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  1. #1
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    vibration problem on a 3rd gen

    I bought the bike a few months ago and it rode beautifully at first. After roughly 2000 km, my right hand started to numb from vibrations. The whole bike vibrates but only my right hand suffers from it. There's also a mild shimmy in the steering at certain speeds that would take the bike down if I let go of the handlebars.

    I have had the front wheel balanced, the tire seems ok though it has 7000-10000 kms on it. I've changed the front fork oil, I've retorqued the engine mounts apart from the lower through bolt. The idle is a little unsteady but the engine runs smoothly when throttle is applied and accelerates like brand new. The front wheel and steering stem bearings show now sign of wear.

    I am in need of suggestions and tips as I am getting tired of the numbing.

    The vfr is -91 with 107 000 kms on the clock.


  2. #2
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    That's pretty high mileage for the tyre, possibly it's worn unevenly? I know nothing of wheel balancing, but I would think that although balanced weight wise balancing wouldn't help with irregularities on the outside where it touches the road. Just a thought.

  3. #3
    Member YAUGURU's Avatar
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    Can be only one thing
    Tyre

  4. #4
    Uber Guru squirrelman's Avatar
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    When's the last chain/sprocket replacement ?? The last head bearings renewal ?? Not saying it's a factor, but why not fix the unsteady idle ? Make sure the 2 tank side buffers haven't gone missing.
    Last edited by squirrelman; 07-24-2013 at 06:51 PM.



    " Goin' to Hell in a bucket, but at least I'm enjoyin' the ride. "


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  5. #5
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    My last bike was a 97 VFR750 and I had installed heli-bars not long after purchasing the bike. After a few months I noticed the same hand numbing vibration coming through the bars. I removed the bars and controls and taped over the positioning holes for the switch gear with electrical tape and then reattached. I then filled the bars (heli-bars were hollow though I'm not sure if the stock clip-ons are as we'll) with sand blasting media sand. I measured the length of the screw that holds the bar end weight in place and filled the bar cavities until the sand was just about up to the end of the screw by using a small screw driver to gauge how much sand was in the bar cavity. Hold the bar with the bar end weight up and use a piece of paper rolled into the shape of a funnel to get the sand in the hole. With the control bar upright I then reinstalled the bar end weight and reattached the controls. The reason for holding the bar upright is so the sand doesn't get jammed up in the threads (make sure to remove the bars and hold them upright any time you have to take the bar end weights off after doing this or you will destroy the threads when the sand gets stuck). I rode the bike for nearly five years (sold the bike just before my son was born) after doing this and the vibration in the bars went away almost completely and my hand wouldn't get numb even after 5 hours of riding.

    The mod took less than 15 minutes per side and all you need to do is undo the bolt on the clip-on and remove the c-cllp retainer at the top of the fork tube to get the bars off, but you don't have to undo anything. Having a friend hold the bars while you fill with sand is really helpful.

    Not sure what might be causing the shimmy in the front end but as others have said the front tire is likely due for replacement. You might also want to check the steering stem head bearings as they might be worn as well.

  6. #6
    Uber Guru squirrelman's Avatar
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    Usta use B-Bs to damp bar vibes, but sand should be useful too.



    " Goin' to Hell in a bucket, but at least I'm enjoyin' the ride. "


    FRACKING: kiss your aquifer good-bye !!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the quick replies.
    I'm gonna try the sand trick this weekend.
    Front tire change is gonna have to wait for next month.

    Steering stem head bearings may be rather old.
    Chain and sprockets are nearly brand new and tank side buffers are well in place.
    For the unsteady idle - I haven't been able to locate the problem. I cleaned the carbs, checked the valves and replaced the air filter for only slightly improved performance.

  8. #8
    Uber Guru ridervfr's Avatar
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    My Gen 3 bike is sensitive to front tyre wear, if you take your hands off the bars at low speeds when the tyre has a 5000 miles or so, you get a wobble, (who takes their hands off the handle bars anyway!)

    Tyre tends to wear un-even as the roads have crowns and such. Try a new donut, if you jack up your bike under the exhaust system and get the front wheel off the ground, you can see if the bars flop to either side without much force, think pinky force. You should not get a self centering in the middle as this means there is a divit. Steering head bearings are a nice item to change on a 25 year old machine btw...AnywhooOOOOoooooOOOOOOoo----Hi Ice-Hunchin

  9. #9
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    Well as it turns out, the handle bar weight had fallen off without me noticing. I tested with a set of weights but they were too light i'm guessing. Still the numbing only occured in the right hand. Gonna test with heavier weights or sand... later.

  10. #10
    Uber Guru ridervfr's Avatar
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    If my bike farted, I would know it as its been with me for a long time, kinda like "the first wife." I know when she farts too

    I had some lousy bar ends on my bike for a while and when a Honda scooter came in, I decided to swap them oot, they were the same ones that originaly came with the bike, I had someone who made custom frankenstein bolts do the bar ends, turns oot, you really need a heavy piece of metal to dampen the vibes. The new bar ends work perfect. Live and Learn, Ride to Live, Live to Ride...

  11. #11
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    The heaviest I've found are 190 grams, which doesn't seem like much. I'm gonna make them myself and get the kind of weight that definitely makes a difference.

  12. #12
    Uber Guru squirrelman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joh89 View Post
    Steering stem head bearings may be rather old.
    Stock OEM head bearing sets are almost always well knackered by about 35,000 miles and crying for replacement.



    " Goin' to Hell in a bucket, but at least I'm enjoyin' the ride. "


    FRACKING: kiss your aquifer good-bye !!

  13. #13
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    The bars are filled with sand and new weights installed. There is an improvement but it didn't work quite as effectively as hoped for.
    The wobble can be explained with a worn tire and\or worn bearings, but the vibration issue still remains.
    I can pull the clutch at high speeds and lose all vibes thus showing they originate from the engine. What are the most likely things to cause this? Slack in the engine mounts? They are torqued to the specs apart from the lower through bolt in the rear

  14. #14
    Uber Guru ridervfr's Avatar
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    I dont think I ever put a spanner on any of the viffers motor mounts. I did lose a nut off a kawasaki after a motor oot motor in scenerio, then it was red-lock tite and everything is good.

    everything has vibes, its just the way it is. Was next to a HD at a traffic light and the fellows skin under his bi-cept was shaking, looked like chicken...

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    if the vibes go when the clutch is held in the first thing I would check is exhaust mounts . after building many of my own bikes and installing custom made exhausts it has shown me that a simple mounting rubber can transform the bike. The exhaust shouldn't really be physically touching any part of the frame unless it has a rubber bush

  16. #16
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    Exhaust mounts...I added a rubber bushing to the silencer mount by the rear wheel. Better check the rest of them. How about the connection to the cylinders? Surely there's physical metal-to-metal contact?

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    yes there is but the engine and its mounts are holding that pretty tight, the tubing of the exhaust and the can resonate and the farther away from the motor the more chance of vibration .

  18. #18
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    Yeah I just realized how pointless my question was. The strange thing with the vibes is that only my right hand numbs. I can feel it in the left hand but it's with no agonising consequences.

    Another thing I would like to improve is wrist ache. Due to the riding position, too much weight lies on my wrists. With a low windscreen it's hardly a problem but after an upgrade to a vario touring screen the wind resistance is far too little even at high speeds. Seems like the touring feature is utterly useless. I will go back to standard screen if no help can be found.

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    mmm whats the higher screen like ??? I am 6foot 2 inches and find the standard screen blows straight into my neck so I am after a higher/taller screen . I had an excellent tall screen for my zzr that was £15 from hong kong but I cant find any cheap ones about for the vfr

  20. #20
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    I bought the touring screen used for 75 euros. I am 186 cm and the wind hits right about the middle of my visor. Pull it up at 100 kph and you're blind in a heartbeat. Pillion feels no wind at all and anything below my helmet is a no wind zone. The vario feature doesn't seem to make a difference regardless of the positioning of the adjustable add-on which supposedly throws wind over your helmet. Might work for a child...

  21. #21
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    I had pretty similar problems with the vibration and wind. For the vibration and weight on my wrists, I ordered from eBay a adjustable clip-on Adjustable CNC Clip On Handlebar 41mm Silver HD10 | eBay , which allowed me to ride bit more staright not leaning to my hands. In the same time I could also adjust the agle of handlebars to better fit my hands. Even though the clipon is solid aluminium, it did not need any weights. I suppose the aluminium damped the vibration better than the steel ones.

    I'm 170 and the wind noice was my problem. To cure that, I bought MRA Vario Touring screen and for me it works pretty well. With the adjustable wind deflector I can adjust where the wind hits my head. In the highest position, it hits my forehead, in lowest position to my chin which is best in the rain to clear the visor from the drops.

  22. #22
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    Could aluminium really dampen vibes?

    Well...I checked the exhaust silencer mount. Definitely ruled out. The exhaust isn't touching the frame at any point but via cushions on the heat guard. I even took the centerstand off to no avail.

    The vibes are felt all over the bike. Pillion foot pegs, wind screen, fairings...only the main frame including engine mounts feel steadier.
    I can't pinpoint the origin and can't remember to have done anything when the vibes started. Bloody frustrating.

  23. #23
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    Changed the spark plugs. No visible improvement. The wiring from the coils to the plugs are known to cause vibes once chewed through...where would I get new cables? Also...could the fault lie in the bearings of the crankshaft? Or maybe a worn out clutch?

    edit: Changed the standard grips to soft gel grips. Possibly little less vibrations but certainly not enough.
    Last edited by Joh89; 08-04-2013 at 07:31 AM.

  24. #24
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    Changed back to original screen. The wind on my chest is strong enough to lift all the weight off my wrists at speeds exceeding 110 kph/65mph.
    It is superior to the useless touring screen. Still...the vibrations persist numbing my right hand.
    It's bearable now with the better screen but I would love some more input on the problem.
    I won't stop until the numbing is gone.

  25. #25
    Senior Member kennybobby's Avatar
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    Occam's Razor

    Quote Originally Posted by Joh89 View Post
    ...
    I can pull the clutch at high speeds and lose all vibes thus showing they originate from the engine...
    Adding or changing the weights only changes the natural resonant frequency of the handlebars--it doesn't damp out any transmitted vibration. The only damping in the bars would be the rubber grips. Maybe a gel pack in the gloves or sorbathane (sp?) insert could be used to add damping. i would think that a wrist numbing vibration would be of a fairly high frequency.

    Also i have seen rubber spacers used to mount handlebars on the suzuki 1200 bandit, maybe there is an option such as that to damp out the vibration.

    But if you want to find the source of the vibration, then i would recommend to pull the clutch cover and start looking there--it's on the right hand side of the bike.

    http://vfrworld.com/forums/mechanics...asket-hub.html

  26. #26
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    I intend to renew the clutch at some point but I haven't got the time right now.
    What I did though, and what fixed the issue, was an oil change. I chose a more expensive brand and swapped the filter aswell. The vibes in the right handle bar were reduced substantially and I can now ride for an hour with comfort.

  27. #27
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    What could possibly be the cause of vibrations if an oil change reduces them?
    The new oil is castrol power1 10w-40.

    Edit: Measured the temperature readings of the exhaust ports when idling.
    Very small differences. Lowest #1 at 110 C, highest #3 at 125 C.
    The other 2 between these. Right side seemed to be a tad hotter.
    Are these normal temperatures and differences?
    Last edited by Joh89; 08-15-2013 at 09:49 AM.

  28. #28
    Senior Member kennybobby's Avatar
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    Was the old oil synthetic or automobile oil, not motorsickle grade? The clutch and engine share oil supply and have unique requirements that car oil doesn't meet. Otherwise the starter idler gear and the camshaft end-float threads seem to have similar symptoms and sometimes fixes just due to oil changes...

  29. #29
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    The old oil was Motul's motorcycle grade and wet clutch compatible for four-stroke engines. It was the same oil the previous owner had used.

  30. #30
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    Hmmm I would be looking at what you had removed and reinstalled to do their filter change.
    can't imagine oil would change the vibes unless it was nearly empty


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