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Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Zanotti, Nov 10, 2012.
Another "non-issue" rider here.
After a dozen years of sportbike/KLR riding I got my first cruiser last year, a HD Softail Deluxe, and love it.
I took the footboards off and put pegs on for a more natural foot angle, more leg room with my 35" inseam, and more cornering clearance. Another benefit I found was the ability to occasionally extend my legs out fully and rest them on top of the pegs. And I still have a lot of fun on my Superbikes and KLR.
Me, starting a new HD cruiser trend, ATGATT and hi-viz. Oh, and I'm thin. Have fun, Mark H.
To be fair, I'm not God's gift to riding, I've just been practicing on this bike for nearly 8 years. And doing that stuff on a Softail is a ton more difficult than it is on a Touring bike. The poor front-end geometry makes for a lot of body english, clutch slippage, rear brake dragging, and profanity in order to make it dance.
Switching is a non-issue for me. I can go back and forth between just about anything without difficulty.
Comfort is a semi-issue for me. Oddly, I've found that curled riding position to be the most comfortable for a longish ride if on a pegs forward bike.
Control is an issue for me. I do not feel secure with a bike seated pegs-forward. I do not feel I can toss the bike around the way I can with my feet downwards. I cannot stand up on the pegs worth a darn on a pegs-forward bike.
In the 2 years I owned my nightster I went between my VFR and Husky 610 regularly and once I set up the suspension on the HD I preferred it most of the time and took it on 350 mile one way weekends often over the VFR (which never fit me for some reason). I'd own another in a heartbeat and miss it more than most other street bikes I have owned.
I currently ride a Victory KP and Victory Vision 8ball. Both bikes have floorboards and allow multiple positions during a ride. Floorboards are way better the standard forward controls in my opinion. Like others have said a back rest is a must for extended rides.
I just bought a Sportster Custom a month ago that has factory foward controls. I had floorboards on my FXRP and swore I would never have another bike with them.
But I added Kuryakn iso stirrups to the factory controls and the comfort level is simular to floorboards.
I do have a 34 inseam though, so the forward controls on the Sportster is very comfortable. I could never get comfortable on my KLR650 with standard pegs.
There is a reason race bikes and sport bikes have their pegs underneath the rider, it is for control.
Comfort? That is subjective but I will say feet forward does place your weight on your spine. I have a back injury and can't ride feet forward.
I don't have much to offer really, but I did just get back from my first ever HD riding experience. I recently developed a burning desire for a Forty Eight and took a test ride earlier today. After well over 35 years riding various sport bikes, standards, dirt bikes and such, I was a little dubious of the forward controls. I do agree with the whole "control" thing, but I also understand that that is a little like comparing apples to oranges to a certain extent too. What I mean by that is, yeah, a more mid of the road or even rear-set peg position allows for a lot of things that forward controls don't. I learned many years ago, riding dirtbikes, that weighting the pegs and being able to shift your body weight around makes a huge difference in the way a bike responds and reacts to various rider inputs. The same principles apply to other bikes as well, even though it may not be as noticeable. Physics is physics. Also, on my usual ride route there is the mid corner BUMP where they did some sort of utility work and patched it back with concrete. I doesn't look bad, but man, can it upset the chassis of my Buell! If I hit it at speed without raising my ass off the seat an inch or two first, it seriously affects my inputs on the bars. Not fun at all! I can't imagine hitting it on a poorly suspended Sportster and not being able to do anything about it due to forward controls gluing my ass to the seat.
But, with that said, the expectations we have for a bike, and the demands we place on it, do vary depending on the riding style we enjoy and what we want to do today. For example, my first ever HD experience (of a sort) was with my Buell S1 Lightning. It shares a very similar engine with the 48 but they are very different bikes and my expectation of them are very different. Totally different riding experience. I won't trade the S1 for the 48, or the GS for that matter either, but I do enjoy different flavors on different days and I accept each for what they are.
Now, on the comfort thing... I rode the 48 with its forward controls... it felt weird to me. Not terrible, but weird. Maybe I'd get used to it in time, IDK, but first impressions were pretty much what I expected. Not terribly comfortable to me at all. I felt stretched out and sorta "hunched over" to reach the bars and just didn't feel relaxed. Then, just to test my theory I took a ride on a 883 Iron with mids. MUCH BETTER! Completely changed the riding experience for me. Much more natural and relaxed. I really liked that bike! If I get the 48 I'll give it a chance to grow on me, but right now I pretty much feel like I'll be changing it to mid controls after a little acclimation period.
Of course body type probably plays a huge role. I'm about 5'7", with a 30" inseam and 33 inch sleeves. Yeah, I have monkey arms... And it may just be from years of muscle memory. But still, for me, I don't think I'll care for the forward controls too much.
Yeah, I've ridden a few of them. It's not easy, so that's why I give you props for being able to do it.
I rode the Honda Fury again recently and was again surprised by how friendly the foot position was. Instead of being way forward it was more like a mid control position. Like an old FXR. I got used to that pretty quickly.
I guess my big problem is with (very) forward controls.
Yes,I'm also tall at 6'4" ish 30something inseam,feet under my a$$ on a dual sport seems to be it for me,just love it
I have been a closet Harley guy for awhile. I always get a giggle out of walking into the dealership in my Hi viz jacket and full face helmet.
My back is bad from playing with Uncle Sams Misguided Children for 20 years so I have to be careful. When I moved from Harleys to the Vstrom it was a huge revelation to me. With my feet under me I could ride all day with very little back pain. That is why I am drawn to the adventure bikes and standards now. I recently picked up an old Sportster and the seating position was killing me. I have been thinking about rearsets or a bench style seat to fix it.
That looks really uncomfortable!
I have been hit by so many bees, flying twigs, and (in Florida) sand, that I actually prefer riding with a full face helmet.
When you hear the "thwak" of a june bug right between what would have been your eyes, you just smile and go down the road.
I love this color combo!
I have a 48 and the forward controls can make it a bit uncomfortable after 100 or so miles. I installed passenger pegs which I usually use on the highway to put my feet under me. I haven't had any regrets about the forward controls and they are perfect for under 100 mile trips.
A feature of the 48 is the tank is so small, that when you start to feel discomfort, you have to stop for gas.
This said, I'm relatively in shape and in my late 20s so mileage will vary if you are putting a ton of weight on your spine from above.
Most bikes through out history have had mid's or slighlty rear set controls. This was probably done becasue it offers the best control and comfort. Even the old HD's and Indians with their sprung seats had controls set realtivley mid ways if you took seat height into account.
You can see that with the height of the sdeat and flloorboard placement this guy will have his feet in a more or less neutral psotion. It was the chopper era where they tossed the sprung seats and put a thin seat on the junction of rear fender and frame as well as tossed the floorboards for pegs that the ridiculous forward controls semi laying down postion were born.
This 1936 Brough Superior (sorry for the fuzzy pic) shows the usual foot peg lacement for damn near every bike ever made up the cruiser vs sportbike era of the 90's. Most UJM's employed similar peg placement to this Brough.
I agree with others. That outfit looks good on that bike.
I think it depends how tall you are and your inseam to some degree, if you'll like forward controls or not. I'm only 5' 7" and don;t care for them myself. Another big factor is I've ridden dirt bikes and dual sports my entire life and really like my feet under my ass, or at least close because it affords me more control when riding the bike. I had a 2005 Road Glide for a short time and could never get comfy shifting and braking from the forward position. Sometimes it damn near scared the shit out of me. Maybe I didn't give it enough time, I don't know. A mid-mount setup like my FXRS and my FXDX are fine however.
The further away you get from the standard upright/feet below you riding position, the more effort required to operate the motorcycle.