Higher seat for bad lower back - Road Glide Forums
Seating: seats, backrests SEATING: seats, backrests for Road Glides

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Higher seat for bad lower back

I am in need of a recommendation for a seat for a 2018 Road Glide Special. Over the years (I am 52 years old and 5'10" tall) my lower back has been giving me problems with pain in the L5 / S1 area of my spine. I have one disc bulging to the left and another bulging to the right per the RMI that was done. My last Road Glide was a 2013 CVO and while I was experiencing discomfort it was tolerable to ride. In August of 2016 I transitioned to a 2016 BMW R1200RT that I am still riding. I am using a backrest on the RT but the Road Glide is calling my name again.

I have not test ridden the new 2018 Road Glide Special but took a test drive on a used 2015 CVO Street Glide that had 700 miles and looked brand new. Ten minutes into the ride of the 2015 CVO Street Glide my back was starting to throb. It is my belief when I ride my RT I sit on the bike and my feet are are directly below my butt supporting my body weight and taking the pressure off my lower back. When I rode the CVO Street Glide I could feel that my butt was taking more of the pressure (sitting lower in the saddle)instead of my feet on the forward foot controls.

I am thinking a higher seat would raise me in the saddle and in turn would transition the some of my body weight from my butt to the forward foot controls.

I appreciate any and all input.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 09:12 AM
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Man it sucks to be in pain. Theres no doubt in my mind when you slouch you put pressure on your lower back. A more upright seating position will help with that. I believe any seat with the lower back support will help with this. Also the 2018's have a far superior suspension front and back then the 2015 CVO. I personally run the Corbin duel tour with rider back support. I dont use it all the time but its nice to have when I do want it. It can be adjusted to push you further forward to give your lower back that support it needs.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 10:22 AM
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30+yrs of lower back pain, especially when going from a seated position to standing up. I added a back rest to my bike and went from 2K per year to 28K last year. While everyone is different, adding the back rest allows me to keep "pressure" on my lower back, plus extending my legs forward reduces the pain. So much so, the bike is the most comfortable thing I own to sit on. Now getting on and off the bike is painful, but what are you going to do. Finally after all these years I got a diagnoses.....ankylosing spondylitis......

btw, this is with the stock seat on a 15 RGS
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Grunt View Post
I am in need of a recommendation for a seat for a 2018 Road Glide Special. Over the years (I am 52 years old and 5'10" tall) my lower back has been giving me problems with pain in the L5 / S1 area of my spine. I have one disc bulging to the left and another bulging to the right per the RMI that was done. My last Road Glide was a 2013 CVO and while I was experiencing discomfort it was tolerable to ride. In August of 2016 I transitioned to a 2016 BMW R1200RT that I am still riding. I am using a backrest on the RT but the Road Glide is calling my name again.

I have not test ridden the new 2018 Road Glide Special but took a test drive on a used 2015 CVO Street Glide that had 700 miles and looked brand new. Ten minutes into the ride of the 2015 CVO Street Glide my back was starting to throb. It is my belief when I ride my RT I sit on the bike and my feet are are directly below my butt supporting my body weight and taking the pressure off my lower back. When I rode the CVO Street Glide I could feel that my butt was taking more of the pressure (sitting lower in the saddle)instead of my feet on the forward foot controls.

I am thinking a higher seat would raise me in the saddle and in turn would transition the some of my body weight from my butt to the forward foot controls.

I appreciate any and all input.
The #1 thing that will help lower back pain is a rider backrest. It supports your posture and holds you in place and transfers that upper body weight to the seat. A higher seat will help take pressure off your hips if you ride with your feet on the floorboards. I personally ride the majority of time with my feet on the highway pegs so seat height isn't a problem. When positioned properly highway pegs allow you to stretch your legs out creating a larger contact area of your body with the seat. This spreads your weight out over your butt AND upper rear thighs, eliminating pressure points. That large weight distribution and lower back support keeps my riding all day long in comfort. I once got a case of sciatica so bad from riding that my left leg was paralyzed for 3 weeks! Rider comfort has been my obsession ever since. Your highway pegs need to be out to where your legs can just lock and mount them low on the crashbar to keep the pressure off your hips. If you use the highway pegs then you wont need a taller seat. The new RGS seats are better than the old ones but not by much. You need to upgrade. I run a 2016 CVO SG seat with a back rest from cvobackrest.com and it's the most comfortable setup I've found. It looks great AND feels great. Seats are subjective and that's because it's all about the proper fit to your body. This setup for me at 6'1 fits me like a glove with my 14" bars keeping me upright. The Harley Hammock seat is really comfortable. shock absorbing and tall but I think it looks too big on a special with no tourpak.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 10:04 PM
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As others have said get the backrest. I understand the low back pain issues. Had surgery last November that covered parts of L3-S1. Gotta have that back support.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 11:28 PM
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I noticed back pain moved while I rolled my bars into different positions. Try it, free.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 02:14 PM
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Bars and seat

While my back is slightly different than yours I had L4-L5 surgery 2 years ago. The only way to reduce the pain for me was to add the hammock seat, taller bars and a riders backrest to reduce the pressure on the lower back. I came off a 13 SG with ohlins on the rear to an 18 RGS stock and man what a difference. The suspension on the new ones in my mind are the smoothest I have ever ridden. Potholes don"t make me cringe when I see them at the last minute!! Whatever you decide make sure its right for you.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 10:11 PM
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Use an adjustable riders back rest, taller bars to keep you upright and a good suspension set up, there plenty of opinions on whats good.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-08-2018, 11:33 PM
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Problem is you were on a SG! I donít have back problems, but when I ride a SG my whole body aches......weird


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2018, 02:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grunt View Post
I am in need of a recommendation for a seat for a 2018 Road Glide Special. Over the years (I am 52 years old and 5'10" tall) my lower back has been giving me problems with pain in the L5 / S1 area of my spine.

I am thinking a higher seat would raise me in the saddle and in turn would transition the some of my body weight from my butt to the forward foot controls.

I appreciate any and all input.
You are in luck Sir! The ultimate solution is within 650 miles of you.

I'm 57 years young and 5'11" with issues ranging from L1 to L5 (among others). Last fall, after much research online and in various saddles, I ended up riding to Russell Cycle Products in Shasta Lake, CA. where they measure your body and take note of your preferred seating position and then create a one-of-a-kind saddle fitted just for you! It's called the Russell Day-Long Saddle and I can tell you that it is the single best investment that I have ever made for a motorcycle in all of the decades that I've been riding.

Prior to buying this saddle, I was limited to rides of no more than 100 miles per day (and man, those 100-milers were painful rides). Since I got it last fall, I have taken 2 extended rides (1 of 2,500 miles and the other of 3,000+ miles, covering 300 to 450 miles per day) without any pain whatsoever. You can order the seat in leather or vinyl, heated or unheated and your choice of color and hand-sewn design pattern. You can also order it with an over-sized, fully-adjustable padded backrest (which I highly recommend). They take your measurements in the morning, trim the seat to your specifications, sew it together with your choice of covering and it's ready to use by 5 that evening.

The seat sits about 1" to 1.5" higher than the stock Harley seat and includes "wings" which support your thighs (eliminating the leg and lower back pain that you can develop on longer rides).

I've had multiple different Harley, Mustang and Corbin seats over the years and this one beats them all. It's not cheap, but if you want to ride more than just around town and you have back or leg issues, it's much cheaper than doctor bills and hospital stays. The best part for me is that there is no more pain. I'm getting ready to take a 6K mile roundtrip adventure in a couple of weeks and that's something that I couldn't have imagined doing before finding this company and getting one of their custom seats.

Take the ride north from your home to Shasta Lake and change your riding experience for the better! By the way, just so you know, what really made my mind up about taking a chance on this seat was my research on the "Iron-Butt" forums. Everyone that had one said it was the reason that they could ride 1000+ miles a day with no pain.

Good luck with your decision!
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