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1200RT handlebar vibration?


Dave_in_TX

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Rented an 06 R1200RT yesterday and went for a 300 mile ride. I loved the handling of the bike and at low speeds, the smoothnes of the engine was incredible. However, after hearing how smooth the new RT was, I was disappointed with the amount of handlebar vibration when cruising at an indicated 75-80mph. At one point, the fingers on my right hand started going to sleep after only a couple of minutes. My left hand was never a problem; I seemd to be getting more vibration from the throttle grip. I tried to grip the throttle as lightly as I could but that didn't seem to help much much. Running in 5th instead of 6th helped a little. At lower speeds, the engine was incredibly smooth but it seems that just when you want it the most, the counter-balaced boxer fails to provide the desired smoothness.

 

How do you 1200RT owner's deal with this problem? I noticed the same problem with an 06 RT I test rode a few months ago so I'm beginning to think this is the "nature of the beast" rather than restricted to an individual bike. If part of the solution is to run it in 5th at those speeds, what good is 6th gear unless you're on the autobahn?

 

Maybe 20 years of riding counter-balanced Japanesse fours has turned me into a wimp. Other than the vibration issue, I loved the RT.

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AdventurePoser

I think the reduction in vibration from the R1150 to the 1200 is remarkable. I still feel some vibration through the bars, but nothing resembling putting my hands to sleep..

 

Cheers,

Steve in So Cal

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I think the reduction in vibration from the R1150 to the 1200 is remarkable. I still feel some vibration through the bars, but nothing resembling putting my hands to sleep..

 

Cheers,

Steve in So Cal

 

I guess it's all relative. Compared to what I'm used to, it was like going from no vibration whatsoever to loss of feeling in a couple of fingers.

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My 05 is no different...I bought some gloves that have gel in the palms..That helps some..

Where did you get the gloves with gel? The vibration issue is the only thing keeping me from becoming a 1200RT owner.

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I ride a 1200RT, before a ST1300 and I have some experience on the FJR. They all have some buzz at different rpm.At speed the RT is quite good but at idle it is a bit rough. The ST had a buzz through the seat into your back (very unpleasant) The entire FJR buzzes. Your problem is likely the weight of your body put on the bars and/or the death grip on the gas. I experience the same thing and have to remind myself to change position and relax my grip. Left hand is ok. The perfect motorcycle has not been built yet but the RT is very comfortable. The only negative is engine vibration at idle (minor) and tall 1st gear combined with clutch action. That drives me crazy. You don't want to be stuck in heavy trafic on that bike. Note that police RT's have shorter first gear. Go figure.

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In my opinion, if you have a 1200rt that has had it's 600 mile service and still have a vibration issue you need to take it back to the dealer to have the valves adjusted and throttle bodies sync'd. My RT has less than 10,000 miles on it and hasn't had a vibration issue since the 600 mile service. I had a GL1800 GoldWing before this and it is supposed to be one of the smoothest bikes on the road and I think my RT is just as smooth. Both the Honda and the RT would vibrate a little bit at high speed while still pulling but both smoothed out once speed was leveled out. I have no complaints at all and will bet you that proper valve adjustment and throttle body sync will quiet it down. I will admit that the RT is really sensitive to the throttle bodies being out of sync even a little bit. There is another post from a member that put rubber gasket material between the bars and the triple tree and thought that helped, I just haven't had any reason to try that.

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To be honest with you I don't really notice much vibration. I have 1" risers on my bike which may "eat up" some of that vibration you are referring to.

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In my opinion, if you have a 1200rt that has had it's 600 mile service and still have a vibration issue you need to take it back to the dealer to have the valves adjusted and throttle bodies sync'd. My RT has less than 10,000 miles on it and hasn't had a vibration issue since the 600 mile service. I had a GL1800 GoldWing before this and it is supposed to be one of the smoothest bikes on the road and I think my RT is just as smooth. Both the Honda and the RT would vibrate a little bit at high speed while still pulling but both smoothed out once speed was leveled out. I have no complaints at all and will bet you that proper valve adjustment and throttle body sync will quiet it down. I will admit that the RT is really sensitive to the throttle bodies being out of sync even a little bit. There is another post from a member that put rubber gasket material between the bars and the triple tree and thought that helped, I just haven't had any reason to try that.

I guess it's possible that BOTH of the 1200RTs I've ridden needed valve adjustment and/or TB synch. The last one I rode was fairly smooth with no load but even a small headwind provided enough load to produce considerable vibration. As I stated in my original post, this was at an indicated 75-80mph. At 70mph or below, the ride was almost glass smooth. The vibration started at about 4000rpm. Actually, using 5th instead instead of 6th helped quite a bit. Maybe that's the solution, pretend it's a 5 speed rather than a 6 speed.

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CoarsegoldKid

My '05R12RT vibrated the throttle side and put my right hand to numb for the initial 5500 miles until I adjusted the valves. Also during the removal of the plug wire I noticed that the connector was not fully seated. Adjusted valves and re-seating the connector for a positive locked connection made for a smooth motorcycle.

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I have a 05 RT with 8500 miles and I never had a vibration. The bike is smoothest cycle you can get. If you have a vibration you should take it to the dealer.

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Strange. My experience is the opposite. My 06RT smoothes out as the RPMs increase, and I try to keep it over 4000 RPM all the time. I did experience the numbness in the fingers you describe, and only on my right hand, but this was due to my gripping the throttle too tightly. Once I eased off, it was fine.

 

Jim

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I found that initially the throttle action on my 12RT was lighter than my previous 11RT and that I became tense in my right hand trying to be smooth and keeping a steady pace. After short rides may hand would hurt and buzz. As I've become accustomed to the bike over 9k miles my grip is relaxed and the bike and I feel as one. If equiped, try setting the cruise control and use the same grip pressure on both grips, see if you still experience the same discomfort.

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Adjust valves, TB sync, gel gloves and gel grip overlay help to make this a 12hour bike.

 

I can't recall where I got the gel grips but they are made of gel, have slots cut through them and you put them on by soaking them in hot water to make them more pliable.

 

They seem to conduct the heat from the heated grips much better the the neoprene overlays.

 

I wish I could find where I bought them. I think it was a dealer in Ohio. Not much help. Maybe someone else can tell us where to go! smile.gif

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I've got about 6k on my 06 RT and no higher RPM vibs in my hands. At low RPMs it is a bit shaky but cruising with regular leather gloves I have no problems at all.

 

I'd guess it was either a problem with the bikes you rode or maybe you death grip the bars?

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ShovelStrokeEd

Just about every opposed twin bike I have ever ridden has had a vibe period between about 3800 and 4300 RPM. A lot of 4 cylinders, including the K series motors buzz at around that frequency as well. It is easy to understand if you look at the layout of the motor. There is perfect primary balance (assuming the reciprocating parts weigh the same) but there is a rocking couple caused by the offset of the crank pins. The frequency and amplitude of the vibration will vary with the length of stroke and the mass of the parts. A heavier flywheel might well soak up most of it but then the throttle response would suffer.

 

There really is a simple solution just in the vicinity of your left foot.

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This thread is strange! Either R1200 are all different (or state of tune makes a huge difference), people's past riding experience has a huge impact on the perception of vibration, or something else is going on. I have a 1200ST which certainly starts to vibrate more than I would like around 4000RPM.

 

I propose that what is going on here is that people who think the RT/ST is smooth spend most of their time below 75MPH, and those who think it isn't so smooth spend most of their time above 75MPH.

 

Thoughts?

 

g-

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Maybe 20 years of riding counter-balanced Japanesse fours has turned me into a wimp.
Sounds to me like you are overstating the vibration experienced based on what you're used to. There is no vibration problem. If you think the R1200RT has one, go find an R1150RS or RT and ride one. Those VIBRATED. I know, I put 38k on a 2002 R1150RS before I traded up to my RT. I have over 30 thousand miles on my RT and it has never, ever come close to vibrating enough to put my hands "to sleep".
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checking the state of tune is very important, but also, they tend to get smoother with miles. around 20,000 it will be a very different bike than when new.

good luck

 

tom collins

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I think the reduction in vibration from the R1150 to the 1200 is remarkable. I still feel some vibration through the bars, but nothing resembling putting my hands to sleep..

 

Cheers,

Steve in So Cal

 

gotta be an individual thang. at higher speeds, espeically in 6th geat my 2004 RT is super smooth. at least that's my impression. even at higher speeds in 5th, let's say above 75mph, i feel more of a buzz than a vibration.

 

then again i've always enjoyed a good buzz! lmao.gif

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Since I have not been on my bike in a week I guess I just have to go out and ride it to see about the vibration or lack thereof. 75 mph + on SoCal freeways, not a problem. That is the normal pace for around here.

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Maybe 20 years of riding counter-balanced Japanesse fours has turned me into a wimp.
Sounds to me like you are overstating the vibration experienced based on what you're used to. There is no vibration problem. If you think the R1200RT has one, go find an R1150RS or RT and ride one. Those VIBRATED. I know, I put 38k on a 2002 R1150RS before I traded up to my RT. I have over 30 thousand miles on my RT and it has never, ever come close to vibrating enough to put my hands "to sleep".

 

Well, there is a vibration problem for me confused.gif if it puts my fingers to sleep!

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I've got about 6k on my 06 RT and no higher RPM vibs in my hands. At low RPMs it is a bit shaky but cruising with regular leather gloves I have no problems at all.

 

I'd guess it was either a problem with the bikes you rode or maybe you death grip the bars?

No, I don't death grip the bars. I was holding only as tight as I needed to hold the throttle open.

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Here is my two cents for what it is worth. All bikes vibrate at some point and either it bothers you or it doesn't.

 

My VFR, said to be one of the smoother bikes around, often left my hands tingling after a long ride. Neither my 1150RT or 1200RT every bothered me vibration wise. I don't use gel gloves or grips or any other thing.

 

Sometimes this is just related to be on an unfamilar bike. I think we often find things annoying that aren't familar. Also when you own a bike you get used to its foibles and you adapt and forget about these things.

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I demo'd a R1200GS last year, the first boxer i had ever ridden and after the ride I told my salesman "I thought these were supposed to be smooth!". His reply "Well compared to the 1150s, they are!"

 

I also had my little finger going to sleep on my 06 RT, and no I don't have a death grip. I started just sliding my hand outwards so that my pinkie was off the grip. And also used the cruise where available to give my hand a wrest. That was on our long trip of the year and since then I have done the valves and TB sync etc. but never got out for an extended ride so not sure if it is still there or not. It was only a problem that first time after 4-5 hours in the saddle.

 

My meanstreak has a vibration right around 3000RPM but it's felt more in the foot pegs so doesn't bother me, but I would notice my feet going to sleep after a 10 hour day.

 

Jodie's F650GS had some vibration, again more in the pegs, and her new Ninja gets buzzy up around 10-11,000RPM. Which she rarely visits, so it's not a problem for her.

 

I agree, all bikes have some vibration (except maybe a wing), it's just knowing what kind and whether it's the kind you can live with or not.

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Yes, this vibration at the higher RPM has been documented in Rider Magazine and Motorcycle Consumer News reviews of the R12RT. I have an 05 and above 4000 RPM my hand goes completely numb even though I grip very lightly and use gel gloves. This happens when I'm on a long trip riding at 70 to 85 mph on the interstate. I'm due for a 6k mile service and a new set of tires so I hope this problem will eventually fade. frown.gif

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This thread is strange! Either R1200 are all different (or state of tune makes a huge difference), people's past riding experience has a huge impact on the perception of vibration, or something else is going on. I have a 1200ST which certainly starts to vibrate more than I would like around 4000RPM.

g-

 

I find my 05 ST stock, is very smooth at below 4200k and less smooth above that. If you hit the throttle hard above 5k it can shake through the bars pretty good until the speed/RPM settle out to constant but still not as smooth as below 4200RPM. But it is -definitely- way smoother than the R1100RT I owned very briefly (one summer and gone).

 

I wonder also if you're right about the cruise speed used by various owners.

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Perception equals reality. One mans vibration is another mans smoothness. You know, "beauty is in the eye of the beer holder".............. One mans meat is another mans poison!!!

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I have the same problem, and I've put on quite a few miles on the R12RT. To help the situation, I use the Olympia Gel-Pad gloves. Go to newenough.com and look around. Another thing that I do is to rest my open hand on the throttle with the fingers on the brake lever. After 12-20 hours, though, anything is going to wear you out.

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Also, I've noticed that after that fifth or sixth day of riding (averaging 650-1k a day) that I develop quite a bit of soreness in the tranverse carpal ligament in my right palm. Sometimes it develops to the point of slightly swelling. To combat this, I take a couple of Alleve every morning while on the road, and periodically stretch my hands and fingers back to sort out the tension. Good luck - don't let it keep you from getting the bike.

Best.

Bike.

Ever.

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I think you hit the nail on the head. My experience is exactly the same as yours.

75 and below = smooth

75+ = handlebar vibes progressively increasing with speed

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Installation of the full Remus exhaust system will greatly reduce the vibration. thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

 

Oh thank you - I didn't want to be the one to say it...

 

(especially with the core removed)

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Yes, my RT does vibrate more at higher RPM. However, even when running at 85 to 95 my bike has never vibrated enough to numb my hands... even when running into strong winds in which the bike vibrates more. Either I've got a smoother than normal RT or I'm doing a better job tuning it up than most dealers are.

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Have you guys noticed any temperature dependence to the vibration? Many of us K bike (brick) owners notice they run a lot smoother in cool weather. I wondered if the new R bikes would be the same.

 

Dave

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I am the rider that posted that thread. Since than, the valves have been adjusted and the carbs syncd by the dealer. I have added a 3/16in rubber insert between the bars and the trees per a post from another rider. I also changed the bar ends to a heavier version. In short, the vibration has been reduced, but I still have a definite buzz at 85 mph and above. Mileage is at 3100. I will wait until after my 6000 mile service to see what happens. After that, I will start doing my own wrenching as I am more than capable but this bike is a little new to me ( 3 Harleys, a 71 Honda CB 750, a Norton, Triumph and others went before). The bike is still a kick to ride.

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Survived-til-now

My 1200RT has now got about 23,000 on it

 

Vibration is not a problem under 5000 rpm but at around 5000 it is noticeable enough that I either keep below it or change gear to get through it and above 5500

 

The bike definitely runs smoother in cold weather.

 

Oil level seems to be critical and I keep it at the top of the window

 

I have engine protectors. I know that the valves can be adjusted without taking off the tupperware but it has to come off if the protectors are on (i.e. it is more of a chore) - I now wonder if the valve adjust and TB sync has been done as often as it should.

 

Yes - occasionally I get numb fingers

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I am the rider that posted that thread. Since than, the valves have been adjusted and the carbs syncd by the dealer. I have added a 3/16in rubber insert between the bars and the trees per a post from another rider. I also changed the bar ends to a heavier version. In short, the vibration has been reduced, but I still have a definite buzz at 85 mph and above. Mileage is at 3100. I will wait until after my 6000 mile service to see what happens. After that, I will start doing my own wrenching as I am more than capable but this bike is a little new to me ( 3 Harleys, a 71 Honda CB 750, a Norton, Triumph and others went before). The bike is still a kick to ride.

Where did you get the heavier bar ends?

 

Did you make the rubber inserts from inner tubes or did you use something more exotic?

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The only time I noticed any handlebar vibration to speak of on my 2005 RT was when I installed lightweight Wunderelich aluminum bar ends. After three rides (to make sure it was not my imagination)I had to put the stock bar ends back on--problem solved. The lesson I learned is that bar ends really do dampen vibration and that heavier is better. I would recommend chasing down some "heavier than stock" bar ends (I believe one poster mentioned them?) if the vibration problem persisted on a particular bike after vavles, throttle bodies, etc. were addressed.

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I'll give my .02 cents. I test rode an 06 RT a couple of months ago and found that at around 80 mph the bars vibrated way more than my 04 RT. My 04 has a slight buzz, but that was a huge factor in my staying with my 04. Maybe it was just that particular bike or it just needed a valve adjustment. It definately needed something.

My dealer was dumbfounded when I brought it back and told him my 04 was smoother than the 06.

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I thought my 2005 RT was a bit rough until after the 600 mile service. It then seemed smoother to me, including handlebar vibration, than my 1996 RT. I,m at 13k miles now and it quite smooth. However, there is more handlebar vibration at higher speeds. I think I'm talking 80 or higher here but I haven't been able to ride for a few weeks because of the low temps to confirm this. It has not been enough vibration to bother me or keep me out of triple digits. It has also not had any adverse effects on my hands, including 8 hour rides. I had no problems with this on the 96 RT either.

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I thought my 2005 RT was a bit rough until after the 600 mile service. It then seemed smoother to me, including handlebar vibration, than my 1996 RT. I,m at 13k miles now and it quite smooth. However, there is more handlebar vibration at higher speeds. I think I'm talking 80 or higher here but I haven't been able to ride for a few weeks because of the low temps to confirm this.

Bingo! Exactly what I was refering to. It seems to start a little under 80mph.

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dns78727 (i'd love to call you by your first name but I can't find it),

You have been a member of this board for a very long time!

 

1) I have a 1200RT and the vibration does get noticably worse above 4,500 rpm - 80 mph. It doesn't bother me enough to swap for another bike.

2) It is incomparably better than my old R1100RT which gave me a hell of a massage through the footpegs as well.

3) All boxer twins vibrate at higher rpm - some more than others.

4) If you buy one it may be better or worse than the demo bike.

5) You have a nagging doubt.

 

If you want smooth, do try a K1200GT. I've ridden one and it's fantastic - but I not going to buy one, because at the moment I feel it's a bit too heavy.

The other 4-cyliner machine are obvious - Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki - and all great bikes.

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Hudson Valley has the bar ends. The link to the guy that has the info on modifying the handlebars can best be found at the BWW LUXURY TOURING WEB SITE. You will find it under HANDLE BAR VIBRATION

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