the second year I had my Vstar 650 classic I bought one of those LollyPop shaped drivers backrest on Amazon. It was around $70.
They attach to the 2 little front bolts for the passenger seat. Im not sure if they are the same for the Classic and Custom models of the 650. To get mine positioned and angled where I wanted it I had to have at it with a big crescent wrench and BFH and my vise. I mangle the bracket pretty good and got it where I wanted it. This one had no adjustments, a more expensive one might be easier to put where you want it. Also I could not get the passenger seat to hook into the bracket with the backrest on the bike. I did not use it anyway so I did not care.
Once it was on the bike it worked nicely. Its designed to fold back if you get rear-ended instead of breaking your spine in half, so you cannot really lean back on it and put all your weight on it. But just having something to lean back into makes a huge difference in the comfort of riding, esp after more than half an hour.
I had it on the bike for couple years while messing around with saddle bags, and other ways to carry my lunch to work everyday. I got inspired by the trunk that was on the Honda 500GL Silverwing (that replaces the passenger seat) and decided to put a trunk on my 650. You can see it in my garage photo. It does not match the lines of the bike, it looks like it belongs on a Vespa scooter, but its a very comfortable and solid backrest, and the trunk opens in 1 second at the push of a button (no pony express leather bags with straps or Velcro to mess with). BTW, the trunk I got was less than $50 on amazon, with shipping.
I fabricated a mounting bracket that attaches to the 4 fender side rail bolts - that is how a back rest should be attached to these bikes. I thought about fabricating a custom trunk that would match the style of the bike, either with fiberglass over thin wood or a foam core mold, but that would take days of work, and if I can be tinkering with the bike, or riding it, Im riding it.
The one other thing I have seen, a back rest on an old Honda 750/4 that slides on side rails, which can slide all the way back for a passenger, or all the way forward for the driver - or anywhere in between. That is the way it should be done (great business opportunity for someone).
Last edited by KCW; 05-27-2018 at 05:10 PM.