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Old 11-30-2012, 02:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm still looking for a (new to me) bike and spotted one that fits my needs but it has "forward controls". What does that mean??. It's a '95' shadow 1100 and has forward controls. now I'm only 5'9" and at 61 shrinking, already lost an inch, it seems to be an age thing so the prospects of getting taller are slim. Anyways I perodically see this expression and wonder exactly what this means and what it does to the riding position. Why would I want forward controls??
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Forward controls may not be the best thing for you. they are a thing to get used to and because you are stretched out there is less (if any) support from your legs to the rest of your body..the wind hits the bottom of your feet and can blow them off the pegs..

Having said all of that..I rather like them and I am a decade older than you..

Different horses for different courses..

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Old 11-30-2012, 02:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Forward controls extend the shifter/brake/footrests further towards the front tire. Typically anywhere from 2-6" more.

Guessing at your inseam here's what you look like with stock controls on a 97-07 model:


Somebody 6'+ with 32"+ inseam looks like this:


They'll put extensions on the controls so they don't have their knees over the tank and feel cramped.

If they're too far out for comfort you can shorten or put them back to stock and sell the forward controls on ebay.

Plug and play with this yourself for various bikes:
http://cycle-ergo.com/
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I like the forward controls myself but to me it depends on the bike. I have a shadow with floor boards but it's more of a cruiser/touring bike which my wife and I ride together, she also has floor boards on the back. My harley deuce on the other hand has 4 inch extended forward controls which I really like because it gives me that stretched out feeling and I dont feel so humped up. LOL. Anyway you either love em or hate em. Good luck and safe riding.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vonh View Post
I'm still looking for a (new to me) bike and spotted one that fits my needs but it has "forward controls". What does that mean??. It's a '95' shadow 1100 and has forward controls. now I'm only 5'9" and at 61 shrinking, already lost an inch, it seems to be an age thing so the prospects of getting taller are slim. Anyways I perodically see this expression and wonder exactly what this means and what it does to the riding position. Why would I want forward controls??
A couple of points:
There is what's called, "standard riding position". Bikes like the Triumph Bonneville or the HD Sportster or Superglide come with this configuration meaning that your legs are directly underneath you as opposed to "forward" in front of you. The only Shadow in the lineup with this configuration is the Shadow RS which is pretty new to the lineup.

That means historically that Shadows in general all have forward controls straight from the factory. Some taller riders choose to extend these forward controls even further towards the tire in order to give them more leg room. I suspect that this is what they are referring to in their ad.

Depending on your inseam - you may not like the configuration as you may have to stretch just to shift and brake.

BTW - forward controls are no guarantee for comfort. I prefer a standard riding position myself.
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