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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all

New rider with a recently acquired 2005 V-Star 650 Silverado Classic

I want to add crash bars to my ride and saw some pretty cool looking ones online

I have attached some photos, anyone know what manufacturer/model these are in the pic?

Im guessing they are two different models -
mini(?)highway bars and fat highway bars??

Also after riding every weekend for a month my tailbone is killing me after 40-50 miles and have to take a break and walk it off.
Never had any back issues before.
Im trying lots of different riding positions and trying not to arch my back.
I weigh 150lb and 5"11.
I see a lot of people like the Mustang seats but those are expensive,
any people have any luck just adding a backrest?

Thanks for any help for a newbie!

Jon
 

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I may get shot for this...but I would ride the 650 for a season before doing any expensive highway bar or seat upgrades. The CCitis sends to set in fast and a first bike is rarely your last bike. You will never get back what you paid in modding a bike when you sell it. Ride it the summer and then spend the winter modding it if you see yourself on it long term. I thought I'd have my 650 a long time...ended up selling it at the beginning of my second season when I fell in love with the Roadstar. #nolookingback #lovemyroadie
 

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Check thepropad.com for gel pads for your seat. I added a propad to mine and my pillion seat and both are much more comfortable. They won't take out the bumps but they will get rid of numb butt. If bumps are too harsh you may need to adjust the preload on your suspension. It might need softening up to keep your back from taking all the jolts. This may be especially true if the previous owner rode 2up a lot. He may have stiffened the preload for the extra weight. Cheaper than a new seat to try out.

Highway bars, freeway bars or engine guards (most of us avoid the term crash bars) are a nice addition. Add highway pegs to the bars and you can change your seating position and help your legs too. I added the cobra fatty freeway bars and kuryakyn longhorn offset pegs to my 1300 Deluxe. They made a world of difference.

I'm no expert by any means but I'm guessing you have photos of the cobra brand bars but there are several similar brands.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Annie
Thanks for the advice,
I live in LA, so the riding season is all year long - the only drawback is you have to deal with LA drivers who have to be the worst in the nation with their addiction to texting and driving....everywhere you look drivers heads are buried in their phones glancing up every now and then ....

I hear what you are saying about avoiding too much mods to new ride but I definitely need something for the seat support as I can't go very far without tailbone getting numb

Slayer - Will definitely check out the gel pads, those might be exactly what I need.
Thanks for the link!
The highway pegs sound good too but wouldn't that position put even more weight on your tailbone?

Dave - Those Cobra highway bars look like the ones in my pics, thanks - are those easy to install?

Jon
 

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Annie
Thanks for the advice,
I live in LA, so the riding season is all year long - the only drawback is you have to deal with LA drivers who have to be the worst in the nation with their addiction to texting and driving....everywhere you look drivers heads are buried in their phones glancing up every now and then ....

I hear what you are saying about avoiding too much mods to new ride but I definitely need something for the seat support as I can't go very far without tailbone getting numb

Slayer - Will definitely check out the gel pads, those might be exactly what I need.
Thanks for the link!
The highway pegs sound good too but wouldn't that position put even more weight on your tailbone?

Dave - Those Cobra highway bars look like the ones in my pics, thanks - are those easy to install?

Jon
You're far from the first to criticize the stock seat. Mustang seats are pricey, but worth it. Whole different world of comfort IMHO.

No experience with gel pads, but I suspect they're more effective at curing numb-butt than back pain. A backrest can't hurt, but may not fix the problem. On my bike, the backrest is set to the furthest-back position. I'm not normally resting against it when riding; it's more an "occasionally stretch back, let the backrest take some weight, change up the position" aid.

Your arm and leg length matters too. I'm 6' and find my 1100 with Mustang seat offers a very comfortable position. Longer/Shorter arms and your lean/reach will be different. It may be that adjusting/changing the handlebars will be what matters. I know if my arms were a few inches shorter and I was having to lean forward/reach more for the bars, I'd likely be less comfortable.

As others here say, you'll not get back your investment on customizations, and you may not have this bike forever... If you can do free/cheap stuff like adjust bars, start with that. If it works, great. If not, THEN spend money.

As to the highway bars, I have and very much like them. Depending on how/where you ride, the ability to put your legs up on highway pegs might even fix your whole problem. I find that being able to move/modify my position is what really leads to best comfort.

As to the "crash bars" element... Companies certainly avoid using the term for liability purposes. And they're NOT some sort of free pass... However: although I've not laid a bike down in many, many years, when I did there were no bars and my knee is what got between the bike and the road. I'd probably not have titanium pins in my leg today if I'd had the bars.
 

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The COBRA bar is extremely easy to install, pretty much just a bolt on job. A second person is quite helpful though to help hold it as you're attaching it. I think cycleplicity.com has them for around $150 (or did anyway).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You're far from the first to criticize the stock seat. Mustang seats are pricey, but worth it. Whole different world of comfort IMHO.

No experience with gel pads, but I suspect they're more effective at curing numb-butt than back pain. A backrest can't hurt, but may not fix the problem. On my bike, the backrest is set to the furthest-back position. I'm not normally resting against it when riding; it's more an "occasionally stretch back, let the backrest take some weight, change up the position" aid.

Your arm and leg length matters too. I'm 6' and find my 1100 with Mustang seat offers a very comfortable position. Longer/Shorter arms and your lean/reach will be different. It may be that adjusting/changing the handlebars will be what matters. I know if my arms were a few inches shorter and I was having to lean forward/reach more for the bars, I'd likely be less comfortable.

As others here say, you'll not get back your investment on customizations, and you may not have this bike forever... If you can do free/cheap stuff like adjust bars, start with that. If it works, great. If not, THEN spend money.

As to the highway bars, I have and very much like them. Depending on how/where you ride, the ability to put your legs up on highway pegs might even fix your whole problem. I find that being able to move/modify my position is what really leads to best comfort.

As to the "crash bars" element... Companies certainly avoid using the term for liability purposes. And they're NOT some sort of free pass... However: although I've not laid a bike down in many, many years, when I did there were no bars and my knee is what got between the bike and the road. I'd probably not have titanium pins in my leg today if I'd had the bars.
Thanks Casey
Changing the handlebars is something i hadn't thought about and not sure if its something I would feel confident about attempting without seeing it done before, maybe there are some youtube videos demonstrating how its done,
I am trying different riding positions - placing my feet on different positions on the floorboards,
though a position where I think my legs could take more of the weight would be having the tops of my feet on the back of floor boards but this isn't possible since there is a heel toe shifter installed on this bike so it prevents me from resting my left foot on back of floorboard

But stopped at lights, I'm stretching my back and leaning forward to loosen up....

Anyone know the make of this backrest in photo attached... looks great on this bike which is same as mine.....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The COBRA bar is extremely easy to install, pretty much just a bolt on job. A second person is quite helpful though to help hold it as you're attaching it. I think cycleplicity.com has them for around $150 (or did anyway).
Thanks Dave
I checked cycleplicity site but they didn't have any Cobra but had Show Chrome Highway bars for $150,
there are lots of Cobra bars available online though, fattys and normal size, is there much of a difference between both?

J
 

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Thanks Casey
Changing the handlebars is something i hadn't thought about and not sure if its something I would feel confident about attempting without seeing it done before, maybe there are some youtube videos demonstrating how its done,
I am trying different riding positions - placing my feet on different positions on the floorboards,
though a position where I think my legs could take more of the weight would be having the tops of my feet on the back of floor boards but this isn't possible since there is a heel toe shifter installed on this bike so it prevents me from resting my left foot on back of floorboard

But stopped at lights, I'm stretching my back and leaning forward to loosen up....

Anyone know the make of this backrest in photo attached... looks great on this bike which is same as mine.....
Can't tell for sure without bigger/closer photo, but it sure looks exactly like my mustang seat/backrest, just with studs...
 

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Highway pegs don't really put anymore weight on your tailbone. Your weight is what it is,
the highway pegs just give a different seating position that gives some relief to my back.

The gel pad doesn't provide a lot more cushion but according to the guy at Highrollers Custom seats it is what a lot of custom seat makers use in their seats.

FWIW I've had compressed discs and serious back issues for 15 years. Didn't think I was going to able to continue riding until I got the gel pad topper for my seat. Others' mileage may vary but my experience is the gel pad helped. Plus it is a $100 investment versus a new $600 seat.
 

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Thanks Dave
I checked cycleplicity site but they didn't have any Cobra but had Show Chrome Highway bars for $150,
there are lots of Cobra bars available online though, fattys and normal size, is there much of a difference between both?

J
I just went to cycleplicity and was able to navigate their website and found the COBRA freeway bar for your 650, it's part number 01-1201. $148.46. The way to find it is to NOT put in you make and model. This website is screwy. Go to body and fairing and click on body. Then in the catagories find freeway bars, then scroll to Cobra where it says manufacturer. Another way to find it (that's easier) is to use Google and just type in:

Cobra engine guard v star 650.

The page should display a picture of the Cobra bars from different websites. Cycleplicity is the first one when I do this.

Also the difference btwn the fatty bar and the regular is that the regular size bar in 1.25" and the fatty is 1.5". I have the regular 1.25" bar on my bike in the photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Your arm and leg length matters too. I'm 6' and find my 1100 with Mustang seat offers a very comfortable position. Longer/Shorter arms and your lean/reach will be different. It may be that adjusting/changing the handlebars will be what matters. I know if my arms were a few inches shorter and I was having to lean forward/reach more for the bars, I'd likely be less comfortable.

Hey Casey

I spent the weekend putting some decent miles on my 2005 vstar 650
I noticed even though I am 5' 11", when I am riding my lower back doesn't naturally sit against the slope part of the stock seat.

So on some safe back roads, i pushed further back until i was being supported more by seat slope slope and this seemed to take a lot of pressure of my lower back...
In this position though, I am riding the throttle with my fingers and not the palm of my hands and the front brake is not easy to reach
So I think I need risers?

Can you recommend any riser brand and is this something a newbie can install or does it need a professional mechanic?

Also anyone have any experience with Grasshopper drivers backrests?
They seem to be very affordable option to help ease back pain

Thanks!
J
 

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Your arm and leg length matters too. I'm 6' and find my 1100 with Mustang seat offers a very comfortable position. Longer/Shorter arms and your lean/reach will be different. It may be that adjusting/changing the handlebars will be what matters. I know if my arms were a few inches shorter and I was having to lean forward/reach more for the bars, I'd likely be less comfortable.

Hey Casey

I spent the weekend putting some decent miles on my 2005 vstar 650
I noticed even though I am 5' 11", when I am riding my lower back doesn't naturally sit against the slope part of the stock seat.

So on some safe back roads, i pushed further back until i was being supported more by seat slope slope and this seemed to take a lot of pressure of my lower back...
In this position though, I am riding the throttle with my fingers and not the palm of my hands and the front brake is not easy to reach
So I think I need risers?

Can you recommend any riser brand and is this something a newbie can install or does it need a professional mechanic?

Also anyone have any experience with Grasshopper drivers backrests?
They seem to be very affordable option to help ease back pain

Thanks!


J
Hard for me to say as a Mustang Seat is the first thing I add to any bike. Haven't ridden a bike further than "from where I bought it to home" since about 1990 without one. So I'm just used to setting the adjustable backrest to where I'm comfy with balance between reach and back support.

Having said that, I can't quite think risers would help: I think your fundamental issue is the shape of the stock seat having a 'slope' rather than actual backrest. Not familiar with grasshopper, but suspect something like that might be your best bet.
 

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Whatever bars you decide on make sure your floor boards will touch the road before the bars.
If seen several bikes go down hard because the bars touched first.

If the bars touch before the board there is no warning.
Down and spinning in a heart beat.
If the boards start to touch you can feel it.
There is time to adjust if you can.
 

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I too may get a little fun poked at me for this, but when I go for a longer ride. I wear 'bicycle shorts'. The extra padding helps the issues you mentioned. Also I got a aftermarket back rest and I do enjoy it. Ride safe.
 
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