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Hand numbing


palani

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I have a 2006 1200rt and have put about 3000 miles. Lately I noticed that when I ride for more then 2 hrs my right hand palm feels numb. I don’t recall this ever happening. I spoke to a fellow BMW rider and he suggested that it might be due to the possibilities of misfiring of the pistons.

I don’t feel any numbness in my left hand.

Any advice.

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Firefight911

It is not the pistons.

 

It is much more likely a situation where you are placing excess weight on your wrists/hands. Or you are gripping the bars too much.

 

Do a search on Master Yoda's Riding Position.

 

If the cylinders were misfiring, you would know it.

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St0nkingByte

Yeah you're holding the bar too much/too tight. Some suggestions...

 

  • Loosen your grip a bit on the throttle and try to just let it sort of float inside your cupped palm while still maintaining enough friction to hold the throttle open.
     
  • Ride for a bit with the brake covered to stretch out your fingers.
     
  • Flip on the cruise control for a little bit and stretch your hand
     
  • Stop wearing those darn super tight carbon-fiber knuckled mesh gloves you got from the bargain bin at Cycle Barn that don't really fit right but you still love and wear all the time.

 

OK that last one is all me. dopeslap.gif

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I just got a '07 RT. I find the vibration on the right side grip to be more noticeable than the R1150R I came from. I have put 575 miles on the bike so far, and hope it will smoothen out after the 600 mile service.

 

Having said that, I must point out that the vibration is not so noticeable when the seat is in the low position -- which probably means that the placement of the palm on the handle bar has something to do with it.

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aggieengineer

My right hand has been going numb on the R1200RT since I started riding it. I don't have the same problem on my other bikes, so it's apparently vibration-related. I just engage the cruise control regularly and take my hand off the grip for a bit.

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Any ideas as to why the noticeable amount of vibration is only on the right side?

Is it worst at certain RPMs? I find it most annoying when cruising at 4000 rpm.

 

BTW, I have ridden coast-to-coast on my R1150R without vibration ever being an issue.

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I noticed that when I ride for more then 2 hrs my right hand palm feels numb...I don’t feel any numbness in my left hand. Any advice.

 

This is median nerve entrapment at the palm-side of your wrist. If you are either driving your hands 'into' the bars or have your hands flexed by 10 deg or so, the nerve becomes unhappy and the first thing to go is sensation. The second thing is strength and you don't want that while your riding. Could be solely vibration related, but I doubt it. Many ride bikes with more vibration and do not have these issues - my sense is that it is likely position-related.

 

Try to change your riding position by elevating or lowering your seat, shifting closer or further from the tank, or taking some of the 'arch' out of your back to be more erect. Also, make sure you are not white knuckled from gripping too hard. Treat the grips like soft, supple...well, use your imagination to come up with something. grin.gif

 

Just out of curiosity, do you get any pins and needles in your finger tips and if so, which fingers?

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My right hand has been going numb on the R1200RT since I started riding it. I don't have the same problem on my other bikes, so it's apparently vibration-related. I just engage the cruise control regularly and take my hand off the grip for a bit.

 

+1 This really helps my hand.

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ShovelStrokeEd

Aha!!

 

Also, hold your arm straight out and note the angle of your hand. Now compare that with the same angle of your hand when it is on the grip. Betcha you had to pronate the wrist (turn palm downward). That is the action that pisses off that median nerve. Actually that is a forearm motion, not a wrist motion.

 

You are doing a couple of other things to your poor wrist though. Extension is raising the hand so the angle between the top of the hand and the top of the arm is made more acute and ulnar deviation is turning your wrist outward. Fixing the latter dictates a different set of bars or having your shoulder joint moved to your sternum. Fixing the former, you can train yourself to do. Once you have a throttle position you are going to maintain for awhile, walk your palm up on the throttle so that your hand is more or less flat on the top with no angle between forearm and wrist.

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ShovelStrokeEd

I know that was it for me and despite never staying in a HI Express unless I can help it (I'm a Hampton man, Paris needs my help smirk.gif), I found the combination of the angles of my wrist and the need to maintain a bit of tension against the throttle return springs was the cause of my discomfort. On my 1100S, I installed an O-ring, size 320, in between the end of the throttle and the bar end weight to give a little extra drag on the throttle. A little playing with spacers under the bar end weight and I got it where I wanted it. I also removed the safety tangs and rotated the bars outward (bar ends forward) to remove some of that ulnar deviation. Did the same thing on my Blackbird, BTW. Result was all day comfort.

 

You could have a machinist make you a plate to go under your bar mounts that could do the same thing. Move the bars outward a bit and rotated a bit, could also make a fore and aft change.

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That is the action that pisses off that median nerve.

 

Sort of. The issue is not just wrist angle relative to the forearm, but it is what the other muscles of the forearm are doing while you are holding the grips. Simply having the carpi in mild extension is not a major problem.

 

The median nerve is compressed against a group of tendons in a small tunnel - yeah, that famous transverse carpal ligament that makes hand surgeons millionaires. When you grip the bars with the wrist in mild extension, the nerve is in traction and the muscles that flex the fingers are also contracting, putting tension on their tendons within the tunnel. Since it's a small space with very little room for expansion, the tension on the tendons puts added force on a nerve that is already a little stretched. So, it's not just position.

 

Just to echo what's already been said, to solution is decreasing the wrist angle and allowing your fingers to extend periodically. The cruise control is awesome for that. If this continues and you keep allowing to happen, not-so-good things tend to come of it. Better to bite it in the butt. thumbsup.gif

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ShovelStrokeEd

One last point on this, take corrective action before the pain becomes evident. If you wait till things start to hurt before making changes, you will already be too late. So, right from the beginning of the ride, move around, change positions, find the sweet spot but don't linger there all the time. As RD Frantz is fond of pointing out, all riding positions require some muscle use to maintain. Using the most efficient is certainly better but maintaining even that for too long a time will still cause fatigue.

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AdventurePoser
I have a 2006 1200rt and have put about 3000 miles. Lately I noticed that when I ride for more then 2 hrs my right hand palm feels numb. I don’t recall this ever happening. I spoke to a fellow BMW rider and he suggested that it might be due to the possibilities of misfiring of the pistons.

I don’t feel any numbness in my left hand.

Any advice.

 

Loosen your grip, my friend.

 

Steve in So Cal

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Thank You all for all the info. I got to agree I don't think it is the vibration. If anything my bike is much smoother now then when it had less than 1000 miles.

I will just need to work on my hand position.

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Just out of curiosity, do you get any pins and needles in your finger tips and if so, which fingers?

You thinking Raynaud's vs. VWF?

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Thank You all for all the info. I got to agree I don't think it is the vibration. If anything my bike is much smoother now then when it had less than 1000 miles.

I will just need to work on my hand position.

 

At 2800 miles, my '06 RT's bars definitely buzz a lot more, especially at the right grip, than my 00' RT did at 30k miles, which was smooth as glass. I've got barbacks like on the old one had, but that right grip gets uncomfortable after a couple hundred miles. 4500 rpm is the worst. Never had discomfort or buzziness on the old one, but hopefully the new one will smooth out in another 10k or so. Thank goodness for cruise control.

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I have the exact same problem...tried barbacks and heavy end weights to no avail. I believe it's positioning, since I've noticed a difference when I reposition my hand -- however, it's not a position that comes naturally and therefore the problem persists.

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An added note from someone who experiences this occasionally (current ST owner, and former RT owner): in my case, I've been able to reduce this sensation by rotating the brake/throttle assembly to achieve a more "neutral" position and by using a Throttle Rocker. The latter helps me a lot, allowing the muscles in my forearm to relax considerably.

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Must be something to the right side, my right hand goes numb pretty quick into a ride, throttle rocker and c.control helps alot, but the right-side numbing is there. I also notice the right side mirror buzzes more than the left. Don't have the numbing problem on my ST1100, even though it's a much more leaned-forward posture than on the 1200RT.

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That's definitely different than my experience with the R12ST, so it sounds like something's out of sync. Another approach would be to add heavy bar end weights to dampen the vibration and/or consider gel grips.

 

Really though, I can't figure out why the right grip would differ greatly from the left in terms of vibration. The right and left bars ultimately attach to the chassis through the same points of attachment, and they would appear to be comparably weighted. As I've mentioned, I've never noticed vibration through the grips on my ST, except when I lug it. I suppose, now that you all have mentioned it, I'll start noticing it . . . much like my experience with PTTR. dopeslap.gif

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You thinking Raynaud's vs. VWF?

All arrows point to carpal tunnel-like syndrome.

 

Really though, I can't figure out why the right grip would differ greatly from the left in terms of vibration.

 

This is not a vibration-related problem. It's pressure on the nerve that supplies the hand and it has two components: position (wrist is extended, or hand bent 'upwards' relative to forearm) and muscle contraction (throttle control demands a constant activation of the muscles in the forearm that flex fingers and move wrist). This is why the left hand is almost universally unaffected - the muscles are more relaxed.

 

The problem is that the nerve shares a common home with the pulleys connected to the muscle and unfortunately, this is a small space with no room for expansion. (This space is called the carpal tunnel and is on the palm side of your wrist, right at the end of the bend formed when you tilt your hand up. If you push there hard and for a few minutes, you may get some tingling in your first 3 digits.) With the muscles of the forearm contracted, there is a small increase in the pressure within this space. Normally this is okay, but coupled with the stretching of the nerve because of the hand angle on the bar, the nerve's blood supply is compromised and you have 'misfiring' of the nerve, producing pain or sensory loss. Over time, the nerves response is to become inflamed and swollen - it's trying to protect itself from the noxious stimulus (...your bike eek.gif). The result is that it becomes irritated more quickly after assuming the riding position. It's sort of progressive unless you change things up a bit.

 

If you get this regularly, you may want to find ways to minimize the angle between your hand and forearm, and also find ways to give you hand an occasional rest. Early in the thread there was mention of cruise control - that works great. Good luck guys. thumbsup.gif

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I have a friend that's a mechanic. He's recently had surgery to relieve numbness in his hands due to a carpel tunnel issue. I started thinking that this may be the cause of my, and possibly a few of you as well, numbness. I find that I rely on my Throttle Meister quite often to allow me to drop my right arm to relieve the numbness. Nothing helps me other than being able to move my hand off of the throttle.

 

Seems you're not alone.

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I've added heavy bar weights and use gel gloves. Together these have minimized the vibration. However, I do believe it's the position of the hand and arm that contributes to the continuing numbness. Is it possible to rotate the throttle assembly slightly higher as to minimize the issue?

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tom collins

i have a harley that vibrates a fair bit and an 04 rt that is a lot smoother, but with higher amplitude vibes. i really prefer the harley bars because the little finger side of my hand is lower than the thumb side. bmws have always had the little finger side higher and although this is my third, it has never felt as natural to me as the harley bend. i came back from 1300 miles in west virginia on monday. my right arm has had an occasional tingle since return. oh, i also prefer the fatter grips on the hd and have added a cover to the rt grips that i think feels better and stretches those fingers out more.

my experience.

 

tom collins

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StraffordBMW

Been wrestling with carpal tunnel/tendonitis for 10-15 years. Tried it all. I was able to solve the problem on my previous bike which was a V-Twin (way more vibration than my 12RT). For me the solution was as described very well in detail in this thread, position of hand/wrist/arm, and holding the throttle lightly using primarily your fingers (keep the palm area near your wrist off the throttle). The addition of a Cramp Buster helps as well, especially in holding the throttle with light pressure. Good luck…

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