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I'm thinking of getting a kawasaki mean streak for my father that is 58 yrs old. He loves the look of it but just concerned it may not be too great on the ole back.. Any comments appreciated. KevinT.
 

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Not sure if it's much harder on the back than any other cruiser...
No two backs are exactly the same.
It depends partly on the person's height and other physical characteristics.
It also depends on how the bars and suspension is set.

You just about have to try it to see for sure.
Anything with "pegs forward" is likely to be harder on the butt and back.
 

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It's not a softail, so it should be more forgiving than a softail would be. I have riden a few softail bikes and a few non-softails, all different makes and models (harley, triumph, suzuki) and the general thing I found is that softails, even the big bikes (like the harley fat boy), tend to jar you more. Non-softails seem to be much smoother, even over bad roads. Tell your dad to stay away from softails for sure if he has back problems, non softails by design are able to absorb the shock from the road much better. The Meanstreak seems like a good option to consider, i haven't riden it though. Honda VTX 1300 could be another option.
 

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It's not a softail, so it should be more forgiving than a softail would be. I have riden a few softail bikes and a few non-softails, all different makes and models (harley, triumph, suzuki) and the general thing I found is that softails, even the big bikes (like the harley fat boy), tend to jar you more. Non-softails seem to be much smoother, even over bad roads. Tell your dad to stay away from softails for sure if he has back problems, non softails by design are able to absorb the shock from the road much better. The Meanstreak seems like a good option to consider, i haven't riden it though. Honda VTX 1300 could be another option.
To be sure,when Harley D invented the Softail chassis it was to give the illusion of being a hardtail frame like the old ridged Harleys yet still have some suspension for a somewhat decent ride.
All the Softail type bikes H-D or metric are about chopper styling more than comfort of ride.
It was never intended to replace the swingarm and dual shocks used on touring bikes Superglides and Sportsters.
Any cruiser with a standard swingarm setup should have a better ride,if you want real smooth for a bad back I'd be looking at Harley FLH models,maybe a Road King if you don't want a full dresser.
That or any RK styled metric if you don't like Harleys,the big fat tires and big heavy suspension as well as a big fat seat with an upright seating position and footboards instead of pegs all contribute to a smooth ride for a bad back.




 

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Victory bikes are softails bud, not to mention them being super expensive! I'd leave that one out.
 

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Victory bikes are softails bud, not to mention them being super expensive! I'd leave that one out.
Oops....my bad lol.
Anyway the point is basic baggers are a better ride for a bad back.

As for Super expensive?
I dunno most of the big cruisers equiped with bags etc are in that range.
http://www.motorcycle.com/specs/victory/touring/2012/cross-roads-reg/base.html
http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/2009/kawasaki/vulcan_2000/classic_lt/prices/31762/05/index.html
http://motorcycles.about.com/od/honda/gr/Honda_VTX1800F.htm
http://m.yamaha-motor.com/ProductModels.aspx?l=1
http://www.motorcycle.com/specs/harley-davidson/touring/2011/road-king-reg/base.html
 

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Anyway the point is basic baggers are a better ride for a bad back.
Not arguing, mind you, just discussing.............
I've been fighting butt cramps on a small cruiser with "straight up" seating position.
Even a $700 custom seat hasn't helped much....BUT......
Now I have an S50 too. Strange thing IS that it has more of a "bannana" seat that looks like it wouldn't be very comfortable but so far I'm surprised.

Because of the bars (more forward) and the pegs (more back), it has, for me at least, just a slight bent forward posture and on several short rides I have noticed NO seat discomfort. More weight off the butt and on the upper leg ??? Just my imagination ??? Time will tell.

Point IS that you can't tell by just looking at it for butts or backs.......and subtle differences can be critical.
 

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Not arguing, mind you, just discussing.............
I've been fighting butt cramps on a small cruiser with "straight up" seating position.
Even a $700 custom seat hasn't helped much....BUT......
Now I have an S50 too. Strange thing IS that it has more of a "bannana" seat that looks like it wouldn't be very comfortable but so far I'm surprised.

Because of the bars (more forward) and the pegs (more back), it has, for me at least, just a slight bent forward posture and on several short rides I have noticed NO seat discomfort. More weight off the butt and on the upper leg ??? Just my imagination ??? Time will tell.

Point IS that you can't tell by just looking at it for butts or backs.......and subtle differences can be critical.
Well for certain every rider is built differently and no one bike fits all off the shelf.
This is one good reason to vote for an H-D,nobody else has anywhere near the options available for customizing every aspect of the bike to fit the rider,just a change of bars can make a world of difference in comfort level for some people.
Anyway, a big heavy cruiser is going to soak up the bumps in the road better than a lighter bike with skinny tires and less adequate suspension.
I'd start there then customize the ergos for the best riding position given the individual's needs.
 

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I have no back issues with my Mean Streak, and I have put close to 10k miles on it. As the other guys have said everyone is built differently, and specific back issues or problems change the picture even more. I have had several people say that they prefer the ride of my bike over theirs, but again everyone is different. If he likes the look of the bike maybe he can find one that he can test ride to see if it's what he wants. I saw that someone recommended the VTX1300 as an alternate, but if he has problems with the Mean Streak's ride then he will most likely have the same problem with the VTX. The two bikes are very very similar.
 

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Victory bikes are softails bud, not to mention them being super expensive! I'd leave that one out.
That Victory may be a softail but damn if that's not one sexy bike.
 

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Not arguing, mind you, just discussing.............
I've been fighting butt cramps on a small cruiser with "straight up" seating position.
Even a $700 custom seat hasn't helped much....BUT......
Now I have an S50 too. Strange thing IS that it has more of a "bannana" seat that looks like it wouldn't be very comfortable but so far I'm surprised.

Because of the bars (more forward) and the pegs (more back), it has, for me at least, just a slight bent forward posture and on several short rides I have noticed NO seat discomfort. More weight off the butt and on the upper leg ??? Just my imagination ??? Time will tell.

Point IS that you can't tell by just looking at it for butts or backs.......and subtle differences can be critical.
You got an S50? How do you like the performance? Not a long trip cruiser for sure, but a bit of a hot rod for an 805cc.
 

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That Victory may be a softail but damn if that's not one sexy bike.
And lets not forget,you get what you pay for.these aren't made of plastic and cut corners.I bought a Victory not because of price but because it was the best bike I could find.If price IS limited,then thats another story.
 
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