Now that the weather’s warm again, all the motorcycle enthusiasts out there are chomping at the bit to go out and ride. If you’re planning on hitting the open road over the spring, the physicians at Resurgens Orthopaedics want you to know how the ergonomics of your motorcycle can affect your ride and your health. Here are a few tips that may help you set up your bike in a way that will be comfortable for you and minimize the potential for injuries:
Optimal Riding Position
Sitting with your hips and knees at 90 degree angles with your spine in a neutral, up-right position will help decrease the chance of pain or injury. Your arms should be by your side with your elbows close to a 90 degree angle as well.
Common Motorcycle Riding Problems
- Foot pegs too far forward – foot control is better if the hips and knees are in a 90 degree position when seated
- Foot pegs too far back – The hips and knees are flexed and this can lead to hip and knee pain. Foot control is also affected in this position.
- Handle bars too low – results in overreaching of both arms and poor posture of the head and neck. This can cause strain of the neck, shoulders, arms and back.
- No lumbar support – Places pressure on the low back and results in low back and hip pain.
- Vibration – after 2 hours of riding, vibration can result in increased risk of Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Poor posture – for extended periods of time, poor posture can lead to neck and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.
- Contact stress – caused by constant stress of your hands on the handlebars after 2 hours of riding
Quick Fixes for Injury Prevention
- Use a Throttle Rocker to reduce wrist pain
- Add a backrest and mount for low back support
- Use Handlebar Extensions and/or Handlebar Risers to avoid shoulder, arm and hand pain
- Wear Vibration Reduction Gloves to decrease arm and hand pain
- Additional Foot Pegs allows for change in position and decreases back and leg pain
- Periodic Rest Breaks to stretch and walk around decrease the risk of back, neck, arm and leg pain
Of course, the most important part of your bike is you, the rider. Wearing the proper safety gear is important any time you hit the road. We hope these tips help you enjoy your ride on the open road!