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Discussion Starter #1
Hi I'm new here to the forum and new to riding. Just finished a 3180 mile road trip! Fun, fun, fun! Love my bike but need help with a few things. I'm a female rider and experience throttle hand numbness/pain after 10 minutes of riding and a sharp stabbing pain in the middle/upper back after about 30 miles. I use a light grip and try to keep a relaxed posture. Anyone out there have these issues and any feedback?
 

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Welcome.

What bike?

You may be gripping bars too tightly but aftern 3180 miles and new rider you can expect aches and pains.

Risers might help with the back pain.

Grip Puppies with the hands.
Also a throttle lock will help on the long trips ....I''d recommend Cramp busters but not for a new rider.

Lot's of long term riders have never taken that long a road trip ....kudos.
 

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That shoulder pain thing has been on me for years. I have tried lots of things

- raising and moving the bars forward
- padded grips
- manual throttle lock

The pain remains, although it does usually take a full day of riding before it starts for me. I changed tactics and it seems to help if I do the following

- Alternate using one or two fingers on the throttle as I ride rather than using my entire hand
- Removing my clutch hand and placing it on my lap, this lets my body twist a little more towards the throttle hand, obviously be careful where and when you do this.
- Installing highway bars, then alternate between having both feet on them, or one foot or the other and the alternate foot on regular pegs. It allows your body to twist slightly and this seems to help.
- Using the throttle lock and moving right hand down to leg to relax it, but this is only good on straight sections of road and is not very safe, you just have to be careful using it.

A cramp buster might be worth a try, I never experimented with one of those.
 

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First, let me say welcome to the asylum!

Next, your body and intuitive sense of balance are adjusting to using muscle groups in new ways, so some of what you are experiencing is, to coin an explanation, "new rideritis." It can take a bit of time and tweaking to find the mental - physical - soulful "sweet spot" that assures the physical part of the ride is effortless.

But not all of it is due to new rider adjustments. I've been riding 40 + years and had to do several things to get the VStrom ergos right for me.

The key to relieving the physical part is to get to a relaxed, neutral seating position, and the single purchase you can make to achieve this is a correct set of bar-backs / handlebar risers.

So here is a trick I read about years ago that will let you work your way to this without repetitive or expensive experimentation.

1. Put the bike on the center-stand if it has one, or if not, get a few "strong-back friends" to help you hold it upright and motionless with you seated as if riding. (If using friends with the wheels on the ground, put it in 1st gear to kill a "roll factor" that will spoil the sense of security.)

2. With your feet on the pegs as you usually ride, sit "as if riding upright" in a neutral, relaxed position that puts your upper body weight substantially over your hips. A slight forward lean is okay, but avoid any hint of a backward lean. (I.e., you want your spine comfortably straight, and not bowed or humped).

3. With your elbows slightly bent, hold your arms and hands out to toward the handlebars and note where your hands would hold the grips at that natural resting point.

4. Have someone measure two distances: "up and back."

The goal of this of course is to identify how much rise and set-back to purchase in a set of bar-backs. The measurements do not have to be to the 16th accurate, but they do need to be in the ball park. Record the numbers so make sure you have the up and back part of it correct before you order.

The ROX variety riser / set-backs that allow adjustment in the up/back settings are the most expensive, but they likewise allow flexibility for a fine tweaking as needed.

Finally, I feel your pain. I'm 5.6" tall with a 29" inseam, and a slightly short reach. I've used this trick on several of my previous bikes, and until I got it right on the VStrom I would get a tight neck and knot between my shoulder blades after after 25 miles on the road. I used the steps outlined above to identify my sweet spot and bought the SW Motech 33mm rise / 22mm back, set-back type risers.

Enjoy being young! From where I sit at age 62, I can assure you that even with the ergos right, if I rode 3,000 + miles on my VStrom my hands, arms, and perhaps my whole upper body would be so numb I would have to be pried off the bike.

:mod2_eek:
 
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A cramp buster might be worth a try, I never experimented with one of those.
Not for a new rider...too risky but superb to keep your wrists straight. I actually use them on both sides.

Enjoy being young! From where I sit at age 62, I can assure you that even with the ergos right, if I rode 3,000 + miles on my VStrom my hands, arms, and perhaps my whole upper body would be so numb I would have to be pried off the bike.
You got that correct...I did 3,300 km at a go around Lake Superior and felt it ( last day was nearly 1,000 km )..very annoying quartering wind coming down the middle of Michigan was stressful but the turn at Flint turned a wrestling match into easy sailing the rest of the way home. Very impressve road trip for a new rider OP

 

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Welcome kid.:smile2: Got my kid a bike at five then two more but at 16 she wanted a car so being able to warp me around her little finger all her life she got a car :grin2:.
Throttle locks I have used for years and at 71 still put in some long days.A 900+ day is longest on my 650 Vstrom. Lots as me make a throttle lock.O-rings,rawhide ,and other things.O-rings I used for years but draw back to them is if one breaks you have to take the hand guard off at end to put on another.
What I started doing when throwing away a old jacket one day was cut off the draw string and little spring loaded plastic lock that you push and adjust how tight you want it.Seen on hoods all so.
Just loop a piece of the small rope from it around the space next to grip.stick the two end through the lock and cut off extra.Lock to how much you feel is right as you push grip back when you want throttle less every time.After a few miles it feels natural. If never had a throttle lock try all this on a empty highway.Its real easy to become use to them. Another thing that keeps me going all day is to stand up on the pegs often. Again try before doing it on the open road in traffic.If you have been off road sure you have done it lots all ready. If not that brace your feet on the pegs and raise your behind a few inches off the seat for a minute or so.Re sets your joints and works out your legs some. Good luck.
 

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Stretch it out...

At 59, I just started re-riding this Feb after being "off" for many years.

I found out about that new muscle soreness after first couple days of mounting my new to me, '11 "Oui" DL650. Mine was mostly my upper back and shoulders. The bike I bought came from a seller who is taller and heavier than I am. But I've left the bike as is for now. Was thinking I might remove/replace the bar risers he had as I sit straight up on the bike as it now is.

But more than any mods/changes to the bike, I've learned to stretch my body before each ride. Now, I've not taken any long rides, just local backroads for an hour or less. But this has been enough to make me sore once I got off or leg/hip cramp as I ride.

Now, before each ride, I do a few squats up n down, toe touches, hamstring stretches, back stretches by pressing against my garage wall, etc. Most of this is done while I let my bike idol and do my pre-ride walkaround. Much like before I ride my mountain bike or just after my neighborhood/treadmill walks. Gentle, easy stretches. And then again, after I ride as well to stave off any after muscle soreness. And drink some water before, after and if you can, during your rides to stay hydrated. Seems to work for me and my old body. :frown2:

I found this keeps me looser while on the bike and has diminished my after ride soreness. But more importantly for me, I don't get those hip cramps I was getting while re-riding again. Stay loose, ride on, ride safe. peace, e.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
2005 Vstrom Dl650 and I have a throttle lock, I have risers and have moved bars closer, and I have the cramp buster. I feel like I've tried everything. Thank you for your feedback ?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all for your suggestions and feedback. Just to let you all know, I am a new rider but not a young rider. I am 52. I really have tried everyone's suggestions (bar riser, throttle lock, cramp buster, oxford heated thicker grips, highwaypegs, standing (at slower speeds) stretching). I'd like to try raising the bars more to bring them closer but would need to change the cables, or possibly modifying the seat. Or maybe I should just realize I'm not a young spring chicken and just quit complaining and enjoy the adventure ?
 

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Yes ....timed release acetaminophen works wonders....2 x 650 mg twice a day keeps me riding >:)
 

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ALSO...

I've played bass guitar for over 35 years. I have a big biker bar blues gig this afternoon, woo hoo. :grin2:

Started having wrist/arm/shoulder pains in past year after a gig. I looked up stretches for tennis elbow, wrist pain, etc on YouTube. I found alot of wrist, arm, shoulder, etc exercises that work for me. Some I'd already been doing, some new to me.

This just helped me with the wrist, arm, etc pains I was started experiencing when I began riding. This may not be what is your issue. But it sure won't hurt to apply some of these practices. We're no spring chickens' and hanging onto the handlebars of a speeding ( or cruising) bike may show up new body pains or exacerbate existing ones. Peace, e.
 

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Carpal tunnel is a common problem and hands really get sore the first half hour - then I'm fine...hopefully getting left one fixed this December
 
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My Take on Numbness

I have the right hand numbness big time. The problem is the frequency of the vibration and your sensitivity to it, which varies a lot among riders. If you have a stock handle bar set up, try the below Vibranator because it will modify the vibration frequency and most, if not all, other ideas will not do that.

The Vibranator Handlebar Mounted Vibration Damping Device

If you can't, won't, try it, the only other thing is a throttle lock. Others here are correct to caution re new riders. The Kaoko throttle lock fits at the end of the handlebar and it uses a large, knobbed plastic wheel you can turn easily with your right gloved little finger to tighten a simple friction device that holds the throttle grip in a fixed position. I use it most of the time set so I can move the grip but it will stay where I set it. I takes some hours to experiment but now I just keep my little finger on the friction knob all the time so when I reduce power I also reduce the friction: if I give it a good twist, the grip will "free fall" to off. The problem/hazard others worry about it you can turn the grip the wrong way when you need to slow down; it adds an element of uncertainty in a critical situation. I've done it. It was edifying!

I recommend Twisted Throttle because if you call them on the phone they will help you. Their tech support is very patient, Kaoko makes dozens of different throttle locks (all priced about the same but perhaps you're are beyond that by now) and besides your make and model and year of bike, there are other variations for different hand guard configurations. Please do take care removing the bar end weight, ask TT if you can get a Kaoko to work without removing the bar end weight, and search this site for bar end weight.

Motorcycle Throttle Locks | TwistedThrottle.com

Finally, thicker gloves stave off but do not prevent the problem. Grip Puppies add thickness but all who say they are the solution do not have the sensitivity you and I have to the vibration frequency. The other things, lead shot in the bar, a solidifying slime in the bar, welding things onto the bar are all ways to change the bar vibration frequency and mostly can't or won't work. The most extreme solutions are to replace the handle bar: steel, fiber glass, titanium, etc. Besides that one can try to isolate the bar, bolted onto the top of the forks from the chassis. There is little question that changing the bar vibration frequency and reducing the amplitude of it will work. The problem is analyzing your sensitivity. The right occupational therapist could be helpful. Of all this, I tried the Koako and won't give it up nor leave home without it.
 

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Carpal tunnel will be an issue if you don't alter the ergos but first, new riders often ride rigid with elbows straight or hyper extended.
Try bending the elbows slightly. This simple maneuver may help with both areas.
 
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Ruby, you can also do some carving on the foam of the seat to relocate the butt pocket a bit forward or down (or up) so it better fits you.
 

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Sounds like you have already tackled the major causes and the only thing that you might try is a different set of handlebars. The oem bars turn in quite a bit and a set that is up and back like oem, but don't turn in at the hand grips might be the answer. Check out the bars on the new Africa Twin and you will instantly see the difference. Also, pay particular attention to your posture and sit ramrod straight as much as possible. Any slouching will cause the exact pain you are describing.

A custom seat would not only help in this area, but give you much more comfort on those long runs. When on a trip I generally stay in the saddle for 10-ish hours and my Terry Adcox seat has been fantastic. You have a custom seat builder out there in Oregon with a good reputation, but I can't remember the name.

I Run 2" up and back Rox risers w/oem bars, Grip Puppies and a Rostra electronic cruise control. I also had Carpal Tunnel surgery done a few year ago on both wrists because they would go numb after 15min on the bike(and even driving the cage).....now it's rare. I'm 59, and yes after an all day run I do have some neck/shoulder pain, but I figure it's not the bike but simply age.

If you like to ride long distance like I do, then don't give up and keep trying different things until your issue goes away. I can say that I have this bike set up the most perfect for me over any other bike I have owned.
 
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