Forward Controls vs Feet Under You

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Zanotti, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. alii1959

    alii1959 Been here awhile

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    Went from a GSX 600r to a Road King. Not as far forward as many cruisers. Took a while to get accustomed to it. Now, I am beginning to truly rip along (for a Harley anyway). Hard edged bumps can be a problem, otherwise nice and comfy. With the right seat, which is highly subjective, it can be very comfortable.
    #21
  2. 0ldhippie

    0ldhippie Been here awhile

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    There must be something wrong with me because I switch between my sportbike, harley and dirtbike very easily. While each is completely different I am comfortable on each. I'm not a big fan of forward controls, extended forks or apes but I've had them all without any problems. Ya just have to know the bike you're riding and ride accordingly. Ride the bike ya like.
    #22
  3. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam

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    After reading the posts here I was thinking the same thing.

    Seriously, is riding a motorcycle that hard that one cannot adapt to control locations within a few minutes at most.

    I consider myself a decent rider but there are far more who are much better than me but I just don't understand how it could be hard or confusing going from rear sets, to mids, to forwards and back. Comfort not wisthstanding, as long as your not racing if you can flex and extend your ankle sufficient enough to operate the gear shift and rear brake there should be no problem with feet positioning.

    I have more issue with torso positioning when transitioning from leaning back on the Road Glide to upright on the DR 650 and to leaning forward on the XR1200 but that has more to do with core muscles and comfort than anything else......btw, rode all 3 today.
    #23
  4. anotherguy

    anotherguy unsympathetic

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    I don't think it's about the ability,more about comfort and ease of control. I ride everything every day and must adapt to different positions.
    #24
  5. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    Being able to stand up occasionally during long rides is very important to my comfort level as is standing on very rough roads. Also leaning forward with feet under me is a much more comfortable position in the twisties. A few years ago I bought a mid size cruiser with forward controls because it was a deal but never could get comfortable on it. I'm most comfortable on a standard bike.
    #25
  6. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Classic pic! :lol3:lol3 :thumb
    #26
  7. Scott of the Sahara

    Scott of the Sahara Been here awhile

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    I am comfortable with Standard foot pegs below me. Feet forward feels ackward and out of control.
    That said, I do like the low seat and low center of gravity offered by Harley and other cruisers. While helping my friend with his Road King, I was sitting on the bike and I could balance the bike on the tires for almost a minute. My Moto Guzzi would be off balance in 2 seconds.
    #27
  8. '05Train

    '05Train Mind is not for rent

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    I switch back and forth between a Night Train with 4" extensions on the forward controls and a GS/A. No issues. I can, and have, Iron Butt on either bike (and I'm 44).
    #28
  9. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    I ride my wifes Harley enough to know forward controls are not for me, I'd rather have rearsets than forwards.
    #29
  10. VFR

    VFR Been here awhile

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    I learned early on while riding Harleys that you can't balance well (or at all, for that matter) with your feet stretched out in front of you. I made controls that put my feet directly under me when I built my last Harley. Much easier to control and s mentioned, gets the weight off of your tailbone for a more comfortable ride.

    When I see these guys today with their feet splayed out & their hands above their head I just laugh. But then, that's just my opinion--they must think it's cool....
    #30
  11. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    I ride a Kawasaki Vulcan 750 (feet forward) , a Goldwing, and an XT225 (fairly standard position) I like both, and have no issues with either. What I CAN'T ride are the "lean forward bikes with rearset pegs. 20 miles on a bike like that and I'm in enough pain to go to the emergency room. The main difference between feet forward and a standard riding position is with a feet forward position you can't stand on the pegs for bumps, so you need a decent rear suspension. For long rides I prefer it, I would have highway pegs on my Goldwing except the engine would make them stick out too far. With forward pegs and a riders backrest, it's just like riding a recliner down the road. Kind of like the difference between a regular bicycle and a recumbent. Everybody knows recumbents are more comfortable. OTOH, a standard riding position does give you a little better control of the bike. But feet forward is not at all uncomfortable or dangerous. If you find it hard on your back, get a riders backrest. You will be amazed at the difference.
    #31
  12. bvkamp

    bvkamp agent provocateur

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    If you are tall (I'm 6'6") forward controls are nice. My legs bend at a 90 degree angle on my Softail. I simply do not fit well on standards. Even the BMW GS with a high seat feels cramped, although it handles better.
    #32
  13. '05Train

    '05Train Mind is not for rent

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    Maybe you can't, but there are plenty of people who can. I can easily run the MSF "box" at slower than walking speed on my Night Train with 4" extensions on the forward controls, and I've done the entire Lee Parks Total Control class with it as well. Never dropped the bike once either.
    #33
  14. Vbird

    Vbird In Room 237

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    Rode a FF control bike for about 8 weeks. Not hard to get used to the placement, but won't do it again. 30 min was about my limit vs. 14+ hrs on any other bike I've ever ridden. Never again. :puke1
    #34
  15. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black?

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    I haven't tried forward controls with pegs but long distance rides with forward controls and floorboards is not a problem.

    .
    #35
  16. scrannel

    scrannel Scrannel

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    Of course a lot of people put forward PEGS on their bikes just to be able to change leg positions on long rides. But the biggest issue for me with forward controls is I have a very whacked back and the pressure just gets pushed to the lower spine. But when I was a kid, my back in perfect shape, I still found them to be uncomfortable for anything but short runs.
    #36
  17. Anteraan

    Anteraan Been here awhile

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    The first cruiser I ever rode was a Honda Fury, moderately forward controls - but compared to my N250 and my road bicycles...it felt strange for about the first 10-15 miles, then I got to enjoying it. Going in, I really thought I wouldn't, but I wanted to give it a fair shot. I could have stayed on that bike all day. That said, I am a personal trainer/rehab guy, so I spend plenty of time making sure this 42 year-old back is still "strong like ox." I can certainly see from a biomechanics standpoint where someone with lumbar issues would run away from a bike like that.

    Even though I enjoyed my ride on that Fury (and a couple others since), I still prefer my feet under me, and believe that to be a superior position from which to control a 2-wheeled vehicle, from a physics standpoint.

    Ape hangers, I have ZERO use for. I also think they look dumb as feck. :deal
    #37
  18. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    Again, if you have comfort issues with forward controls, a riders backrest is the answer. Takes ALL the stress off your back. Think about it. How do you sit in a car? Feet forward with a seat back for support. It's the most natural seating position there is. All spacecraft use such a seating position, from Mercury through the space shuttle.
    #38
  19. Jonny955

    Jonny955 Been here awhile

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    When was the last time an astronaut had to use his body to control his spacecraft?

    It's a completley different requirement and it's why racing bikes are built the way they are with low bars and rearsets - for more control, if not comfort!

    If you are never going to stand up on the pegs or move around in the seat for more dynamic control, then the FF riding positon can work fine. For road use, I prefer a 'standard' riding position and choosing an Adventure bike means I have more leg room anyway, If I had to sit back and lower down (FF position), I would insist on top-notch rear suspension to reduce those shock-loads to my spine!

    Lack of suspension travel/quality was one major irk during an otherwise very enjoyable test ride on a Sportster.

    Jon
    #39
  20. kojack

    kojack Stay adventurous my friends!

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    I have both, and just switch between the two no issues. I find it a non issue....
    #40