How To Get On A Motorcycle With A Backrest: Different Ways To Mount A Harley-Davidson Bike With A Backrest

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How To Get On A Motorcycle With A Backrest

Do you own a Harley-Davidson, and it has a backrest, which makes it tricky to get on it? If so, then you’re definitely in the right place. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll know how to get on a bike with a backrest.

Getting on a motorcycle with a backrest is actually simple, and there are multiple ways to do that. It involves approaching the bike from the kickstand side, grabbing hold of the left-hand grip, raising your right leg, and swinging over the seat. A backrest will significantly improve the comfort level while making it easier on your back during long drives.

In this article, you’ll get to know all about motorcycle backrests, how to get on a motorcycle with a backrest, the importance and benefits of using a backrest, are backrests a waste of money, and more. Stick around to know all the answers that you’re looking for.

What are the importance and benefits of riding a bike with a backrest?

Sitting on your Harley-Davidson bike for long hours can generate unnecessary stress on your back and leg muscles. Lower back pain and leg cramps can easily take away the enjoyment of your journey. Therefore, it’s a great option to add a backrest to your Harley-Davidson bike if you’re planning long journeys or trips.

Adding a backrest to your Harley-Davidson bike can significantly improve the comfort level of your bike. Moreover, it can also boost the rider and the pillion’s overall experience. For long rides, a decent quality backrest will be crucial for both the rider and the pillion rider. It offers support to your lower back and much-needed comfort, while also preventing leg cramps.

Another factor that makes a bike backrest so important is that it’ll add to the safety of your bike. Many passengers feel uncomfortable with nothing to keep them on the motorcycle, especially under aggressive riding or rapid acceleration. A backrest will give you a solid, secure base for the passenger for leaning against, taking away from the feeling of open air behind them.

Since pillion riders have less space to move their limbs during a long ride, they can get slightly uncomfortable and start moving around. Excessive movement from the pillion can put the driver at risk. It could lead to the bike losing balance, which could result in collisions or potential accidents. Adding a backrest will eliminate this risk while adding to the comfort. This will allow both the driver and the pillion to comfortably sit for a longer period of time.

Backrests have become an essential piece of motorcycle equipment, especially when traveling with a pillion. With its impact on the quality of ride and comfort level, it’ll be easy to see the importance of a backseat in enhancing your overall touring experience.

How To Get On A Motorcycle With A Backrest - Harley Davidson Backseat Backrest

How to get on a motorcycle with a backseat?

Mounting or getting on your Harley-Davidson bike is an essential skill that eventually becomes almost second nature over time. There are multiple ways you can hop on your bike, but some of them are better than others. Here, you’ll get to know how you can easily get on your Harley-Davidson bike even with a backrest.

Move it to a spot where it can be mounted

Before getting on your bike, you’ll need to move it to a spot where you can get on it easily. At some point in your riding career, you would have had to mount your bike manually. Whether it is to bring your bike to the driveway for washing, to pull out of a nook in the garage, or your bike isn’t rideable for some reason. There are times when someone might drop their bike trying to move it. However, there’s a way you can be assured in your handling and never drop your bike. The right way to move your bike is –

  • Ideally, approach the bike from the kickstand side
  • Keep your hands on both the handlebar grips 
  • Ensure that you’re having access to the front brake 
  • Make sure that you’ve got your hands on the grips at all times, unless you’re using the brake 
  • Raise the kickstand 
  • Have your bike leaned towards you at all times
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However, there’s an exception to this situation. Depending on where your bike is located, you might have to approach the bike from the non-kickstand side. This isn’t generally a problem. You can still follow the rules mentioned above, but you’ll need to be aware that the kickstand will be protruding still, and it can get in the way, especially when going over uneven ground. Ideally, you should move the bike to a spot where you can switch sides and raise the kickstand before proceeding.

How to mount a motorcycle normally?

Believe it or not, there are multiple ways you can mount a motorcycle. By following the steps mentioned below, you’ll learn how riders traditionally mount their bikes. 

Step 1

Approach the bike from the kickstand side. Grab hold of the left-hand grip and then continuously apply the front brake.

Step 2

Lean your body forward and then raise your right leg. Use the bike’s handlebars as support. Turn the handlebars as needed to get better stability and leverage.

Step 3

While keeping your weight on your right leg, swing your right leg over and past the seat.

Step 4

With your right leg past the seat and allow yourself to lean back into the seat. Depending on what you’re comfortable with, place your foot on the foot peg or directly to the ground.

Step 5

Raise your motorcycle in the upright position and then raise the kickstand.

How to modify mounting or peg mounting?

The peg mounting method is a technique that works well for the vertically challenged. Moreover, it is also great for people with less mobility due to an injury or age.

This mounting method can be slightly challenging the first few times you try it. You’ll have to maintain your balance while standing on the left peg. It’s recommended that you should have someone present and help you when you’re practicing the first few times.

Step 1

Approach the bike from the kickstand’s side. It needs to be on the kickstand side and then put your hands on the handlebar grips. Place your left foot on the left peg in a fairly secure position.

Step 2

Apply the front brake firmly and then raise your right leg above the seat. Keep the weight on your left foot or peg. After that, swing your right leg over and past the seat.

Step 3

While still keeping most of the weight on the left leg, you should place your right foot on the right peg securely.

Step 4

With both of your feet on the pegs, you should lower yourself into the seat. Then, take a seat.

You shouldn’t be using this method if the ground you’re on is soft. If it’s too soft, the kickstand may sink into the ground. A good idea would be to always keep some type of kickstand plate to prevent a situation that stops you from not just using this method, but also from parking your bike. Moreover, you can also use it if you’re on a significant incline or decline.

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How to do kick mounting?

The last method is usually used when the rider has something like a backrest preventing them from swinging their leg over the seat. It’s a fairly easy way of mounting a bike, but it also comes with a few risks.

It’s recommended to have someone there with you to ensure that you don’t misjudge and accidentally kick your motorcycle over. It can even roll away on you as you’re using this method from the kickstand side, since you won’t have a chance to use the brakes. To pull off this method, follow these instructions –

Step 1

Approach the bike from the kickstand side and then grab the handgrip.

Step 2

Kick your leg up and over the seat before resting it on the seat if needed.

Step 3

Slide your leg across the seat and then start reaching from the front brake.

Step 4

Apply the front brake if possible and then continue sliding your right leg down to the peg.

Step 5

Swing your leg carefully over your bike and then apply the front brake. Place your left leg on the peg and then sit down in the seat.

How to get on a motorcycle with opposite-side mounting?

Both kick mounting and normal mounting have techniques that can be used for the non-kickstand side of the bike. However, the peg method isn’t really recommended for use on the non-kickstand side, as the technique needs you to use the kickstand.

The opposite side mounting techniques are generally used in situations where it’s unsafe to mount a bike from the kickstand side. It’s also used if that option isn’t available due to space.

Opposite normal mounting

Step 1

Place your hands on the handlebar grips and then apply the front brake.

Step 2

Lean into the bike while you’re lifting your left leg above the seat. Then, you should swipe your left leg up and over the seat.

Step 3

Swing or slide your leg over the seat and then place your left foot firmly onto the ground. Be sure that you’re in a ready position with your foot on the ground and your bike safely mounted.

Opposite kick method

The only difference found between the Opposite Normal Method and the Opposite Kick method is that the latter can be used on an incline, as you’re having access to the front brake.

Step 1

Grab the handlebar grips and then apply the front brake. Make sure that you’re keeping a step back to allow room for your leg to swing above the seat and the backrest. This method can be used on an incline as you’ll be able to assess the front brake. Then, kick your leg up and over the seat.

Step 2

Slide your leg over and past the seat.

Step 3

Place your left foot on the ground and be in the ready position with your foot on the ground. Then, you’ll be ready to ride.

Are motorcycle backrests a waste of money?

Riders looking for extra comfort often add a backrest to their bike, and both riders and pillions love them. Are these components a good investment for comfort, or is it just a waste of money? Some big touring bikes come with backrest options. You can even buy an aftermarket backseat from brands like Sargent and Corbin, which have backrest accessories.

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Corbin backrests

Corbin has released its exclusive range of Edge Ovalbac backseats that look perfectly at home on Harley-Davidson Cruisers or Sportbikes. These backrests will work with all Corbin seat models, and they aren’t cheap at $283, so you know that they’re worth it.

For seats that take two rests, the Corbin backrests can be used on the front as a rider’s rest or at the rear as the passenger rest. The angle of the backrest will adjust, and it’s slightly curved to get a greater area of body contact. Corbin’s backrests can be made in matching materials and colors, so they do not end up looking like an afterthought. Moreover, they’re quick to install.

Are backrests a waste of money?

Motorcycle backseats look great, and they’ve been designed ergonomically, but are they beneficial or a waste of money? Backrests support your lower back, reduce fatigue, and offer more comfort during long trips. Most riders like riding with backrests as they can enjoy good support and feel comfortable.

However, many bikers on cruiser bikes tend to recline into them. Also, backrests aren’t really the best options for Harley-Davidson sports bikes, even if the angle can be adjusted. The natural riding position on sportbikes requires you to lean forward so that you aren’t leaning back into them. Instead, it could become a slight annoyance as your back could rub against it on bumps instead of providing support.

How To Get On A Motorcycle With A Backrest - Harley Davidson Backrest

According to physiotherapists, motorcycle backrests could have a detrimental effect on your posture if you don’t sit in them properly. Without a backrest, you’ll develop your core muscles by resisting the wind. Stronger core muscles will help ease lower back pain anyway. Moreover, a backrest can also make it slightly difficult for you to throw your leg over to mount or get on your bike. If you are having trouble throwing your leg over, purchase a backrest that folds so that you can mount easily.

What about using both rider and pillion backrests?

While it’s normal to have doubts over rider backrests, they’re generally a good idea for pillions. However, on adventure bikes on rough roads, backseats can hurt the pillion as they’re rubbing and bashing into their spine. If you’ve got a rider backrest too, they could limit the seat space for the pillion.

However, many pillions actually love backrests. They feel that backrests aren’t just more comfortable, but a backrest also means that the pillion doesn’t have to hang on to the rider. They instill a sense of security if the rider suddenly decides to accelerate hard or pop a wheelie.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you know a lot more about motorcycle backrests, how to get on a motorcycle with a backrest, the importance and benefits of using a backrest, are backrests a waste of money, and more. A backrest will significantly improve the comfort level while making it easier on your back during long drives. Getting on a motorcycle with a backrest involves approaching the bike from the kickstand side, grabbing hold of the left-hand grip, raising your right leg, and swinging over the seat and the backrest.

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