thread on the same subject here.

I'm pretty sure it's a combination of three things. First is the weight of the helmet. The Shoei Multitec isn't the lightest around (slightly under 4 lbs). Second is the slight wind buffeting, which combined with the third item, which is the slight lean forward induced by the K1300GT, causes the upper back muscles to be constantly forced to lift the head (which is exacerbated by the weight of the helmet).

The solutions (I'm guessing) are:

First get a larger windshield (which I already have) and raise it for long trips so I'm actually looking through it, instead of over it. Any comments on this? I'm used to looking through plexiglass so it doesn't bother me (distortions and all).

Second, get a lighter helmet. I really really love having the flip up. Got hooked on them way back doing bicycle races and spending three hours at a time in the saddle. Of course I could switch to an open face but I would really like to avoid that. I have one so I might try it on the next ride (SS2000 or BBGold) to see if it makes a difference.

Third, is to engineer a new handlebar configuration to eliminate the lean forward completely. The Russell seat and lowering pegs put me in a fantastic seating position. I was not uncomfortable at all for 1000 miles from the waist down. However, the Russell seat does raise me about 2 inches, which negates the Verholen bar risers. If I sit with my back straight and vertical with my elbows in a relaxed position, the bars are about an inch low and three inches too far forward (that's after the Verholen install). Any ideas on replacing the bars, moving them back further? Both the clutch and brake lines would have to be extended (especially the clutch line). Where does one find longer steel braided lines to fit?

This bike is so close to perfect.
 

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Back Pain!

Any where along the spine rotation or flextion (bending) can cause sciatic (pain down the legs), numbness and muscle discomfort to muscle spasms which can be very painful. My disk at L4-L5 is completely blown out, yet I am more comfortable riding my GT than driving the cage.

In this and the other post there are several good points, but I thought it would be helpful to repeat and add my own. Hydration is extremely important. After a nights sleep the disks in your spine are typically dehydrated and stiff. After you have been up a couple of hours your disks (if you still have them) should gain some flexibility. This is a good time to do some McKenzie exercises, especially extensions to help ease any compression of your vertebrae as a result of flextion. The other McKenzie exercises are time tested to help strengthen your core which is the support structure for your spine.

Something often over looked are the Psoas Muscles which actually run from your front to your back. If these are tensed up and tight they can put a lot of pressure on the back.

If you have a back issue, see a doctor and/or a Physical Therapist. I was seeing several of each. Non-operative and operative spine surgeons, a physical therapist specializing in back rehabilitation and a physical therapist specializing in myofascial release (http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/self-myofascial-release.html). I am a candidate for surgery and have been for 6 years, there is nothing left of my disk. I see these professionals as needed, but for the most part maintain on my own.

Preventive maintenance: Hydrating, core strengthening and release exercises. When I am on long rides I take a CamelBack. I use my legs to grip the tank so I am able to relax my arms and grip and upper body. I maintain an arch to my back at all times with my shoulders back trying to keep a negative C shape to my back and trying not to slouch. Right now I am on a factory seat and see a custom in my future. I am 6 foot and ride with the seat in the high position and the bars set in the middle. Having a more upright seating position takes less core strength and make sit more difficult to maintain good posture and if you it a bump in the road it will travel up your spine more so than when riding in a sporting position. Yeah, my old knees get stiff but I do not want to lower the pegs. From time to time I''ll stand on the foot pegs for a minute to stretch or take a rest stop on long rides. For the most part I have not had any problems because of what I am doing when I am not riding. Keeping hydrated, not smoking and keeping your weight down all help reduce strain on your back.

Educating yourself about your particular issue an knowing what exactly exacerbates it is also very helpful. As an example I know that I am very flextion and rotationally sensitive. My condition may also be made worse by lifting any heavy objects in front of me as this causes the vertebrae to compress. If I pick up 80 pounds in front of me I can almost guarantee within three weeks I will have a back episode while doing something stupid like brushing my teeth, but brushing one's teeth is a state of flextion and there can also be rotation. Unfortunately back and neck pain can become life changing as you really cannot take for granted how you move and what you do, you have to be smart about what you do.

This s$%^@! can bring you to your tears. Practice good posture, chin up looking through the turns and a relaxed upper body and keep the rubber side down.
 

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Did a trip to the beach this weekend (95 miles each way). Neck was definitely hurting. Did some more research and found this thread on another forum. That got me thinking and I did some research. Seems the neck pain is probably a symptom

Sure enough, with the verholen risers, the bars were too far back and too high for me (everyone is different). It caused me to round my shoulders and I wasn't leaned over enough, inducing a bend in the back.

When I removed the Verholen risers, and put the bars at the highest position, I found that I leaned over more naturally which straightened my back.

Now this is all well and good. I'll have to do some riding to see if this actually does the trick.
 

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A 20 minute workout three times a week makes a HUGE difference! Trust me when you are in shape (or even half way) things tend to hurt much less..
 

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Whitefield said:
A 20 minute workout three times a week makes a HUGE difference! Trust me when you are in shape (or even half way) things tend to hurt much less..
:clap:

Couldn't have agreed more!!

I had major pain in several spots around neck, shoulder blades and upper back 4 years ago. I awent through 2-week session of physical therapy and it cured the pain right there. I've been doing the same exercises ever since in addition to swiming 3 time a week. I spend a lot of time in computer rooms where they mount the key boards on the racks. That was not helping and causing pains. A visit to an orthopedist or chiropractor most likely will help!
 
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