Author Topic: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars  (Read 1274 times)

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Offline Tom

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Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« on: May 11, 2018, 03:42:06 pm »
I am a Northern California year round motorcycle commuter and looking at replacing 2003 BMW K1200RS winter bike with a Concours 14.  The price for a new one is within my budget and it looks great on paper and reviews.  The issue I have had is over the past 6 months I found two used bikes at dealerships a 2013 with 60K miles on it and a 2014 with 30K on it and they both had a serious vibration in the handlebars around 4500 RPM.  I wanted to try used bikes before purchasing a new one to see how the bike is after I put a lot of miles on it.  Because I am a mechanic by trade and I do ALL the work on my motorcycles my first thought on the first bike I test rode was that is was just beat up real bad and was out of tune.  I told the dealer this before I left.  Now, I just test rode another one yesterday at a different dealership and it ran smoother that the one before but still had the vibration in the handlebars and though the gas tank into my knees like the previous one.  In comparison also have a 2014 Suzuki Hayabusa I ride in the spring and summer months and it is not as smooth as my BMW but it does not have any vibration issues at any RPM. 

Searching the forums on this issue I see there are various posts dealing with this issue with the fix tightening up the motor mounts.  However, some posts state after riding the bike for a while it comes back.

Question for all.  Is this a common issue with these bikes or is this a rare condition that possibly the two used bikes I test rode were traded in because they had the problem?

Anyone know what Kawasaki warranty department is saying if I purchase a new one and have this issue while under warranty. 

Thanks

Offline Colt45

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2018, 04:13:49 pm »
I don't have that many miles on mine, and don't have unusual vibrations.  the change from a C10 to C14 was remarkable, to the point it was weeks before I realized it had any vibration at all! 

BMW *might* use some warranty money on vibration in a $23,000 motorcycle, but I would not expect Kawasaki to do the same for a $15k C14. 

As you have already deduced, maintenance can play a large part in the way the bike runs.  Throttle sync, valve clearance and engine mount tightness are all contributors. 
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Offline Deepsea

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2018, 05:49:21 pm »
I developed a minor vibe with my 09 C14 at around 45K miles. Nothing major or though the gas tank just a light buzz in the handlebar. Fixed it by relaxing and re-torqueing all of the engine mounts. I had to do it 3 times before I got what I was after, No vibe at any rpm. Whatever you buy get the ECU reflashed. It is the single best thing you can do to these bikes for smoothness, performance and milage. There are three options I know of, Guhl, primarily for all out high rpm max power; Ivan's Performance, a relative new comer to COG and Shoodaben Engineering, a long standing member of COG with much history and a reputation for excellent service. I've had the Guhl and three different versions of the Shoodaben flash. The latest offering, Mountain Runner has addressed some things many of us asked for like more engine braking but in a very smooth and controlled way.


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Offline C. Moore

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2018, 09:31:28 am »
I've been riding my C14  (2010) for 4 years now and don't notice any unusual vibration. I came off the C10 though and was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the C14 was compared to the C10. I've got no experience at all with Beemers. If I really grab the bars I notice vibes in the C14 but I try to keep a light touch.
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Offline Freddy

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2018, 09:45:02 am »
Tom, I've read the rare report over 10 years of the issue you picked up on.  My take on it is that it is noticeable on some bikes more than others but only in 4500 and a bit higher rev range.  As cruising speed is lower than that rpm it's a non-issue for all but the most sensitive of riders.   :beerchug:
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Offline Jerdurr

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 07:35:41 pm »
Hi there...
Sorry to be a party pooper, but yes, my 2012 with 20k kms on the clock has a ton of handlebar buzz, and not at 4500 rpm, but more between 3 to 3700 rpm. It makes my fingers numb and is annoying as fk.

I guess I will have to relax the engine and re torque at some point, but right now I cannot do it myself due to a shoulder injury, and I cannot afford to have the mechanic spend a few hrs at 100/hr on it, which sucks.
Best,

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Offline hlh1

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 08:46:45 pm »
My 09 is smooth compared to my 99, but adding Helibar risers, and then later the ST risers, increased the vibration I felt in the bars.  I'm guessing the bars become "longer" with the risers allowing their resonant frequency to drop where it's felt more. 
06 WeeStrom, 09 C14 ABS, 83 GS1100ED,


Offline Roger B

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2018, 12:17:44 pm »
My 09 is smooth compared to my 99, but adding Helibar risers, and then later the ST risers, increased the vibration I felt in the bars.  I'm guessing the bars become "longer" with the risers allowing their resonant frequency to drop where it's felt more.



I'm thinking of putting a thin membrane down between where the risers mount to the triple tree to absorb some of the vibes.   Just haven't figured out the right material.   Almost thinking about a real thin mouse pad material.    Anyone have any ideas?

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2018, 12:45:47 pm »
My 09 is smooth compared to my 99, but adding Helibar risers, and then later the ST risers, increased the vibration I felt in the bars.  I'm guessing the bars become "longer" with the risers allowing their resonant frequency to drop where it's felt more.



I'm thinking of putting a thin membrane down between where the risers mount to the triple tree to absorb some of the vibes.   Just haven't figured out the right material.   Almost thinking about a real thin mouse pad material.    Anyone have any ideas?

BTDT back on the old c-10's. folks settled on the plastic shower liner material. it didn't work.  there's not enough separation of the vibes from the frame to the bars, it would take a full rubber isolation unit. I built one for my c-10, and it worked great, but not so easily done for the c-14.
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Offline hlh1

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2018, 12:46:08 pm »
My 09 is smooth compared to my 99, but adding Helibar risers, and then later the ST risers, increased the vibration I felt in the bars.  I'm guessing the bars become "longer" with the risers allowing their resonant frequency to drop where it's felt more.



I'm thinking of putting a thin membrane down between where the risers mount to the triple tree to absorb some of the vibes.   Just haven't figured out the right material.   Almost thinking about a real thin mouse pad material.    Anyone have any ideas?

Another possibility is to try different bar end weights to cancel out the offending vibration. 
06 WeeStrom, 09 C14 ABS, 83 GS1100ED,


Offline Roger B

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2018, 04:35:07 pm »
My 09 is smooth compared to my 99, but adding Helibar risers, and then later the ST risers, increased the vibration I felt in the bars.  I'm guessing the bars become "longer" with the risers allowing their resonant frequency to drop where it's felt more.



I'm thinking of putting a thin membrane down between where the risers mount to the triple tree to absorb some of the vibes.   Just haven't figured out the right material.   Almost thinking about a real thin mouse pad material.    Anyone have any ideas?

Another possibility is to try different bar end weights to cancel out the offending vibration.



I have heavy cruise control bar ends. 

Offline Deepsea

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2018, 05:18:03 pm »
Putting any rubber type material between the handle bars/risers and the top triple clamp will only make it worse,btdt. Any vibration other than the mildest transient is a symptom of something else. Bar end weights will cancel most "Normal" vibes but if they're excessive you should try to find out why and fix it. If it's minor and not "rattling your teeth" there probable won't be and damage other than making you grumpy. A very subjective test for severity is put the bike on the center stand, lay a quarter on the gas cap and smoothly run the engine up to about 5.5k rpm. If the coin jumps right off you've got serious vibes. If it only moves a little or slowly slides off you're mostly ok. I've got my 09 C14 at zero vibes but I had to loosen and re-torque all of the engine mounts three times to get there. The first try I made it worse, the second got a little better and the third was just right.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 06:00:39 pm by Deepsea »
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Offline cuda

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2018, 05:42:33 pm »
I put the LSL handlebars on 7 years ago ,
kinda dirt bike style
 don't remember can't recall

 cruise   control is a must  :beerchug:

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Offline Roger B

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2018, 07:26:24 pm »
Putting any rubber type material between the handle bars/risers and the top triple clamp will only make it worse,btdt. Any vibration other than the mildest transient is a symptom of something else. Bar end weights will cancel most "Normal" vibes but if they're excessive you should try to find out why and fix it. If it's minor and not "rattling your teeth" there probable won't be and damage other than making you grumpy. A very subjective test for severity is put the bike on the center stand, lay a quarter on the gas cap and smoothly run the engine up to about 5.5k rpm. If the coin jumps right off you've got serious vibes. If it only moves a little or slowly slides off you're mostly ok. I've got my 09 C14 at zero vibes but I had to loosen and re-torque all of the engine mounts three times to get there. The first try I made it worse, the second got a little better and the third was just right.

My vibrations are not that bad...I just fix it till its broken!    I was thinking of cutting up an old bike tube to shape and putting it between.   I know it is somewhat from engine bolt torque, because I noticed it after doing my valve adjustment last year.   I might go through the hassle of retorqueing but not for a while.     Did you reduce the torque ft. lbs. settings on your 3rd  try, how did it improve?   Something must have been different for the improvement.     

Offline Deepsea

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2018, 07:39:19 pm »
Practice, practice, practice.  I followed the engine removal and replace very very carefully. On the 3rd try after loosening everything I relaxed the jack under the engine then brought it back into tension very slowly until I could spin the mount bolts by hand. Did not reduce torque. Oh and I made an engine/jack cradle so I could tilt as well as lift the engine. It's now in storage in CA and I'm out of the country so I can't post any pic's. Sorry.
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Offline RoadKillHeaven

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2018, 10:19:48 pm »
Unless you rive ADV bike with V-twin there will always be some buzz felt through tank and/or handlebars. Adv bikes have rubber insulation which helps tame said vibes. Also V-twin pulse instead of buzz at high revs.
I had R1100S a few years ago. I loved the way it handled but vibes above 4K revs killed all the fun. My wrists would fall asleep after half an hour or so.
C14 compared to any boxer engine is silky smooth.
I have some vibes above 4500 revs. Any revs above 4000 is in the realm of illegal speeds anyways.  Relaxing the grip on handlebars and shifting my body away from fuel tank helps alleviate discomfort. Also, Projek-D winglets help remove buffeting from my hands at speed which further reduce perceived vibrations.
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« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 10:25:10 pm by RoadKillHeaven »

Offline olie

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2018, 10:50:41 pm »
...just try a proper model of Crampbusters, on both sides. They relax your hands as they allow a better position angle of your wrists. It works for me. I rarely use the Kaoko throttle lock except on long stretches of interstate.

Offline oldguysti

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2018, 11:26:26 pm »
I have vibration on my right grip bad enough to make it go numb in about 20 min.   Probably buzz on both, but I can take the left hand off easily....so don't have any problem with that hand going numb.   I do have not yet done the engine mount retorque...but might check your front tire balance weights to see that they are there.   On a previous bike, I had a sticker weight fall off and the imbalance gave a bad vibe and speeds around 50 mph.   I check this on my C14, but no luck....gotta be the engine mounts.   Damn.   I've put on the foam grip covers and added a cramp buster, and it helps a bit, but not enough.

Offline Deepsea

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2018, 03:37:57 am »
Only consider the engine re-torque as a last resort. Very often you can tame the vibes with other means. As RoadKillHeaven said there will always be some "Buzz". Things I did first included heavy bar ends, throttle lock, re-balance tires, change how I hold throttle, cramp buster etc. Maybe try wrapping over the grips with padded tennis racket grip tape.
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Offline hlh1

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2018, 11:16:56 am »
Maybe try wrapping over the grips with padded tennis racket grip tape.

Grip Puppies do this. 
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Offline sc

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2018, 11:44:10 am »
vibration at 3500 to 4k on mine.

2013 model with 45k miles, shes on her 4th season of daily commuting bought as a leftover. If I remove the bar risers and put the factory end weights back on it is better. But I find having the risers, even though buzzy is worth it.

The ones you tried did they have bar risers?

Offline Deepsea

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2018, 11:54:51 am »
Maybe try wrapping over the grips with padded tennis racket grip tape.

Grip Puppies do this.


I have padded tennis racket grip tape over the grip puppies. Not so much for vibes but I have large hands. XXXXL glove size.
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Offline walter

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2018, 01:25:13 am »
I had vibration in the handlebars that was made by the engine. pull the clutch in at any speed, if it goes away you have the same issue. I solved this with Ivan's flash. I am telling you 90% of it is gone. this thing is smooth! better than stock.

Offline cuda

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2018, 01:51:04 am »
Do you wear gloves ?
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Offline walter

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Re: Engine Vibration Through Handlebars
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2018, 01:55:30 am »
yes I always wear gloves.