F&S Passenger Backrest (sissy bar) Angle Mod
Gadget, Terry (Red Tube) Stage, Dennis (Rainman) Haugen, Wired George, Don Champagne
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This issue comes up time and time again with the Fire & Steel passenger backrest. The Pillion complains the angle is too severe and they're leaning too far back. Well, the fix is in. Several actually.
1. One cheap option that most anyone with a saw and a block of wood can do is simply remove the pad from the uprights (the Vulcan logo is just stuck on with double sided tape, attaching bolts for the pad are under the logo). Ask the passenger to sit on the bike in whatever position they want to be in when your project is finished. Place the pad against the passengers back and start taking measurements between the back of the pad and the mounting bars. You'll just cut two pieces of lumber to match the distances and angles needed. Drill holes in the wood to match up mounting points and find suitable length (metric) bolts to put everything back together. Obviously you can also use aluminum stock which is easily cut and polished rather than wood.
2. The second no cost option was developed by Dan Champagne and involves drilling a simple hole in the existing bracket Dan's explanation: I simply drilled a new hole on the bottom leading edge of the bracket just above the factory hole. The only thing you want to be sure of is the new hole should be a completely separate hole for strength, not a slot from the factory hole (slots could slip). The old factory holes are located below so they are a little more hidden. This will in effect 'tilt' the entire assembly forward. You will lose (very) little space on the passenger seat as the whole assembly is slightly forward.
3. The option posted in the Vulcan Riders & Owners Club (VROC) archive by Wired George:
Get two pieces of one foot long square steel stock and insert one piece per leg of the backrest bar to the depth of 6 inches. When the pieces are inserted, drill, using the stock bolt holes as a template and then bolt the bar into the backrest bar. Then drill two holes at the bottom of the steel stock to match up with your backrest support plate holes and bolt the whole thing to the bike.
4. The optimal solution Click for larger image
Above is a product machined and, at one time, sold by Dennis (Rainman) Haugen. The backrest extender is machined from aircraft grade aluminum. The part fits inside your existing backrest and attaches to the existing brackets you need only supply two additional bolts to attach the backrest to the extensions. Unfortunately Dennis' e-mail address has changed and I don't have any contact information for him so can only suggest you might want to create your own bracket based on the plan below. Note the additional mounting holes in the bottom portion of the bracket. Dennis drills two sets of holes where the pad mounts giving your pillion a choice of heights 3.5 or 5.5 inches higher than stock.
Or, if you have the ability and tools you can make your own. Below is the plan drawn and provided by Terry (Red Tube) Stage with all measurements. Note the plan calls for an angle between 7 and 9 degrees. Terry went with 9 degrees.
One of the solutions above is going to make your pillion happy and if the pillion is happy you will be happy.