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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been shoppin around for a driver's backrest, checked out the HD store as well as others, and scoured this section of the forum...

It seems like none of these backrests can lean back beyond 90 degrees. Hopefully, I'm mistaken, but the reviews for the Harley backrests that fit my ride (2017 FLTRX) complain about the seat being unable to bend any further back than 90 degrees straight up, and none of the product pages for other seats state that they DO actually have the ability to adjust backwards like any other normal adjustable seat in the world lol..

Was wondering if that's true, cuz that shit would suck.

Any light that can be shed on this would be mucho appreciated, thanks fellas.
 

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For the HD rider backrest it requires a mounting bracket, separate purchase. There are two different mounts. Fixed & adjustable. The fixed can be adjusted when installed. I have no personal experience with either type.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Larry, was hoping to get some insight into whether the backrests can lean back beyond the straight up 90 degree position. do you know if any of them do? or are we just left with the option of some DIY metal bending to get a backwards angle, like some people posted on here?
 

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was hoping to get some insight into whether the backrests can lean back beyond the straight up 90 degree position. do you know if any of them do?
RJ, can't speak for the "chicken neck" backrest, but I've got the adjustable backrest, and it leans back farther than you would probably need it to, so yes it leans back past the 90 degree upright position. The backrest itself is on a swivel so tilts to conform to your back. Very comfortable and very adjustable. Only disadvantage to the adjustable compared to the "chicken neck" is it doesn't flop forward and stay down so you can swing your leg over it. You can however push it down (it's spring loaded) and hold it down as you swing your leg over.
 

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RJ, can't speak for the "chicken neck" backrest, but I've got the adjustable backrest, and it leans back farther than you would probably need it to, so yes it leans back past the 90 degree upright position. The backrest itself is on a swivel so tilts to conform to your back. Very comfortable and very adjustable. Only disadvantage to the adjustable compared to the "chicken neck" is it doesn't flop forward and stay down so you can swing your leg over it. You can however push it down (it's spring loaded) and hold it down as you swing your leg over.
Agree with BlazingSaddle about the HD Adjustable Backrest. It goes back quite a bit and you pretty much feel like you are in a recliner. But with the flick of the switch is pops right back forward and is SUPER nice on long rides. As for the seat not staying down for getting on the bike, it's not a big deal for me. You can always flick the switch and let the backrest go all the way back before entering, which gives you more leg clearance. An old rider with bad hips taught me to enter the bike from the right side and "poke" my leg between the backrest and tank vs. "swinging" my leg over the backrest. Get off the same way. Takes a little practice.
 

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Agree with BlazingSaddle about the HD Adjustable Backrest. It goes back quite a bit and you pretty much feel like you are in a recliner. But with the flick of the switch is pops right back forward and is SUPER nice on long rides. As for the seat not staying down for getting on the bike, it's not a big deal for me. You can always flick the switch and let the backrest go all the way back before entering, which gives you more leg clearance. An old rider with bad hips taught me to enter the bike from the right side and "poke" my leg between the backrest and tank vs. "swinging" my leg over the backrest. Get off the same way. Takes a little practice.
Agree with "poking" your leg between tank and backrest. My HD adjustable backrest didn't adjust low enough to be comfortable for me, so I cut a 1in. piece out of the support bar. At the weld shop today. I wouldn't recommend trying to bend anything, very hard steel.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Awesome, thanks for the input fellas. looks like an adjustable backrest is in my future... then miles upon miles of knuckles in the wind :D
 

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Don't know if the models have changed over the years, but I just bought the nicer adjustable rider's backrest last summer. It adjusts between 90 degrees straight up, down to laying flat on the rider's seat. The adjustment is useless. It doesn't really adjust at all. It just keeps your spine straight up.

Talking to the service manager, who agrees that it's a crap design. He took the metal upright off the bike and bent it a little bit in the shop press. No charge. Now it goes ever so slightly back of vertical, so it's fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Don't know if the models have changed over the years, but I just bought the nicer adjustable rider's backrest last summer. It adjusts between 90 degrees straight up, down to laying flat on the rider's seat. The adjustment is useless. It doesn't really adjust at all. It just keeps your spine straight up.

Talking to the service manager, who agrees that it's a crap design. He took the metal upright off the bike and bent it a little bit in the shop press. No charge. Now it goes ever so slightly back of vertical, so it's fine.
doesn't sound much nicer.. so i need to look for the ghetto version of the adjustable backrest, i guess? hope they'll fit the 2017 models.. and i'm also getting a hammock 2up seat with the tourpak for passenger (and rider, I hope) comfort. Hope the backrest doesn't conflict with that
 

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doesn't sound much nicer.. so i need to look for the ghetto version of the adjustable backrest, i guess? hope they'll fit the 2017 models.. and i'm also getting a hammock 2up seat with the tourpak for passenger (and rider, I hope) comfort. Hope the backrest doesn't conflict with that
There are different versions of the Hammock, and some don't fit the adjustable backrest quite right. Mine is one of those. It's really no big deal, it's just that the slot in the seat gets pushed out of shape a little bit. Hang on, I'll see if I can get enough light in the garage for a pic...

First pic shows the backrest installed. Keep in mind, that's as far back as it will go, AFTER being bent. Before I had it bent it was slightly forward of that. Not uncomfortable, because I tend to sit pretty upright, but if you like to put your feet up in the highway pegs, you wouldn't be happy. Second pic shows how the adjustable bracket makes the slot in the seat open up a little, but, really, with the backrest in you can't tell at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There are different versions of the Hammock, and some don't fit the adjustable backrest quite right. Mine is one of those. It's really no big deal, it's just that the slot in the seat gets pushed out of shape a little bit. Hang on, I'll see if I can get enough light in the garage for a pic...

First pic shows the backrest installed. Keep in mind, that's as far back as it will go, AFTER being bent. Before I had it bent it was slightly forward of that. Not uncomfortable, because I tend to sit pretty upright, but if you like to put your feet up in the highway pegs, you wouldn't be happy. Second pic shows how the adjustable bracket makes the slot in the seat open up a little, but, really, with the backrest in you can't tell at all.
which version do you have? i got the standard seat, non-heated, for '14 and later touring models. Thanks for the info and the pics, I appreciate the insight
 

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which version do you have? i got the standard seat, non-heated, for '14 and later touring models. Thanks for the info and the pics, I appreciate the insight
You know, I'm not entirely sure. I think that's the one I have as well. I bought it used. There have been several threads on Hammock part numbers over at HDF and here. They tend to be confusing.

I believe I have the 52000003A. The other one ends in 0176, and it is supposed to be "updated" for the adjustable backrest. However, the earlier one works fine, especially if you like your backrest reclined slightly. It's only when you have it absolutely vertical does it push the seat opening a little farther open.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
RJ, can't speak for the "chicken neck" backrest, but I've got the adjustable backrest, and it leans back farther than you would probably need it to, so yes it leans back past the 90 degree upright position. The backrest itself is on a swivel so tilts to conform to your back. Very comfortable and very adjustable. Only disadvantage to the adjustable compared to the "chicken neck" is it doesn't flop forward and stay down so you can swing your leg over it. You can however push it down (it's spring loaded) and hold it down as you swing your leg over.
Agree with BlazingSaddle about the HD Adjustable Backrest. It goes back quite a bit and you pretty much feel like you are in a recliner. But with the flick of the switch is pops right back forward and is SUPER nice on long rides. As for the seat not staying down for getting on the bike, it's not a big deal for me. You can always flick the switch and let the backrest go all the way back before entering, which gives you more leg clearance. An old rider with bad hips taught me to enter the bike from the right side and "poke" my leg between the backrest and tank vs. "swinging" my leg over the backrest. Get off the same way. Takes a little practice.
Do you guys happen to have or know the part number for your backrests? I want to make sure I get the right one.. Sounds like the latest version of the HD adjustable doesn't go past the 90 degree plane.
 

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I have the 52596-09A mounting unit. There are several different part numbers for the "backrest" part, and I'm guessing that might be some of the issue. Some of the backrests might come with more bend than the others.
 
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I have the 52596-09A mounting unit. There are several different part numbers for the "backrest" part, and I'm guessing that might be some of the issue. Some of the backrests might come with more bend than the others.
I see your review on the page for that kit in the online store lol.

... I gotta find the setup that extends beyond 90 :/

**Edit**

Looks like the only HD adjustable that fits my bike is the same one you have. well, shit. lol. guess it's off to alternative aftermarket companies on this front for me.

Thanks for your help, hacker. couldn't have done it without ya! :D
 

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I see your review on the page for that kit in the online store lol.

... I gotta find the setup that extends beyond 90 :/
Did I sound a little irritated? :grin:
 
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Did I sound a little irritated? :grin:
Hah! A tad. But rightly so, and you were eloquent n shit. I gave it a thumbs up in appreciation of your refined irritance lol
 

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Hah! A tad. But rightly so, and you were eloquent n shit. I gave it a thumbs up in appreciation of your refined irritance lol
Ha! It's amazing what you can get away with if you can spell.
 

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I see your review on the page for that kit in the online store lol.

... I gotta find the setup that extends beyond 90 :/

**Edit**

Looks like the only HD adjustable that fits my bike is the same one you have. well, shit. lol. guess it's off to alternative aftermarket companies on this front for me.

Thanks for your help, hacker. couldn't have done it without ya! :D
Did I sound a little irritated? :grin:
Hey guys, not sure what's going on other than what IdahoHacker said about the bend in the actual backrest. I doubt they're different but can't say until I make an actual comparison. The part # 52586-09A is getting a bum rap, but I can tell you I haven't seen another design that I would even consider compared to the features of this one.

I'd post pics if I knew how from an iPhone. Can get to them when I get home this evening.
I'll have to post my own review at HD as well.

No offense and not trying to be a smart ass, my thoughts are unless it's a defective part, if it's installed correctly it will operate correctly.
 
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