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I'm 6'0", 225 lbs, 32 inch inseam, with a bad back. Coming from a DL650 the AN400 cockpit felt cramped, and the butt stop didn't provide much in the way of back support. I looked at the various backrests and was having trouble making up my mind as to which might be best for me, and thinking about a replacement for the stock windscreen too.

Then I got to thinking, "Is that buttstop really all the way back?" I took a look at it and yep, it was. For whatever reason, I pushed it forward a notch and took off on a test ride. Wow! What a difference!

My knees are still a couple of inches from the glove box, and I'm sitting in a more comfortable and upright position (maybe I have short arms?). With my weight slightly forward, the bike feels more balanced, and I'm getting whapped in the butt less riding on the rough roads here in Adams County. I'm getting some solid lumbar support from the buttstop, especially when I put my feet on the anled foot boards. And there's even some decrease in the turbulence hitting me in the face shield.

I've been riding it this way for a couple of weeks now and I really like it. Probably just me though...

Steve
 

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I see these riders on their BMWs and similar bikes and they all sit ramrod straight like their mother was watching them. I thought, hmmm...that's the way I should do it too. So in my case, I moved the butt-stop forward a notch. (I'm shorter than you.) I had this nice erect posture...and it was killing me.

I think of the seat as being sort of like a see-saw. If you hit the ground hard and your back is straight, all that force goes straight into the back muscles and spine. We're not made for that. Lean forward though just a bit, and you can get a nice balance of the wind holding you partly up and now your rear goes up and down on the bumps, but your spine isn't taking the beating. Most of the sport-touring bikes like an ST1300 or FJR have that kind of posture.

Of course, it means you need to be able to bend at the waist... :lol:

Leaning forward also puts more weight on the front wheel as you found. It helps in wind gusts and helps a lot in the twisties.

Chris
 

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Did you just move the stock butt stop forward a notch or did you actually add a "real" backrest...?? I find that just moving my butt either forward or back on the seat can make all the difference between comfort and a sore lower back.!! I have a 3 BROTHERS back stop I added to the stock butt rest..!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Chris, +1 on not sitting straight up. I'm still leaning a bit forward with my arms bent, kind of like riding a horse (western saddle), absorbing bumps by bending my back. If I sat up straight I'd have have ruptured discs dripping goop on the seat within five miles.

v8eyedoc, nope, I'm just using the stock buttstop. It didn't do anything much for me in the full back position, but works fine one notch forward.

Steve
 

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I also found a much better ride moving my seat forward a few clicks. I am 5' 10". The other thing I noticed, is that I am much more comfortable with my feet resting on the front semi-vertical area of the foot boards, versus being flat and horizontal with the road.
 

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Anyway you look at it, neither the 400 nor the 650 are designed to accommodate "tall" people. I'd say they're for average to short people. I'm 6'4" with a 34" inseam and both bikes (stock) are impossible to ride. My knees are almost rubbing the dash and physically impede proper steering. Even removing the hump doesn't help much. It's not the rider's overall height, it's the leg length. Most of my height is in my legs. Luckily, I found a business that specializes in rebuilding/reupholstering motorcycle seats. That is, they actually alter the seat's plastic shell, moving the seatback farther rearward. Most any upholstery shop will change the cover or all/remove padding. But most won't touch the shell, which is what needs to be modified for taller riders. I should be picking up my seat any day now. For those interested, I'll be posting all of the details, including pics, when I get it.


Sube
 

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I'm 5'11" and started off thinking I needed the butt stop all the way back.

But I also found the same thing, it was much more comfortable with it forward a little.
I think it was partly because at first I thought I would be riding with my feet on the floor but within a few days of getting the Burger I had switched to always having my feet up on the raised sections with my knees flexed.

The only time I have my feet on the floor now is for a change of position on long journeys.
 

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The best modification I've made to my 400 is the Corbin seat. If you remove the butt pad,back rest or no, you'll end up with your tailbone rubbing the seat pan. The Corbin does away with that. They offer a 'tall' variant for the 650, not sure about the 400. I'm right at 6'0" and it allows me adequate leg room. Generally Corbins are hard but in this case I find it extremely comfortable, not to mention very nice looking in carbon weave leather and white piping to match the white color of the bike. Expensive but it was worth every dime.
 
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