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Investing in useful and good-quality motorcycle riding gear will help ensure your safety. However, while countless riding gear are advertised as essentials, you cannot plausibly wear them all while riding. A DOT-approved helmet, leather jacket, pants, motorcycle boot, and gloves are the most essential riding gear, especially the helmet. You must never ride a motorcycle without a helmet under any circumstances.
The most common pain that plagues regular riders is back pain; in most cases, it is lower back pain. To avoid lower back pain, riders often wear kidney belts. Kidney belts have become universal among all riders, whether owners of dirt bikes, cruisers, or touring bikes. However, is there any medical research that shows kidney belts are effective while riding a motorcycle? Continue reading this article to learn about kidney belts and whether you should wear them while riding.
1. What is a Kidney Motorcycle Belt and Why Do Motorcyclists Use It?
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A motorcycle kidney belt is a large belt worn around the waist with the broader part facing the back to provide lumbar support. Originally, this belt was designed to protect riders’ organs in the belly in case of a fall or jump. The kidney belt keeps the organs intact and safe from heavy impacts. Motorcycle stunt performers often use them for this purpose. However, the kidney belt also is common among riders who love to go on motorcycle tours and long-distance rides to ensure comfort and avoid back pain.
2. Should You Wear a Motorcycle Touring Kidney Belt?
2.1 Rider’s Perspective
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If you ask this question to a motorcycle rider, they will tell you about the utility of a kidney belt while riding a motorcycle. No one can deny the importance of wearing a kidney belt if you are going on an off-road adventure. However, should you be wearing it while cruising or touring?
Motorcycle touring kidney belts provide good lumbar support for riders. They are available in different sizes to ensure full back and lower back support. These belts help keep your back upright and improve your posture. For riders who do not bother to improve their back posture and sit in a slouched riding position, the motorcycle touring kidney belt would be good for them. For riders suffering from back pain due to constant riding or another issue, this belt can help reduce back pain while riding.
2.2 Medical Perspective
If you ask a physiotherapist or orthopedic doctor, they will give you different opinions. The touring kidney belts may be good for keeping your back straight and preventing back paint, but it is not a permanent solution. There can be several reasons why you may be experiencing back pain. Wearing a touring kidney belt does not help identify the problem. The priority should be to diagnose the cause and treat it. If you are wearing a motorcycle touring kidney belt, there are several things you should do first, including:
Improving Your Riding Posture
The most probable cause of back pain while riding is poor posture. You can watch videos by experienced moto vloggers who have traveled thousands of miles on their motorcycles to learn how to maintain an upright posture. If you are riding a cruiser or a touring bike, you must resist the urge to slouch. Keep your back straight as much as possible. You can accomplish this by installing high handlebars, such as ape hangers or mini-ape handlebars. You can also install handlebars with tall risers. High handlebars help raise the rider’s arms while allowing them to sit naturally in an upright riding position. A comfortable ride is not about riding while your body and muscles are loose. You must maintain your posture for the length of a ride while exerting your muscles.
Doing Some Exercises
Several exercises and stretches can help you treat lower back pain. However, you should get professional advice before you start exercising. There are exercises that you should avoid if you are suffering from back pain. For example, toe touches, sit-ups, and leg lifts can worsen back pain. You can start with bridging, bird dog, press-up back extensions, wall sits, and hamstring stretches.
What You Should Avoid
Photo Credit: WebMD
What You Should Try
Photo Credit: WebMD
Change Your Riding Habits
If you love to go on motorcycle tours and long-distance rides, there are certain things you should do to help you avoid back pain. Riding continuously for hours means staying in the same position without stretching and letting your muscles relax. You should take regular breaks during long rides to rest your muscles. When you stop to take a break, do not forget to do some stretching.
Installing a sissy bar and a backrest can also help keep your back upright. You can recline against the sissy bar while riding to relax your back muscles. Crash bars let you stretch your legs while cruising on open roads. These motorcycle parts can help transform your motorcycle into an ideal tourer.
Avoid riding a sports bike or cafe racer if you have back pain as these motorbikes involve aggressive riding styles. You have to lean forward to reach the handlebars and shift most of your weight toward the front for better aerodynamics.
Getting Medical Help
Seek medical help and visit a doctor if your back pain persists and becomes worse while riding.
3. The Bottom Line
Buying a motorcycle touring kidney belt is a good investment if you want to keep your back straight while riding. However, it is not designed to treat your back pain. There are several things you must do before getting a motorcycle touring kidney belt. If you experience back pain while riding, work on improving your posture. Customize your motorcycle to better suit your size, height, and comfort. You can start doing exercises that target your back muscles and spine to treat your back pain. If you still suffer from back pain, consult a doctor to get medical assistance. It is up to you whether you feel comfortable wearing a kidney belt while riding. There is no harm in wearing one, especially while going on a long-distance ride.
For all touring lovers, Viking Bags offers a variety of motorcycle luggage bags to give your cruiser and touring bike a bagger profile. The luggage options include high-quality saddlebags, tank bags, backpacks, and fork bags.