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 Utopia Backrest Fitting

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Skippy
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PostSubject: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeFri Feb 04, 2011 11:38 am

Hi all,

I've just ordered a riders backrest from Utopia and just wondered, having looked at their website if I have to make any modifications to my seat? The picture isn't that clear.

I know that somebody has one fitted, because I saw it mentioned only last week.

http://www.utpr.com/silverwingnew.html
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Sweendog
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeFri Feb 04, 2011 12:26 pm

It looks like you'll have to drill a hole in the seat pan, slit the cover, and mount some pieces.
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeFri Feb 04, 2011 1:03 pm

Indeed you do!

It's not too difficult but it's a bit unnerving.

Definitely worth the effort and frayed nerves.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeFri Feb 04, 2011 1:52 pm

I fitted a Utopia backrest to a Honda Helix, and as Mike says it is unnerving pushing a knife down through the seat foam. But as they say no pain, no gain, and it was well worth the effort in the end. Apart from giving greater comfort riding FF, on the Helix the backrest was also a useful place for your bungee cords when you carried an Ortlieb bag on the passenger seat.

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Skippy
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeFri Feb 04, 2011 5:15 pm

Excellent info gents, thanks very much Smile I'm not to 'concerned' about modding the butt stop in this way as adding a riders backrest only enhances the ride so to speak.

I did try making up some brackets to move the butt stop up, and while it worked really well (once I'd padded the bolts so they didn't dig in my back) poor Sally was rather uncomfortable on the back due to the pressure on her knees. The Utopia rest is that much narrower we are hoping that it will solve the problem - I hope so, I'm planning a touring holiday in August and want my girl to be as happy and comfortable as can be Smile!!!
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSat Feb 05, 2011 5:45 am

I'll put these tit-bits in about my thoughts and experience with the Utopia:

Be aware the backrest fixes the bum-stop in the furthest back position. Although I'm 6' tall I ideally need the bum-stop one notch forward as I have long body/short legs (comparatively speaking!)
This means that I have adjusted the angle of the rest slightly forward, meaning my bum is not hard up against the bum-stop - odd at first but I'm used to it now.
I am fairly certain the adjusting-screw unwinds itself - I should put a lock-nut on it.

One important (to me) thing I realised I was doing was pushing myself hard against the backrest, meaning I wasn't then staying perpendicular-ish to the ground when cornering. I have learnt to slide across the rest now and not glue myself to it.

To install the Utopia one is supposed to take off the seat. I faffed around trying to do so but gave up in the end.
It's a bit awkward doing the job with the seat in situ and Ed had to come and hold the seat up for me once or twice
It is possible without too much bother, though.
Don't try and do it in anything less than very good light - black parts being fitted to black parts in semi-darkness does not make things easy!

It required a fair amount of grunting and heaving to get parts to line up - don't dispair, it's worth the effort.
Remember the gas-strut probably won't hold up the seat. Some chaps here have replaced it with a stronger one - I made a removable prop out of aluminium tubing from B&Q which fits between the rear catch on the seat and the topbox.
Remember, too, the bolts do intrude into the underseat area quite a bit. If you're used to storing two helmets there, you won't be able to any more.

For them as gets anxious about cutting parts of their bikes, study the site of the cut for ages, plan and steel oneself for ages, measure at least three times, stop and check again then cut once, erring on the side of not making the slit too wide and easing it after offering-up the appropriate bit of the kit if necessary.

Above all, when doing the job, TAKE YOUR TIME!

HTH
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steveonfarm
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 01, 2011 2:18 pm

Dear Skippy and Meldrew

Could you let me know how much in total you paid for your Utopia backrests in pounds or Euro. The current price on their site is $189 for the rest and $50 for postage to Europe, but MikeO mentioned a further $66 in VAT and import duties somewhere on this site. That's over $300 in total or about €225. Can this be correct?!?

SteVe
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 01, 2011 3:24 pm

You do realize that fitting Utopia backrest, pretty much eliminates carrying passenger? Just isn't room.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 01, 2011 3:25 pm

Steve,
I put the Utopia backrest on a Honda CN 250 Helix I had back in the late 90's not the Silver Wing I have now. I can't remember what it cost me, but I do remember having to push a sharp knife right through the seat cover and foam to install the Utopia seat post, but when it was fitted I was pretty pleased with the back support it gave me. It was also very handy for using bungees to strap a couple of Ortlieb bags to the passenger seat.

I get comfortable back support on the Silver Wing wearing my Knox Aegis back protector so I don't need a back rest. MikeO our man in Belgium will have the info you require, and Skippy hasn't been online here for quite a while. ( what are you up to mate ? )


Meldrew
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 01, 2011 4:04 pm

The filing system worked!

Total cost with Utopia (inc. P&P) - €178.55
Import Duty/Formalities/Costs of Advance? - €66.21

Total - 244.76 (Sept 09) at today's exchange rates
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steveonfarm
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 02, 2011 7:22 am

Cheers Meldrew and Mike!

If you don't mind indulging me a little further on this topic, I have some further questions for you both ..................

Mike : With regards to the €66 import taxes; Was this a surprise to you? What I mean is did you have to pay this extra money at the point of delivery before the packaged was handed over to you, and to whom did you have to hand over this extra cash? I have ordered many items from overseas and never had to pay extra fees before my local post office handed over the items. Also, you mentioned that a certain amount of luggage room is lost from under the seat after instillation due to the extended brackets. This is also mentioned on Utopia's website. Can you give me an idea of exactly how much room I will lose? Finally, John Grinsel seems to suggest that the backrest will prevent the transportation of passengers! This surely can't be true! Thoughts?

Meldrew : I am completely ignorant about back protectors and kidney belts. Are they worn primarily to reduce injury in the event of a fall? Does your back protector really make such a difference in avoiding back pain during long rides? If so, I guess it would offer a far cheaper alternative to the Utopia backrest, with the added advantage of keeping my under-seat storage capacity in tact and still retaining the passenger space to whisk my favourite girls off on adventures! Smile

Thanks again guys!

SteVe
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 02, 2011 7:53 am

Steve:

I thought there might be charges but I didn't think they'd be quite as much.
I paid the delivery-man at the front door.
In fairness, the package is quite heavy so if it's done on weight......!

The bolts protrude into the luggage space. I expect I could cut off the ends but I didn't.
The metal spine/plate inevitably reduces the height of the space but not by much.
It is still possible to fit one helmet under the seat, right at the back, but not two.

John is correct in that the pillion space is reduced but the few passengers I've carried have managed very well. However, I think the larger ones might find it a bit much for long distances.
It is easy to adjust the upright on the backrest to slope it forwards more and to raise the pad, too, allowing the passenger a little more leg (thigh)-room.

HTH and always happy to answer questions.

Just thought of something:
It's very easy to get into the habit of pressing oneself against the backrest, thus becoming 'fixed' on the seat - I did this at first and it buggered up my cornering.
I now remember to move as I did before, changing seating-position for bends and so on. It's probably just me.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 02, 2011 8:19 am

Steve,

The Knox back protectors provide hard flexible spinal protection far better than a pad fitted in your jacket. They have a very wide elastic Velcro adjustable belt that covers and supports your waist, lower back, and kidney area. A pair of adjustable braces ( suspenders Smile ) hold the back protector to your body and clip to the waist belt.

Adjusted properly you have a hard layer to take the impact in a crash, and I find the rigidity works pretty much the same way as a back rest. If you just want an elastic kidney belt to wear they're very popular in Germany and probably Austria too. I don't know if you have Polo or Hein Gericke stores in Vienna, but you have a couple of Louis stores. There's a Louis Giga ( very large) store at Kaganer Platz 20, 1220 Wien- Nord, and a smaller Louis Fun Shop ( the basics) at Triester Str. 258, 1230 Wien-Sud. Sorry about the missing umlaut on Sud, I'm on a PC not my Mac. Anyway have a wander into Louis have a look at back protectors, and get their free 1100 page catalogue for a good browse,

Meldrew


Last edited by Meldrew on Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 02, 2011 8:51 am

I have an HG kidney-belt; I don't wear it for safety but to keep my kidneys (and lower-back) warm.
On all my scooters I've suffered from a draught in that area and the belt has cure it.
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honda_silver
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 02, 2011 2:17 pm

john grinsel wrote:
You do realize that fitting Utopia backrest, pretty much eliminates carrying passenger? Just isn't room.

This is TOTALL INCORRECT!!!

No one has reported a single problem with the Utopia backrest with passengers. There has been several people reporting that if you raise the OEM buttrest that it interferes with passenger legroom.

The Utopia folds flat for loading passengers, so there is no interference for loading or unloading passenger.

I have the Utopia and ride with a passenger 60-70% of the time. I have ridden with many passengers of all shapes/sizes (large, tall, rotund ... etc) and not a single person has had a problem with the back rest ... nor does my son who is 6'2" or maybe 6'3" by now will long legs does not have any problems.
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honda_silver
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 02, 2011 2:24 pm

MikeO wrote:
It's very easy to get into the habit of pressing oneself against the backrest, thus becoming 'fixed' on the seat - I did this at first and it buggered up my cornering.
I now remember to move as I did before, changing seating-position for bends and so on. It's probably just me.

It is not just you ... I found that it can also be resolved by
- leaning forward
- reducing the "pressing" into the backrest
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 02, 2011 2:43 pm

Thanks for that, Bill.
I didn't realize at first I was doing it - easily done. Smile
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steveonfarm
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 02, 2011 7:25 pm

Mike and Meldrew. Thank you for your excellent and informative replies!

I think I will go ahead and order the Utopia backrest as I really have been experiencing increasing back pain riding my SW which I rarely got on my Honda PS125i, but I'm sure the backrest will sought this out. Oh, and thanks for the seating position tips. I've already been guilty of this with the but rest. And a special thanks to you Meldrew for pointing me to the Louis stores here in my home city. I will certainly be visiting them real soon Smile

SteVe
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midlandchip
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeTue Oct 18, 2011 2:39 pm

I purchased a Utopia backrest for my SilverWing. When it arrived I looked at the installation instructions and said - no way am I going to attempt that.

I called Utopia and asked if they could install the backrest for me. I was given the name of a fellow who installed backrests for Utopia for years. He is now retired and living just west of Akron, Ohio. He still installs the backrests on request. His name is Charlie Selzer and his phone number is 330-714-4624. You can call him and make arrangements to ship your seat and backrest to him and he will install the backrest for $35. You will of course be paying for shipping everything to and from Charlie's home. If you live within reasonable driving distance of Akron, OH you can take your seat and backrest to Charlie and he will do the installation while you wait.

In my case, I live in Michigan, about five hours by car from Charlie so I drove down to Ohio yesterday and had him install my backrest. Then another five hour drive back home. I'm retired, it was a beautiful fall day and I very much enjoyed the ride. Charlie did an excellent job and I couldn't be more pleased.

The only negative thing I will say is this backrest turned out to be pretty expensive when one considers it cost almost $200 to begin with and then I had to add travel expenses along with another $35 for installation. Despite that, I'm happy with what I have and how it looks. I very much like the fact that the backrest can be adjusted up and down and well as forward and back. And it tilts as well. I adjusted it so I can lean back while riding. Utopia also put a pocket or pouch on the back which I really like. It's just a quality item and well worth the money.

I have to tell you I stood by Charlie in his garage and watched every step of the installation. Despite watching the entire process I still would not attempt to install one of those backrests by myself even if I had the instructions in front of me. It's just a little too tricky for me, especially cutting into the buttrest from top to bottom. Those of you who have installed the thing on your own - I congratulate you. I wouldn't try it.

If you want someone to install the backrest for you, give Charlie a call.
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wis-rider
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeTue Oct 18, 2011 3:47 pm

I just raised my backrest using the two home made pieces of 1/4" x 1" x 71/2" coldrolled steel brackets, bent about 15 degrees and it works great. Just went out and put on 45 miles to try it out and no backache anymore. Cost? 27 cents for 4 - 1/4 X 1 bolts. Had the steel laying around.
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Opalsboy
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeTue Oct 18, 2011 3:55 pm

IF I send you $0.27 will you make me one? What the heck... make it an even $0.30. I will even pay shipping cost. Laughing
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wis-rider
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeTue Oct 18, 2011 8:29 pm

Sorry, Gary. Out of steel! Wink
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honda_silver
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeTue Oct 18, 2011 10:44 pm

midlandchip wrote:
Despite watching the entire process I still would not attempt to install one of those backrests by myself even if I had the instructions in front of me. It's just a little too tricky for me, especially cutting into the buttrest from top to bottom. Those of you who have installed the thing on your own - I congratulate you. I wouldn't try it.

When I ordered the Utopia backrest, I requested a "soft copy" of the instructions so I could study the instructions ( investigate any questions ). When I installed the Utopia backrest, I followed the instructions step-by-step and check marked each completed step to ensure no steps were missed.

I installed the Utopia following the directions both
- with the buttrest in the rear position

and later

- without the buttrest
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wis-rider
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeWed Oct 19, 2011 9:30 am

Bill you are to be commended! I on the other hand usually start putting things together and when I run into a problem, then I check the instructions. I am getting better though. I am starting to at least look at the instructions first before starting. Like my Dad always said, "So soon so old, so late so smart!"
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honda_silver
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeWed Oct 19, 2011 9:35 am

wis-rider wrote:
"So soon so old, so late so smart!"

Never heard that one before Laughing
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gary c
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PostSubject: utopia backrest   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeSun Dec 06, 2015 6:32 pm

My backrest is on its way. One, perhaps, silly question-is it installed thru the buttrest and then thru the seat? Or is the install with the butt rest permanently removed?  Nervous, dont want to screw it up.
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MikeO
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeMon Dec 07, 2015 4:18 am

Through the butt rest.....which will then be fixed permanently in the most rearward position.

I followed the very clear instructions and achieved success.

Cutting through the butt rest was unnerving but I repeat:- just follow the instructions.

Use a sharp knife with a good point and take it slowly but surely.
Remember: measure twice, cut once.

Good luck! Smile
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steveonfarm
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 24, 2021 7:11 pm

Hi guys!
My 2007 Silver Wing has finally reached the end of it's life after 10 years of glorious riding! I am just about to buy a 2010 SW T400 and wondered if anyone here knows whether I can transfer my Utopia back rest over to my new bike?? The seat looks identical, but from what I've read it seems that the butt on my newer bike may not be adjustable. I would really miss the back rest if it can't be transferred. If this is the case does anyone know of any other options to get a quality backrest fitted on the SW T400?

Any thoughts or advice appreciated Smile

SteVe
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Phantom88
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PostSubject: Re: Utopia Backrest Fitting   Utopia Backrest Fitting I_icon_minitimeTue Jul 13, 2021 9:55 pm

I'm following this topic with interest now as I'm selling my Gold Wing and commencing to ride my late wife's Silverwing. I do need the back support but I don't even know what's out there or what to buy. I am in Australia.
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