Trying to find the right seating position on your motorcycle? This might help.
While most might think that riding a motorcycle is just about swinging a leg over and setting off into the sunset, there is more to riding a motorcycle than that. For starters, there is the rider's triangle. In simple words, it is the triangle that is formed by connecting three points - the rider's seating position, the handlebar position, and the footrest. The angles of the triangle change depending on the kind of motorcycle you are riding.
Cruiser motorcycles - The handlebars on a cruiser motorcycle are high set, and even the footrests are forward set. This means that the rider's triangle is facing upward. This position allows for a motorcycle to be ridden in a relatively relaxed manner without putting pressure on one's back and neck. And this is why cruiser motorcycles, which are meant to be ridden in a relaxed fashion, have an upward-facing rider's triangle.
Standard/naked motorcycles - Regular commuter motorcycles or even performance-naked's have slightly lower set handlebars and the footrest position is ideally below the rider's elbows. The rider's triangle faces forward in this case. This riding position once again does not put much pressure on a rider's back and neck, but allows for more control over the motorcycle, especially when riding in a sporty fashion.
Sportbikes - Sportbikes or fully-faired motorcycles are meant to be ridden fast, and that is why they require the most amount of commitment from a rider. The handlebars are even lower and are usually clip-on. The footrests are rear-set in such motorcycles, and because of this, the rider's triangle is often facing downwards in case of sports bikes. This riding position puts the most amount of pressure on a rider's back and neck but allows one to ride a motorcycle in the most sporty fashion possible.
Bike manufacturers figure out the ergonomics for a motorcycle after a lot of R&D that costs a lot of money. They configure the motorcycle in such a fashion that most people find it comfortable to ride. However, that doesn't mean you can't tinker with the settings on your motorcycle to either make the riding position more comfortable or sporty. Installing rear-seat footrests or dropping the height of the handlebars will make the riding position more sporty while doing the opposite will make it easier on your back and neck.