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handlebar "rumble" or "Do you grip your bars tightly"?


Flagman

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Howdy all with a lot more knowledge than I.

 

I'm new to this forum but have been riding for some time. I have a 2004 R1150RT with 39K miles on the clock. Above I call it a rumble because that best describes what I feel when I ride it. Now I understand that these bikes are supposed to vibrate somewhat, atleast that is what I've read but many, many riders I talk to say there bike is very very smooth. I wonder if what I'm feeling is "the nature of the beast" in which case I'm OK with it or if there is something I can change to make my trip a bit more enjoyable.

 

The mirrors do not vibrate, the seat is smooth as are the pegs. I have new tires at the correct psi, new rebuilt rear, newly adjusted valves and balanced throttle bodies. all suspension seems correct. When the bike is idling and you put your hand lightly on the handlebars, you can feel the vibration and that continues on thoughtout all speeds, clutch in, clutch out, througout the rev band although it is more "buzzy" up past 5k. I have bar end weight that don't seem to do much. It has helped some as I've recently installed one of those cheap cramp busters so I don't need to grip the bars so tightly.

 

Do you grip your bars tightly? I have always feared getting thrown at a bump without a tight grip on the bars. I'm wondering if anyone has put any thought or study into the bar vibration and how our tight grip affects our perception of that vibration.

 

Anyway, its very annoying, a wanna get rid of my bike kind of annoying.

 

Would a bad oxygen sensor cause the engine to vibrate at idle, cause the handlebars to vibrate?

 

I thought thick cushioned gloves would help but it actually seems somewhat better with bare hands??

 

Thoughts?

 

Thanks

 

Mark

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Evening Mark

 

Some bar BUZZ is normal at certain higher engine RPM's. A bit of bar end shake isn't out of line at lower RPM's. While the BMW boxer is a balanced engine design there are some inherent secondary issues that cause vibration & a rocking type shake.

 

Depending on how bad your problem is it might be normal or might be indicating you have a problem.

 

A tight grip on the bars might be part of the issue. I usually hold them very lightly with very relaxed hands.

 

You really need to find & ride a like motorcycle to see if yours is worse than other like 1150's.

 

If yours is worse then go over all the engine & chassis bolts to verify all are tight (& actually there). Make sure the bar bolts are tight & the front suspension attachments are tight.

 

Then look for signs of the center stand contacting the exhaust, also look for loose muffler or loose exhaust parts.

 

While I haven't ever been ale to prove it or confirm it some have commented that if the engine oil is even slightly over full the engine will vibrate more (so check that).

 

One thing that you might try as a test is double bar end weights (use a longer bolt).

 

If you can furnish a little more specific information on your "rumble" maybe we can help you a bit more on the where or why.

 

 

Added: the 02 sensor shouldn't cause a vibration issue.

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There's something interesting in your question

 

" Would a bad oxygen sensor cause the engine to vibrate at idle, cause the handlebars to vibrate? "

 

This spring I cancelled the O2 sensor and added a resistor to the air temperature sensor. The bike revs faster when driving it. It has better power and feels like it has more low end torque. I also suspect it vibrates more on the handlebars when I rev it up and when I keep it at 120 km/ h.

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This is the only 1150 I've riden and don't know of others but my mechanic rode it and said it was fine. It must be me. All mechanicals are fine and the oil is just below the center dot. I run 5w50 synthetic. I was thinking of purchasing those heavy 16 oz manic salamander bar end weight thinking those might help.

 

I wonder what happens in our heads when we all of a sudden become aware of something. Do we have trouble thinking of other things until that "awareness" goes away. I never noticed the vibration before I had the alt belt and valves adjusted and I immediately felt the vibration at idle. I had the mechanic re-adjust the valves and put new tires on it and still the same problem. I asked him if it made a difference in how exact his valve adjustment was and he said no???

 

Should the handlebars ever feel so smooth that its like a car steering wheel with perfectly round tires? You know, like when the steering wheel is perfectly still?

 

Mark

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cris nitro

You say it does it "at all speeds, clutch in or out". What happens if you pull in the clutch at 70mph/no throttle and coast,

still there? Just asking cause you say you have "correct psi", if you go by the manual, it's too low. Try 36 front and 40 rear and see what that does. That is correct psi for single rider.

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I too, am a long time rider who is "new" to BMWs and oilheads in particular. I know the feeling you are talking about. I think it might be best characterized as "personality". When you have ridden asian bikes all your life, an oilhead is quite a change! I think a throttle lock to rest your right hand will go a long way to help your problem. My personal gripe would be about the transmission- how could a company that can create such fantastic suspension, build a trans that shifts like something from the 50s?

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Do you grip your bars tightly? I have always feared getting thrown at a bump without a tight grip on the bars. I'm wondering if anyone has put any thought or study into the bar vibration and how our tight grip affects our perception of that vibration.

 

 

Mark

 

No, I barely grip the bars at all. Most of the time I rest my hands atop the grips, with my thumb wrapped around the throttle. This will _not_ lead to loss of control if you hit a bump - the gyroscopic stability of the wheels will prevent that. I have hit major, wheel bending, potholes with my 'non-grip' without loss of control. I wouild go as far as to say that too-tight a grip leads to loss of finesse in control - and a much higher tendency to be pushed around by the wind - your upper body acts as a sail and this gets translated into bar-inputs, hence the bike is pushed by the wind through you.

 

Lighten the grip - you will feel much better for it, more relaxed, more comfortable and in more control.

 

Andy

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Gripping lightly is not only easier on your hands, but the bike will be more stable. I'm not sure if this is the case with the telelever suspension, but with traditional telescopic forks, holding on too tight can actually make a wobble worse. As Bwana suggests, a throttle lock can help relax your right hand.

 

Relax, and enjoy the ride.

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Some vibes are a part of the Boxer "charm" LOL!

However, about 9 years back I installed a Throttlemeister on mine and went with the "heavyweight" version. I did notice right away a difference in the vibration to where it became almost negligible :thumbsup: . Been that way ever since.....

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thank you all for your help. I tended to drift to that way of thinking but wasn't sure. As I mentioned, the vibes became a thing stuck in my head and I couldn't clear it. It seems whenever I have an expectation of something I am always disappointed if it doesnt meet that expecation. I assumed an expensive 04 BMW wouldn't do that. I never expect my Ural to do anything but moan and creak and therefore i am never disappointed.

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Danny caddyshack Noonan

I assumed an expensive 04 BMW wouldn't do that. I never expect my Ural to do anything but moan and creak and therefore i am never disappointed.

 

Oh, flagman, we'll have to work to adjust your expectations! :rofl:

Welcome!

 

There are a couple things you might try. As others have said, no white knuckle death grip. Bar end weights might knock down the vibe response in the bars as well as some of the internal malleable weights (forget the name).

I've found that these don't hurt as well.

Decade gloves

Aside from the vibe, a nice neutral spine riding position will make the long days more comfortable.

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Any time I think I'm wrong and the engineers were right, I put the stock seat on and go for a ride.

 

----

 

 

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roger 04 rt
...

 

When the bike is idling and you put your hand lightly on the handlebars, you can feel the vibration and that continues on thoughtout all speeds, clutch in, clutch out, througout the rev band although it is more "buzzy" up past 5k.

 

...

 

Would a bad oxygen sensor cause the engine to vibrate at idle, cause the handlebars to vibrate?

 

...

 

Welcome Mark,

 

I can't think of how the O2 sensor could do it unless your bike is very lean or very rich.

 

I'm relatively new to the 04RT and mine seems fairly smooth. There have been a lot of good suggestions so I'll add another. Perhaps your injectors need cleaning and they are delivering slightly different amounts of fuel. Your TBs are balanced so you have about the same amount of air but a fuel difference would lead to a power difference. Try running a couple tanks of Techron Concentrate, then rebalancing the TBs.

 

As I've moved my mixture from stoichiometric at 14.7:1 down to 13.8:1 the engine seems smoother at all RPMs. With the TBs balanced and a little extra fuel to make sure all the O2 is consumed during combustion, the power should be better balanced.

 

Comparing it to someone else's and having them try yours would help too.

 

RB

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A Throttlemeister is a classy (albeit pricey, and not as convenient as the cheaper Vista Cruise) throttle lock. A Bar Snake would add some mass, but you could achieve the same effect with a condom filled with shot.

 

My used 1999 RT came with a polished Throttlemeister; if I were to purchase one on my own, I would probably go for the black-on-black milled, as this would a) eliminate reflections, and b) provide a less slippery surface for adjusting in the rain.

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Jerry Johnston

To add to all the other advice, I found foam grips to help ease vibs.

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I like to reserve the word "buzz" for what original K-bikes did to you. For boxers--all of them--I prefer "massage."

 

If it isn't "massage" on your boxer, some fixing is probably necessary.

 

For years and years I alternated between an 800 and 1000 Airhead, and the former was pretty much glass smooth, and the latter very pleasingly lumpy.

 

Then I got a 1200RT, which of course is significantly larger than 1000 to the point BMW added a balancer shaft. I think they were true enthusiasts and "tuned" the engine to feel like an Airhead 1000. I love it.

 

A little later, just for fun I got an 1100S and it doesn't have a balancer shaft and is indeed kind of "in my face" but does smooth out nicely on the road.

 

I was so disgusted by the vibration of the original BMW K I've not considered one (or any of its successors) for a nanosecond since. BTW, the K75 was the polar opposite, i.e. the motor could be running or shut off--who could tell? Boring, no fun.

 

No, the boxer should have some personality, but it should be a comfortable friend, just keeping you involved. If not, again it probably needs some work. And, you don't ride at "idle" so that's mostly meaningless.

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thought: If my stick coil's are bad, wouldn't that create my symptoms?

 

If one or both stick coils are bad, the first thing you'll notice is surging. Second is erratic idle speed.

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If one or both stick coils are bad, the first thing you'll notice is surging. Second is erratic idle speed.

 

Sorry legarem, but not true. A dicky stick coil is often invisible for the most part, showing itself a little when the bike (thus itself, is under load (this is when it really starts to break down). Also increased fuel consumption is a little clue too. I guess if the coil was really dead, it may also show itself at other times, but certainly what you describe is not necessarily a sign of a dying stick coil.

Andy

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Flagman, does the bike still vibrate when travelling at speed, pull the clutch in, and when tyhe revs have droped, kill the ignition (make sure the ignition switch is switched back on otherwise you'll have only residual braking.

With the engine stopped do you still get the vibes?

Andy

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