Forward Controls vs Feet Under You

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

  1. frontiercat

    frontiercat Space Staion #5

    Feb 2, 2011
    Tulsa, OK
    Have both....yet my brain allows me to ride one within minutes of riding the other...yep, truly amazing brain :huh

    I prefer my feet under me, but it's not required for me.
  2. ikonoklass

    ikonoklass Kountersteering Krew

    May 5, 2002
    Denver, CO
    I like how your gear matches the bike!
  3. ROK

    ROK Been here awhile

    Jul 29, 2008
    This is just me rambling on, so, if I step on anybodies toes, well, move them.

    33" and you say monkey arms?



    Jeans inseam length: 36"
    sleeve length: 37-38"

    6'3" 220lb athletic build from physical labor and hard weight training all my life. When training for football I got up to a solid 265. But at 220 I haven't been able to find a leather jacket that will fit me, as in they are all, so far as I can tell, made for beer-gut males, same with every HI-viz jacket I have tried on. And the few jackets that did fit me around the waist were too small in the back and chest and the arms would come up to half-way to my elbows.


    I have a 99 Sportster 883 Custom with forwards. Sitting on it my knees are bent at 90 degrees, just like sitting in a chair. I have drag bars. Swept back bars put my elbows in my gut. Rode my younger bros 900 Vulcan with its wide swept back bars and floor boards and even though the bike is bigger I was all cramped up on it.

    I fattened up the seat on my Sportster to get even more leg room.

    My wife has an 2005 883 Sportster with mids on it. I have to sit on the back of the seat to ride it. Can't ride it sitting where a person would normally sit, just way too cramped up.

    I usually sit about half way back on my seat, sort of halfway between where the rider and the passenger would sit. Works out great for me. I'm gonna have a custom built straight seat built for it like the old standards had. Then I can scoot anywhere on the seat to change pressure points and get more leg room.

    I will probably add some mild Biltwell Z-bars just to get a little tilt back in the bars. Sometimes I scoot all the way back on the seat to stretch my legs. Feels good for a few miles and then I scoot forward a bit again. I take it out all the time for several hours of riding and it doesn't bother me. I'm 50, by the way, so ya don't have to say wait till ya get older. And I have had back injuries. But I chose to re-hab things myself with barbell dead-lifts and the like and tighten up my torso muscles with other exercises so riding does not hurt me.

    I changed the bottom shock mount location to a little forward and a little higher to gain more height in relation to the ground. It handles the bumps better and a set of 777 Shinko's stick like glue to the road and handle the bumps better than the old DungFlops did. Working out great so far. Ditched the wheel weights and used Dyna Beads. Rides smooooth! I can whip it up Mt. Lemmon in Tucson at a real fast clip if I want.

    True, I can't stand up with the forward controls on the 883, which sometimes I wish I could. But if I spot a bump that looks rough, I can easily pop up a little to greatly minimize the impact. I'm actually sitting upright unless I scoot my butt all the way back on the seat.

    I've had a XR400 and an XR650R, both I made street legal here in AZ. Used to ride the streets out to MX tracks and trails and whip it around doing berm shots and jumps, etc. I like the pegs under more, but almost all the new bikes have mid controls that are actually further back than the old standards of yore. Sort of a heel way under the butt arrangement, which quickly leads to leg cramps or legs falling asleep.

    I've ridden my father-in-laws HD Night Train, nice bike but it really didn't have much more room than my 883.

    I have no problem whipping my 883 around with input to the bars. It's not exactly like I'm a gonna be sliding it around doing berm shots on it or loading the front forks with my weight by sliding up on the tank as on a dirt bike. IT handles just fine for the purpose for which it was built. 55-60 miles per gallon. Puts a grin on my face riding it. Yes it's stone age technology, but it just keeps going and is easy to work on. It's my Ratt Rod. I've ridden it down more than one dirt road, and I can put a foot down to control it if need be.

    Rode my father-in-laws other bike, a Kawasaki Versys. Nice bike, but cramped and little. I had to sit on the back of the seat once again to ride the dang thing. Rode my older bros Triumph Trident 900. Much more solid (faster too) and nicer than the Versys, but still, a cramped bike.

    I've sat on a few sport bikes before, they feel like little toys. Don't think I could ride one around for long at all.

    Would be nice if someone could make a nice standard bike that fit taller, long legged and long armed guys.

    Would be nice if someone made leather jackets for athletic built men that didn't cost $600. Problem with a jacket too big around the gut for you is they bunch all up when you sit on the bike and they channel air up under the jacket. No good in the colder weather. And they look like crap too.

    So, forwards or mids?

    Really, it all comes down to how you are put together.

    And realizing you can change the bike to fit your personal build and what you like. Though some bikes are easier to modify and more forgiving when you do modify them. I say, find the bike that fits you as close as possible to the way you like and how you are built, and then make changes to get it exactly where you want.

    So, this may mean if you like sport bikes but are 6'8" and weigh 350 pounds, rather than try to cram yourself on some Ninja, you might be smarter to get a different bike that fits you better and then change or modify it for your needs. Maybe lose a few pounds and purchase an older Sportster 883, for example, and put a 1250 kit in it and cams from someone like NRHS and a 2-1 pipe and go tear it up. This won't have the screaming top end of a sport bike that redlines at 13000 rpm, but it will hustle you down the road to way above legal speeds way faster than you can imagine. It'll get you a ticket plenty quick. And it will pull wheelies. Torque rules in the bottom and midrange.

    And if you are 5'9" and weigh a buck 30 soaking wet and like big cruisers, well, maybe you should look at getting a trike.

    Ha ha!

    All kidding aside:

    Run what ya brung,

    and don't mind me, my parents always did say they found me under a rock.
  4. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam

    Aug 7, 2009
    Johns Island, SC

    Well shit, I'm only 5'7" but weigh in at 150 and ride a Road Glide. Of course I put a Corbin seat on it that moves me 1" closer to the controls and a set a Sweeper bars that are 2" further back than the stock bars but I also swapped the 12" shocks for a set of 13-1/4" Ohlins.

    Lucky to have 3 bikes, the Road Glide with forward foot controls/floorboards, a DR650 with mids, and an XR1200 with just slightly rear sets.

    I have no problem switching from one bike to the other and when I get back on the DR or XR I always say to myself, wow this bike is alot easier to control than the big RG but almost every time if I'm gone more than 1 hour and on pavement I'm wishing I was on the RG. Everytime I sit on the RG and back it out of the garage I say to myself, what the hell are you doing on such a big heavy bike....but as soon as it is rolling, me all stretched out, I say if I could have only one bike it would be the RG hands down no questions asked.