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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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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).
 

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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. ;) :p
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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don't give up yet Charlie ... you might be able to step on the one on the right side without the bike falling over.
Cops routinely get on and off the right side, to avoid traffic on the left side of the bike.
Try it, you might be surprised.

Also, I am a short, fat guy with a bad back. Getting a backrest that pivots flat makes getting on and off no harder than with no backrest.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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.
Thanks, pweber, I put in my order this afternoon. I realize it won't fold flat, but you're right, the price is right. I'll post my feedback after I get it installed.

Thanks guys!

-PH
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Grasshopper Installation Note

A quick installation note for others attempting this EASY installation on a 2014 650 V Star Custom: When you take off your passenger seat, you will see a brass bracket that mounts under the driver seat. This brass bracket actually holds down the passenger seat and must be placed on top of the Grasshopper seat bracket as shown in the picture below. Since the instructions didn't explicitly call this out, I did confirm this with the folks at Grasshopper (although due to the vertical lips on either side of the brass bracket there really isn't any other way to mount it).

I hope to get out for a test ride later today, as long as the rain holds off!

Hope this helps,

-PH
 

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Grasshopper

I bought the Grasshopper for my 950. I LOVE it.

It was very easy to install (this newbie and non-motorcycle techie did it by herself) and it really helps keep my back from aching on long rides.

I didn't notice one for the 650, but if they have it, it's probably worth it. All you have to do is remove the passenger seat and it bolts to the seat mount. It is quick release, but they suggest using electrical tape if it's wobbly, which I did.

I did find that if you don't have it just right, it pushes you up too far toward the gas tank, but a little adjustment using a soft hammer and the tape worked just fine and the adjustment was perfect. I used a hammer gently against the roll of tape to prevent damage. I also had the BF bend it very slightly back, it was too upright and he's stronger than I am.

At $80 on Amazon it was perfect for what I needed and would recommend it to anyone. Sorry my pic is upside down, no matter what I do, all the pics of my bike upload that way. :confused:
Hope that helps.

https://www.amazon.com/Grasshopper-Limited-backrest-American-Complete/dp/B00Y4URZP0/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1528510841&sr=8-9&keywords=grasshopper+limited+drivers+backrest
 

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LOL I finally worked it out. Had to flip it about a dozen times until the site would accept it. But I got it now.
 

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