Do I Need Handlebar Risers

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by Gunfighter, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. Gunfighter

    Gunfighter Member

    I have a 2012 Heritage and it seems that anytime I ride it for a while my lower back starts hurting. This is the first Bike I have ever owned own so I am still learning a lot about riding. I am 6'3 and 260 lbs and I understand handlebar risers can help position the bars correctly to help eliminate this.

    Two questions:
    1 - How do you determine the proper position for handlebars

    2 - How do you tell the size of the risers that could help alleviate this problem
  2. Redfish-Joe

    Redfish-Joe Senior Member

    Try you bars in different positions. Loosen them and bring them to you a little, tighten and ride a little. Maybe a little tweeking is all you may need.
  3. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Welcome to the forum.

    Since this is the first bike ever. I am assuming that you are a fairly inexperienced rider. Maybe still a little tense and not quite comfortable in the saddle yet. If thats the case try what Joe suggests and maybe wait until your completely comfortable with the bike and all the newness. Tension causes pain.
  4. lorne

    lorne Senior Member

    lots of good advise from a couple might also try going to a deal ship and seeing if they have the same model of bike as yours but with different bars and see how they feel......but i would go with Joe's suggestion first..

    welcome to the forum...enjoy and best of luck
  5. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Bars are a good place to start. Seat with a back rest might help. I would also do some workouts that strengthen the lower back. I see many riders, some with tall handlears that slouch when they ride and then complain about their back hurting. Riding posture is a learned behavior. As you ride more your muscles will get stronger and support you better.
  6. cdn-bigfoot

    cdn-bigfoot Junior Member

    You're a big guy like myself (well you got 40 lbs on me if were counting). Tall guys and lower back pain often go hand in hand. I find my Street Slammer bars very comfortable. They are very wide and are just a couple inches below my shoulders. They pullback just enough that I can ride with my arms straight or slightly bent. I like my fists almost square to the wind. HATE BUCKHORNS!
    Forward foot controls would probably help as well.

    Find some HD Street Slammer bars and try them. Your Harley Dealer should have a set on their demo wall.

  7. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum Gunfighter. Tenseness is a good point, consider it.
    On risers, note the angle of the top triple tree where the bars mount. It's usually a bit of an angle, so a straight riser will also bring bars back a bit.
    Sometimes lower back pain can be reduced by leaning forward (shorter bars), and putting more weight on arms. Everyone of us has different needs, so it may take a lot of experimentation. Go to bike nights, make a lot of friends and sit on their bikes to get an idea of what MIGHT work. When you find out what works for you, come back and let us know. Come back any how:)
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  8. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    It is not unusual for riders this side of the pond to wear a kidney belt when riding a bike
    I stopped wearing mine a few years ago and found i got pain on the tail bone for 2 years and till i suddenly thought about the kidney belt again started wearing it and pain has gone
    As a new rider it will take a wee bit of time to build up the riding muscles and work out what is best for your comfort and never overlook the simple stuff

  9. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    This may sound strange, sit on your bike and hold your hands where you feel comfortable, have some one take a picture and look to see where your hands are, this will make choosing the right pull back or handle bars
  10. vaquero

    vaquero New Member

    Like Joe mentioned, I have stock bars on my Heritage, my arms and wrist would feel tense and sore after a couple hours of riding. I marked their position on bar and riser with a sharpie, loosened the bars and moved just over one sharpie mark width toward me and that made a big difference in riding comfort more issues with arms or wrist.

    I also have a backrest, ten years ago I wouldn't be caught dead with one, now you would have to kill me to get it off my bike.

    Enjoy your ride.