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Handlebar Vibration


Maggie

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Hi Everyone,

I am new to this site and a new owner of an 06 RT. I have a whopping 326 miles on my bike and am lovin'every minute of it.

 

I have a question that I have not been able to find anything on in this forum. Let me know where to look if I have missed info on this subject.

 

I have tendinitis in my wrists and am looking for adjustments that others have made to dampen the handlebars? My husband and I found bar snakes and then we were told the handlebars are not hollow, so now, we cannot use this. blush.gif We thought bar end weights would help and then our dealer told us that they already have bar end weights... frown.gif....so.....now I am down to adding foam grips. I am worried about the heated grips and do not want to screw those up with changing out the grips. Any advice here would be very much appreciated. crazy.gif Thank you!

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Wait until your first few services. The dealer might tell you that after the valve tightening things might change. My 06 RT definitely felt different after my first service.

 

Welcome to the site.

wave.gif

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ShovelStrokeEd

Hi, Maggie, and welcome.

 

You may want to look at a Throttle Meister setup for your bike, even though you (probably) have cruise control. They offer a heavy bar end weight for the left bar, the right will already be heavy due to the added weight of their mechanism. That will change the resonant frequency of the bars and might move the vibration to a more comfortable level for you.

 

The source of the vibration is the engine and the dealer will almost certainly improve things for you when you bring the bike in for the 600 mile service.

 

Meantime, and for all time, for that matter, there are some things you can do to help matters. The most important of which is to relax your hands on the bars. The tighter your grip, the more apparant the vibration will be and the more strain you will be putting on those delicate tendons.

 

You may also wish to explore some modification to the angle and/or position of the bars to get the angle of your wrists in their most natural angles. I have found that almost all motorcycles have the bars rotated too far inward for me causing me to have to $%#@& my wrists outward to allow my hands to wrap naturally around the grips. Small angles are critical here. There are bar back adaptors which will move the bars closer to you but none of them change the angles. For that, you would probably have to engage the services of a machine shop.

 

Assume your normal position on the bike and take note of what your wrists do as you grip the bars. If you are forced to $%#@& your wrists either in or out you will quickly tire and aggrevate your condition. Position of the lever controls is important here as well but they are adjustable on the bars.

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Maggie, As Ed stated

( Meantime, and for all time, for that matter, there are some things you can do to help matters. The most important of which is to relax your hands on the bars. The tighter your grip, the more apparant the vibration will be and the more strain you will be putting on those delicate tendons)

 

Three years ago when I Purchased My new RT I was mortified that I couldn't ride more the 25 miles without wrist pain and the numbness in my fingers. After a search I found a 9.00 cure clap.gifhttp://www.throttlerocker.com/

Now I can alternate my hand position 90 deg. while Riding.

It really helped alot. thumbsup.gif

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As usual Ed pretty much covered it. The one thing I would have you consider is your choice of gloves. A light touch on the grips helps me alot, but still get a little tingle in my right hand. I have found that the right gloves that fit correctly makes all the difference. I've settled on Marsee gloves with a little pad in the heel portion of the hand. It changes the angle of the hand just enough. Fit of the glove is just as important. I use one size bigger for riding than I would for a work glove. My thumbs and the web between thumb and finger are sensitive to retriction or pressure in that area. Make sure they aren't too tight in the wrist as well. Good luck in finding the solution that works for you.

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Foam grips will not diminish the effectiveness of your heated grips. It may take a couple of seconds longer for the heat to be felt when turned on, but my heaters work just fine with fairly thick foam over them. And certainly heed what Ed is saying, tension and hand position can really compound the least bit of vibration from all sources.

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Thank you for the advice. All very helpful. Yes, I do keep a light touch on the grips and I rest my fingers over the brake and clutch as much as I can. I also put it on cruise as much as possible to take my right hand off the grip altogether. Sounds like foam grips are ok to add, so will plan on that and then the throttlemeister sounds interesting and will definately look into that one. Also, will probably lift the bars. I am 5'7" and my arms are closer to perfect on this bike than any others that I have had, but I would be more comfortable with them 1" up and back if I can find something that will do that. I looked at the Heli bar risers and saw nothing there? Does anyone know where to get a riser?

 

I have not noticed any angle issues, but that is one that may be just the thing that I never thought of before that could make a big difference. My dealer in Seattle did tell me that the first service should help things a little. I did ride their demo quite a bit however and the vibration is an issue.

 

Thanks again and it's great to be here!! Looking forward to many miles and enjoyment on the RT. I love this bike!

 

ps: any excuse for new gloves works for me! (I have gel in the ones that I have now and that is a small help)

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Hi and welcome Maggie,

Check out Suburban Machinery http://www.suburban-machinery.com/ for setbacks for your bars. No experience with them myself but they seem to be a popular addition to the RT for those who need them. They are also $$ (BMW = Bring More Wampum) so be prepared for that too. I hope you can get the issue corrected to your liking since the bike is so good in so many other respects. Good luck.

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Maggie,

 

I know what you mean. My right hand starts going numb after about 30-45 minutes. That cruise control is a lifesaver. I picked up the bike today, after my 600 mile service, so I hope I'll feel a difference after I ride more. The bike did feel and sound smoother on the ride home.

 

I added the Moto-techniques bar risers because they move the bars back a little more the Suburban Machinery parts.

 

From their websites,

 

Suburban Machinery bar-ups move the bars "Net change .894 up , .447 back."

 

http://www.moto-techniques.com/513056_risers.htm

"Moves bars up & back diagonally ~1" to unload weight from wrists & forearms and relax the neck."

 

I also have the Suburban Machinery footpeg kit. Both companys seem to offer quality products.

 

Jim

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Hi Maggie,

I can vouch for the decrease in vibration over time as the bike breaks in. At the 600k service, I still had considerable engine vibration. I have just had the 6000k service done, and it appears the TB sync and valve adjustments have smoothed it out considerably up to 5500 rpm. Everyone with experience in R-bikes I have run into has told me to be patient, it gets better.

 

In Motorcycle Escape magazine this month, some carpal-tunnel relieving gloves are briefly noted in the whats-new section. You might want to have a look at your newstand. Sorry, I gave my copy away and don't have a vendor for you.

 

I can also vouch for having the right glove fit. My riding buddy is going through this right now with his left hand. The smallest difference in tightness can have direct effect on comfort.

 

Welcome to the board. Good luck with the bike, it's worth the effort to get it right. And do loosen up the grip..sb

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Welcome Maggie:

 

If the vibration you're experiencing isn't dependent on engine speed, you might ask your service tech to check the front wheel's balancing, and the rotors, at your 600 mile service. Bad tires or balancing, or warped rotors, are not common, but not unheard of.

 

Otherwise, I think most boxer engines have rpm zones where they tend to vibrate a bit more than normal, and it becomes more noticeable when the engine isn't at its best state of tune. For the last 3k miles or so my bike has had what I call a "tactile tachometer." There's noticeable vibration between ~4k & 5k rpm, and over 7.5k rpm (no surprise), but it's pretty smooth the rest of the time. It'll be having its 6k mile service next week, and I expect that the valve adjustment and TB sync will help with the vibration between 4k & 5k rpm. In the meantime, I just avoid cruising in that rpm range.

 

As for grips, I've installed foam grip covers from Grip-Tek. You can see them here. With a little dish soap inside, they slide over the stock grips, and then require some drying time. There's no adhesive used -- they stay in place by friction. They reduce vibration a bit, and the additional girth of the grip might make it easier to hold without squeezing. They do cause the heated grips to take a bit more time warm up, but they don't interfere otherwise and shouldn't harm anything. YMMV. They can also be easily removed with a utility knife if you don't like them. I really like mine.

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Hi Guys & thanks again. This is excellent advice and I have ordered the risers from Moto-Techniques(also, the larger brake pedal, maybe I am just a clutz, but I have missed that "little" brake pedal a couple of times and scared the beegeebeez out of me) Nice to hear that break-in will help with the vibration. Another question about the foam grips. Can you take off the BMW grip and then install a foam grip? I like the current size grip and do not want to go larger.......

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Try these gloves. With my old gloves and neoprene wraps some of my fingertips would still get numb. I'm in the middle of a trip in the Chicago area from SoCal. I've had zero numbness. What I don't like: the pigskin feels cheap, they bleed black from rain, got caught in a downpour tonight, or sweat. They smell when new until you wash them. No crash protection on the top of fingers. They're working on an improved design.

 

I have the Suburban Machinery risers and they help keep a relaxed grip.

 

No affiliations - I read about them in Rider Magazine QwiNerveProtector.com

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I was wondering if you purchased the all leather or spandex top. Did you buy fingerless or with fingers? I was thinking about the fingerless with spandex top for summer riding. Can't decide which to get, all leather or spandex top. What do you think?

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I had to put a dead man's throttle system on my RT to eliminate sore wrist and hand tingling etc. I did this with a single 3 inch by 1/2 inch rubber band snatch-wrapped around the throttle and hooked over a 1/4 inch dia wood dowel stuffed in the control casting. Not very elegant, but very effective and cheap. The throttle still will slowly drift closed, but it allows me to remove my hand for a few seconds without closing the throttle. The rubber band has to be replaced every week so buy a box full if you try it. (need a pix?)

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I had to put a dead man's throttle system on my RT to eliminate sore wrist and hand tingling etc. I did this with a single 3 inch by 1/2 inch rubber band snatch-wrapped around the throttle and hooked over a 1/4 inch dia wood dowel stuffed in the control casting. Not very elegant, but very effective and cheap. The throttle still will slowly drift closed, but it allows me to remove my hand for a few seconds without closing the throttle. The rubber band has to be replaced every week so buy a box full if you try it. (need a pix?)

 

i think you are holding the grip too tightly. Try this, whilst riding along, keep your palm on the grip but uncurl all your fingers and your thumb. You will find the friction from your palm is all you need to hole the throttle open.

Flat palms on both grips is all you need for steering input as well, push right - she goes right.

My hands do not follow the angle of the bars - there lies the shoulder pain demon. The bars pass by the front inside of my palm exiting at the rear outside of the palm.

Light grip gives better, more subtle control inputs and cause less discomfort.

 

Andy

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If you have bar end weights, be SURE that they are not so tight that they cannot "wiggle" a little. Bar end weights are NOT just weights. They are antiresonators. Typically they are mounted using an internal rubber arrangement that is intended to allow the weights to vibrate out of phase to the grips, thus partially cancelling the vibration.

 

If you screw them really tight, they just become dead weights, making them semi-useless. They need to be tight enough that they require some force to move back and forth, but not so tight that they cannot move at all.

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I bought the full-finger unlined all leather. Not as cool in the heat as perforated but acceptable. I'd never ride with fingerless gloves.

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