I’m talking sport-touring kind of bike, not Paris-Dakar.
The main limiting factor to how long you can ride a motorcycle seems to be pain. Pain in your knees, neck, shoulders, wrists and hands most commonly. Many long distance riders try to solve the problem with mental conditioning + ergonomic improvements to their bikes. As an ex-bodybuilder, I’m trying to work at it from a physical conditioning perspective, but have run into a huge block: I don’t really know why it hurts!
What is happening inside my body when I spend all day on a motorcycle?
If I had some idea of why it hurt so much, I might be able to find answers to the real questions:
- What can I do before a rally to reduce the pain
- What can I do at every stop to reduce the pain?
- What can I do after the rally is over to recover?
I don’t mind doing research but I don’t even know where to start. I bet some of you guys have the knowledge to point me in the right direction.
Thank you in advance.
You should ride bitch that would work. What’s an ex bodybuilder?
Biggest issue is the bike.
I can’t now remember who sells them, but there have been a couple of companies that have sold footpegs that are lower than standard.
Helibars can make a difference. (These are clip-ons that are higher than the normal handlebars.)
And of course, which bike it is in the first place is a huge factor. For example, I could ride the KZ1000R2, ZX-11, and ZX-12R all day long without the slightest problem. Put me on a ZX-6R let’s say, not that that is the most uncomfortable thing out there but just as an example, and the ride will be limited by problems such as you describe.
Basically, for many people there are positions which their body can be comfortable with for very extended periods of time, and positions where that isn’t the case at all.
Morphine. Attach a bag to your helmet and just have a constant drip flowing.
Do you supp with things like fish oil?
I think you’re going to hurt no matter, so you need to figure out how to make it hurt less.
Do you stretch a lot? Get good deep tissue massages? Foam Roll?
Your body needs to be loose and you need to be relaxed on the bike (not tense everywhere) in order to make it hurt less.
I’ve never raced motor bikes, but I’ve raced road bicycles and mountain biked a little. Every little thing helps, and your body adapts a ton.
Thanks for the replies.
The ergonomics of the bike are decent (Honda Blackbird) and I have tweaked them. Painkillers, stretching, and massage are all standard for other rally riders.
I am mainly looking to understand what is happening physiologically? The neck/shoulder pain likely comes from sustained supporting of our head/helmet in an unnatural position. If that is so, strengthening the neck may offer relief. What about the knees? Why do they hurt? There isn’t any load on them that I know of.
Is there another sport which has similar problems that I could perhaps study?
I really can’t answer what you’re directly asking.
So far as your overall problem though, a way to reduce problems on a bike that one cannot comfortably remain in the same position on indefinitely is to periodically – at least every half hour, and twenty minutes is better – stretch and move around.
It is of course possible, when not at extreme speed, to stand on the pegs and you can flex and extend various bodyparts quite a bit.
As you say, the Blackbird is reasonable for ergonomics. So probably the only issue is simply remaining in almost exactly the same position for quite extended durations.
There is a load on your knees, so to speak.You aren’t putting any weight on them but you do have to contract your quads to keep them on the pegs. So the muscles are tense. With holding the bent position also just makes them tense. A if you were forced to sit on a chair all day , then allowed to stand. The initial step is usually painful. There are floorboards that can be added to the bike. (but probably not the blackbird.) You may try a reall sport touring bike. The blackbird really isn’t a sport tourer. Maybe the Honda ST1300.
Having to sit in the forward position that you do on the Blackbird puts alot of strain all over the body. Lower baack support(like a backrest) really makes a world of difference. Core exercises and pilates would probably help also.
Looking up with your neck for extended periods of time causes strain because the muscles are just tense the other time.
Do you shrug your shoulders every now and then and stand and move your neck as others suggested? Just moving your head side to side would probably help matters. Are your upper traps really tight? That could cause a lot of neck strain. Stretch stretch stretch!