Jump to content

Hip replacements and motorcycle riding


Recommended Posts

I am just at home recuperating from a total right hip replacement on October 14, 2016.   The hip has bothered me for years and made riding challenging at times, but not so challenging that I wanted to stop riding.  I got into motorcycles fairly late in life (I will be 54 in November 2016), but had ridden the three wheeled balloon tired trikes at the farm as a kid as well as neighbour's 80-120 cc enduro style bikes.  In May of 2012 I got my motorcycle licence and haven't looked back.  One of the instructors at the Central Alberta motorcycle safety course had a used 1994 KLR650 for sale and I bought it and between May 2012 and March 2016 I put on about 25,000 km.  I loved the bike and did all the maintenance myself.  However, I was looking for something new and the FJ-09 fit me very well so I picked up a new one in early April of 2016.  This spring and summer I put on almost 10,000 km.  
 
I finally contacted the hip clinic towards the end of August and asked for the surgery, but had seen the surgeon previously in March 2016 for a final assessment.  Given my job, my summers are quite busy in the field so I delayed calling for an appointment till the third week of August.
 
Just prior to the hip surgery I winterized the FJ-09 and stored it for the winter in our garage.  A few days later I was in for the hip replacement.  I have several weeks of recovery and the reality of living with a hip replacement is starting to set in.  For example, no bending of the hip more than 90 degrees.  Fortunately, if you go to the Motorcycle Ergonomics Simulator website (http://cycle-ergo.com/) and select the FJ-09 (MT-09 Tracer I think), the hip angle is quite open and not near 90 degrees.  I have a colleague in Lethbridge, Alberta and he bought a FJ-09 in 2015 and previously had the same surgery as me about 5 years ago or so. So far it hasn't slowed him down.
 
Do any of the forum members have any experience on riding and maintaining motorcycles after a hip replacement?  I have Googled this and there certainly appears to be a number of individuals that continue to ride after hip replacements.  
 
Probably my biggest concern is getting on and off the bike, especially with my Yamaha soft side-cases and a medium to large duffel bag.  Prior to the surgery I would normally get on by putting the centerstand down and getting on by putting my left foot on the left foot peg and lifting my right leg over the duffel bag on the back as long as the bag wasn't too high.  If the duffel bag was high I would bend my right leg at the knee and pull it forward on the top of the gas tank and then swing my right foot over the seat in front of the duffle bag.  Getting off with the side cases and duffel bag involved stepping down on the right side of the bike, with it on the side stand and then pulling my left leg over the seat.  If I don't have luggage and the bike is on the side stand I can swing my right leg over the back of the bike and get on with my left foot either on the ground or on the left foot peg.  
 
I also enjoy the maintenance of the bike and also look after minor repairs, winter tire change overs, etc. on my wife's 2007 RAV4, my 2000 Honda Accord, and our daughter's 2005 Pontiac Grand Am.  I suspect that working on the cars and the motorcycle will be a bit more difficult especially in terms of avoiding bending my new hip more than 90 degrees.  The 90 degrees recommendation is from my surgeon and is for life.  
 
Any thoughts or advice from members that have dealt with similar experiences would be appreciated.
 
Thanks in advance.
 
Kelly
 
 
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm 65 and had a right hip replacement on February 23 of this year. It took 7 weeks before I attempted to mount my bike. I put the bike on the side stand and mounted from the left foot peg. Awkward and unnatural but I did it. Here I am 8 months after surgery, added 7,500 miles on my FJ, still mount it the same way but it's much easier now. I find standing up on the pegs every 15 to 30 minutes really helps. Recently I did a 2050 mile ride to the Santa Rosa Mile National with absolutely no issues including my broken toes. Just be careful and enjoy your bike.
john
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Kelly, I had my hip replaced about 4 1/2 years ago (full left hip replacement). At the time I had a 2010 Concours 14, 670 pounds of go fast monster (the ECU was flashed, and the bottom end was awesome). After a few weeks of jonesing to ride, I bought a Suzuki Burghman 650 scooter just to get back on 2 wheels, and I wasn't sure if I would or could get back on the Concours anyhow. I quickly realized I wasn't ready for scooters yet at 62, and the hip got to be better than the other one (arthritis), so I got back on the Concours and it felt quite normal.
 
Oh, the 90 degree limit is only for a month or so until your tendons, muscles and stuff get back to normal, then it's practically as good as a natural joint - really amazing in my experience.
 
The Connie got a bit large and balky with time, and was a big ticket looking to happen, and I moved on the the FJ. I have no problem with the hip at all, most of the time I actually forget about it. I mount the FJ by placing my left foot on the left foot rest and swinging my right leg over the seat and down to the other rest.
 
Follow the rehab therapist's instructions on exercises, and you will feel the hip getting better and better pretty quickly. I worked with a guy who played tennis with his and had no trouble. It sounds like you're normally pretty active, that will get you back to normal, just don't over do it.
 
Any other questions or thoughts, just ask. And good luck.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gotta give you credit for already planning to get back on the bike!
 
Thinking about the mechanics of the hip and leg when learning to mount a motorcycle can be helpful for us all, check out the video, it helped me to avoid the unnecessary "karate kick roundhouse" that most folks do instinctively!
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Caféracer, the technique in the video is very useful but doesn't address the issues of a rider with a right hip replacement. With the hip replacement range of motion and flexibility are less. The FJ 09 has a fairly high seat and getting the right knee above seat height is the real issue. Timg and my solution is to stand on the left foot peg, then basically do as the video shows. I needed the extra elevation the foot peg provided to get my knee high enough to clear the seat.
john
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Caféracer, the technique in the video is very useful but doesn't address the issues of a rider with a right hip replacement. With the hip replacement range of motion and flexibility are less. The FJ 09 has a fairly high seat and getting the right knee above seat height is the real issue. Timg and my solution is to stand on the left foot peg, then basically do as the video shows. I needed the extra elevation the foot peg provided to get my knee high enough to clear the seat. john
I've never mounted the FJ-09 without first stepping on the left peg either, after all, it's not a "sports adventure" bike if you don't mount it like a BMW R1200 GS. 
Like I said, being mindful of the mechanics of the hip and leg will help the OP with recovery and mobility going forward, on and off the bike.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Caféracer, the technique in the video is very useful but doesn't address the issues of a rider with a right hip replacement. With the hip replacement range of motion and flexibility are less. The FJ 09 has a fairly high seat and getting the right knee above seat height is the real issue. Timg and my solution is to stand on the left foot peg, then basically do as the video shows. I needed the extra elevation the foot peg provided to get my knee high enough to clear the seat. john
I've never mounted the FJ-09 without first stepping on the left peg either, after all, it's not a "sports adventure" bike if you don't mount it like a BMW R1200 GS. 
Like I said, being mindful of the mechanics of the hip and leg will help the OP with recovery and mobility going forward, on and off the bike.
 
 
 
 
 
I don't have an issue mounting the motorcycle but is that technique with the side stand or center stand?
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never mounted the FJ-09 without first stepping on the left peg either, after all, it's not a "sports adventure" bike if you don't mount it like a BMW R1200 GS. 
Like I said, being mindful of the mechanics of the hip and leg will help the OP with recovery and mobility going forward, on and off the bike.
 
 
 
 
 
I don't have an issue mounting the motorcycle but is that technique with the side stand or center stand?
Either one. 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member
I've never mounted the FJ-09 without first stepping on the left peg either, after all, it's not a "sports adventure" bike if you don't mount it like a BMW R1200 GS. 
Like I said, being mindful of the mechanics of the hip and leg will help the OP with recovery and mobility going forward, on and off the bike.
 
 
 
 
 
I don't have an issue mounting the motorcycle but is that technique with the side stand or center stand?
One of the first mods I made to my FJ was to extend the sidestand  2". Makes the step up and over much more stable. 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No hip replacement here but my hips drop out of alignment regularly which makes it difficult to mount the FJ-09.
 
I am not particularly tall but I do similar to the video above bend zee knee and grab it, swivel, over. Most times though I hoist my foot onto the seat (front on, suppose called the karate kick) and then wiggle/hop on.
Although when I am really tired I have started using the left foot mount as a step up as mentioned above also and step over and into the saddle (I am a little less confident doing this but I guess time and practice will remedy this).
 
Hope the recovery and rehabilitation goes well for you and you find the technique that works best for you.
 

Kimmie......the lady who likes to take little detours :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
Hi I had total right hip replacement 3yrs ago ,prior to that I owned 08r1 and found it unrideable .I purchased my Tracer 10 weeks after my operation ..I'm 60 and my inital thoughts were the seat height was to high for me to get on without using the main stand but as you mend it becomes easier and now have no issues at all mounting bike while on side stand.My surgeon was fantastic and I explained to him I was a bike rider he stated that he would factor that into the placement of new hip ..my understanding was he could position it slightly differently to compensate for the extended movement required to get on bike.I have no issues at all and often ride to visit my son who lives 340km from me..the riding position is IMHO fantastic ..very neutral.Hope that this helps
Link to comment
Share on other sites

im 57 . back , wrist , shoulder , both hips . all done i ride . was back at work in 3 weeks . , self employed auto service . my work in the rust belt is no easy task . ride on . my last ride of 17 was 400 miles .
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×