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Miguel!

Damping engine vibration in hand grips

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Miguel!

I purchased a 2001 R1100RT in Dec and have put about1500 miles on it. Runs great and in perfect cosmetic condition.

 

I recently had it serviced by an independent BMW-trained mechanic with 11 years experience, 5 of them at a dealer and great ratings on Yelp. He services the local authority bikes for cites, county and local CHP and quite familiar with the R1100RT. Based on the mileage (150-180 K miles) of the police bikes I saw at his shop, my bike will last me the rest of my riding life span. The previous owner had done all his own service but had the dealer do the "big things", like the clutch. I told the mechanic to spare no expense in going through the bike systematically. My priorities to him were to keep me safe and keep me rolling. It rode a LOT better after the service than before. The mechanic says it rides and operates as well as any other R1100RT he's ridden.  

 

So I'm assuming that the slight engine buzz/vibration I get in the grips  between 3K & 4k RPMs is "normal" and a result of the  vintage design from the mid 1990s. Almost no vibration below 3K RPM.  So, is this buzz normal? I'll get a chance to ask him when I get over there to replace a tire in a couple months.

 

For the most part, I can ignore it but I'd like to find a way to damp the buzz in the grips if possible. I had some grip puppies (1/8" foam cylinders that fit over the grips) I purchased for another bike that look like the right size but they won't fit over the flange at each end of the grip. Anyone have any suggestions. 

 

Thanks. Miguel

2001 BMW R1100RT.jpeg

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dirtrider
24 minutes ago, Miguel! said:

I purchased a 2001 R1100RT in Dec and have put about1500 miles on it. Runs great and in perfect cosmetic condition.

 

I recently had it serviced by an independent BMW-trained mechanic with 11 years experience, 5 of them at a dealer and great ratings on Yelp. He services the local authority bikes for cites, county and local CHP and quite familiar with the R1100RT. Based on the mileage (150-180 K miles) of the police bikes I saw at his shop, my bike will last me the rest of my riding life span. The previous owner had done all his own service but had the dealer do the "big things", like the clutch. I told the mechanic to spare no expense in going through the bike systematically. My priorities to him were to keep me safe and keep me rolling. It rode a LOT better after the service than before. The mechanic says it rides and operates as well as any other R1100RT he's ridden.  

 

So I'm assuming that the slight engine buzz/vibration I get in the grips  between 3K & 4k RPMs is "normal" and a result of the  vintage design from the mid 1990s. Almost no vibration below 3K RPM.  So, is this buzz normal? I'll get a chance to ask him when I get over there to replace a tire in a couple months.

 

For the most part, I can ignore it but I'd like to find a way to damp the buzz in the grips if possible. I had some grip puppies (1/8" foam cylinders that fit over the grips) I purchased for another bike that look like the right size but they won't fit over the flange at each end of the grip. Anyone have any suggestions. 

 

Thanks. Miguel

 

 

 

Afternoon Miguel

 

What you are feeling the normal opposed 2 cylinder boxer BUZZ.

 

The BMW 1100/1150 boxer is basically an inherently balanced engine (both pistons oppose each other so the basic 1st order balance is good)

 

The buzz is the result of a combination of factors (like the pistons are not directly across from each other so they violently completely  stop & re-start  twice each revolution). This causes a rocking couple type buzz in the mid RPM range.

 

There is also no balance shaft in the 1100/1150 boxer to split that disturbance so it peaks in that limited RPM range.

 

Then add in that the engine is solid mounted to the chassis & you feel it in the seat, foot pegs & hand grips.

 

You can't get rid of the basic engine buzz BUT_    you can lower what you feel a little by adding heavier handlebar weights & working on isolation a the  hot points.

 

Or just ride the bike for a few more thousand miles & you won't  even notice that buzz any longer. (it really isn't harsh it is JUST THERE)

 

 

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Miguel!
7 minutes ago, dirtrider said:

 

 

Afternoon Miguel

 

What you are feeling the normal opposed 2 cylinder boxer BUZZ.

I think so. The buzz goes away if I disengage the clutch and let off the throttle or if I upshift but keep the same speed. I haven't, but should have, just tried disengaging the clutching and keeping the RPMs at 3500. Next time I'm on the road, I'll try that. 

 

Since I've not ridden other BMWs, I don't have a  sense of what "the normal opposed 2 cylinder boxer BUZZ" is.

Miguel

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dirtrider
6 minutes ago, Miguel! said:

I think so. The buzz goes away if I disengage the clutch and let off the throttle or if I upshift but keep the same speed. I haven't, but should have, just tried disengaging the clutching and keeping the RPMs at 3500. Next time I'm on the road, I'll try that. 

 

Since I've not ridden other BMWs, I don't have a  sense of what "the normal opposed 2 cylinder boxer BUZZ" is.

Miguel

 

Afternoon Miguel

 

The buzz is still there when you disengage the clutch but it is less harsh as you have taken the load off of the engine (weaker firing pulses) & have eliminated one of the disturbance (buzz)  paths to the  chassis by disconnecting the crankshaft from the final drive. 

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Miguel!
Just now, dirtrider said:

 

Afternoon Miguel

 

The buzz is still there when you disengage the clutch but it is less harsh as you have taken the load off of the engine (weaker firing pulses) & have eliminated one of the disturbance (buzz)  paths to the  chassis by disconnecting the crankshaft from the final drive. 

DR, Understood. So the buzz is to be expected? Its not much, just noticeable. Any suggestions in damping it in the grips? Miguel

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dirtrider
Just now, Miguel! said:

DR, Understood. So the buzz is to be expected? Its not much, just noticeable. Any suggestions in damping it in the grips? Miguel

 

Afternoon Miguel

 

Easy answer is to just wear thicker gloves.

 

Adding/changing handlebar end weights can change what you feel in grips. (there are some aftermarket heavier handlebar end weights) -- Or, not sure they will fit but if they will then the BMW 800GS bar end weights are heavier

 

Even how tightly that you grip the bars changes what you feel & how much the bars will buzz. Sometimes just adding mirrors to the handlebars will change the bar felt buzz (sometimes for the  better & sometimes for the worse)  

 

If you want  to get real creative you can change the way the handlebars mount to the upper triple tree so they aren't so coupled to their excitation frequency    (I have done this on the 1200RT but not on the 1100/1150 bikes)

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Miguel!

Thanks for the generosity of your time DR.

 

Wearing thicker gloves would be too warm.

 

Changing bar-end weights is a possibility. I'll ask my mechanic if he has any I can try. Adding bar end mirrors is undesirable because it will widen the bike and make lane-splitting more challenging. It will also take away from the beautiful lines of the bike. 

 

Gripping too tight it something I'm aware of. I remind myself to loosen up all the time while riding. 

 

Adding a some type of rubber bushing under the handle bar mount to change the resonant frequency and reduce its intensity is something I've thought about. What material did you use on you 1200. Did it improve substantially  or just a little bit?

 

Miguel

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dirtrider
2 minutes ago, Miguel! said:

Thanks for the generosity of your time DR.

 

Wearing thicker gloves would be too warm.

 

Changing bar-end weights is a possibility. I'll ask my mechanic if he has any I can try. Adding bar end mirrors is undesirable because it will widen the bike and make lane-splitting more challenging. It will also take away from the beautiful lines of the bike. 

 

Gripping too tight it something I'm aware of. I remind myself to loosen up all the time while riding. 

 

Adding a some type of rubber bushing under the handle bar mount to change the resonant frequency and reduce its intensity is something I've thought about. What material did you use on you 1200. Did it improve substantially  or just a little bit?

 

Miguel

 

Afternoon Miguel

 

Changing bar-end weights is a possibility. I'll ask my mechanic if he has any I can try. Adding bar end mirrors is undesirable because it will widen the bike and make lane-splitting more challenging. It will also take away from the beautiful lines of the bike. -- You don't add the mirrors to the bar ends, you add them to the existing holes in the switch pods (like on the R bike)

 

Adding a some type of rubber bushing under the handle bar mount to change the resonant frequency and reduce its intensity is something I've thought about. What material did you use on you 1200. Did it improve substantially  or just a little bit?-- I don't like to use rubber isolation as that is difficult to tune & will give a mushier vague turn in plus there is no good way to add rubber & retain a positive connection. On the 1200 bike I remove one handlebar bolt on each side (go from 4 to 3 bolts) then put a very thin washer between bar & triple tree at each bolt  to space the bar up just slightly (so only bar to triple tree contact is at the thin washers only. Then I use a thicker than stock  "O" ring under the bars to get the sealing back.    That puts a subtle hinge point between the handlebars & the triple tree. It doesn't make the vibration go completely away but takes some of the intensity out at the grip area. The 1200 is slightly different than the 1100/1150 as it has larger pistons so BMW added a balance shaft to split the peaks & lower the peak intensity. Problem is that in adding a (single) balance shaft to an inherently balanced engine created other off order disturbances.

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Miguel!

Thanks DR. I'll ask my mechanic as well since I'm sure with all the R1100RTs he's serviced, the question has come up before. 

 

Have a great rest of the weekend.

 

Miguel

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dirtrider
2 minutes ago, Miguel! said:

Thanks DR. I'll ask my mechanic as well since I'm sure with all the R1100RTs he's serviced, the question has come up before. 

 

Have a great rest of the weekend.

 

Miguel

 

Afternoon Miguel

 

Before getting too involved just keep in mind that a LOT of first time BMW 1100/1150 boxer owners question/complain about the boxer buzz when they first get it.  Some probably has to do with a 'new-to-them' bike so they are gripping the handlebars too darn tight.

 

After riding the bike for a while it usually becomes a non-issue & if asked most long term riders will say 'what buzz'. In fact, put most long term BMW boxer riders on a smoother 4 cylinder bike they will miss the comforting boxer buzz.

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MarinPhil

Miguel.   Try “Grip Buddies”.   Had them on my last few bikes and love them.  There is another product called Grip Puppies.  Buddies are neoprene and when riding in the rain don’t absorb the rain.   Puppies are foam and absorb water and hold it till they dry out.  Either way they are cheap, so small investment and can address your issues.  

 

 

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Miguel!
10 minutes ago, dirtrider said:

 

Afternoon Miguel

 

Before getting too involved just keep in mind that a LOT of first time BMW 1100/1150 boxer owners question/complain about the boxer buzz when they first get it.  Some probably has to do with a 'new-to-them' bike so they are gripping the handlebars too darn tight.

 

After riding the bike for a while it usually becomes a non-issue & if asked most long term riders will say 'what buzz'. In fact, put most long term BMW boxer riders on a smoother 4 cylinder bike they will miss the comforting boxer buzz.

Thanks for those reassuring words DR. I wondered if there were bike idiosyncrasies that I had to adapt to, like the shifting. 

 

I'm familiar with the tight grip phenomenon. Usually my hands start to go numb and I haven't experienced that on the R1100RT but I will pay more attention to it. 

 

Best Miguel

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Miguel!
3 minutes ago, MarinPhil said:

Miguel.   Try “Grip Buddies”.   Had them on my last few bikes and love them.  There is another product called Grip Puppies.  Buddies are neoprene and when riding in the rain don’t absorb the rain.   Puppies are foam and absorb water and hold it till they dry out.  Either way they are cheap, so small investment and can address your issues.  

 

 

Thanks MartinPhil. I have a look at the Grip Buddies. I'm a fair weather rider and for the most part the weather it pretty predictable in California and it doesn't much rain from May-Nov so I rarely ride in the wet. I'll let you know how it works out.

 

Best

Miguel

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rhetoric

Everybody swears by the throttle body sync.  I'm in the middle of mine, so it's too early to tell, but mine was way off.

 

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dirtrider
26 minutes ago, rhetoric said:

Everybody swears by the throttle body sync.  I'm in the middle of mine, so it's too early to tell, but mine was way off.

 

 

26 minutes ago, rhetoric said:

Everybody swears by the throttle body sync.  I'm in the middle of mine, so it's too early to tell, but mine was way off.

 

 

Afternoon rhetoric

 

That can help  slightly at lower throttle plate opening at lower engine RPM's but really  has no effect on the typical 3500-4500 RPM boxer buzz as the throttle plates are open far enough & the engine RPM's are high enough to be above the TB balance  having much influence.

 

That higher RPM boxer buzz is all mechanical.

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rhetoric



Well, we may have a different definition of buzz, but I just took it for a ride after my sync and it's night and day.  At 3500-400 RPMs my throttle bodies were significantly out.  I know one of the problems of the 1150 is the spline problem likely caused by lugging around in 6th gear below 65mph (or so), but my bike buzzed so bad in 5th (in the 50-65 range) that I couldn't imagine it wasn't rattling bolts loose.  Now, after the sync 55-60 in 5th gear feels much smoother. 

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Paul De

I found that if I use a soft grasp on the grips and was fussy on the sync being spot on at cruising RPM, which is where you said you noticed the buzz, I didn't need grip buddies/puppies. I did add a Throttlemeister, not so much to lock the throttle grip at an RPM, but to add enough friction to allow for a soft grasp on the the throttle grip.  Around town the Throttlemeister is disengaged, but then these rides are so short and the RPM is being varied so much the buzz never really is noticed.

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AndyS

Can I advise against grip buddies and the like, until you have ridden the bike for some significant time. Honestly, if that is the normal 3500 - 4000 rpm thrum, then you will end up not even noticing it.

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dirtrider
9 hours ago, rhetoric said:



Well, we may have a different definition of buzz, but I just took it for a ride after my sync and it's night and day.  At 3500-400 RPMs my throttle bodies were significantly out.  I know one of the problems of the 1150 is the spline problem likely caused by lugging around in 6th gear below 65mph (or so), but my bike buzzed so bad in 5th (in the 50-65 range) that I couldn't imagine it wasn't rattling bolts loose.  Now, after the sync 55-60 in 5th gear feels much smoother. 

 

Morning rhetoric

 

How did you balance the TB's at 3500-4500 RPM's.  If you  did it in neutral with bike sitting still then the Throttle Plate opening that you used (with tac showing 3500-4500) would only equate to a road load Throttle Valve opening of around 2500-3200 RPM's.

 

Just move the twist grip to 3500-4500  RPM's statically in neutral, then put a china marker mark on the twist grip to throttle housing (in an area that you can see it while riding).

 

Now go ride the bike at a road load of 3500-4500 & see where those marks line up.

 

Your 3500-4500 RPM buzz will return as soon as you ride that bike for a bit so the engine oil & trans gear oils warm up & the Motronic adaptives return to  normal.

 

Just about every new BMW boxer owner  puts so much emphasis on getting even air flow side to side but achieving  even fueling side to side is WAY more important than even air & few address the even fueling side of the balance issue. (if you think that your old used fuel injectors are anywhere near matched then send them out for cleaning & calibration, bet you they aren't matched) 

 

If it was as simple as doing a throttle balance to remove (or significantly lower) the normal (2 cyl) boxer buzz then BMW wouldn't have spent all that time & money putting a balance shaft in the 1200 boxer.

 

The thing is: after you ride that bike for a year you won't even notice that engine disturbance any longer & might even  miss it on a smoother engine bike. 

 

Put a bookmark on your calendar one year from today along with the URL of this thread then a year from now go back & re-read this thread.  

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Miguel!

Thanks all for your input. I'll take your advice and ride it a year and will see how I feel about it then. Every bike has its own idiosyncrasies. This appears to be one common to the 1100. I don't find it objectionable but it is noticeable and wondered if it was normal. now I know it is.

 

Cheers!

Miguel

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Paul De
5 hours ago, dirtrider said:

achieving  even fueling side to side is WAY more important than even air & few address the even fueling side of the balance issue.

 

I have been contemplating sending my injectors out for cleaning and calibration now that my '99RT has about 70K on the odometer as I'm sure fueling isn't as even as it could be. I'll have to search out who/where.

 

I don't know if this ritual has helped over the twenty years of owning my '99RT, or is just spending good cash for not much impact on injector health.  Each spring I siphon the out most of the over winter gas and feed that to the lawn tractor.  I load fresh gas with some Techron and do a Techron laced tank load again mid season.  Then in the fall I store the bike with Seafoam in the tank and fuel system. Luck or useless ritual, but the motor still runs as smooth as it even has been since new.

 

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Skywagon

after you do the checking and tuning DR is recommending, get grip puppies and find heavy bar end weights.  It won't go away ever but will help dampen it.  Grip Puppies help a lot and they also make the grip bigger which I really like.  Cheap $10 investment.

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tallman

Do you have a Throttle Rocker or ThrottleMeister cruise control?

Both h

elp.

Allows you to move hand around, move fingers (Throttle Rocker/Cramp Buster style).

Allows you to move hands/fingers. (Throttle Meister).

Put the Puppies on. Slight degradation in heated grips, so what...

I have serious neurological/skeleto-muscular issues with my right hand (surgeries/degloving amputation/reconstruction).

The above helped me for decades.

Along with shifting at higher rpm's, staying out of certain ranges as much as possible.

As stated, TADT.

Then, after 37 years of Boxers, I quit fighting, and went to the Dark Side.

Flying Bricks are ssmmmooootttttthhhhhh, faster, prettier.

:beer:

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JamesW

My '93 R1100RSL has a shock mounted handlebar assembly but the flat twin buzz has never bothered me at all and, in fact, it is almost therapeutic.  Nothing at all like the high frequency vibes that emanate from some of the inline 4s from Japan or the shaking and quaking that comes from a very popular vee twin whose handle I won't mention.

 

You'll get used to the boxer as time goes by like we all do and even come to appreciate it.:)

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Miguel!

Thanks for your input JamesW, Tallman, and Skywagon. Miguel

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