(Please visit one of our advertisers)

No donations or subscriptions are required

   OR   
   
Subscription choices:
Board Karma = 40  (3488 positive of 3870 votes is 40 %pts higher than a neutral 50%)
All Things (Safety Oriented) Motorcycle   
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

You can the entire collection of Safety Tip articles in a 33 Megabyte PDF Portfolio

 All Forums
 Motorcycle Safety
 Technical/Maintenance
 Forward Controls
Member Previous Topic Discussion Topic Next Topic  

rmcdaniel
Male Starting Member
4 Posts


Grand Rapids, MI
USA

(None)

Posted - 07/04/2013 :  12:29 PM                       Like
I've seen the term "forward controls" a couple times now, as a wannabe biker still in the reading/learning/planning phase. I currently have zero riding experience. What does that term mean? How does it compare/contrast vs. other types of controls? Is it something I need to consider when it's time to start looking for my first bike?

rkfire
Advanced Member
1689 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 07/04/2013 :  1:30 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Forward controls mean the footpegs or floorboards are installed towards the front of the lower frame, and so too are the shift lever and brake pedals.

They then become the only foot position, with the brake and shifter moved with them.

A variation of that, but not called forward controls, would be footpegs more centered on the bike, but having highway footpegs mounted forward. On a long ride, you have the option of stretching the legs if you like.

Personally, I'd prefer the latter. I like options, and there's some real benefits to having pegs down underneath you. Ability to stand on them, getting weight off my tailbone, being able to shift my seating position, and sitting bolt upright to see over traffic etc.

Go to Top of Page

scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6886 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 07/04/2013 :  3:00 PM
I would define forward controls as any foot controls where your lower leg is still pointed forward when you're properly seated on the motorcycle.

Rearsets, on the other hand, usually put your feet directly under your backside and bend your knees at an extreme angle.

I happen to like the dirt bike riding position the best where my feet are in the best position to allow me to stand up on the pegs.
Go to Top of Page

rayg50
Male Moderator
2082 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 07/04/2013 :  5:31 PM
quote:
Is it something I need to consider when it's time to start looking for my first bike?
When I was planning to return to riding I started looking well before I intended to buy. I would go weekly to some local dealers and sit on as many bikes as time and they would allow. After a while I came to know which bikes and bike style felt most comfortable to me. I also became familiar with the price ranges.

Forward controls move the foot controls further away from the seat and allow you more leg room. I considered them when I was looking at the 250cc bikes which tended to be lower and shorter. Since that is what I rode when I took the BRC (Basic Rider Course) I knew that I needed a bit less knee bend then those bikes afforded so I considered the forward controls as my first modification. I did not buy a 250 so it became a moot point.

I would advise that you begin to visit dealers, sit on as many bikes as you can BUT DO NOT BUY anything at this point. Take the BRC so that you can actually do some riding. It is a great way to learn some basic skills and to begin your education on riding safely with a minimal investment ($$).

You may get on a bike and decide that reality and fantasy do not coincide. Should you come to the conclusion that riding is not for you then you will not have newly purchased bike to sell. Also, after having ridden you will be in a better position to judge what may suit you.

So this long winded answer to your question about forward controls is that, IMO, it depends upon your leg length, the bike you intend to buy, and whether the angle of your knee bend is an issue to YOU. For me knee bend is a major issue while others here are quite comfortable and even prefer sitting on their heels.

Please continue to ask any questions that come to mind.
Go to Top of Page

scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6886 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 07/04/2013 :  5:58 PM
quote:
Originally posted by rayg50

[quote]So this long winded answer to your question about forward controls is that, IMO, it depends upon your leg length, the bike you intend to buy, and whether the angle of your knee bend is an issue to YOU. For me knee bend is a major issue while others here are quite comfortable and even prefer sitting on their heels.
Some bikes have a lot more leg room than others without having forward controls. Dual sport and adventure bikes tend to have more legroom, but they're also on the tall side.
Go to Top of Page

James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17283 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 07/04/2013 :  6:32 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Sometimes the focus of a question tends to obscure a bigger picture. For example, your question deals with forward controls. For an experienced rider, forward controls means 'forward foot controls', but it also means a different riding posture than standard or sport bike configurations.



Note that with forward controls your arms are usually higher than with other configurations. Note, too, that when you must put a foot on the ground you have to move your foot about twice as far (i.e., take twice as long) as with a normal or standard configuration. For a beginner, where slow-speed balance has not yet been developed, that can mean dropping a bike.

Welcome aboard! Glad to see you asking questions.
Go to Top of Page

rmcdaniel
Male Starting Member
4 Posts


Grand Rapids, MI
USA

(None)

Posted - 07/04/2013 :  10:09 PM
Thanks for the quick response to my question! I get it now, between the descriptions and that perfect illustration. At this early point, I have no idea what I would like, but at least I know what it means. And I will recognize it when I sit on a bike in the showroom. My take-home on this question is that it means my feet are positioned "forward" of my knees when I am operating the controls. It makes perfect sense now. Instinctively, and based on what you guys have said, I imagine a "normal" or neutral position would be best for the controls (rear brake/gear shifter) with the option of auxiliary forward pegs for comfort on long highway rides. This is based on my preference for cruisers, and an anticipated riding pattern of fairly equally mixed city and highway.

This makes me think of a new question: Regarding aftermarket add-ons, customization, etc, . . . Is there plenty of room for options with metric cruisers? Or is that primarily a Harley thing?
Go to Top of Page

rkfire
Advanced Member
1689 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 07/05/2013 :  7:30 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
There's tons of factory and aftermarket accessories for the metric cruisers.

If that's the style of bike you have your mind set on, just remember too, as a first time rider you're better off with a smaller engine, lighter version, and used too. Many a new rider drop a bike here and there, just parking lot stuff. Better to scratch that previously scratched bike than a new one. Used metric bikes have a much lower initial cost too.
Go to Top of Page

SkootchNC
Male Advanced Member
1063 Posts
[Mentor]


raleigh, north carolina
USA

Harley-Davidson

road glide

Posted - 07/06/2013 :  6:18 AM
quote:
Originally posted by rkfire

There's tons of factory and aftermarket accessories for the metric cruisers.

If that's the style of bike you have your mind set on, just remember too, as a first time rider you're better off with a smaller engine, lighter version, and used too. Many a new rider drop a bike here and there, just parking lot stuff. Better to scratch that previously scratched bike than a new one. Used metric bikes have a much lower initial cost too.



+1 on RK's reply.

if you like a certain style bike, you can often find a low mileage used bike for well under the price of a new one.
I recommend buying a 5 year old bike as most of the depreciation is done.
You can buy a bike... spend a year honing your skills, and then sell it without taking a huge hit in the wallet.
As a new rider you may have a greater risk of dropping and damaging the bike. The cost of repairing should be a factor in your first purchase.

Also remember, as a new rider your insurance may be higher than you are expecting. In NC there is a big step in insurance cost at the 1000 cc mark
Go to Top of Page

Magnawing
Male Senior Member
281 Posts


The Woodlands, TX
USA

Honda

VF750C

Posted - 07/08/2013 :  12:48 PM Follow poster on Twitter
If you like cruisers, the '94-'03 Honda Magna can be a good starter if you're a little on the larger size (about 5'9" to around 6'2")and carrying a few more pounds than the medical professionals would recommend. It's a 750cc Cruiser that can be handled by a novice of the stated size but not a bike that you'll outgrow quickly, if ever.

The key with these bikes is keeping control of your right wrist. The bike is really tame up to about 7,000 rpm (85-90 mph in 5th gear). Once you hit 7,000 rpm it feels like someone added another engine. This is what I ride and it carries my 250lbs + my wife's unpublished weight with absolutely no hesitation or strain. It is a classic cruiser style bike with an engine that was adapted from the VFR sportbikes. I usually get ~40 mpg with a passenger and ~45 when riding solo.

You can usually find them on Craigslist or eBay for prices ranging from about $1800 to $3000 depending on age, mileage, condition and modifications.



Go to Top of Page

Lightyear68
Male Starting Member
7 Posts


Bel Air, MD
USA

Harley-Davidson

Fat Boy

Posted - 07/12/2013 :  7:06 PM
I'm a Harley rider, but cannot understand why anybody would put themselves in this body position on a bike...forward controls and ape handlebars. Maybe it's cool to some, but it doesn't look comfortable and definitely doesn't maximize one's ability to control the bike.

Go to Top of Page

gymnast
Moderator
4263 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 07/12/2013 :  8:21 PM
The engineering aspects of motorcycle ergonomics, in the case of "cruiser style" motorcycles is primarily one of "fad and fashion" rather than function. The 1975 Honda CB 750 is an example of good ergonomics for both operator and passenger in terms of the handlebar design, seat room and seat height as well as footpeg location. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...-1975_02.JPG

In 1975, the term "cruiser" related to a type of relatively light heavily armed navel ship and most of the motorcycles of the period had ergonomics similar to the CB 750 including the Harley Sportsters. The exceptions to that were the Harley Electra Glide (with its spring loaded seat post and foot boards) and the Harley Super Glide with it's short rear shocks, Sportster style front fork, and low ground clearance.

Most "sport bikes" have purposeful ergonomics for the operator in terms seat to footpeg to handle bar location however they are not suitable for two up riding for any distance. Additionally, the very high passenger footpeg location combined with the low posture of the operator makes for an "iffy" situation for retaining the passenger under heavy braking.

Perhaps the best designs available today for solo and two-up highway riding in terms of ergonomics are the class of bikes known "Sport Touring" motorcycles. The other good alternative is what are known as "standard" motorcycles, with ergonomics that are similar to the 1975 Honda CB 750 linked above.

My 2 cents worth.
Go to Top of Page

alton
Male Standard Member
232 Posts


Sarasota, FL
USA

Honda

2013 NC700X DCT ABS

Posted - 07/13/2013 :  9:47 AM
Gymnast,
I agree with you on the CB750. I had an '85 CB650 and thought it was the most comfortable bike I had ridden. Anyway a few weeks ago I was in the local Honda shop and to my surprise there was a 2013 CB1100. It looks really familiar with about the same ergonomics and brings back a lot of memories. Here's a link... http://powersports.honda.com/2013/cb1100.aspx. See if you agree.
Go to Top of Page

SkootchNC
Male Advanced Member
1063 Posts
[Mentor]


raleigh, north carolina
USA

Harley-Davidson

road glide

Posted - 07/13/2013 :  1:36 PM
Being a short legged fellow... the only "downside to the CB750's was the seat height. When I told a buddy I could never ride his bike... he thought I meant how powerful it was... I laughed and said NO... and hopped on the bike... both of my feet were inches from the ground.
I would have to semi-dis-mount at each stop sign.

The new 1100 has a lower seat height. I sat on one this morning, while I was getting a new front tire installed.

LOL... yes... I get tires installed at the Honda shop ... They have good prices, and I know the wrenches there...
Go to Top of Page

Brian Kent
Male New Member
13 Posts


Sterling, Virginia
USA

Honda

750 Magna (1996)

Posted - 09/22/2013 :  9:17 PM
A pretty slick web site for determining rider position on a HUGE range of motorcycles is the "Motorcycle Ergonomics" site: http://cycle-ergo.com

You punch in your hight and leg inseam, and the site does the rest! Note you can "modify" a seating position on any bike by raising or lowering the handlebars, footpegs, etc... the site has this option under "Vehicle Customization" on the right of the picture.

Pretty slick . . .
Brian

Go to Top of Page

scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6886 Posts
[Mentor]


Pleasanton, CA
USA

KTM

990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 09/23/2013 :  9:12 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Brian Kent

Note you can "modify" a seating position on any bike by raising or lowering the handlebars, footpegs, etc...
Moving footpegs on any of my bikes would require cutting and welding. Not a trivial modification.
Go to Top of Page

rkfire
Advanced Member
1689 Posts


Stratford, CT
USA

Suzuki

Bandit

Peer Review: Blocked

Posted - 09/23/2013 :  9:33 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
The first time I checked out that cycle-ergo page, I was amused to see that my short friend would never reach the footpegs on his Harley Rocker...lol. Actually he put on about 55k miles, before trading it for a Street Glide, which I'm pretty sure cycle-ergo would also indicate he doesn't fit.



Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Discussion Topic Next Topic  
Jump To:
All Things (Safety Oriented) Motorcycle © Master Strategy Group Go To Top Of Page
  This page was generated in 0.59 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05