Rider Backrest Recomendatoins - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-27-2018, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Rider Backrest Recomendatoins

Hello again, forum!

I have a 2014 Custom 650 with the stock rider (and passenger) seats. I am looking for a backrest for me (the rider). I'd rather not spend the big dollars ($500 and up!) for a complete new seat system. I have found the Grasshopper which looks good and has several options (additional pocket, etc.) and a no-name on Ebay, which looks to give lots of positioning options.

Does anyone have any of these? Would you recommend them? Do you have a picture of the Grasshopper with the pocket? I have heard that they can push you forward towards the tank, is this true? Is there a different mounting bracket (or trick) to prevent that?

I do not anticipate ever riding 2-up, so I will easily remove the passenger seat if it makes me more comfortable (and looks good on the bike!). Does this increase my options?

Any suggestions and feedback welcome.

Thanks,
-PH
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-27-2018, 11:38 AM
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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.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-27-2018, 03:47 PM
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... 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).
Yup, great lucrative business opportunity, just like making artisan briar tobacco pipes after the 1980's.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-27-2018, 08:17 PM
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I'm short so any kind of a driver's backrest will make it nearly impossible for me to put my leg over the bike.

1999 V-Star 650 Classic
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-27-2018, 08:44 PM
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I'm short so any kind of a driver's backrest will make it nearly impossible for me to put my leg over the bike.
Being vertically challenged myself I can relate. I just carry a ladder around now to make it easier. ��


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Les B.
2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-27-2018, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabluz View Post
I'm short so any kind of a driver's backrest will make it nearly impossible for me to put my leg over the bike.
On my bike, the Mustang backrest whole unit flips forward when you mount, they you flip it back. When you dismount, the backrest itself pivots back if your leg clips it.
Makes life much easier.

--
Alan in Denver
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Cutdown windscreen, MS fork deflectors, lizard lights, Mustang seat and backrest
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-28-2018, 06:48 AM
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I have the Grasshopper on my 950 and really like it. One of the things I really like is you mount the bracket un the seats then the backrest slides into it. I can take off the backrest in about 2 seconds and put it back on in about 3 seconds. It is solid and comfortable, good price, but its not adjustable.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-28-2018, 07:13 AM
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If you have a backrest or trunk the easy way to get on the bike is from the left side, lean up right into the gas tank, grab the front brake with you right hand, push your knee across the seat, and let your foot follow - slide across the seat, and drop on the other side.

Don't do this if there are any hooks for the laces on your boots (my boots are zippers and Velcro).

Its not hard to get off, on the right side grab the front brake with your right hand again, twist around and grab the top of the backrest or trunk with you left hand. Since the bike is leaning away from you its easy to lift your left foot over the seat. Doing that backwards is another easy way to get on the bike.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-28-2018, 08:15 AM
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Back rests AREN'T for short OLD FAT guys. I can barley get my leg over the 1300 the way it is. I tried to get my leg over a couple at the dealers that had back rest, what a joke. With a 29" inseam they'll be NO back rest for this old fat guy. I did order a seat bag to mount on my fender rack, but now I'm worried I might not be able to use it. Guess we'll see when it gets here.

2009 V Star 1300, with 11,000 miles. Solo bike with a Med shield and Cobra slip on exhaust.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-28-2018, 08:41 AM
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don't give up yet Charlie. with your bike on the kick stand you should always be able to step on the peg or floorboard on the left side of the bike to get on, and you might be able to step on the one on the right side without the bike falling over. Try it and see.

If you want to step on or off on the right side make sure you keep your weight over the center of the bike, lean in over the tank.

Last edited by KCW; 05-28-2018 at 11:57 AM.
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